Friday, 31 May 2013

Social Disorder rule the earth

Another summer of debauchery had passed, our band had a demo tape, and our bassist had moved to British Columbia. I had also started growing my hair again, so I slightly resembled my grade 7 school picture. Limey was now in our high school starting grade 9, so he would normally call on me in the morning and we'd walk to school together, or skate. Although I had a few circles of friends, some of those circles had expanded. I still made a point to produce as many copies of our demo as I could and distribute them amongst my circles of friends. I really didn't care about making money off the release, I just wanted to spread our sound and get us out there. I also had recently discovered there was a band with a very similar name to ours, Social Distortion. At this point I really didn't care, our styles of music were completely different, and we had come such a long way to find a name we absolutely cherished, that we weren't about to change it again.

I was quite stoked when John, the drummer for E.B.S. told me he actually liked our tape, that was a great compliment and seemed to make the entire effort worthwhile. Years later in the mid 90's I didn't even own a copy of our demo anymore. I asked John if I could have his copy and he complied. I nearly fell over laughing when I saw what he had written on the tape: Social Disorder rule the earth! In the new millennium I was able to rip the tape to my computer and share it online so it could forever be immortalized.

Fresh into September of 1989 it seemed like any other typical school year, I did not know that it wouldn't be. If I had the ability to foresee into the future I would have done a lot of things very differently. Unfortunately I don't have that ability, and unbeknownst to me, I was going to be in for a long, rough haul this year, with many tough obstacles to climb and overcome. I was also unaware of the fact of how rotten of a human being I would temporarily become, and the trials and tribulations I would have to face for my actions. Strap on your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Be sure to check out the Social Disorder demo tape as well as some new and improved versions of a few songs Jerry and I re did a couple years ago.

Wow! looks like mypace removed the old demo. It was all of the songs inside one track. I'll see if I can sort something out, there are 3 other tracks & video content still in the meantime.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tales From The Siboney

After learning where the Siboney Club was via the Day-Glo Abortions concert, and already knowing how to navigate my way around the city via the Go Bus and TTC, I managed to take in a few more stellar shows during the year of 1989, and it seemed all of the thrash and hardcore shows were held at the Siboney, which to me was the greatest venue of all time. For the time being as far as this story goes.

The first show I went to after Day-Glo was New York speed freaks Nuclear Assault. None of my friends had money to go, and the ones that did have the money to go didn't have the permission from their parents to go. I had seen the video "Brainwashed" which was enough to sell me on buying Nuclear Assault's latest release "Survive" from the Record Peddler much prior to this, so I was going into the show familiar with the music.

Their bass player was none other than former Anthrax bassist and S.O.D. bassist Dan Lilker, and he was the first person I remember seeing when I stepped in the club, mainly because he's almost 7 feet tall and his head was practically touching the ceiling when he stepped on stage briefly to drop his gear off. I dipped into the can to take a quick piss and to my surprise there was Dan! I felt like I was in the presence of a thrash god, but I kept my mouth shut instead of playing the annoying fan boy.

I don't even remember who the opening acts were, and it didn't even matter as I was there to see the Assault, and they ripped the crowd a new one with a solid performance. Their singer John's voice sounded just as screechy and intense live as it did on record. I thrashed in the pit solo for the entire set, and the energy and vibe in the room was just incredible. I'll never forget on the bus home that night I fell asleep and missed my stop at Bramalea City Centre. When the driver awoke me I was at the end of the line at the Go Station downtown Brampton, a good hour walk from home. Craig the guitarist from my band had given me $20 to buy him a shirt which I never got due to prices being higher than the funds he had given me, and I ended up having to spend the money to take a taxi home as to not miss curfew and avoid an ass whooping.

Another band I was fortunate enough to catch at the Siboney in 89' was none other than Sacred Reich, who had just released their "Surf Nicaragua" EP in late 88'. The Reich hailed from Arizona and they were all big stocky dudes who just ripped shit up with impeccable speed and tightness. I actually went to this gig with Pooh & Mike from E.B.S. and if memory serves correct there was an unknown 4th person with us, perhaps the estranged part time EBS bassist Paul Lutz...or maybe it was Waller...anyhow...When we were walking from the Ossington subway station to the club, we noticed Jonny, the singer of Sudden Impact, was walking there as well just a few paces ahead of us. Here I was star struck while the EBS boys were cracking one liners out loud about him! Awkward!

