For those of you who do not know the Goose Lake Music Connection was a live concert for volunteer performers at Goose Lake, Alberta Canada and it was held on August Long Weekends. The music started Saturday morning and continued through out the day into the wee hours of the night. The stage was a huge rented stage and they had a rented state of the art sound system. Individual people and bands volunteered their time to play music there. They played everything from country to metal, from a guy playing the fiddle to a guy playing the flute. From people who could sing to people who should never sing into a microphone...it was a fun time. It was a family event and there were a lot of kids there. But it was also for adults too, they had a beer gardens there and many individuals who preferred the 'herbal' alternatives...put simply there were a lot of people smoking doobies and eating magic mushrooms. It reminded me of what I would imagine Woodstock would have been like, except there were no big name bands there. But there were a lot of hippies, drugs, face painting, munchies eating and hippies. I loved going to the music Connection, it was an annual event for me. The connection itself was held at the Goose Lake hall grounds, which was right across the way from the Goose Lake Campground, where the after parties were always held. Sadly the Music Connection is no more, in its last few years they began to attract a bad crowd, people came and fought and caused nothing but problems for the organizers. To be honest the 'bad crowd' was all young people from Whitecourt, Mayerthorpe and Barrhead...the connection became ground zero in a turf war between young dick-wads from those towns who had nothing better to do than fight and ruin a good time. It was never the locals that caused problems, we were there for a good time and that was all. But as we all know there is always someone who has to ruin it for the rest of us....Anyway the following is a small collection of memories (or rather fuzzy memories) of the good times I had at the Goose Lake Music Connection:
* 1996 *
96' was the first year I attended the music connection. My buddy Dennis was the one who took me there and we had a blast. I was drinking 'Rockaberry Wine Coolers" and trying to look cool. It was really the first summer I ever partied. I remember a big party after the Connection in the early hours of Sunday morning at Schuman Lake. I remember there were probably at least 50 of us there when the cops showed up. Some of my friends hid in the bush in fear the cops would bust them for pot possession. They didn't hide the fact that they were hiding when they started throwing food and other objects from the bush at the cops car....not smart but they got away. The cops kicked us out of there and we moved the party to the Goose Lake campground and partied till dawn....drinking rockaberry coolers....and maybe smoking some 'wacky tobaccy' too...
* 1997 *
97' was a crazy connection year for me, I got crazy drunk that Sunday, and got into some mis-adventures. That was the year I met Rob "The Puking Guy", this guy could literally puke on command which was disturbing yet cool at the same time, especially when you are drunk and/or high watching him do this. That Saturday night we watched my new friend Jodi play with his band on stage and they were the last band to play. My cousin Tyler, with friends Jamie and Fred, with Rob the puking guy came out that weekend from the city and partied with us like old times. That Sunday me and some friends decided to get as drunk as humanly possible and we did just that. I got super drunk and wanted to get on stage so bad that I volunteered to play the spoons for some dude singing the newfie tune "What would you do with a drunken sailor", the guy got such a kick out of my drunken spoon playing he changed the song to "What would you do with a drunken spoon player" which I thought was awesome, but I'm sure I annoyed the crowd. Then he made the mistake of giving me the microphone after the song to say a few words. They went something like this:
(Me to the crowd) "Are you having a good time out there?"
The crowd responded by yelling "Yeah!!!"
And I responded by saying "F#^@in A !!!" , totally forgetting that this was a family setting. The guy wisely took away my mike and that was that. Although I did manage to get back on stage when they asked for volunteers to help sing the final song...can't say they were too happy or impressed to see my drunk ass up there singing....
I was so drunk that I passed out on the hood of someones car...and I was like a grumpy bear when they tried to wake me up so they could drive their car home. I just rolled off the car and slept in the ditch. then I remember getting awoke and riding on the roof of Shanes car...But the worst of it was that that Sunday was my Mom's birthday and I forgot in my drunken stupor. The next thing I remember it was dark and I was sleeping in the bush at a campsite and hearing my sister Brianna calling my name from the campground road. I got up and followed her voice and I could see her and someone else walking down the road looking for me. I walked up to Brianna but couldn't see who it was with her so I asked Brianna "Who's your friend?" and her 'friend' replied "YOUR MOTHER !!!"....I was in supreme shit. Mom and Dad and Brianna came out there to get me and bring me home, Sorry Mom. I was super hung over the next day. Dad decided to torture me by making me change the oil in the old k-car. I was so hung over and my reflex's were so slow that I drove up the ramps and drove over the ramps, with the car landing right on top of them. "A little hung over are we?" Dad asked me and I couldn't argue with him, it was a long and hard hang over day.
