Just as Neil started his tour, Brad Brandeau was able to get the MORE BARN! T-shirts distributed to Rusties far and wide, and they made appearances at all of the tour stops. But this wasn't enough for Andy Strote...
Just before Neil's stop near Toronto in Barrie, Andy created the banner. It was a major attraction at the pre-show RustFest. (Follow that link for to find several pics of it like this one, before all the signatures, beer and dirt added more character to the banner...) It also made an appearance at the show itself.
At the next show at Pine Knob (near Detroit) the Banner almost didn't make an appearance due to security types who just didn't "get it". However Mary Maguire got some help from Zeke Young and the banner flew.
After that show, Andy decided that, even if he couldn't come along, the banner itself should follow Neil throughout the rest of the tour. After christening the banner The Shroud Of Tourin' he handed it off to be carried from show to show.
Though there were a few problems along the way, including it being detained at the border by federal agents ( !!! ), the Shroud made it to most of the remaining shows of the tour. For example, here it was outside The Gorge show in Washington state, as well as inside it. It even made the television news across Canada, in a report from the Winnipeg RustFest!
But without an official annointing from Neil himself, the banner was incomplete. So, at the Ottawa show Mary Maguire had to do it again. Once again she enlisted the help of Zeke -- the whole story is down below.
You can see the signature for yourself if you don't believe it... :)
A few days later, at the next-to-last stop of the Tour (The Meadows in Hartford), Neil acknowledged the shroud from the stage.
So there you have it -- the true story of the Shroud of Tourin'. Currently Andy is trying to decide what to do with this priceless artifact. This page will be updated when something develops.
Neil Signs The Shroudby Mary Maguire
What a week. I'm pooped. Two fantastic shows, a night of Neil-watching at MuchMusic, a whole pile of new pals, and Montreal still to come.
I guess you heard that we got the banner signed. Here's how it went down...
After festing at Marshey's, the Corel Rust contingent made their way to great seats in rows 12-15. (Very comfy, BTW. As you've no doubt heard, I was forced to SIT in mine AGAINST MY WILL).
While we waited for the show, Zain and his cousin Zuben chatted with Zeke at the soundboard. I joined them briefly, shook Zeke's hand, told him we'd met at Pine Knob, etc. (Zain and Zuben also got their hands in for a shake.) Zain very nicely asked if Neil might sign the banner after the show. Zeke replied that he was usually pretty busy, but after asking where we'd be sitting, he said he'd try to get it done.
Zain gets ALL the credit for setting this up. Unfortunately, he was not able to be with us after the show (or during the show, for that matter) and so the torch was handed to me.
Security was bullyish. Many Rusties were rushed out the door as soon as the
show ended. A small contingent, now known as Team Rust, remained to
get the job done. I introduce them to you now:
As chairs were being folded, I wrapped the banner around my neck and headed for the stage. Unfortunately, I couldn't get Zeke's attention and was ready to give up. As we started walking toward the exit, he called out to us. I think Brian may have caught his eye and waved or something. Zeke motioned for me to come forward, which I did. And told me to wait by the boards until he was finished cleaning-up the stage.
Security had some problems with that, and Zeke was forced to set it straight (sound familiar?). They finally let us stay on the condition that we be confined to the player's bench!!! And thus we became Team Rust, lined up in all our glory, watching the sweepers, and the roadies, and the guys who walk the high beams. Some of the workers were very pleasant (once they knew who'd asked us to stay).
Zeke eventually finished-up and came over. I handed him the banner and Barry's "Sharpie" and questioned whether he would in fact bring the banner back. He assured me that he would and I let him take it. At one point Zeke came out and gave the Sharpie back (I guess they had one of their own). I again said (jokingly) that the banner had better get back to me and he smiled and said it would.
A short time later, we were moved to another part of the stands because the workmen started taking more stuff apart. When Zeke came back out a few minutes later, he did a double-take, wondering where we'd gotten to. He told us that Neil and the Horse were "kicking-back" in the dressing rooms, that they had alot of stuff to sign, and that it would be about 10 more minutes. We assured him that we could wait! I asked if he wouldn't rather that I go back to the dressing room WITH him, but he must not have heard me. ;-)
I suspect the delay was a result of Neil reading our signatures!!
Ten minutes later, Zeke came rushing back out (I think he was kind of excited, himself) and showed us the BIG SIG. "Neil Young" was scrawled just above the word "Rust" and just below the list of cities. We gave a cheer. He handed me the banner. I grabbed his hand and thanked him. He was all smiles and so were we.
Mike Jones has got the banner in Saint John now, and will carry it through each show to Buffalo. I hope it comes your way, wherever you are.
Just remember, Rusties, that new signature's a great one, but no more important than your own.
Yvon Lambert Signs The Shroudby Hugo Roy
November 7th, 1996
This story happened just before the Neil Young show in Montreal. I was sitting in a bar called the Ovation. This bar is actually located inside the Molson Centre, the place where Neil was playing that night. I was with a couple of rusties and in front of me was Mary Maguire. As I stood up to order a meal, I noticed a very familiar person standing just behind Mary. You guessed it, it was Yvon Lambert, a hockey player that use to play with the Montreal Canadians and the Buffalo Sabers.
When I told Mary about Yvon Lambert standing behind her, she asked if I wanted to ask him to sign the banner. This is about what happened next.
Mary: "Why don't you ask him to sign the banner?"
1-0 for Mary. She really got me with this question. My only answer was:
Hugo: "Me? Why don't YOU ask him to sign the banner. You're good at this."
1-1. The ball was now in her court.
Mary: "I can't, I don't speak french."
2-1 For Mary. She's a professional at convincing people. I had not much to say at this point.
Hugo: "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
Mary: "Sure. Neil's a hockey fan and a lot a people know who Yvon Lambert is."
3-1 For Mary. When I looked in her eyes, I knew I had to do it. After all, I was facing an official member of Team Rust. She had convinced me without too much effort.
I stood up and I approached M. Lambert
Hugo: "Excusez-moi, je suis dans un groupe de fans de Neil Young qui se nomme "Rust" et nous le suivons un peu partout a travers le monde. A chaque spectacle, nous faisons signer de plus en plus de fans sur cette baniere. Je me demandais si vous pouviez la signer? Neil Young est un bon fan de hockey."Translation: I just asked him to sign the banner and he said it was a good idea.
So if you want to see it on the banner, just look beside Neil's signature. It says Yvon Lambert, #11.