Monday, 30 April 2012

Defender Of The Faith

For as long as I can remember I always had to defend heavy metal from the vicious slandering it received from the majority of the student body in my school. When people bash on something it generally stems from hate, jealousy, or fear of the unknown. I can't count how many times I was accused of being a satanist or a devil worshipper just because I listened to a certain type of music.

I always found it amusing that non-metal listeners would always stereotype the genre with ignorant statements like "you listen to that kill your mother kill your father crap"  For the record, I have been listening to metal for 34+ years and I have yet to hear ONE song with the lyrics "kill your mother kill your father".

Another thing I heard a lot was "you can't even understand what they're saying" Well.... That's what the lyrics are for jackasses, try reading sometime! In reality most the lyrics in metal songs are usually pretty deep and they range from all sorts of subject matters, not just Satan and death.

Another aspect of metal that was constantly attacked was the musicianship itself. I've endured countless arguments with people throughout my life because they chose to say "metal sucks! It's just noise! There is no talent", meanwhile these people are listening to mindless, talentless music themselves. Go listen to your "mini pops" records some more bitch!

Heavy metal can be noisy and I can't disagree with that one, but to claim there is no talent is just ludicrous! I don't think these people truly understand how much talent it actually requires to play intricate notes on a guitar with lightning speed. Or how much talent it takes to play drums very fast while maintaining proper rhythm and timing. Or how difficult and strenuous it is for a singer to belt out hymns night after night in perfect pitch without loosing their voice.

The way I see it, there is no other genre that requires as much skill and effort in the execution of song, nor will there ever be!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Forgotten Record

So while I was writing last nights blog I came to the realization that there was another record Jamie gave me for Christmas. It was somwhere between the AC/DC record and the Iron Maiden record. Sorry folks but x- mas 83' will have to be saved for another day.

So that particular year (1981) there was yet another record that would define my musical tastes. The record was entitled "Paranoid" from another UK band named "Black Sabbath" The cover wasn't anything too special or eye catching, but the sounds inside were. This album was packed with great songs and once again there wasn't a song I disliked on the entire lp.

Sabbath were an older band from the 70s even though I didn't discover them until the 80s, by which time their lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne wasn't even apart of the group anymore. He had gone solo with his own new band. Right around this time I conviced my mom to buy me a "Hit Parader" magazine (think teen beat but for metal heads) and I was shocked to see Ozzy in the centre fold sporting a newly shaved head! Here I was dying to grow my hair and for the life of me I couldn't understand why he would cut his locks off!

Two brothers who lived around the corner from me had a live Ozzy record called "Speak of the devil" it was a double live record packed with evil imagery and even contained Ozzy performing a few Sabbath songs with the new group. If I recall correctly we also watched "quest for fire" on that day and were giddy over all the cave people nudity and sex.

I quickly hit up "Sam the record man" in the Bramalea City Centre, but could not afford the record. I did however find a 45 that contained 2 songs from the album and it only cost me a whole $2.00! Once again I played it religiously until the grooves wore thin.  Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne introduced me to a new element of metal......The Devil!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The other new kid

Jumping back from grade 3 to grade 2, I wanted to make another quick side step and mention another non music related topic about yet another new friend I made back in grade school. Sometime during the course of the school year, a new student named Patrick was brought into our class. The teacher briefly introduced him to the kids then directed him to grab any available seat. Well wouldn't you know it he picked the seat right behind your narrator at the back of the class!

  He was a very short, quiet, asian boy and I remember thinking "this kids gonna get eaten alive!" in fact he was so quiet I wasn't even sure if he could speak English! No racist pun intended!  Being the class "rebel" I slightly felt like he was invading my space. I was doodling away on my paper at hand when all of the sudden he mentioned something about what I was drawing. I turned in my seat to meet him face to face and something caught my eye.

I glanced down at his desk and saw a brilliantly drawn alien with a big pulsating brain. This kid had skills and before I knew it we were chatting it up and having some laughs.  Patrick inspired me to up my game as far as my drawing went. He definately influenced me in artistic ways as well. Anytime there was a school contest with art involved Pat was always a shoe in for first place with me in a close 2nd or 3rd. I was never much of a glory hound and was always happy to see my friend win. I was proud to know and be friends with such a talented person. You also couldn't ask to meet a nicer, sweeter, more humble guy.

When we were graduating grade 5 the two of us got to paint a mural for the school and it was one of the funnest moments in birchbank public for me. Patrick was also a big fan of horror  movies which was another reason why we hit it off so well. In grade 6 we went to different schools and I was very saddened by this, once again experiencing depression at quite a young age. 

My 11th Birthday (left to right) Patrick, Jonathan, Shawn, Kevin, Craig, Duane.