The Siboney was ram packed that night as per usual and the action in the pit was a bit frantic. A lot of the crowd were straight up metal heads who didn't quite understand the concept of moshing, they were more so just running around the circle pushing, punching & kicking people.Half way through the set we all had clearly gotten fed up with that shit, so we stood just outside the circle and watched Sacred Reich tear the house down. Unbeknownst to me, Mike was actually observing the pit to see who the dickheads were fucking every bodies fun up. Mike tapped me on the shoulder and shouted in my ear above the blaring music "WATCH THIS!" The next thing I knew he shoved one of the perpetrators as he was passing us in the circle and the dude went careening inwards on his ass, while everyone in the pit inadvertently trampled him.

When the dude finally collected his marbles he came and stood on the sidelines near us, then he started glaring at each of us one at a time trying to figure out who had pushed him. Needless to say we were all having a hard time keeping straight faces. When the guy finally decided to rejoin the action Mike did it again, only this time the guy came at us enraged. A few words were exchanged and that was the end of it, but my adrenalin was absolutely through the roof now. With a mosh pit right in front of me the outlet for it was obvious. I thrashed on until the night was gone, then headed home pondering what act I might catch next at my beloved Siboney Club...

Monday, 27 May 2013

Hell's Big Apple

Today I am slightly backtracking in the story once again to mention a very important happening I overlooked writing about, the Epileptic Brain Surgeons going into the studio to record their first real demo tape, I was fortunate enough to be the kid who was in the right place at the right time. The boys in E.B.S. knew I had recently acquired a brand new drum set, and since McCuish's was a tad bit on the beaten and battered side, they asked me very kindly if they could use my drum set for the recording session, being their number one fan I instantly said yes to the idea. I loved E.B.S. and I wanted their recording to sound the best it possibly could.

My only request to the guys was that I would be allowed to be present in the studio to witness the whole recording process. Musicplex, which was down the street from my house, now had a recording studio in the back of the store known as "Studio A" and that's where all the magic would take place. I met the guys there with my drum kit and we hauled all of the gear inside where we met the would-be producer for the project Archie Hachey, he was an older man who didn't look like the type to listen to hardcore, but none the less he was friendly, easy to work with, and mon judgemental despite the genre of music. In fact by the end of it he may of been a new fan!

For myself being a 16 year old punk and getting to see how the inside of a professional recording studio operated, I was in bliss. This was a dream come true for me. I felt like a big part of something I was merely spectating, mind you without my drum set the recording may have been an absolute bust. Then the guys asked me to step in the booth with them to do some back up vocals, I was now REALLY apart of this and not just a spectator with a loaner drum kit. I was honoured to be shouting "take a bath" into the mic during "soap" from what I remember we all did gang backup vocals in "Screaming' Boogies" as well.

Ultimately it was just really cool to be there and see what recording was all about. I never knew about individual tracking, punching in, or any other tricks of the trade. By the end of the weekend I found it incredible and fascinating to see the project come together full circle. Now all we had to do was sit back patiently and wait for the finished product.

I'll never forget that day either, I went to see Pooh while he was working at Sears so I could get my complimentary copy of the demo, my payment for letting them use my drums. I was a bit taken back by the cover and title of the demo, but he explained how they couldn't come up with anything, so in a last minute ditch effort the boys collaborated and cut random things out of magazines and made a collage of an image, even the demo title was done in this same fashion, "Hells big apple bites back upon family brunch" Geniuses, I thought in my mind. As I opened the tape and started skimming through the special thanks in the liner notes, I just about shit 10 bricks when I saw MY name in there in all it's glory "Kevin T" Even though my last name was abbreviated to a simple initial I still couldn't get over the fact that I had made liner notes on a real tape! At age 16 that was a pretty big fucking deal!