* 1998 *
98' was another great year for drunken adventures. Friday night my cousin Lenny and I partied it up till the early morning. Saturday morning we all started drinking very early, very very early. 9 AM early...you see my friend Tyler purchased a Texas mickey of white rum and we had to drink it before it expired you see....I was pissed and passed out by 4pm that afternoon. Tyler was found passed out in an outhouse, in the middle of taking a 'poop' holding his bottle of white rum at his side. Thankfully some people were there working security and they helped him out. They escorted him back to our campsite and he slept it off in my car. We didn't actually have a tent set up that weekend, we were all too drunk to set up a tent, our cars were our tents that weekend. They stayed parked there all weekend thank god. Some friends from work, Jill and Don arrived at our campsite Saturday night at 8 pm and they got my drunk butt up and back to the party. I partied all night and had a blast as always there. At some point I think it was early Sunday night a young and good looking hippie chick approached Tyler and I near the Goose Lake beach. She asked us if we would want to go skinny dipping with her. Tyler and I looked at each other and said "yes" to her request, she was hot after all and we were young horn dogs. We told her that she would have to undress first, which she did, it was starting out to be a story for "Penthouse Letters" and she had our full attention. She lifted her flower dress over her body and we were left horrified...our "attention" becoming very limp very quickly. She had more body hair than I do...hairy arm pits, hairy legs and what is commonly referred to as "Afro Bush". The dream of skinny dipping with a hot girl died right there, and also she smelled like b.o., the reason why she wanted to go into the lake was to bathe herself...we politely turned away and left but other less picky gents soon showed up to take our place. That Sunday night I remember cooking bacon and eating taco chips with Tyler and Lenny. We told stories and had a great time just sitting there under the stars.
* 1999 *
99' I feel was really the year when everything changed for the worse for the connection. That was the year when the young guys from Barrhead, Mayerthorpe and Whitecourt started to out number the local crowd. Aside from my cousin Lenny most of my friends did not attend that year, I felt very alone that year. Add to the fact that 2 different dudes tried to pick fights with me that weekend for no good reason other than I was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone also went into Lenny and I's tent and stole all our beer while we were at the music grounds, that really sucked. That was the year I also bought my first car and my hours at work had been cut back so money was tight...I went home on Sunday afternoon feeling empty inside. My beloved Music Connection had turned into something very different and it was starting to look ugly.
* 2000 *
To be honest the only thing's I remember about that music connection was picking up a radio station from Sioux City Iowa in my car. Hanging out with a group of friends from Swan Hills, and also my friend Clayton being there. Other than that I don't remember much, not because I was too drunk, but because I was only there for one night and even more non-locals had showed up and were causing fights and disagreements. I only stayed the one night because the fun I used to have there was gone, that and I was worried my car would get targeted to be vandalized. It was really starting to get out of hand.
* 2001 *
I did not go that year. I'm pretty sure that year they had it the weekend before August long weekend because some family had booked the campground and hall for the long weekend. Plus I was told that the campground people were getting fed up with all the young people acting up in the campground from the year before and they wouldn't rent out sites to anyone under 30. I was told they also got strict with the noise and partying and the cops were out in force more that year. I went to the city and partied with my friend's Jon, Clayton, Jen and Tyler. Jon was a bouncer at the "Silver Bullet" bar and Clayton was the DJ. I danced with Jen and drank with Tyler. From what I was told about the connection that year was there was a lot of fights and almost none of my friends were going anymore.
* 2002 *
This was my last year attending. I went with my sister on the Saturday night and we camped out in my car because we could not get a site at the campground. I had a good time that year because there were more of my friends attending. My friend Jeff and his band were the closing act that night and we partied into the wee hours. It was fun, almost as fun as the old days.
* 2003 *
I never went that year and I am sure it was the last year of the connection at the Goose Lake Hall and campground. That weekend was the marriage weekend of my friends Jon and Jen, plus my buddy Ardy and I went to WWE Wrestling at Rexall Place that Sunday. From what I was told the connection's beer garden storage trailer was broken into and many thousands of dollars of booze was stolen which is why they chose to end the Goose Lake Music Connection. I heard they had a Music connection at someones private property in 2004 and that it was invitation only, but after that I heard no more about it.
* Here and Now in 2012 *
I wish someone would bring back the Goose Lake Music Connection like it was in the mid-90's. I hope that the young douche bags who spoiled all our fun are now grown up and gone or would behave themselves now. I loved August Long Weekend because of the Goose Lake Music Connection. Even if they do not bring it back at least I have my memories...