In honour of my new play, BIG IN GERMANY, which is all about Canadian rock music and growing up in Toronto in the 1990s, I’m going to share a CanCon music video everyday. BIG IN GERMANY plays at Buddies in Bad Times April 9-21. Get tickets here.
It’s pretty obvious by now that I watched a lot of MuchMusic as a teenager — Spotlight, RSVP, Countdown, FAX, and Big Ticket were all regular features in my house. But my favourite 90s MuchMusic features were always the semi-regular Intimate & Interactive specials, where they’d get a band into the studio to spend an hour or two performing, chatting with a VJ, and — here’s the “interactive” part — answering questions that viewers mailed in, or sent via the then-very-high-tech options of faxing or e-mailing.
Getting to be in the studio audience was a bit of a trick — you’d have to watch Much constantly until text flashed across the screen saying “call in now to get passes for Intimate & Interactive with Moist.” Sometimes they’d give you a clue earlier in the day that the lines would open during Spotlight or something, but you still basically had to watch all day to find out about them, and then attempt to get through over the phone.
I tried with Moist’s I&I. I tried when the Tea Party did one. When Silverchair did an I&I, I tied up the phoneline for the whole run of Spotlight with 1-800- and six digits dialed waiting for the cue to press the last button, and still I couldn’t get through.
When the OLP I&I was announced — shortly after this video and Happiness Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch came out — Much decided to try giving out the tickets through an internet trivia contest/lottery. My sister and I both entered, and then to increase our odds, we submitted an additional entry for my brother who had no interest. An hour later, my brother got a call from MuchMusic and almost hung up until he realised I must’ve had something to do with it. Despite his technically being the winner, my sister and I went to the I&I a week later.
It was like a dream come true. Not only was I going to be, like, ten feet away from Our Lady Peace, but I was actually going to be inside MuchMusic. When I was fifteen, MuchMusic was like what the Vatican is to religious Catholics. I guess that would’ve made meeting Rick The Temp like meeting the Pope, with a soul patch and black nail polish.
When we arrived, they actually positioned us behind the band, so we didn’t get the greatest view of the show, but it was still pretty awesome. And when Mike Turner busted out the acoustic guitar for “Naveed”, it was magical.
After the show, my sister and I met Rick The Temp. I think I managed to say “hi” while my sister posed for a picture with him, which she still has. My sister took a picture of me with Rick The Temp, but our heads are cut off in the photo because that’s how cameras worked in 1999.
Well, Rick The Temp works at Entertainment Tonight Canada now, so who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be famous enough that he’ll be interviewing me.
Get BIG IN GERMANY tickets here.