Friday, 30 November 2012

Cashing cheques & Captain Caveman

Although my new job at Via Post was somewhat boring to say the least, there was one very exciting aspect about it...getting paid every Friday. I was taking home about $250.00 a week after taxes, which was quite a lot of money for a 15 year old kid in 1988. The coffee truck driver used to give us credit all week long and then on Fridays he would cash our cheques for us and take his cut, this was pretty awesome to me seeing as I didn't even have to goto the bank. Every week I usually owed him about $40-$60 for all the food and cigarettes I consumed over the week. The rest of the money was mine to do what I pleased with it.

Being young and naive I typically spent the remainder of my cheque by the end of each weekend, and I really didn't have a lot to show for it. Most of my money was spent on alcohol, marijuana and fast food. The only material items I was continuously buying were band shirts, most of which I ordered out of heavy metal magazines, clothes, shoes, and skateboard decks. I also became an avid reader of Thrasher Magazine, and was ordering stuff from them quite often as well. All the shoes I bought at the time were $7.00 sonics, converse rip offs that you could find at BiWay (miss that place dearly) I'd adorn mine with killer artwork, always using a circular symbol on the heels such as a D.R.I. logo for example. After awhile people started to really take notice, to the point where they were paying me to design custom shoes for them.

These are a few of my favorite things
Skateboard decks were probably the one thing I spent the majority of my money on now however, as I was practically buying a new deck every week! I wasn't even getting to skateboard as much either as I was always working or was up at the trailer. The odd day we would skate however instead of playing Nintendo, usually at the French school down at the bottom of our street, or if I was up early enough I'd venture over to Ching Park for a late morning shred session. I ended up meeting quite a lot of different skaters at the Ching bowl and people were always trading or selling boards there, so I'd bring my old decks with me and open up for business.

I remember showing up there one day and there were some older thrashers ripping up the bowl, there was one guy in particular who definitely stood out from the bunch. This guy was barely taller than 5 feet and had red hair that was all one length, that stopped somewhere between his waist and his knees. On his board there was a small SLAYER logo in white on top of the grip tape and I was instantly curious as to how that was possible. The dude resembled Cousin It from The Addams Family, or one of my favourite old cartoon characters Captain Caveman, he had by far the longest hair I'd ever seen! I later learned he was actually the older brother of one guitarist from the Epileptic Brain Surgeons (Paul Donohoe) and apparently he had his own band as well called "Distortion" if I recall correctly. His name was Steve Donohoe.

Little did I know on that day way back in 1988 was the fact that this guy was going to be an important part of my life and my musical ventures in the years to come...And how did he do that grip tape job???

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