10 April 2001
Show day: Calgary - Saddledome 2nd night
Somewhere between the Saddledome and Calgary airport is a series of huge illuminated letters which spell out "DEARFOOT 17". When you drive by at night, they appear to be suspended in mid-air, shining red into the darkness. I don't know why this left such a lasting impression but I have dreamt about this sign on many occasions. I only saw it once - in 1990 when I played the Saddledome with David Bowie - and before tonight I couldn't tell you where in the world it was. I think I must have been tired to the point of hallucinating when I first saw it, so the words entered my subconscious and have been recycled nocturnally ever since. I'd always imagined it would feature in something I wrote at some point in the future. A novel perhaps, "Dearfoot 17" by Willie Williams. Time would surely tell me what it would be about.
After tonight's show we did a runner to the airport and that's when I saw it. Eleven years later, another striking example of 'deja vu of something you've actually seen before'. It was quite weird to see it in reality, having refabricated it so often. I've always wondered what it represented - clearly something with great personal resonance for me - and at last this was my chance to find out. I asked our driver, what was the significance of "Dearfoot 17". "Oh, that?", she said, "Its just an office building - full of lawyers, mostly."
And so, another dream dies.