Review and photo by Ed Ezergailis
The review you have is close to what happened, but I should add a few things. First, the show was about an hour and a half late, and it was COLD! The middle of January in Guelph is not a time to be left waiting outside........I was told later that there was a real threat of Cale refusing to go on. Hence I suppose they figured not letting people in was safer for the hall if that occurred.
After an opening set by Toronto band The Government, Cale came on after another delay and they launched into what could have been a terrific show. Cale was wearing the surgeon's outfit (not the hardhat) along with dark sunglasses and the electrical tape over much of his playing hand (to avoid slash wounds no doubt from the way he literally attacked his guitar). The band was a ragtag mix of casual street wear except for Deerfrance of course, who was her usual latex fetishist's dream girl self. I have a bad old photo of this lying around in the vaults somewhere.
They played exactly 6 songs with reckless abandon (mostly Sabotage material plus Fear), and the sound was not as bad as Cale imagined from the monitors. Sure, there was an echo, and the bottom end had a big ka-thunk kind of feel. Vocals were muddy, but who cared? Not the audience. Cale evidently. He walked off in disgust, and as he did, the look on Deerfrance's face was priceless. A huge sigh, anger, rolling the eyes to heaven, and fatal resignation all in one. Said it all. Cale however didn't just leave. He made a slurred speech of apology, blamed the sound, and said how he simply couldn't continue in all fairness to the audience, the music, etc. etc. (You want unfair Johnny? After that freezing wait we just wanted to stay inside for a while. You could have played polka tunes for all we cared!).
Some people then left. I'd say closer to half than the 90 percent mentioned by Lino, but it hardly matters which number is closer. They did come back and they did jam, and the stool was used and it was the most wild and bizarre version of Pablo Picasso I've ever heard. They'd sort of slash about for 3-4 minutes and then yell the "some people try to pick up girls....... " chorus part and then another 3-4 minutes and then yell it again and so it went for about a half hour. When it was over he apologized again and invited everyone left to come to the next night's show at the Edge in Toronto (for a "real show") and they'd get in for free with a Guelph ticket. (Nice promise John. Maybe you should have asked the Edge promoters first!) Then he left and we went out to try to start the car in the cold. Drove home on a snow covered road and skidded into a ditch on the way. Seemed appropriate. In a way the worst show I've ever seen, but in another, one of the best. Certainly the one that sticks in my memory the most.