Over the years whenever the tape was mentioned, it has always been a pleasure for me to tell the tale of my involvement. I don't think the guys in the band really knew how honoured and privileged I felt at the time. It's been amazing telling friends I made years after the fact "Yeah they used my drums on that!" I never looked at it like if it wasn't for me the demo would have been a failure, because that wouldn't be true, they would have got it done by hook or crook one way or the other. It has always just been a great feeling knowing I helped some friends out in a time of need, and that a little piece of me is immortalized in what possibly might be one of the most important releases to ever come out of our hometown of Brampton, and to me that is a true thing of beauty...

Friday, 24 May 2013

White Rock

The summer of 1989 was chock full of skateboarding, parties, alcohol, marijuana, & girls. As per usual the summer seemed to flash by in the blink of an eye. With all the great, fun things going on, it was only natural that a negative element introduced itself to react against the positives, thus somewhat balancing the furies.

Our bass player "Vans" announced to us that come September he would be moving out to White Rock British Columbia with his family. We were all saddened by the fact that our band would no longer have a bass player, but ultimately we were terribly upset to lose such a great friend. I decided that before Vans left we had to document the music we made via recording.

During the last week of July we headed up to "The Travelling Musician" a local music store that dealt with renting and selling musical equipment. We inquired about renting a four track recorder, and we were quite surprised to learn it would only cost us a total of $100 to rent one for a month! With five guys in our band that was only $20 a piece. Over the course of the week we each rounded up our $20.00 and on August 1st, 1989, my mother drove us there to pick it up. As I was paying the clerk, he regrettably informed me that he could not for the life of him find the instruction manual for the four track. I guess he felt bad so he never charged us taxes.

I literally spent almost the entire month of August learning my way around the four track and figuring out how it worked, which I managed to do just in time before the final weekend of August crept upon us. We now had 3 days, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, to record our demo. It wasn't going to be an easy task, but I was determined to pull it off.

We recorded all the drum tracks first using 4 microphones running through a 4 channel mixer, that way the drums would only occupy one track. From there we recorded all of Vans' bass tracks just to assure that they were done before he left. Once that was wrapped up we set mics up on Jerry & Craig's guitar amps, and once again ran them through the mixer so they only occupied one track. Once the music was all said and done there was still one track free for my vocals. When it came time to record me I requested that all the guys leave me in privacy. I never had performance issues jamming, but I was very self conscious about then only hearing my voice, as only I could hear the music through the headphones. I nailed all my vocal tracks and we were finished with one day to spare.

I spent the final day attempting to mix the recordings, then I dubbed off a master copy and we now officially had a demo tape, even though in our minds we knew we no longer had a bass player. That fact didn't really matter to us, we knew we would continue on as a band, we were just happy we got to immortalize the five of us doing our thing. We partied hearty that weekend too as it would be the last time we saw Vans. Our goodbyes were extremely difficult, but we dealt with them, handed Vans a copy of the demo, and that was the last time I ever saw him...

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


That hero was my best friend Julie, A.K.A. "Jules" A.K.A. "Boots" although Julie had done her fair share of rolling, I guess she was fed up with Maggot. The fact she had rolled a good friend of Julie's was enough for her to march right up to Maggot and call her out. They exchanged words and Maggot readily accepted Julie's offer to step outside.

As they walked off side by side out the mall doors by my beloved Hex Arcade, the crew and I followed a few steps behind. Just as we got to the doors mall security popped up out of nowhere. They seemed to know a fight was about to happen, and they were more than willing to let it happen, but they wouldn't let us spectate.

Never one to be defeated, I shouted out to my friends "Follow me dudes!" as I ran off in a flash up towards Food City, my trusted cronies following right behind as we sprinted like a pack of wild dogs. We bolted out of Food City and ran around the side of the building towards the doors by the arcade. When we got there, both Jules & Maggot were poised with grace, dukes up, looking like a couple of professional pugilists.

Julie was quite tall, around 6 feet, and she was clearly (wo)manhandling the shorter, stouter Maggot, whipping her about like a weightless rag doll. Jules was coming hard with a barrage of kicks and punches. In a clear act of desperation Maggot poked Julie in the eye which immediately stopped the action. I'll never forget Jules ranting on about how she poked her in the eye, she seemed so offended by it despite the fact she had obviously gotten the better of Maggot during the exchange of fisticuffs.