We ended up reuniting in high school after 3 long years and it was if we had never skipped a beat. On lunch we'd goto his house which was right across the street from North Park S.S. and it was there one lunch when  he introduced me to my all time favorite horror movie "Evil Dead 2"  Patrick was always an intelligent individual and as expected he went onto a successful career. It was a pleasure to grow up with him as it was all my boys I grew up with.

Fast forward to 1983.

Soooooo you're probably all wondering what record my cousin Jamie gave me for Christmas that year....

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Doctor is in

Christmas was once again around the corner and I couldn't help but anticipate what record my cousin Jamie was going to get me for Christmas. There had been a few other people who were influential along the way as well who deserve credit.

First and foremost, my sister Christine. Jamie and her were the same age and had similar musical tastes.  Chris introduced me to rock n roll that was a bit lighter than AC/DC and Iron Maiden, but I still appreciated it as I had a true love of music. Some of the records in her collection were from bands such as Adam Ant, The Clash, Van Halen, Supertramp and The Police just to name a few.  

Another influence was one of my best friends Craig. He also had an older sister the same age as mine, but his sister was more into punk music. Needless to say he introduced me to some interesting bands during our years in school together. Craig told me about a radio show that aired Sunday evenings on Q107 called "the dr.demento show" so I decided to check it out.

The music was anything but heavy, yet it was highly comical and I instantly fell in love with the show. It was here that I discovered "weird al" and I was really digging his style of putting twists on hit songs. Dr.Demento also introduced me to classic songs like "purple people eater", "they're coming to take me away", "grandma got run over by a reindeer" and all those other wacky, wonderful songs of the comedy genre. 

I started writing my own songs, which was basically ripping off what weird al was doing. It was a new, fun, creative outlet for me and I had discovered that I truly enjoyed to write as much as I did draw.

 Around this time I decided to listen to one of my dad's records. It was called "are you experienced" by Jimi Hendrix. My dad always had "the mighty Q" on the radio dial and for the most part the classic rock stuff wasn't doing much for me but Jimi was shredding! I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the insane guitar sound this guy had pulled off in a pre-metal era. My musical horizons were beginning to expand, and it was still just the tip of the iceberg...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Phantom t-shirts

When I opened the gift from my new found friend I was over ecstatic when I saw the contents within the wrapping paper.... A black t-shirt emblazoned with the fabulous artwork of the Iron Maiden album "Killers" The image showed Eddie looking menacing as ever standing out on a street late at night with a bloody hatchet. There was a hand clutching onto the bottom of his shirt....presumably the hand of the victim who's blood was upon the hatchet.

This was the greatest birthday gift I had received thus far in my life.  As expected I wore it to school the next  day. I was a pretty cool dude with my AC/DC shirt, but my killers shirt officially made me badass in the eyes of my school peers.

As the warmer weather rolled around my parents decided to take us to Canada's Wonderland. If I remember correctly it was the year the park opened. The rents said I could bring a friend with me so who better to invite than my new buddy who had got me the best shirt ever! My folks gave me some spending money so my friend and I went to check out some shops and we stumbled upon a store that made iron on shirts.

I ended up getting an AC/DC transfer put on with the bands logo, Angus' face & the words "hells bells" underneath. I got a second transfer put on the back that had a scary set of eyes and the caption "I'm the one your mother warned you about" Needless to say my mom and dad weren't very impressed with what I had decided to spend my money on. 

Before I could say "heavy metal" both shirts seemed to have mysteriously vanish. I quickly asked my mother about it, she denied knowing anything about the disappearance. Years later when I was moving out on my own for my first time (around age 19) I was going through old boxes in the basement and I found the shirts.

Once again my mother was trying to "protect" me, but I was furious inside that she had lied to me all those years.....and of course the shirts were way to small to fit me anymore, even if they did fit I was way too "hardcore" (and ignorant) to be seen in old metal shirts at that point in my life. It pissed me off even more knowing these beauties had missed their prime wearing days.

I recall not knowing the whereabouts of my shirts was the first time in my life I had truly became depressed over something, and it wouldn't be the last time...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Hair makes the man?

Most of my childhood I had what I referred to as the "Bruce Lee" haircut. Whenever my bangs hit my eyes or the back of my hair hit my collar, my mom would bring me to her best friend Lillian's for a haircut. Lillian and her family also lived on craigleigh crescent. She had a son Michael and a daughter Christy. Mike was a year or so older than me but we shared a common love of star wars and I consider him my first "best friend" I ever made. 

