Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Death of Grasshopper


When I answered the ringing phone the following day, I was surprised to hear Derek's voice on the other end. He rarely called my place unless it was to tell me he was on his way to pick me up, but on this particular day we weren't going anywhere. D asked if I was home, to which I replied yes, and he said he was going to pop by to talk to me. I was very curious to say the least.

Shortly after, he arrived at my place and I greeted him at the door. His face was full of concern and he seemed very uneasy. The words that came out of his mouth next floored me... "So I think it's time to end Grasshopper" I stared at him with a dumbfounded look on my face for a few seconds and then exclaimed "WHAT??? WHY???"

Derek went onto explain that the band was not going in the direction he wanted it to and that he felt it was time to pull the plug. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why. I explained to him that we had just played our biggest show to date and that our momentum was on a major upswing, yet he didn't seem to agree with any of my statements. All he could do was continue to plead his case and say things weren't going as he had planned. I brought up a lot of valid points as to why we shouldn't quit now but he didn't seem to agree with any of them.

Needless to say I was in shock, I was upset, and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. After our discussion concluded Derek asked for some records of his I had borrowed to make mixtapes. I realized then he wasn't just ending the band, he was ending our friendship. It was similar to an ex girlfriend coming to retrieve her belongings after a break up. D had been my best friend for the last few years so I was very upset and devastated by these events. He seemed reluctant during the conversation which had me wondering what his true reasons or motives were behind his actions.

I immediately called Mike C. after Derek left to tell him the news. Mike was just as surprised but he didn't seem too upset about it, after all he was originally supposed to be a temporary hired gun, so I think to him it was just "something to do dude" as he would always say. We both felt like Derek was not fully responsible for this, and we assumed his girlfriend and her mother had a hand in the destruction of our band. It made sense to us, they seems to have some form of control over him and we were both under the impression that they didn't like either one of us.

What was I to do now? Where would I go from here? I still had my rap side project 3 n' Pass on the go, so clearly I could now focus all of my energy and creativity towards that, yet I was still reeling from the news and I couldn't seem to get over the fact he would kill a band at the height of it's glory. It just made absolutely no sense to me. Not to mention he was just chucking our friendship in the garbage too. I was hurting in a bad way.

Everyone else was just as surprised by the news as much as I was. The Demon Barf boys could not believe it. They could see my pain, and being the great friends they are, they invited me to come to Hamilton with them to for their performance at the Corktown Tavern. I graciously accepted their offer as I needed to get out of the house and tie one on.

Just to sweeten the deal, Wrestlemania IX was happening that day, and the bar was actually able to get it on satellite, so we were all stoked. It was taking place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and it was a spectacle to behold to say the least. The Demon Barf boys were all straight edge, so lucky me inherited their free beer that the club gave them for performing. I grabbed a pitcher and a glass and made my way to a table front row centre. It was still early in the day so the guys were setting up the gear and getting ready for soundcheck. 

As I poured my first drink, I noticed there was a flyer on the table advertising upcoming shows, and low and behold it stated that none other than Grasshopper would be performing here next week. I thought to myself "is this some type of mistake or a sick joke?" I figured it was a gig we had lined up previously that would now not happen, but I usually knew about all of our shows in advance and I didn't remember anything about playing in Hamilton. I needed answers.

I approached the club promoter and asked him if this was some sort of mistake. He informed me that it was not and they had just booked the gig a week or two ago. I told him we were no longer a band yet he confirmed that he had personally spoken to Derek to set the show up. One thing was for sure, I had some serious investigating to do.

Once I was back in Brampton after the gig, I started networking with my friends from other bands to see if I could get some answers. Eventually my curiosity and questions led me to an answer. Derek had NOT ended the band. He had been secretly jamming with another rhythm section behind our backs while we were still an active band. Mike had been replaced by the bass player from Mudfish, and I had been replaced by the drummer from Goat Dance. Two bands that we considered to be brothers to us, and two guys I considered friends that I had respect for... and they'd stabbed us right in the back while smiling in our faces the whole time.

I was absolutely furious. Derek had blatantly lied to us, betrayed us, and destroyed our bonds. I felt like it was the lowest thing he could have done. Clearly he didn't have the balls to tell us what was really going on, so he chose the chump way out and fabricated some bullshit story.

I literally wanted to beat him to a bloody pulp. All I knew was that it would be in his best interest to steer clear of myself, as I really had no idea what I might do if I saw him. I also refused to acknowledge the fact that his new band was Grasshopper, as they were not. When two thirds of a three piece band are replaced, it is no longer that same band. Would you still consider Rush to be Rush or Primus to be Primus if their frontmen replaced the rhythm section? I think not...

A few things were for certain, I would make Derek's life hell at any given chance, I would run the name of him and his band through the mud, and I was not going to give up my passion and love for making music...

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