Clyne introduced Cross Canadian Ragweed by saying, “Thanks for allowing us to share the best rock-n-roll audience with these guys. Muchas gracias.”
By the time Cross Canadian passed the stage to RCPM, the stage crew had been let out of their cages. They lit the sky with a barrage of fireworks and sent Clyne out with a giant sombrero on his head. We were missing piñatas. I couldn’t find any. But the fireworks rumbled in the sky for most of the songs and Clyne – in his typical fashion – wore any hat that landed on stage.
If Roger Clyne wears your hat, you’ve undergone a social rite of passage. At a few RCPM shows, I’ve met lively girls who giggle and declare, “See this hat? Roger Clyne wore it. Wanna smell it?”
So, wouldn’t you know it . . . someone decided to bring the most ridiculous hat he could find at the dollar store: a Viking helmet complete with horns. Not the Minnesota football team. No, not those Vikings. I mean the kind that looks like an upside down salad bowl with long, curved horns. Clyne picked him out of the crowd and stopped a song. “Okay, I need that hat up here.”
. . . and he kicked up a rock-n-roll song while wearing a plastic Viking helmet in Mexico, and fireworks blasting over the stage. I swear I can’t make this stuff up and it was worth the price of admission. I think the song went like this, if my memory hasn’t failed me:
We can hear the bossa nova, we can sway the night away, the steps of this dance are best left up to chance…Better beautiful than perfect anyway
Chance smiled upon the show one more time when Clyne took notice of a young girl of maybe 8 or 9 years old on her dad’s shoulders right in front of the stage. She wore a pink cowgirl hat and a t-shirt that simply read, “Leaky Little Boat,” the title of a crowd-pleasing RCPM song.
“Sweetheart, would you come up on stage for this song? It’ll be perfect. Dad, she’ll be back in a minute. C’mon up here, sweetie.” Dad lifted her up onto the stage, and Clyne bent over so he could speak to her eye-to-eye. He looked like he was trying to be comforting, she had her finger in her mouth.
Clyne then said to the crowd, “Check this out. Her shirt says leaky little boat.” The audience belted out laughter and raised their drinks in the air. But that promptly freaked out the little
girl, so he leaned over and spoke softly to the girl for a moment. Ultimately, she stayed but stood to the side of the stage. The crowd sang along about a leaky little boat for over five minutes and chanted for the girl when she climbed back onto her dad’s shoulders.