His mother worked from home as a hairdresser, so whenever my mom decided my hair was getting too long she would have me over there in a flash. I expressed my feelings to my mom about wanting to grow my hair long and she flat out refused to accept it.  I could never figure out why, it's not like hair can corrupt you or anything. Looking back I think perhaps she wanted to preserve her young boy as a boy. Or maybe it was her way of trying to protect me from the evils of heavy metal!

The "Bruce Lee" cut. I got in SO much shit from my parents
when school pics came in for wearing that AC/DC pin!

Either way it always bugged me that I had cool shirts and arm studs, but not the long hair to go with it.  By this time my AC/DC t-shirt was on its last leg, as the iron on was slowly peeling away. I had made friends with a new kid in my grade 3 class that year. Nobody else would give him the time of day but I did.... Perhaps it was the fact that he always had the best treats in his lunch and he would offer them to yours truly.

The rest of my friends slowly warmed up to him and in a matter of days he was part of our group.  I invited him to my birthday party that year and I was super stoked when I opened his gift and it was a NEW metal shirt! One that would mysteriously disappear before the end of the school year...

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

(Wedding) Day Off

So I decided to take a day of from blogging and in today's post I will be taking a break from the usual subject matter. The reason I skipped a day is because I was at a wedding on Sunday and I was just too exhausted to use my brain.

So on Sunday I headed up to Whitby with Gabe, my best friend Jerry and his youngest daughter Alexus for my niece Brittany's wedding! It seems like just yesterday I was in grade 12 and my sister told me she was pregnant. I remember the night she gave birth to Brittany I was working my job at Cinnabon, so Jerry went in my place. Now here I stood 21 years later watching my beautiful, intelligent niece tie the knot with her man Arron aka Kevin.

My niece Brittany and I back in the 90's

 It was a small, family only event and was very nice.  The service and ceremony were held at the Whitby legion, which made things easy for traveling. The service was short and sweet, then we all ate, drank and socialized.  It is always a pleasure to see family and friends that I don't get to see very often.

 My niece is also expecting so soon we will have yet another addition to our family in "baby Cameron". I'd like to wish all the best to Brittany and Kevin in their future together and I hope their marriage is a long and healthy one! Congrats!

Sunday, 22 April 2012


This was the coolest album cover I had ever seen before and the artwork was just fantastic! It portrayed the band mascot "Eddie" (an undead metal head) manipulating the devil via marionette strings. The devil also had marionette strings from his hand controlling a smaller Eddie, who was bringing fire and chaos to the people of earth. I never really understood the concept and still don't to this day, but it's still awesome! The way I saw it, Eddie was REALLY in control of the devil who thought he was in control of Eddie.

Regardless of my theories, Eddie was the coolest ever and became the focus of my illustrations. Musically I still liked AC/DC better but Maiden brought a lot to the table. They had very upbeat, heavy songs that always gave me the image of mighty stallions galloping along a dusty trail en route to battle! The singer Bruce Dickenson had a brilliant voice and was able to hit very high notes. He also had incredible screams that he seemed to be able to hold longer than any other human being.

Another thing I really dug about these guys was their image.  Unlike AC/DC who were jeans & t-shirt kinda guys, the boys in maiden had a bit more flare. Leather pants, high stop sneakers with the tongues hanging out, wristbands and arm studs AND they had VERY long hair! All in all however, Eddie was the selling point for me. I found it so unique and amazing that a band had a mascot.... And not just any old mascot, they had an undead killer!

So now I found myself drawing Eddie whenever pencil was in hand and I got pretty damn good at it! In the beginning I had to use my record for reference, but after so many drawings I was able to sketch him freehand anytime I wanted to! Looking back now, Eddie is probably the one image I have drawn more than anything in my entire life!

Another new thing on my metal agenda was finding arm studs! I would scour malls and flea markets all over Brampton searching for black leather wristbands adorned with silver studs, yet I could never find full arm ones like the boys in Maiden wore. The only type available anywhere were 2 rows of studs. Not one to be bested, I decided to get a few of them and wear them all on one arm to give the illusion of a full armband. I was starting to fit the "metal uniform"more and more, now I just had to convince my parents to let me grow my hair long...

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Metal Christmas

The year was 1982 and it was yet another brutally cold winter in Ontario Canada. Back in the days it seemed like the snow was up to my armpits whenever I made the trek down my long street to the bus stop. Maybe it's because I was smaller, but I'm almost convinced we do not get nearly as much snow these days as we used to...and that's fine by me! Mind you at age 9 I was super pumped about getting my GT snow racer and heading down to "the pits" with the guys where we would presumably rip up some crazy trails!

I had made a small circle of friends when I started school. It was always the same crew pretty much all through grade school which included myself, Shawn, Jonathan, Craig & Duane. This Christmas every kid wanted a GT snow racer, and we were no exception. When I came downstairs that Christmas morning, my GT was there in all of its glory and I can remember just wanting to ditch Christmas and go hit up some slopes. However that was out of the question so I rolled with our regular holiday agenda that we adhered to every year.

