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AT THE CINEMATIC - Tenement Girl

Welcome to "At The Cinematic", our Video Channel. Each month we'll add a new clip to the channel. Our first instalment features a live version of Tenement Girl. So here we go.

We open the show with an ending of sorts. It's Monday, October 13th, 1986. The last day of Expo 86. The closing ceremonies ended hours earlier. It's ten in the evening and we find ourselves onstage at Vancouver's Club Soda.

We're warming up Art Bergmann and his band. Truly an honour. Art's a living legend. A punk pioneer. The "We" is the Robert James Band. The current line-up consists of Dave Stevenson on drums, Dave Pollock on bass, Steve Froese on keyboards and Greg Watson and I on guitars.

With everybody's schedule we've managed five or six rehearsals. We've got three or four live shows under our belts but didn't manage to get in on the Expo 86 action. When they were looking for acts in early March there was no Robert James Band. Greg Watson and I were the only survivors from the last line-up. We had played with Dave Pollock in a previous line-up and he suggested Dave Stevenson for the spot on drums. We still needed a keyboard player. It had taken forever to find Colin Pearce, our previous keyboardist. Steve answered the ad in the local paper, played his wife the demo cassette and he was in. Whether he liked it or not …

Tenement Girl was a leftover from previous set lists. Always an opener. I remember penning this in the morning, rehearsing it in the afternoon and then performing it the following evening. Probably at one of the many Town Pump gigs I've played. I'm not exactly sure how many recording I have of this particular song. Probably two or three. There's definitely one copy I don't have. One recorded at Mushroom Studios. Just myself. Vocals and acoustic guitar. It's a long story but the song was slowed for tempo to present to a famous artist. Like playing a 45 at 33 1/3rd. The song was passed over but the tempo and emptiness of the recording stuck with me. I've been toying with the idea of giving it a vocal and acoustic guitar/piano treatment. A different arrangement is probably in order as well.

We hope you enjoy "Tenement Girl" and we look forward to presenting you with a new video next month. In the meantime, don't get your knickers in a twist. The mullet won't be making a comeback here at CandyLand. Not so much …

xo RJ

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