On this week’s episode I recall for you the first Valentine’s Day I ever really celebrated with someone. Our featured cover is “Love Never”.
Listen to the episode now on Spotify or read on for the official transcript below:
The other day I overheard some women talking about Valentine’s Day. They were saying that it’s ridiculous for women to buy men Valentine’s day gifts and that they didn’t know a single woman who has done it. Awkward, because as I stood there I recounted to myself that I had.
I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day or care all that much for it. The restaurants are packed and everything is overpriced. If you went to the exact same restaurant a week earlier that you chose for Valentine’s Day, you’d have the same great meal with better service and a cheaper check at the end of it all. That’s the way to do it, if you ask me.
The few times that I have celebrated the day with someone I was seeing, I was largely underwhelmed.
In one of my earlier relationships where we both exchanged small gifts, we gave each other a CD – the exact same CD. I won’t tell you who it was, you can try to guess. That same night I was actually working out of Orange Lounge recording studio, a freelance shift I picked up that I was really hoping would lead to more work with that studio.
If you’re unfamiliar with Orange Lounge, it’s on Queen Street West and it used to be above Tattoo Rock Parlour – the only half decent rock club in the city that doubled as a… as a tattoo parlor.
The studio’s still there, I’m pretty sure, but the club closed down a few years ago. Which was probably for the best – it got sloppy as hell in there.
But if you had a hankering for Mr. Brightside it’s where you need to go.
Anyways, so that night at Orange Lounge I started in the afternoon. I parked across the street in a lot that charges entirely too much for what it offers. At this point, I didn’t think I was getting paid for the session because that was what I’d grown accustomed to as an engineer in Toronto studios, so it hit deep when I swiped my credit card.
But that night we were expecting someone I was pretty keen to work with. Nelly Furtado was coming in for a session. Yeah, the “Like A Bird” girl. She’s a pretty big deal here in Canada and I didn’t often have the opportunity to work with many female artists at this point, so it was an exciting change.
Those were the type of sessions I’d find myself booked for sometimes and I’d always be surprised that I’d found myself in those situations.
I hung around the studio with the house engineer and the studio dog – Orange Lounge had a studio dog, which was awesome. Little wee thing that just brightened everyone’s day.
While we waited I was getting messages from the guy I was seeing then. He was wondering what time I’d be home and as is the case with any recording session, my response was that I had no real sense of when I’d be back.
This was the first Valentine’s Day where someone had planned something for me but, I had no idea – they wanted it to be a surprise and I just never anticipated anything.
The night crawled on and Nelly was nowhere to be found. A few hours passed and eventually the house engineer said that he wasn’t sure they were going to make it.
He gave me the option of sticking it out a couple more hours with him or going home.
This felt like a trick. These types of decisions always felt like a trick.
Do I stay or do I go?
I’d spent a lot of nights previously booked for late night sessions that never came to fruition so I knew it was a gamble.
To this day I still don’t understand people that book sessions only to abandon them at the last minute. A little heads up goes a long way, but anyways.
I stuck it out a short while later pacing around the studio while the house engineer chain smoked cigarettes in the back stairwell and the thumping of the bass from the club beneath us grew louder and louder.
Eventually, I caved. My car was racking up money in the lot and I actually for the first Valentine’s Day ever had somewhere else I could be.
I told him I was taking off, he said no problem, and I scooted out the studio and quickly drove out to Mississauga.
Thankfully, there was minimal traffic.
It was pretty late by the time I got to my boyfriend’s place. Most of his roommates were out, except for one who quickly said hey but then left us to ourselves for a bit.
I was led downstairs to their basement apartment part of their shared house where they’d set up a small candlelit dinner table for two.
We both sat down and while I was still in awe at the set-up they’d put together, and just as I was about to ask what we were having, his roommate came down again. He was to be our server for the night and had helped my boyfriend make the spaghetti.
To this day this is the single nicest thing someone has ever done for me.
And to think this isn’t the guy I married.
I never did find out if Nelly Furtado came in for her session at Orange Lounge that night.
And I was never invited back to work out of there. Whether that was a byproduct of my decision to leave that night or because I didn’t quite gel with the head engineer, I’ll never know.
I maintained a good relationship with the owner of that studio, but that was the last time I was there for some time.
In any case, I think I made the right decision. I sort of hate spaghetti, but that was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had.
Today’s cover song feature is “Love Never”. As I write this, it’s still the 14th, so, Happy Valentine’s Day if you acknowledge it, otherwise, enjoy whatever weird voodoo magic you’re concocting to spite your ex.