When it comes to weddings, rock 'n' roll might not be the first thing that comes to mind.
But maybe it should be.
Consider Billy Idol’s White Wedding which sees the singer tackling the subject the unrequited love of a former girlfriend who is now marrying someone else.
Or Nick Lowe’s I Used to Know the Bride When She Used to Rock ‘n’ Roll which sees the protagonist remembering an old friend, the bride, who used to love rock 'n' roll, wore tight blue jeans, broke hearts, and partied with the boys.
Perhaps a song more up local rocker Mikey Hawdon’s alley would be Guns ‘n’ Roses music video for November Rain, which includes an elaborate and chaotic wedding scene.
“We all wanted to be Slash, standing in front of a tiny abandoned church with your shirt open, playing an unplugged electric guitar in the desert,” he laughs.
Unlike the $1.5-million budget for Guns’ epic video, Hawdon’s expectations for his upcoming nuptials are more grounded in reality.
Hawdon is putting on what he calls a “Pre-Wedding Rock ‘n’ Roll Party” featuring four different bands he has played with on the bill, all to raise funds for his upcoming marriage to Ali Rainone.
“My fiancé and I had a big talk about it,” he says.
“We were originally going to throw a ‘stag and doe’ like everyone does, but then we decided we’d rather throw a gig instead. Seemed like less work, would be something I’m a lot more familiar with, and way more fun.”
Considering a lot of his old Toronto bandmates will be in town for his wedding anyway, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to put on a show and support the wedding at the same time.
“Weddings are expensive,” he laughs, noting that the first band of the evening will be Hawdon’s Ramones/Joan Jett tribute band, The Merves, who were based out of Toronto.
“This was a super fun band and we haven’t played together in almost 10 years. I’m really excited for it.”
The next on the bill is BookcluB, one of Hawdon’s latest bands that operate out of the Sault.
“BookcluB has a unique setlist I think, covering tunes from the 80s and 90s.”
The band is made up of Hawdon, as well as local musicians Dustin Jones, Dave Bahun, Al Watson, and Erin Antonello.
The third band will be AMY/DC.
“We’re a female-fronted AC/DC tribute band, with my good friend Amy Gabba providing the lead vocals,” he says.
“This is one of the favourite bands I’ve been in and I’m super excited to bring them here to the Sault for the first time. Loud guitars, big booming drums, rock-solid bass playing, and big screaming vocals over top. Everything rock ‘n’ roll should be.”
Headlining the show will be Inner City Surfers, who last played in town back in 2019.
“The last time the four of us were in a room together was at our reunion gig at LopLops,” he says.
“That show was a ton of fun. The Surfers never officially ‘broke up.’ We just all wanted to try new things I think. We always knew we’d get together and play more shows down the road when the time was right. We grew up together, we’re still best friends, and we’re all super proud of the music we created over all those years.”
Hawdon says the band will “play all the hits” and “some of the misses.”
“I can’t wait to see the crowd singing along to songs we wrote over 20 years ago now. Nothing beats that.”
Despite doing quadruple duty by playing in all four bands, Hawdon is up for the challenge.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he laughs.
“These are just a handful of the many bands I’ve played in over the years. I won’t be able to mingle much with friends that night, but I’d prefer to be on stage anyway.”
So although the earlier assertion suggested rock ‘n’ roll and marriage don’t always jive, this event is clear proof of the opposite.
“All my bandmates are 100 per cent supportive of the upcoming wedding. They’ve all known my fiancée Ali for a long time. She’s been part of our rock ‘n’ roll family for many years.”
So maybe it is in fact a little like Nick Lowe’s song after all.
Tickets can also be purchased by sending a $25 E-transfer with your name (to be added to the door list) to: [email protected].
More information about the evening can be found on the Pre-Wedding Party with the Inner City Surfers Facebook event page.