Dec 22, 2009
12:10 PM

Getting Lost With Sara Quin

Getting Lost With Sara Quin

The holidays are a time to reminisce and this has been one hell of a year. My first Curve cover, the 2009 Music Issue featuring Tegan and Sara, was a milestone for me. It began as a short profile, was upgraded to a feature and I still ended up cutting a lot of interesting stuff.
Like the time I kidnapped Sara and almost made her late for the show.

“You have a car?” she had asked nonchalantly as we walked with the rest of the band toward a nameless Pan-Asian noodle house for some pre-gig nosh. I smiled devilishly. A car is a great place to ask intensely personal questions. It’s relatively quiet. There is no eye contact and if the artist wants to escape, they have to get a Hollywood stunt double to open the door and fall out of a moving vehicle for them.

“I’d rather just have coffee than eat,” she shrugged.

“I think I saw a Starbucks a couple blocks back,” I answered immediately. I had been traveling with the band for two days and “a couple blocks back” could have been anywhere, but I did not say this. A Starbucks? That was safe. There was one on every corner and I had a car. This is a major luxury for a band on the road. A tour bus draws a ton of attention and when you just want a quick caffeine fix, it’s very impractical.

So, Sara, me and Ted Gowans (Tegan and Sara’s guitarist) piled into my child-friendly Scion. I glanced at the Happy Meal bags, candy wrappers and various toys that littered the floor under Sara’s feet.

“You can just kick that stuff under the seat,” I said graciously.

Our date was off to an amazing start, even with Ted as chaperone.

We drove down a college-town street in Milwaukee that demographically speaking seemed as though it should have some sort of coffee place. My questions would have to wait. I was using every brain cell to navigate.

“I know it’s around here somewhere,” I assured her.

“What time is it?” asked Ted.

This question was meant to serve two purposes. One was to actually find out the time. The other was to remind me that Sara wasn’t just some girl that I was taking out to coffee. She was one half of a major international touring act that was putting on a show in a very short period of time.

I pulled up to a grungy little café. I think the barista had dreadlocks, but I don’t remember because I was trying to figure out if they took Visa.
“You don’t have cash?” asked Sara, perplexed.

I shook my head. “It’s fine. I don’t need anything.”

Sara paid for my coffee which was handed to me in a Styrofoam cup bearing the name of a local banking chain.

“They were just going to throw them away, so we thought we’d use them,” the barista explained about the cups.

We got back into the car with our not-very-good coffee and Ted directed me back to the venue because by this time, I was so disoriented that I wasn’t even sure which direction we had come from. I was perilously close to tears.

Why did I tell this story again?

Anyway, Happy Holidays!

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