UNHINDERED CROSSING

When I last came to Niagara Falls back in 2008 I….no wait a minute, I didn’t. That was just a movie….for which I scored the music. Niagara Motel was a fun little black comedy starring Kevin Pollak, Craig Ferguson and Anna Friel directed by Gary Yates set in this weird and wonderful town, so it was interesting for me to finally visit and see it for myself. It was a first for a few of us in the band. The scenic views cannot be underestimated.

Our travel was from Teterboro, New Jersey so we had to negotiate the US/Canadian border each way and it was decided we should fly to Buffalo NY and drive across into Canada as immigration is usually smoother that way. It was, we were met at the airport by a selection of cars provided by the Fallsview Casino with drivers who had done the trip many times before. The crossing was smooth and we were soon at the casino which overlooks the falls. The venue provided the crew with a suite on the 30th floor so we all piled into the elevator for a good look at one of the most awesome spectacles on the planet. The combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and also by flow rate.

John McCusker caught the fall’s rainbow..

I suppose when man first came across this place, it was only a matter of time before someone had to go ‘over the falls’. Here are three of the earliest events.

On October 24 1901, Annie Edson Taylor went over the falls in a barrel. She was mostly unharmed, but exited the barrel bleeding. On July 2 1903, Ed Delahanty, a baseball player, was swept over the falls. He had fallen from the International Railway Bridge, after having been kicked off a night train for drunk and disorderly conduct and threatening passengers. Delahanty’s body was later recovered near the Maid of the Mist’s berth; his body was mangled and one leg was severed. On July 25 1911, Bobby Leach went over the falls in a steel barrel. He spent the following six months in hospital, recovering from two broken knee caps and a fractured jaw.

…and so on…

Sadly, an estimated 5,000 bodies were found at the foot of the falls between 1850 and 2011, and an estimated 40 people are killed each year when they are swept over the falls—most of which are suicides. Unsurprisingly, it is now illegal to go over.

image public domain

The venue is a casino resort with a small but well appointed theatre with extremely comfortable backstage areas and a great team of people organising things. A big thanks to Laura from the venue who was exceptional, in particular, for overseeing one of the speediest meet and greets in the band’s history.

Life on the road does occasionally include ironing…Mike and Kevin Rowe..

We had a great show (no surprises there) and were soon in the cars heading back to the border. Once again, with very little traffic, the crossing was swift and unhindered. Back on board the plane, Debbie had Lasagne and drinks of choice available. An hour later we were heading back to Manhattan for another day off.

Today’s Track of the Day is Slow Cruel Hands of Time – Band of Horses (this record was produced by my dear friend Glyn Johns, arguably the most successful producer the industry has ever produced, certainly in terms of ‘proper’ records…and a top man)