I got a chance to chat with David Gogo after his superb show in Sooke Saturday night. It was humbling to hear him thank me for my column in the Sooke News Mirror that pitched the way he plays the blues.
I joked that it may have helped sell a few more seats because the bride and I talked a few friends into coming along for a great ride.
Gogo quickly changed topics with the ease with which he switched guitars, turning the conversation to the current state of Habs nation, not a huge surprise considering two of the five vintage Fender and Gibson guitars he played bore the Montreal Canadiens logo prominently.
Referencing the thorny issue of the Subban trade, Gogo said the team would be better in the short term with Shea Weber replacing P.K. He also praised the one-year signing of Radulov from the KHL in Russia where he has dominated for the past two seasons as a shrewd gamble.
Sharing some positive Hab observations with a fellow fan buoyed my optimism for the coming season.
If Gogo assesses hockey moves with a smidgen of the skill he brings to handling blues guitar, our team is in good shape heading into September.
Last year, as you may recall, the Bleu, Blanc and Rouge roared out of the station with nine straight victories before their season turned into a slow motion train wreck that tested the faith of the most die hard of fans. It even became difficult to talk to my son, Chris, who has been demanding the coach’s head on a platter even after the team won a couple of rounds in the playoffs two years ago.
Although I eventually grudgingly tend to agree, I knew management wasn’t going to fire Therrien when arguably the best goaltender in the league was hobbling around on crutches with a season-ending knee injury.
So, for me, I’m basing this year’s performance on Gogo’s words of wisdom and the hiring of Kirk Muller as an assistant coach. That move alone should make the woeful power play immediately better, and, if the team struggles out of the gate, we have a capable head coach replacement standing behind the bench ready to fill the breach.
So thanks again for that, David, as well as some of the best guitar work I’ve heard in a long long time. You treat the genre with respect and tradition while managing to imprint your own sizable personal stamp and style on old and original material alike. The red hot slide work in the old Elmore James classic during the first couple of tunes absolutely sizzled, and your seminal handling of B.B. King’s The Thrill is Gone still reverberates within the memory banks of my ears in a most satisfying way. Please hurry back to Sooke again, and Go Habs Go!
Rick Stiebel is a Sooke resident and semi-retired journalist.