I finished opening gifts, got ready to head over to my Greek grandparents for our lunch festivities, and then to my moms side of the family for dinner. If we were visiting my mom's sister Donna in Cobourg we would usually stay the night as it was a good 2 hour drive. I loved going there and have many fond memories. They had a nice house with a big pool and a huge fence less backyard that spanned back into hills and woods which was all sacred Indian land at one point. My uncle would always tease us and say not to go to far out there or the Indians would get us.

Their neighbors had these wild huge dogs that lived in kennels out back and the highlight of our visit was bringing them bones and scraps after dinner. They would just go bolistic! They used to scare the hell out of me but I got such a rush from it...just like my scary movies I loved dearly! My cousins also had Atari before we got our coleco vision so in my younger years i loved going there and playing beserk & space invaders. I even remember having my first full blown videogame meltdown when I couldn't pass a certain level. Everyone was laughing and got such a hoot out if it, they couldn't understand why a game had got me that upset! If you're reading this and you are a gamer then you know what I'm saying here! We've all smashed our fair share of joysticks over the years!

The reason I liked going there the most however was the fact my older cousin Jamie had all kinds of good records and he would always allow me to listen to them, which was probably why he decided to start giving me a record for Christmas every year. I remember him playing me a Cheech & Chong record and I couldn't stop laughing nor could I get enough of it. Jamie was responsible for turning me onto my favorite band AC/DC and in 1982 he would give me the next record to expand my musical horizons. The record was from a Brittish band called "Iron Maiden" The album was entitled "the number of the beast(666)" and it's album cover was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes upon...

Friday, 20 April 2012

Bon Is Gone

I couldn't believe that at the young age of 33 Ronald Belford Scott was dead. Bon was on a drinking binge in London and fell asleep sitting up in a car with his head back. He choked on his own vomit. For as long as I can remember now that never sat well with me, the fact that such an incredible person could go out in such a shitty way. I continued my allegiance to AC/DC until I was 14 years old.  I did like the later records with the new singer, but Brian never got me going like Bon did. I also found he did not have the same unique personality & attitude that Bon had, and to this day I only listen to AC/DC that has Bon singing in it.

So for the first time in my life I was introduced to death at age 7. I remember being fairly upset about it...but for what reason? Was I truly reeling from the loss of a person I had never met yet I felt I knew so well and was connected with? Was I mourning for my own personal loss as this could have meant the death of not only Bon but my favourite band? I'm a bit foggy on this one but I'm gonna go with my gut and say A as to me B would be for my own selfish reasons

I find it somewhat strange how people mourn over dead celebrities who they never met or never knew yet the same people don't even grieve as much over their own aunt or grandmother passing away. Said dead celebrity in question never knew you either nor did they even know you existed and they could probably care less. Unless of course there is something out there after death and we were aware of exactly who was mourning over us and could read every single individuals thoughts. I'd like to think we are capable of putting smiles on people's faces who are in the afterlife.

From 1980-1982 I was still a huge AC/DC mark and damn proud of it. I remember getting a "Highway to Hell" iron on shirt made at the Bramalea city centre and I was stoked! I actually ran into an old friend from grade school at a wedding a few years ago and he kept going on all night about how I was the only kid in kindergarten with an AC/DC shirt. Although he was off by a year or 2, I'm too kind to correct a drunk so I simply smiled everytime he mentioned it. I guess I was smiling inside as well because it felt good to be remembered as the only kid bad ass enough to wear rock shirts at such a young age in my school. I could get into all kinds of stories of what I was up to during these years but I don't want to get sidetracked or off topic from the main focus, which is the involvement of music throughout my life.

Christmas of 1982 was around the corner and I didn't it know it but I was about to discover a new band that I would fall in love with, courtesy of my cousin Jamie once again....and 3 numbers that would change my life.... ONCE AGAIN.....forever....

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Gonna be a...

