Cease & Desist were asked to be the ‘house band’ for The Pumpkin Patch in Richmond BC. We did this gig for a full month leading up to Hallowe’en Eve. We were to play (with very little break time) from 9:00am – 1:00pm every day. Also every day we would have to set up the PA and stage gear ahead of our performance and then tear it down before we left. Being that I lived in Coquitlam, it would generally mean that I would get up at about 5:30am to try to get through rush hour traffic to make it in time to set up and play. Add to that playing in a club as well most nights until 2:00am and you can see how taxing it would be on us.
It was quite an elaborate place. A tractor pulled wagon would leave about every 15 minutes out to the actual pumpkin patch area with a performer on board each one enticing the children to sing along.
Our job was to keep people engaged with our performance as they came through the gates into the main holding area until each group would go out on a wagon. Busloads of school children , their teachers, parents, teachers aids and chaperones would come through the gates continuously from 8:45am until roughly noon – hence the ‘no real break time’.
It was cold, rained often and snowed more than once or twice. Plus….there were no heaters on the stage! They did give us sexy orange hoodies however.
The owner of the Pumpkin Patch heard that I had a studio and asked if I could make ‘sound alike’ songs for them to play over the PA system on the grounds. One the girls on his staff had volunteered to write words to popular songs and he wanted to know if I could make them sound ‘like the actual recordings’ and I agreed to take him up on the challenge.
Sometimes we had some great ‘guest stars’ appear with us. Skip Prest did some dates, Mike Sanyshyn played fiddle with us as did Ian Cameron. I would bring my banjo out for some extra ‘country flavour’.
I enlisted some friends to come into the studio. I imagined their voices singing each particula song. I had made all of the background ‘sound-alikes’ tracks myself, doing all guitars, keyboards and programmed drums. The only added instruments I didn’t play is I had Russell Marsland come in for a ‘dobro-slide’ part on ‘In The Pumpkin Patch Now’ which he also sang lead on and Ian Cameron added some fiddle when needed.
I have to laugh at some of the projects us musicians will take on just to keep working.
All in all a lot of fun and now a great memory:
It’s Pumpkin Time – Russell Marsland
The Pumpkin Family – Marc LaFrance
In The Pumpkin Patch Now – Russell Marsland
Corny’s Maze – Dave Reimer
The Monster Mash – Marc LaFrance
In The Orange Pail -Marc LaFrance
One or Two – Jack Hummell
Folsom Pumpkin – Jack Hummell
Old Pumpkin Fields Back Home – Brent Howard