Songwriter: Michael Hutchense
Original Release: Kick
Definitive Version: Live Baby Live, 1991
When Scott called in April 1991 and told me that his girlfriend at Ball State was breaking his heart, I had only one piece of advice: road trip.
Well, OK, so I also usual advice from Animal House: Start drinking heavily. But it seemed to me that the best plan of action was to come up to Flint and wewould drive over to Toronto for a ballgame. Canada’s legal drinking age was 19, which Scott was, and I’d never seen a game at SkyDome, so why not?
You have finals next week that you have to study for? What’s your point? Get up here. So he did and of we went off on a little adventure.
The Blue Jays had moved into the gleaming SkyDome in 1989, and tickets still were hard to come by. I was able to secure the necessary ducats, but they were single seats in consecutive rows—we’d sit behind each other—but low on the first-base side. That was good enough for me.
The first order of business after getting a hotel room in Missisauga was find a bar. Actually, Scott wanted to plays some pool, and we found this great snooker house. We’d never seen snooker before except on TV. (You know the video for Rough Boys by Pete Townshend? The punks in it are playing snooker.) We didn’t play, but the joint also had regulation pool tables, which you rent by the hour.
Scott was in heaven when he quickly realized that not only could he drink but that the local beer on tap was Labatts and Molson. Budweiser was an import. And the topper: They had the Stanley Cup playoffs on TV. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Indiana anymore.
The funny thing about the snooker hall: You couldn’t drink around the tables. They had railing that snaked around the tables to let you know where the dry areas were. But just outside the railing at each post they had tables where you could set your drink, so all you had to do was reach over to your drink each time you wanted it and then just set it back down safely outside the forbidden zone.
We went to the game the next day, and I’ll have more to say about that at a later date, but where this song comes into play is that back then Mark Whiten played right field for the Jays, and he had a cannon for an arm. So every time Whiten came to bat, the PA system would play Guns in the Sky. (Get it?)