Just like my first AC/DC record, this one was packed with great hits and there wasn't a song I disliked once again.  "Can I sit next to you girl" was one of my faves, is was somewhat a love song... in a macho, cro-mag kind of way. Another song that was on a much slower blues trip I enjoyed immensely was "the jack" and I STILL love grooving to it to this very day.  And yes, yet another rocking tune my mother didn't appreciate hearing was "she's got balls"

However, the one song that hit me the hardest and would essentially be the soundtrack to the movie which is my life was called " Rock n' Roll Singer" If you are not familiar with the song allow me to share the lyrics with you;

"My Daddy was workin' nine to five When my Momma was havin' me
By the time I was half alive They knew what I was gonna be
But I left school and grew my hair They didn't understand
They wanted me to be respected as A doctor or a lawyer man (But I had other plans)

Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer Gonna be a rock 'n' roll star
Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer I'm gonna be a rock 'n' roll,  A rock 'n' roll star

Well I worked real hard and bought myself A rock 'n' roll guitar
I gotta be on top some day I wanna be a star
I can see my name in lights And I can see the queue
I got the devil in my blood Tellin' me what to do (And I'm all ears)

Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer Gonna be a rock 'n' roll star
Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer I'm gonna be a rock 'n' roll, A rock 'n' roll star
(I hear it pays well)

Well you can stick your nine to five livin' And your collar and your tie
You can stick your moral standards 'Cause it's all a dirty lie
You can stick your golden handshake And you can stick your silly rules
And all the other shit That you teach to kids in school ('Cause I ain't no fool)

Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer I'm gonna be a rock 'n' roll star
Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer I'm gonna be a rock 'n' roll A rock 'n' roll star 
Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer Gonna be a rock 'n' roll star
Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer I'm gonna be a rock 'n' roll A rock 'n' roll star Yes I are!"

This was a defining moment in my life and much to my parents distaste, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up! Bon Scott was the man and he told it like it is AND he was my first role model come to think of it!  The days of couch and bed jumping were gone as I had graduated to the next level and an even more embarrassing thing to do when I listened to my records....sing in the mirror!

While writing this blog tonight I rekindled the memory of a friends birthday party I attended around this time. I got him an AC/DC records as a gift, and he told me a few days later his parents didn't allow him to keep it. I always considered my parents the reason I turned out the way I did as I was sheltered from a lot of things and not allowed to do rad stuff like dye my hair or pierce my ears, but I realize now that I was also given a lot of freedom like: caring for myself after school from a young age, watching movies that were anywhere from pg to r rated, and the most important one of all.... The freedom to listen to whatever music I wanted, and I love them for that & could not ask for anything better!

So not only had I found my favorite band, but I had found my new favorite singer! High Voltage actually came out in 75' but I was too young to pay attention to such things at the time.  There was an older kid on my street named John McCuish who was a huge AC/DC fan and I think he had a soft spot for me as we shared the same mistress! We would go on to be long time friends. I believe he was the one who took the wind out of my newly flapping sails when he informed me that my new favorite singer had passed away while I slept that previous night...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Buffalo trips

My parents liked to take my sister and I on car rides from time to time,which eventually led to longer road trips as the years went on. We went to buffalo quite often, including niagara falls and I absolutely loved the place! I have many fond memories from our various trips there. I remember the car ride being very long and boring , but once hitting the border and crossing the bridge came I would get super excited. As far as the falls go on the Canadian side, I thorougly enjoyed the wax museums and the haunted houses, which were very scary yet fun as long as my dad was close by. I was also a big fan of the ripley's museum, mainly the human oddity aspects within.

The falls were also an incredible sight to see! I remember the fear and excitement I felt watching the powerful waters rush beneath me. The tales of crazy/courageous men who braved the falls fury inside of barrels astonished me immensely and it was such a cool feeling to be standing where Superman saved a falling kid in the 2nd movie! I walked across the bridge from Canada to America by myself as well and that is something i will always remember too!

There were many trips and many memories but the most profound one is from our first trip there in 1980. We were in some mall somewhere on the American side and I was a bit displeased that I wasn't finding any cool toys or anything...until we stumbled upon a record store. I immediately went to the "A" section and found the AC/DC tab. They had a few different ones but the album that stuck out the most was "High Voltage" if I remember correctly it was somewhere between $7-14.00 USD. My folks reluctantly allowed me to get it and I could not stop staring at it nor could I wait to get home and listen to it!

I was enamoured with the cover image of a grimey kid named Angus who was wearing a disheveled school uniform and playing his guitar, which I could never decipher between if it was A. Broken or B. coming out of his shorts like a penis! There was also a giant lighting bolt coming down right in front of him. The back cover was littered with letters from irate parents and school boards in regards to the band mates shenanigans, and I read them countless times, which brought me to a new discovery....AC/DC were MORE bad ass than KISS!

 When I finally put the record on I was grooving along to "it's a long way to the top" and the ripping bagpipe solo in it blew me away! Another song that really fired me up was "T.N.T." and I clearly recall a day in grade school when the bus never came due to extreme snow so I invited my pals up to my place (while my folks were at work) and played my records for them. Now there was a whole gang of crazed lunatics jumping on the bed! There was one song on the record however that would change my life forever...

