1996 was winding down and so was my “musical career” considering Black Belt Jones was now no more, and a few months later Wiggaz dissolved as well. Mike started jamming with our friends Gary & Sue, as well as former EBS drummer John McCuish. Pauly would go on to start a band in the years to come called 3 Pounds, which was an early pre-cursor to emo punk rock. So what was I doing now???
Myself along with Jay Dove and his girlfriend/my best friend Julie (and my trusted cat Fritz), ended up moving into an apartment building in Brampton called Silver Maple, high up on the 19th floor. Jay ended up getting me a job where he worked in Woodbridge at a place called Beek Industries, or was it Beak? Regardless I had the most odd occupation I’ve ever acquired, taste testing fish for ph levels from wood pulp. It was only one or two days a week but the pay was great, and I was also still working part time midnights at Shayne’s mothers’ gas station in Woodbridge.
I wasn’t really doing anything music related with the exception of making mixtapes using Jay’s awesome setup which included a drum machine he had bought off Pauly. I’d program beats to use in my mixtapes but that was it. I wasn’t creating songs and I wasn’t writing lyrics. I was however working on comic strips again and I was spending a lot of evenings at the Crown & Anchor, a pub close by that a friend of mine had recently became owner of.
|Fritz and I in Silver Maple|
I was playing a lot of video games, as a brand new system called PlayStation was released, and Paul hooked Jenny up through his job at K-Mart so she bought it for me as a Christmas/early birthday gift. It was a mind blowing leap in the evolution of video games, which were now on discs and longer in cartridge form. For the most part I was always playing Twisted Metal 2, Jet Moto, Power Move Pro Wrestling, and WCW vs. The World.
Jay and Shayne weren’t talking, and I was no longer talking to the guys from Wiggaz, so our circle of friends had become quite awkward with all these strained relationships. I just stayed at home for the most part and spent time with Jenny, Jay, Julie, and a few close friends. New Years came and went quite uneventfully as we were all divided into small groups.
|Jay & I New Years Eve 96/97|
1996 had definitely been a rough year with the passing of Jay Poole, the death of Black Belt Jones & Wiggaz, and the tension amongst our circle of friends. A new year was upon us with 1997 and I held my head and my hopes up high. I was ready for whatever life had to throw at me, yet I had no idea that I was in for a life changing year...