Monday, 5 September 2011

Cat Ranch - National Hotel May 5, 1988 (1988)

Ever since the good (and sadly MIA) folks at Golden Rock tipped us to its existence, we've been trying (like them) to track down a copy of Cat Ranch's Song For Calgary entry.

The Song for Calgary contest was tied to the 1988 Winter Olympics (a bit of digging tells us that the national contest actually ran in 1986), and several local bands put forward their own ideas. We've already heard the Unsightly's version, but Cat Ranch's is somewhat legendary - and elusive. So when Gord told us that he had a copy of a live Cat Ranch show, we were super excited.

Cat Ranch was the house band at the National Hotel for five years, originally playing Wednesday nights and then switching to Thursdays. The four-piece - with Gord on bass, Grant Sim on vocals and guitar, Sandy Switzer on lead guitar and Ian Grant on drums - clearly enjoyed the role, if this tape is any indication. They work their way through a cover of Hendrix's "Stone Free," some Guess Who, a cover of Hendrix's "Fire," a Doors track and a cover of Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic"... but no "Song for Calgary."


It's a bit disappointing, but this tape isn't without historical value: about two thirds of the way through the set, they formally mark Gord's birthday, which would be why he had held onto a copy of this. There is, however, a quick mention of the song in the stage banter. That's as close as we get.

This is turning out to be an ongoing search. For now, we're going to have to content ourselves with listening to the real winner of the Song for Calgary contest, "Neighbours of the World":

Good lord, no. No one should ever have to listen to that dreck. So grab this Cat Ranch show instead.


Unknown said...

Get in touch with Miles Jones of Fretworks guitar repair. He has countless recordings of Cat Ranch from the National. Cheers, Matt Hutton

Anonymous said...

Check with CJSW, if the flood didn't destroy it I believe there is a version on audiocart in the archives somewhere...

Peter said...