The next thing I knew they were reconciling their differences, then they walked back into the mall together, sat at a table in the food court, and shared cigarettes and words with each other. Some guidelines were set in stone as far as rolling was concerned, and before long the two had become somewhat of friends. From that day forward there wasn't much rolling happening anymore, and Maggot had become more friendly with the people in the scene, humbled by her beat down. There was also no doubt in anyones mind which Chelsea now stood atop the pecking order of the skin head army, my girl Boots!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Happy Toofer

Greetings readers, just a quick note for all of you. I decided to skip Mondays post since it was a holiday and I was enjoying the extra time with my son. We did a lot this weekend, plenty of movies and Xbox, shopping, petting exotic animals, hot tubbing at my best friend Jerry's, and we went to an awesome potluck BBQ at my friend Steve's place, owner of The Devil's Latex. I hope all my fellow Canadians had a safe and fun May two four weekend!

I also wanted to give birthday shout outs to my former roommate Matt, happy 26th birthday buddy! I'd also like to give uber birthday wishes to my one and only father who had his birthday on the 20th, I hope it was a good one dad, happiest of birthdays to you, without you I'd be nothing...

Join me tomorrow for the continuation of Heavy Ghetto...

Friday, 17 May 2013


Another new trend I was seeing in the late 80s was "Rolling" Rolling consisted of taking articles of clothing from a person using either verbal threats or actual brute force. Rolling was predominant amongst the skinhead community, and they were usually rolling people for Doc Marten shoes or boots and bomber jackets, both of which are a staple of the skinhead uniform. It was as if the skins felt that only THEY had the right to wear these items, but we all know that this is a free country and we all have the choice of freedom to wear what we want and dress how we want.

The main targets seemed to be non skinhead people who were wearing these items, most of whom were mods or poseur punks. For awhile there it seemed like any given night that I went to the mall someone was getting rolled. This trend was happening a lot down in Toronto, which I guess was the factor that convinced Jerry's dad that we would be "killed by skinheads" if we went downtown Toronto.

The same thing was happening in Toronto amongst the black community, well it was more so black guys "rolling" white b-boys for gold chains, fancy track suits, running shoes, and even baseball caps. I never had an issue with either skins or blacks trying to roll me, but I did have a few friends that were "rolled" and I can't remember how many times I saw jacket less or shoes less kids walking around Bramalea City Centre. I was however fortunate enough to receive a nice pair of 10 hole paten leather docs that my best friend Julie rolled some younger pretty boy punk for.

As the crossover movement flourished and we found a sense of unity amongst the hardcore scene, rolling slowly started to die out, until "Maggot" showed up on the scene. Maggot was a female skinhead or "Chelsea" as we called them. Rumour had it she had been released from prison. Her real name was Margaret, or Maggie as she preferred to be called, but she quickly earned the nickname "Maggot" because of how low down and dirty she was.

Maggot was covered in mediocre manly tattoos which just added to her un feminine appearance, and she was already lacking in the "looks department" to begin with. Just as we were all finding peace and unity amongst the scene, Maggot showed up out of nowhere and started turning things upside down. She started rolling anyone and everyone that weren't skinheads but wore docs & bombers. She was so ruthless and intimidating that even younger males were giving the goods up to her. This would continue on until a hero finally stepped up to the plate to give Maggot her "just desserts"...

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Legend of Schoolly D

Once again I find myself having to backtrack in this story, thus breaking the chronological order, which is difficult with my OCD, I like things being in order. I feel this subject is very important to the story and the history of music in general, so please join me as we travel back to Christmas 1988.

There was a huge musical happening in the year 1988 that would forever change the world of music, the introduction of the compact disc or "CD" which to me looked like some form of computer disc. The compact disc had actually been commercially available to the (rich) public since 1982, but now it was becoming affordable worldwide. The cd was the latest high definition technology for listening to music. I immediately saw this as evil, since I figured it would extinct the world of cassette tapes and vinyl records, plus I was already a firm believer of technology equaling evilness. None the less my parents had boughten me a CD player for Christmas but I was very reluctant to buy any CDs.

