Hailing from small town Mullet Alberta, the origins of the CCF are mired in legend and mystery. Attempting to trace their history is a futile endeavor. Due to fluctuating line ups, mid air collisions, hospitalizations and unexplained disappearances it's hard to pinpoint what, or who the CCF are. But, we'll try.
What we do know is that, among other things, the Cripple Creek Fairies are a rock & roll combo based out of Calgary Alberta. Beyond that, it's hard to say. Further speculation leaves you treading on thin ice.
If we roll the clock back a few years we find records indicating what appears to be the first performance in Calgary by a fresh faced young band called the Cripple Creek Fairies. Sharing the bill was Deadbolt, known far and wide as "The Scariest Band In The World". We know there was an altercation of some sort involving, as one witness put it, "something to do with the Deadbolt van parked in such a way that blocked one of the CCF ultralights." Words were exchanged, Roundup was sprayed & eventually Voodoo curses were cast. Deadbolt continued on with their tour and the CCF dropped off the radar for several months.
When they finally reappeared, sharing the stage with Nashville Pussy & Tricky Woo something had changed. Blain Cartwright of NP says, "Them boys were a little off. I can't quite say how but they just had this kinda' far away look in their eyes like they were up to something but maybe didn't quite know what. And somehow they all got nosebleeds. Right outta the blue. It was fuckin' spooky if you ask me. We got the hell outta there."
Over the next several months the Fairies were spotted at various gigs. Many noted that from show to show the band personnel seemed to change without rhyme or reason. "One night you'd see'em and a week later they'd have a different guitar player, or even 3 new guitar players and then a week they'd be back to this nervous looking 3 piece." One member of Tricky Woo, who returned to Calgary on tour with Bionic ended up sharing the stage with the CCF and had this to say, "Man, it was weird. We'd seen them when we toured with Nashville (Pussy) but didn't really watch them play or anything but I remember some of the crew talking about them. Anyways, they started out normal enough, just another crappy hometown opening band and then all of a sudden there was this guy on keyboards… and when I say on keyboards I mean "on" keyboards, like standing on keyboards. He looked pretty confused like he didn't know where he was. After that another guitar player comes out so now there's like 3 guitar players on stage all in their goggles and shit, one is naked and claiming to be the Nuge and then another guitar player comes out. It was hard to tell thru all the racket but I remember thinking he was pretty good. Later someone told me he plays guitar for Iggy Pop or something but I think that was bullshit. I didn't see him after the show to ask him. Oh yeah, and I remember this from last time, most of them got nosebleeds for some reason. Weird man… weird."
Again the CCF seemed to drop off the face of the planet. When they finally reappeared it was in Edmonton Alberta opening for the Supersuckers. The Supersuckers never saw the CCF play as they were lounging backstage although a tour journal had this to say, "…on to Edmonton. Canadian weather is a pain in the ass. The Edmonton shows were uneventful, rocked the crowd as usual (both nights). Somebody left salt circles all over the greenroom. Tomorrow we head back to Calgary…"
A week later the Cripple Creek Fairies were back in action opening for Mudhoney. Post Sept 11 confusion caused Mudhoney to be unable to bring any of their gear on their plane to Calgary. Mark Arm recalls meeting the CCF and borrowing their gear, "Yeah so we showed up in Calgary with no amps or guitars or anything. The Fairies were playing before us so we asked if we could run through their gear. They said it was fine and showed us where everything was. About halfway through our set I started hearing this strange feedback. It reminded me of that spooky sounding thing in that Beach Boys song… I can't remember. So it's a bit distracting but we finish our set. I get backstage and I notice that Dan has blood on his face, so does Steve. Lo and behold, so do I. Seems like an odd coincidence to me. I don't remember anyone getting punched in the face or anything but there you go. The next day we were fine and we haven't had nosebleeds since. I think it must have been the Canadian altitude or atmospheric pressure or something."
So there you have it, everything we could dig up about this unusual Canadian garage rock band. Despite what we can only assume is a lingering curse upon their very souls they have pressed on in various broken spirited incarnations and even managed to record some music. Perhaps the hellhound on their trail will chase them into your town?
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