Happy new year and a happy 2017 to you all. I hope this year is great for you and yours. My resolution? Post blog entries MORE than once a month. With that being said let us move forward in the story...
1996 had been a roller coaster ride thus far. One of my good friends had passed away, i hadn't been in contact with some of my closest friends for months, I had spiraled down into one of my darkest moments of depression and alcoholism, I had met a new love interest, my band Black Belt Jones released our second demo tape, we were gigging frequently at the newest Brampton bar, and my OTHER band Wiggaz had disbanded. It was definitely a journey of ups and downs.
BBJ was going strong, but as I mentioned in a previous post it had become a thankless job. Something had to give and something did give...the rave scene. Mike & Derek, who were the only two band mates into techno music and the rave scene, brought to our attention the type of money DJs were being paid to perform at these events. We had been paying our dues for a couple of years now and it was time to make some cash. We got in touch with the proper sources and before long we had booked our first gig at a rave.
It was most certainly a different scene than what we were used to, but people were open minded enough to give us a chance and embrace us. The first rave we performed at seemed to be going well until we blew the power just a few songs into our set. It was somewhat a downer yet at the same time I felt like the people weren't ready for nor could they handle the awesome power of Black Belt Jones. It was a great little teaser that generated some buzz for us in the scene.
The second rave we played at had multiple rooms, one of which had a stage, which was a step up from the floor we last performed on. Unfortunately there was a DJ in the same room who's setup was slightly drownings us out. We upped the volume and continued to do our thing, a crowd slowly gathering in front of us. Once said DJ caught wind of such, he killed his music and joined the growing crowd. We received a warming ovation that night, and a short while later I was stoked to see we had made it into "TRIBE" a local zine/paper that covered the underground rave scene. It felt good to finally get some of the recognition I believed we truly deserved.
We went on to play a few more raves, and the reception was always love AND we were seeing some decent money. There was never a shortage of free drinks and other assortments of party favors offered for our disposal. We were somewhat getting "the rockstar treatment".
At one of the last raves we ever performed at, we were on stage at about 3am just killing it. We had everyone's undivided attention and the vibes were through the roof. Mid way through the set I noticed some flashlights moving through the crowd. At first I thought it was ravers until I realized one light had a badge beside it. I assumed it was a police officer holding his badge, but as the light emerged from the crowd I was surprised and somewhat taken back to see an Indian Sikh officer wearing a turban with the badge attached to it. It was such a surreal sight that we just kept on playing. They eventually shut the party down yet I cherish this memory greatly as I've never seen another Sikh officer in the 20 years that have since passed.
What started out as the darkest and most depressing year of my life was slowly illuminating more and more with positive light. It was a year of change and I was ready to embrace whatever new path appeared beneath my feet...