While five finger discount shopping at Discus in Bramalea City Centre on various occasions, I kept noticing a CD entitled "Am I Black Enough For You?" by none other than Philadelphia native and gangsta rap godfather Schoolly D. I had only ever heard one or two Schoolly songs on a dubbed cassette Sanjai borrowed from a friend back in 1986, but for some reason I held him in high regards. Even though Ronnie who worked at Discus had virtually given me carte blanche to steal whatever I wanted, I felt like I had to buy this Schoolly D cd with my own hard earned money. CDs were alot more expensive too ranging anywhere from $20-$30 before tax, and it seemed rap CDs were the most expensive as they were always slapped with a "special import" sticker. I could never figure that one out, majority of rap music was coming out of New York, the same place a lot of thrash and hardcore was coming from, yet they were never stickered as special imports. I figured it was some sort of conspiracy to prevent youth from getting their hands on rap music. Regardless I dished out the $24.99 plus taxes and went on my merry way.

I got home and went through my usual new release ritual, and I couldn't get enough of this cd! As I started spreading the word amongst my friends I was a bit surprised to learn that none of them had even heard of Schoolly D before. I did my best to promote him and spread the word. Sadly, Schoolly never really received the recognition he deserved yet I still to this day hold him up on a pedestal as one of my top 5 all time favourite rappers. Much like the hardcore bands who were grinding it out in the clubs, releasing numerous records, and not making money while staying true to themselves, Schoolly D was doing the same thing, he was constantly releasing solid records, smash hit singles, yet every record he put out was a failure as far as record sales and making it on top 10 charts went. I still fully admired Schoolly and respected him for doing what we wanted to do musically and not changing his formula to appease major commercial success.

Another thing I loved about Schoolly D was the fact he epitomized what I believe rap to truly be, the art of story telling, and Schoolly could tell stories for days that ranged from gang activity to humorous comedic elements to conscious political blacktivism and so on and so forth. Schoolly's beats from the songs "Saturday Night" & "P.S.K.What Does It Mean" have been sampled and re used countless times over the last 30 years by various artists and I don't think he even got recognition for it most of those times, yet nameless one hit wonders have cashed in off of his creations essentially.

Even now, 2 decades later Schoolly is still making records and having the same results as far as his sales go, he did have some music in various films, he's scored movies, and even wrote the theme song for the animated television show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" I truly feel this man never got the true recognition he deserved and I can only hope and dream that he is making money these days with his latest efforts.

Call him underground, or a cult classic, or whatever you want, but I can't help but feel that Schoolly was and still is a true musical genius, a legend in the rap game, and a very detrimental piece of importance to rap music and its history. I honestly think that without him we would not have seen many of the classic acts that we were blessed with over the years.

If you've never heard Schoolly D then I strongly urge you to do so, and don't just download his music, pay tribute to a true legend and go buy some of his stuff, if you're a true fan of rap then I guarantee you'll thank me for it. May the legend of Schoolly D live on...

Monday, 13 May 2013


During the re telling of my life's journey through the wonders of music I often unlock certain memories out of chronological order and feel it necessary to backtrack so I can incorporate them into the story. Today's post is yet another example of that, and although the subject matter is from grade nine, it carried through for 2 plus years which brings us to where we are in the story now.

Brampton had opened up an all ages dance club called "Club 404" not long after I started high school, and on the occasions that I hung out with Jazzy Jeff, Eggman, and the rest of the white b-boys on weekends, 404 is where you would normally find us. The club was in somewhat of an industrial area around Queen street and Bramalea road, which was rapidly expanding with restaurants and a slick new movie theatre called "Gateway Six" it was just south of the theatre parking lot where the club was located, a hop skip and a jump from the Taco Bell that was also new to town. Generally we'd go eat there before heading to 404.

404 was a fairly small club and it was always rammed full of people, most of whom were trendy fashionable people. I definitely turned a lot of heads in that place walking in looking the way I did. The club was always full of beautiful girls as well, none of whom ever gave me the time of day as it would likely have crippled their social status within the "in-crowd" It was nice having all that eye candy there I must admit, but I personally was there for the music.

