Cowboy small doesn't think `ill' of fiction: Lund back from Texas with new band, ready for farewell tour (Edmonton Journal)

Publication: Edmonton Journal
Edition: Final
Section: What's On
Page: E4
Date: 07-20-2001
By: Sandra Sperounes
Column: Rock Notes
Story Type: Column

``I passed out on a couch in the Sunspot Lounge, where the cowboy
and Mr. Sunglasses and their band, the ills, were performing. I was
dragged into the bathroom and washed by two strong girls who had some
dealing with the band.''

So goes The Insolent Boy, a novel about an orphan runaway who ends
up touring with the ills -- a band loosely based on the smalls. The
book was written by John Stiles, who happens to be best friends with
the group's ``cowboy'' bassist, Corby Lund.

Lund says it's flattering yet frightening to be immortalized in fiction.

``It's pretty funny but I've had to field all the weird questions
from my friends, `Did this really happen?' '' Lund laughs.

Not all of it did. In The Insolent Boy, the ills score a top five
Billboard single and lose their lead singer to a ferret-induced madness.
The smalls, alas, never even hit the Canadian charts and ended their
10-year career after their plans to move to Austin, Tex., in January
went awry. One of the smalls didn't want to go to Texas, which led
to a major dilemma: Get a new guy or quit?

``We've been together as a line-up for so long, none of us had the
stomach to go on with a different guy,'' says Lund. ``But we're all
happy with each other so we're not pinpointing who did what. It just
comes down to us not having the same goals.''

In the end, Lund did go to Austin to write and demo songs for his
alt-country project, the Corb Lund Band. The group hopes to finish
recording the followup to Unforgiving Mistress in November.

In the meantime, the Corb Lund Band performs tonight at New City Suburbs
(10167 112th St.). Lund is also on tour with the smalls as part of
a three-month farewell tour -- the band hopes to play its very last
gig in Edmonton sometime in October.