The First Public Performance

My first public performance happened long before my first . It happened before I knew ukulele or guitar. It happened in the spring of 1996.

Back when I started my Leslie Spit Treeo web page , I got in touch with them and they invited me to come out to their open-stage, "Spit Fridays". I had plenty of fun there, and I wanted to participate, so I dug out my flute and practised.

One "Spit Friday", I brought in my flute. I got a recorder player named Peter to play along with me. When I got up on stage, my hands were shaking. I don't usually get stage fright. I used to, but after I'd been in a few high school plays, I stopped getting it. Now that I was doing something new, my stage fright was back in force.

We played a song I call "The Chromatic Duet". Peter improvised a harmony part to it. Went pretty well, despite all my shaking.

That night, the Leslie Spit Treeo was performing at Graffiti's. I decided to go and enjoy. Kevin Quain was opening for them, and he had a saxophone player with him. (Probably Jesse Scinto.) So I got to enjoy Kevin Quain too. At that point, I didn't really know Kevin Quain. He was just another musician to me. This was before he started The Mad Bastard Cabaret, but he did have The Mad Bastards and The Jump Kings.

He played plenty of accordion back then too. So while Kevin was switching instruments (probably getting into his accordion), Jesse launched into "Moonlight Serenade".

Now bear in mind, that, as a flautist, I was dying for someone to play with. And I knew "Moonlight Serenade"-- hell, I even knew the harmony part! So I dug out the flute. But just as I was getting ready, the saxophone player finished "Moonlight Serenade". I started to put the flute away.

Then Kevin invited me to play along. So I did, and I was playing along when The Leslie Spit Treeo showed up.

And they invited me to play a few songs too. Well, I got carried away. Here I was, playing along with one of my favourite bands, and this was my first night of performing publicly!

I was especially excited, becase their former member, Jack Nicholsen (now Jack Mathews) was there and he was playing along too.

Well, I played along with them for most of the first set and then they tactfully asked me not to play during the second set. And I've never played with them since.

To be honest, I don't remember a single song I played with them or Kevin. But I will always remember that the first night I performed publically, I performed with the original members of The Leslie Spit Treeo AND Kevin Quain.