Majority of the music they played there wasn't even my cup of tea, it was mostly dance music, r&b & reggae, but all the top 40 cliche stuff. Jeff had become good friends with the DJ, so he started bringing vinyl with us for the DJ to spin. Most of the time there I was generally bored and girl watching, patiently waiting for the DJ to drop the needle on one of Jeff's records. When the moment finally came I'd have my bliss, and since I didn't dance I would just sit on the speakers nodding my head and rapping along with the likes of Chuck D, Rakim, Fast Eddy, Twin Hype, and a few other classic acts.

On what would unknowingly be my last time at the club, Jazzy convinced the DJ to play "She Watch Channel Zero" by Public Enemy. The next thing I knew the unthinkable was happening...I was dancing! But not like the dancing people were used to seeing here, we had a small mosh pit going with yours truly as the ring leader. I could see the confusion and bewilderment in the eyes of the onlookers when I managed to catch a quick glimpse amongst the chaos. I could tell they didn't like it and didn't condone it, so they started pushing people from behind and trying to trip people. This ignorance infuriated me, which in turn caused me to thrash harder and get ruthless with the onlookers who were trying to stop the action. The next thing I knew I slammed into a group of people which sent a female flying to the ground. Before I could blink I was grabbed by security and escorted out of the building. All kinds of people wanted to fight me because of what happened but I merely stated I was dancing and expressing myself just as they did all night every night. Security hung around to make sure things didn't get ugly, and with my newly shaved head and the way I was dressed, accusations of racism and being a skin head were being hurled. I quickly silenced the crowd by explaining that a skin head wouldn't be caught dead in club 404 listening to black music. After saying my piece I turned my back on the club and proceeded to walk away into the darkness of the night angered by what had happened. Once I finally cooled my jets down I broke the silence with a million dollar question...

"So now where are we going to go on weekends guys?"

Friday, 10 May 2013


When I wasn't skateboarding in the summer of 1989, you could normally find me at Jazzy Jeff's working on my DJ skills. Jeff had a younger brother named Mike who we referred to as "Limey" since he was completely obsessed with anything related to the United Kingdom. Jeff and Eggman had no time for Limey, nor did they want him hanging around with us. I on the other hand didn't mind Limey since he looked up to me and was always showing up at my door with cigarettes for me.

Limey was very excited to start high school in the spring and he was desperate to be apart of our circle and have some friends. Since Jeff and the crew didn't want him around, I decided Limey could hang out with me and the Social Disorder boys for the summer.
One day while hanging out Limey confided to me that he had never been drunk, had never been high, and had never been with a woman. I assured him that I would change all three of those things for him before the summers end.

That weekend we caught wind of a party that was going down so I invited Limey to come with us. We smoked some hash before we went and struck the first item off of his bucket list. Once we arrived at the party we started drinking and I gave Limey his first beer. Before I knew it he was back looking for another. I was running low and didn't have any more beer to share, so Limey started stealing other people's beer from the fridge, which he also shared with us. A few drinks later and Limey was three sheets to the wind. That was the second item scratched off his bucket list.

Limey ended up getting some girls phone number before we left thanks to your humble narrator instilling the confidence in him to go ask her for it. Over the next few days they talked on the phone and the next thing I knew they were a couple. It wasn't long after that when he informed me he was no longer a virgin, while he sported a mile wide shit eating grin. That was the third and final item scratched off the bucket list and I felt great I had kept my word and came through with my promises.

Over the course of the summer though I started noticing drastic changes in Limey. His manners and respect had flown out the window, he used to talk to me like I was his father or big brother, now he was talking to me like he was the teacher and I was the pupil. Limey also started ripping people off for money so he could support his own habits, including his own friends snd family members. It was quite apparent he had gotten much too big for his britches in a very short period of time.

I sat back in bewilderment scanning my brain for the moment things took a turn for the worse. Very much like Victor Frankenstein I had created a monster, and now the monster was rapidly spiralling downwards on an uncontrollable path of self destruction...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


I had almost forgotten about the subject matter for today's blog post, thankfully I have a notepad of ideas written down to help me remember such things. I'm going to back track slightly for todays story, just a few months back before the summer break became official. To be exact it was somewhere in the month of may I believe, or perhaps might have even been March...ok not so exact. The point of the matter is I was going to my first hardcore punk show featuring Toronto locals B.F.G.s (BunchoFuckingGoofs) opening up for none other than the west coast punk kings of Canada, The Day-Glo Abortions. I went down to the show with my friend Julie AKA "Boots" a female skinhead and one of my closest friends. I can't even remember if we bussed it down or got a ride but regardless we made it there.

