What’s in Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz Ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.
On the grill
Who are you
I’m Tamara Taggart. I have sold shoes, developed X-rays, poured drinks, worked in radio and concert promotion—somehow it all led me to co-anchoring CTV News at Six. I volunteer a lot of hours raising money for healthcare and people with disabilities. I just received the Order of British Columbia and I’m still pinching myself. I have a kickass husband. Our three children are my everything.
My mom took me and my little brother Frankie to see Shaun Cassidy at the Pacific Coliseum on September 3, 1978. It was Frankie’s seventh birthday and he fell asleep during the show. Up to that point it was definitely the best day of my life, thousands of screaming girls waiting for the cutest guy on Earth to sing “Da Doo Ron Ron”.
I’ll never forget Shaun Cassidy ripping off his red satin pants (he had Levi’s on underneath) and throwing them into the crowd. I wanted a piece of those pants. Needless to say, my obsession intensified, eventually leading to a massive fight with my mom when she wouldn’t buy me a satin sky-blue jacket with Shaun Cassidy’s face airbrushed on the back that I desperately had to have.
I didn’t know it at the time, but my future husband was also at that concert, with his mom, brother, and sister.
I worked in radio and concert promoting for years, I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of concerts, but there’s only one show where someone asked for my hand in marriage. It was 1996 and I was working for Paul Mercs Concerts. We were doing a series of shows at the PNE.
On August 26 we had a double bill with Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard; the show was sold-out and people were bursting with curiosity over these two legends taking the stage. Jerry Lee was on first but he was late. Very late. He was holed up in his hotel room and refused to come out. Eventually, his limo rolled into the Coliseum but he wouldn’t go on-stage until I got him a gun. Seriously. I explained I couldn’t get him a gun, so he asked for Ativan.
Once we got him on-stage, he wouldn’t get off—he just wouldn’t stop playing. I asked his road manager, who was his daughter’s best friend and drinking Johnny Walker Red out of the bottle in her white cowboy boots, to get him off-stage. She refused, saying she was too scared. I yelled at her, “The house lights are on, his band has left the stage, and Little Richard is freaking out. Go up there and get him off!” She tried and he poked his fingers into her eyes. Meanwhile, I’m at side stage with Little Richard who is beside himself that Jerry Lee is cutting into his spotlight.
Jerry Lee eventually walked off after seven failed attempts to flip his piano bench and have it land on its legs. With "Good Golly, Miss Molly” now belting out from the stage, I was in Jerry Lee’s dressing room prepping him for a meet-and-greet with contest winners. The Johnny Walker was flowing at a rapid pace, and before I knew it Jerry Lee was down on one knee asking me to marry him. “Ummmm, you’re already married and aren’t I a little old for you?”
Bruce Allen and my boss, Paul Mercs, were laughing their heads off, but neither came to my rescue—the whole night was totally surreal. This musical legend, who years ago had married his own 13-year-old cousin, asks me for a gun, then drugs, then screws up the whole show by going an hour over. And now he wants to marry me? Too high-maintenance for me.
Top three records
Prince Sign o' the Times Being a massive Prince fan, it’s hard for me to choose just one of his records but Sign o' the Times is definitely at the top. It’s brilliant, messy, and completely eccentric. I have been singing every word to every song on this double record for 28 years and I still don’t know what the hell half of them mean.
AC/DC Back in Black This record was the soundtrack of many good times in my life. In Grade 7 my friend Cheryl and I would sneak into her older brother’s room, snoop though all his stuff, and then steal his music. This record was the best thing we stole from him.
Sade The Best of Sade This record is king. Every song on this album is king. When my husband Dave and I got our first place together we amalgamated our music—it was very different (except for the AC/DC). I would play this Sade record over and over and over and over and over again. I love it. She is the smoothest operator there is. Anyway, one day my CD went missing. I found it two years later, hidden behind the stereo covered in 10 centimetres of dust. He hid it on me. Who does that? Dave Genn—you’re lucky I didn’t divorce you right there on the spot. Don’t touch my Sade. Ever.
All-time favourite video
Prince "When Doves Cry" Come on. Prince in a bathtub, slithering on his hands and knees? Best video ever. Plus, I was obsessed with his boots. Poor guy now needs a hip replacement because of all those wicked dance moves in five-inch heels. I really wanted to be Wendy, Sheila E, or Apollonia.
What’s in your fridge
Rosé. I was on a chemo drug for three years and couldn’t drink while taking the medication. I’m all done now and I’ve decided that rosé is my new FAVOURITE.
Vitamin D drops. I was worried my kids weren’t getting enough Vitamin D, which is stupid because they eat well and drink enough milk to float a boat. The drops still sit there, untouched.
Miso paste. My friend Shannon makes a killer quinoa salad with a miso dressing. I was determined to make it, so I went and bought all the ingredients, including a tub of miso paste. That was over a year ago. The miso paste has expired and I never made the salad—it’s easier for me to just go over to Shannon’s.