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Day (of the dead) Off

So after a successful week of blog writing I decided to take a day off, since I had Monday off from work anyhow I decided to skip a day of writing....well not technically! It is 10:04 pm monday April 16th. Since I started this blog I have been writing each days post over the course of the day and they don't make it online until the early evening so I decided to take this opportunity to get in the groove of writing and night time so the post can be up first thing in the morning instead. 

So today I decided to take Gabriel to Toronto for an adventurous day of shopping. When we got to union station we headed straight to "the silver snail" our favorite comic shop, and stocked up on some toys from the Amc series "the walking dead" from there we wandered down to yonge street and checked out a few more stores and bought some more goodies.

We went to subway for lunch and split a sub, gabe got to pick the toppings and surprisingly it was delicious! We then popped in the Carlton theatre for a matinee showing of "the cabin in the woods" and we BOTH loved it! We continued our way up yonge street and popped in all of our usual stores for even more purchases! Eventually we got to bloor and grabbed the subway down to union station for a nice train ride home!

Along our journey we managed to bump into my friend billy who was just getting out of class, pick up mortal kombat & street fighter toys for my ex-roomie Matt AND bought a styrofoam head for my pal Jon to display his cobra commander mask on!  All in all an awesome day and I even managed to get the boy to bed on sure to check back in for our regularly scheduled blog as we continue with "buffalo trip"...

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Brittish Are Coming!

I became obsessed over my AC/DC record and it was in constant rotation.  The summer before i started kindergarten my family moved into a new house on longbourne crescent. I missed the old townhouse on craigleigh crescent and all the memories it held with it. Playing in the courtyard with my sister, throwing my fisher price parachute man as high as i could in the sky repeatedly, convincing one of my friends to put this green slime from the toy store in his hair ( the next day he had a shaved head), watching my friend defecate  in the street because his parents were painting the house and wouldn't let him in, tying one of Christine's skipping ropes to the top of the slide so I could pull myself up like I was Adam West scaling the side of a building, block parties, hitting a girl in the head with a baseball bat then stealing her yoyo, learning to ride a bike with and without training wheels in the same day, but what I missed the most was tormenting an old woman on our street that we referred to as "the witch".

From what I was told she was from Germany and she never left the house. I remember catching glimpses of her through her kitchen window, wearing the trademark shawl she had fashioned out of a black garbage bag. All the kids used to stand outside of her house banging our hockey sticks on the ground while chanting "The British are coming! The British are coming!" She was already crazy and we certainly weren't helping the matter. One day an older boy decided to put some dog shit in her mailbox. My father and his friend John were having a beer on the porch and caught wind of the situation. They forced the kid to go over to her house and remove the poopy contents from her mailbox with his bare hands!

I dont remember exactly what I did on this particular day but it must have been extreme as she actually left the house and showed up knocking on our door furiously. I was seriously scared as I his behind my fathers tree like leg as he dealt with her. Whatever she was going on about didn't seem to matter as my dad was totally on my side and from what I recall I never got in trouble. Looking back I know it was the rush & excitement of thinking a real witch lived on my street, and I was convinced she killed and ate children.

So far my new street had nothing resembling a "haunted house" and there was no crazy witch to mess with. Our new house was way bigger however and I was loving all the extra space. We had a new stereo and it even came with an 8 track component! I was positive we were rich! Being a non materialistic person I didn't dwell on the thought, I was just happy to be able to play my record on a new, kickass stereo that had some serious balls and wattage! My folks on the other hand weren't putting up with the noise levels and I was told to wear headphones! That was fine with me, I'd strap em' on and rock out in our plush rocking chair. I played dirty deeds so much that the records started filling up with skips and scratches, which saddened me as I couldn't enjoy the songs the way they were meant to be heard. This would change however around age 7 when my family took our first shopping trip ever to Buffalo New York...

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Dirty Xmas

My memory is a bit sketchy on wether it was 1978 or 1979 when I was introduced to my new favorite band. I know I was 5 or 6 years old and like any kid that age I was super psyched for Christmas! We had the same tradition every year. My sister Christine and I would get up VERY early, usually about 5 am. We would sneak downstairs quietly and inspect the contents of our stockings, making sure to put everything back just the way they were..

We would then take a quick peek at what Santa had left for us. My folks used to leave the most expensive gift from "Santa" unwrapped so we knew exactly what the big guy had gotten us. If I remember correctly I got something star wars related. We would then go back to bed until 6-630 am before we went and woke up the rents.

My sister & I @ Christmas. Not sure on the year, possibly 77' or 78'

After opening all of our gifts we would get ready and head to my grandparents ( on my fathers side ) for more gifts and an extravagant huge lunch. Then after that we would head over to one of my mother's sister's places for even more gifts and a tasty Christmas dinner.  My mom and her 2 sisters both had two children, making it 6 kids in total. Myself and my sister, Gord and Trisha, & Jamie and Jason. Chris, Gord & Jamie were all the same age. Trish was a few years younger, Jason and I were 6 years younger than the oldest three, and yours truly was the "baby" of the family, as Jason was born in October and I in January.

