January 28, 1984 at the old YWCA gymnasium in Peterborough, Ontario.
Fronted by Mr. CD himself, Curtis Driedger, the CeeDees were equally at home playing the uber hip Cameron House on Queen Street West in Toronto or the blue collar Red Dog Tavern on Hunter Street in Peterborough. This video shows the group filling a role it frequently played, serving as a kind of house band, from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s, for the hippies, students, artists and new-wavers populating the Peterborough art and performance scene that revolved around the city’s artist-run centre, Artspace. In this clip we hear two great examples of Driedger’s witty, satirical songwriting: 'Slash Yer Wrists' (unfortunately the video cuts out before the song finishes, a casualty of the unstable 3/4" videotape it was recorded on) and 'Hello Linda'. The rest of the band is Bruce Moffat (drums), Tom Griffiths (bass), and Jamie Clugston (percussion).
More about this show
The location for this dance was unique; it was the first show of its kind at the YW gym and it would be the last. Over the years The CeeDees had played numerous overheated gigs at Artspace’s Hunter Street gallery and its downstairs performance space, City Stage. But in 1984 the organization was without a home, having split its digs when the landlord upped the rent the year before. At the time of this gig it had been a long time since the last CeeDees appearance in Peterborough, so Artspace/City Stage needed to find a room big enough for the crowds who would come out. Somehow, the YWCA’s modest gymnasium in their old Victorian pile on Simcoe Street (since burned to the ground and replaced with the Greyhound bus terminal) was chosen, perhaps due to a combination of desperation on both parts: there were no more big dance halls left downtown (the Empress Hotel ballroom had been a favourite venue for CeeDees dances until it closed in the early 80s); and the Y was always looking for new revenue streams to support its programs, including the women’s shelter housed in the same building (oops). A special occasions liquor permit was obtained (something of a first for the Artspace/City Stage bunch), and the gym was dubbed ‘The Rec Room’ on the over-sized yellow and black poster designed by David Bierk, which proclaimed ONCE AGAIN IT’S DANCE TIME IN THE KAWARTHAS. It was dance time all right, and not just for the paying customers. The sound system kept the residents of the Y’s women’s shelter awake all night, meaning the YW gym would not be the city’s newest dance hall after all. But that was all right, because by the end of the year the city’s art crowd would have one of the biggest dance floors for miles around at their disposal when Artspace re-opened in the newly renovated Market Hall.