RIP Kate McGarrigle

Kate and Anna played HPX in 2005 or 06. It was the day after the CBC strike had ended, and it was really hard to get the word out to the Kate and Anna audience without CBC. I had been told by other, older promoters that Kate and Anna were really hard to work with, with one memorable show in particular where they were they refused to go on stage at the Cohn for hours like princesses.

So here we are going into a money losing half full show, and I am really worried they were going to be pissed. Kate and Anna roll in an Kate is clearly the outgoing one. She asks the right probing questions, is concerned about sales, concerned about marketing. I tell her we gave tickets to local CBC staff today and pay her the balance of the guarantee at 2pm, to keep her sweet.

She says “oh, great, thanks, this is going to be so much fun tonight” and then starts laughing at my evident shock as I relax and realize she is not going to bite my head off.

Later on we talked again about HPX, talk about music, talk about her kids, asked what HPX was (I said “the kind of festival you, your sister, your ex, your daughter and your son would all be able to play at). We then talk about the reputation they had here, and she said that the reason they wouldn’t go on back in the day is because that promoter had not paid them before they were supposed to go on, and that promoter did not get them a rider, and that promoter put them in a crappy hotel. They had been going through a bad patch with shows and were tense about getting what they were supposed to back then.

She patted me on the arm and said I didn’t have to worry, said “you did good” with a smile, and went back to hang with the band and drink more wine.

She was a totally classy lady and a super entertainer, it was an honor to work with her and I am sad I only got to talk to her that one day.