My cousin Jamie gave me my first vinyl record for christmas that year, "dirty deeds done dirt cheap" by a band from down under called AC/DC. As soon as the needle dropped it was love at first listen! The guitar sound was very raw, the drums were hard hitting, but what really got to me was the awesome, raunchy, guttural vocals which were delivered by the late, great Bon Scott. R.I.P.

I played the album religiously and there wasn't one song on the record that I disliked, although I don't think my mom was very happy with me rocking out to "Big Balls" HA! I clearly remember that the song "Ain't No Fun (Waiting 'Round to Be a Millionaire)" was the first song I EVER heard a curse word in...and not any old curse word was the F-bomb! However the stand out track for me was "rocker" the fastest song I had ever heard to date! It was MY song and the crazed lunatic was back terrorising chesterfields again, but this time with a badminton racket for a guitar! My dad used to kid around and say the song "problem child" was my song....little did he know his friendly joke would eventually become a reality...

Friday, 13 April 2012

Friday the 13th

Seeing as today is Friday the 13th and it is no secret I am a long time horror fanatic, I thought today I'd take a quick turn in the story and appreciate this wonderful day. To most people Friday the 13th is a superstitious bad luck today but to splatter junkies such as myself it is just as big as labour day or any other holiday.

I was pretty young the first time I saw the original Friday the 13th film and it scared me pretty good, but when I saw part 2 for the first time it scared the crap out of me! Not literally but pretty damn close. The movie had me on edge the entire time. Something about a faceless killer with a canvas sack over his head was very unsettling to me. Yet with the first generation of ppv in the form of first choice & supper channel I couldn't get enough of jason! Especially the climatic ending when he crashes through a window onto the survivors who thought they had killed him, and his unmasked face is finally exposed!

Jason: Friday the 13th part 2 latex mask.

Friday the 13th spawned many sequels, some great, others terrible, but each hold their own special qualities to some degree, and I would have to believe it to be the longest running & most successful franchise in the slasher business. I also think Jason has become the most recognizable face of modern horror as we know it.

It is no secret that I have a certain stigma attached to me when it comes to masks. I will get into that deeper at another time, however last year I started collecting high quality latex horror masks from a fellow I had seen at Fan Expo a few times over the years, and eventually met at Wizard World Comic Con last spring.

I bought my first mask from him that day, a part 7 Jason and he gave me a killer deal on it. His name is Steve Bellamy and he is one hell of a great guy! His company is called "Devil's latex" I remember him and his girlfriend being blown away by my son Gabriel's knowledge of horror, seeing as he had just turned 4, and they were eating him up! I  got the impression that if they ever had a kid they wanted it to be like my Gabe!

I grabbed a business card from Steve and kept in touch via email, as I now needed the goalie mask to go with my new possession, so we made arrangements for him to have it ready for me to buy at Fan Expo of August 2011. We got to chatting again at the expo and to my surprise the guy I thought was from America lived 20 minutes away from me! Since then I have been going directly to the source for my purchases and Steve always takes great care of me! I have since decided to buy a Jason mask for every movie in the franchise now and I only have a few more to go! I'd like to thank my new friend for his awesome creations and his generous hospitality. I'd also like to recommend you to check out some of his work and I encourage anyone & everyone to buy some of his top notch work! Happy Friday the 13th!!!

Thursday, 12 April 2012


A kid from the neighbourhood who I hung out with regularly asked me one day if I'd like to come over to his house to listen to a new record his older brother had bought, I eagerly agreed. I don't remember anything about this kid, not his name or what he even looked like, but I can vividly remember the small, cramped, dark & dingy living room in his wee townhouse on craigleigh crescent in bramalea. The place was decorated to the nines with the typical kind of  tacky 70's decor you'd expect from that era.

Rocking my friend's older brother's hat 

I sat my little behind on a brown, orange & beige plaid couch. My friend walked over to me and handed me a vinyl record in its sleeve. I loved drawing but had not been exposed to much art outside of what was in the pages of my colouring books, but this had to of been the greatest piece of artwork I had seen in my life! The year was 1977 and the only records I had ever seen were the ones my parents owned, which consisted of bands like the Beatles, CCR, Boney M, the guess who & led zeppelin. This was the most extreme record I'd ever gazed upon and I was DYING to hear what kind of sound dwelt within its thin, cardboard walls. The lp was entitled "destroyer" and it was the 4th studio release from a band I had never heard of who were billed as "the hottest band in the world.....KISS!!!"

As far as fonts go I can recall loving the sleek simplicity of it, the way it was coloured which I associated with fire, but the coolest part was how the letter "S" was somewhat shaped like a backward "Z" making it similar to a lightning bolt. I know KISS are pretty tame compared to today's standards, but to a four year old kid in 1977 they were mysterious, intriguing, and the toughest 4 men on the planet!....not to mention they had the coolest gimmick! (looking back now they were like a GWAR of the 70's in my opinion) Considering the record was called "Destroyer" and depicted them as the only survivors of a post apocalyptic world... they had to be tough! Right? Destroyer also gave me the impression that not only were they sole survivors, but they were also the ones in question who had  "Destroyed" everything.! In my eyes these guys were bad ass and nobody could fuck with them!!! Although I'm sure I didn't word it like that in my head at that age!

A metal head is born!

My friend (the nameless kid) took the nice, shiny, black, vinyl disc out of it's beautiful encasement, and the first song he put on was "Detroit Rock City" a true life song written about a KISS fan who died in a horrific automobile accident en route to a KISS concert. It started out with a newscaster talking about a car accident, and when the song finally kicked in something strange and new happened inside of me.  This sound was something I had never heard before, it was loud, catchy & VERY up beat, and instead of sitting in a trance like I normally did while listening to music, I was jumping all over this kid's couch like a crazed lunatic! At the end of the song there was a sample/sound effect of a car crash....I had never experienced anything like this in a song before and it blew my mind! I truly believe that car crash to be a pre-cursor to my obsession with samples in songs. It was official, music did not sooth the savage beast and KISS was the heaviest band ever!!!......but only until December 25th, Christmas day, 1978.....or was it 1979?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Music soothes the savage beast

For as long as I can remember now music has always been an integral and important part of my life....even more so than art, which is shocking for people to hear granted I was born with artistic talent and could color inside the lines by age two. According to my mother she could bring me anywhere and I would be a perfectly behaved little gentleman....IF she had some paper and a pen with her.

Proudly displaying an unknown piece of art.
So why is music more important to me? I am not quite sure. To try and figure this mystery out I have to ask myself that very question. Both are expressive and creative art forms respectively. However I don't think I can express myself as much through canvas as I can through song. When I'm working on an elaborate piece of art I lose interest after an hour or two. When creating a song I can haul ass for 6 hours plus.... Until the point of having a headache from staring at the laptop for so long.

My love for music spans back to my days in diapers. I can still clearly remember watching my mom do yoga while she listened to the Beatles. I was around 2 or 3 years old and a very rambunctious child, but when I heard those magical notes they almost put me in a paralyzed trance like state. They say music soothes the savage beast and I believed that to be true..... Until a neighbourhood friend played a record for me at the tender age of 4 that would forever change my life...

Hanging out with Mom

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A Hero's Call...

Greetings everyone and welcome to the first post ever. So why am I starting a blog you may ask? Recently a good friend of mine who some of you may know started a blog. His name is Jon McCausland and he was the owner of UWA Hardcore Wrestling with his brother Joe. I was the senior official in UWA for roughly 8 years. In the beginning I was occasionally reading his blog which in a nutshell consisted of his involvement in wrestling.....or so I thought.

Jon has delved very deep into his childhood, personal life & all the interesting and wonderful friends he has made on his journey through his life. I have become addicted to reading his posts every day now on company time when I drop my morning deuce. "A Hero's Call" is the name of his blog, hence why it is the title of my first post, as my good friend has once again inspired me to do something when I first met him back in 1998. I strongly encourage you to check it out!

Sooooooo......the big question now is what is my blog going to be about? Good that the author is even in the dark about. For starters I will bring you up to speed on my musical endeavours. I have been working on a new full length entitled " 73' " which consists of swinging 70's sounds in my one of a kind take on rap music. I've also been working on some remixes once in awhile as well as my "Heavy Ghetto" project, hardcore screaming cover versions of classic rap hits. I've added a page for my discography where you can stream or download all of my music.

On the sidelines I just finished producing a track for Cory Bowles aka Cheklove of Halifax hiphop pioneers Hip Club Groove. I also produced a song for the Beef Chief's "Mach Spitz" which will be on his upcoming solo debut "Flossed In Space" I do a bit of rapping on the song and we went into BWC studios to work with Greg Dawson  & Frank Barone of Wiggaz/Grift fame on another track for Mach's cd. You can check out some behind the scenes studio footage on the video page.

Well, I've suceeded in creating my blog and actually posting something! It is now 11:50pm and my ass has to be up at 6:00 am so off to bed for now.....Be sure to follow my adventures and hopefully you are as interested as I am to see what this thing transmogrifies into!