The show was at "The Siboney Club" on Augusta, right in the heart of Kensington Market. B.F.G.s opened things up with their own brand of punk rock, and musically they didn't really do much for me, but I couldn't deny they put on one hell of a performance. At one point they brought out some old T.V. sets and placed them centre stage, then their vocalist "Steve Goof" proceeded to start smashing the televisions with a sledgehammer! There was glass and debris flying everywhere, and in such a tiny environment it was hard to dodge the air born shrapnel.

The venue was small, dark and smokey, and I loved it. Nothing beats seeing a great band in such a small, intimate setting, and the electricity in the air was undeniable. So much in fact that I couldn't resist the urge to get into a mosh pit for my first time. Day-Glos were only two songs in when I jumped in the action. The slow, skanky riff of "Fuck Satan to Death" was just too groovy to deny. I think I made it one or two full rotations around the circle pit before I was knocked up side the head by two size ten Doc Martens that adorned the skinhead who decided it was a good idea to stage dive feet first into the crowd.

I was dizzy, disoriented, and somewhat deflated by this. I stood on the sidelines for a few songs collecting my marbles and straightening my brain waves out. Once again the music took over my soul and I was right back in the action moshing and slamming away. I never left that pit for the rest of the show, and as battered and as bruised as I was, the adrenaline flowing through my body easily masked any signs or feelings of pain, which were unnoticeable until the following morning, but in the heat of the moment I was a bulletproof tiger.

Being in that pit gave me a wave of feelings and emotions. Even though we were all in there banging it out with fists and feet a flying, there was definitely a sense of unity amongst everyone. If somebody fell and hit the floor, there were a dozen hands out reached to help pick them up. Each individual was their own ball of energy, but we were all combined as one to create a huge electrical charge in the room. I felt completely un judged, I felt like I was apart of something special, i felt like the tribes of the moon embraced me, and most importantly I felt a sense of belonging. I was finally home...

Monday, 6 May 2013

Skateboarding is not a crime

The library had posted "No skateboarding" signs up and I couldn't believe my eyes! I had been skating here religiously all summer and spending my not so hard earned money at their snack bar everyday. The nerve of them I thought. Never one to be bested I decided to disregard the signs and skate there anyhow. All the regulars showed up and they decided to do the same. On any given day it wouldn't be uncommon to see guys like Steve Waller, Glen AKA Satan, Team Scam members Sheldon, Jay, & Navie, not too mention an assortment of other thrashers, some of whom I'm proud to say went on to be professionals and household names.

Nobody was taking the "no skateboarding" sign seriously, not until security guards showed up to chase us off, which became a daily ritual. In fact it was more so a game now, see how long you could get away with skating before security chased you off.

As we hit up other favourite skate spots of ours around town we were noticing a frightening trend, more and more of these signs were popping up around town, with Brampton City Hall being one of the first to jump on board this new holy crusade, which totally sucked balls as it was a nice spot to shred.

One thing was certain, Ching Park still embraced us skateboarders, so that became the new hot spot, which was quickly getting saturated with more skaters each day. Now it had gotten to the point where we couldn't even skate the bowl in peace. Instead we opted to check out other areas of the park, mainly the tennis courts and the curling club parking lot.

One day while skating with this kid Ben, who was infamous for busting huge airs out of the bowl over picnic tables and garbage cans, we were approached by some friends of his who said they knew where there was a half pipe close by. I had never skated ramp so naturally I was pumped up to give it a shot. The ramp was just across the street in someone's backyard. The owner of the house wasn't even present, yet there were about a dozen dudes shredding shit up. When I finally got my chance to drop in I took it eagerly, but as I dropped in my back foot slipped off the board, resulting in my other foot blasting down the ramp on my board, causing me to do the splits down the half pipe, which in turn took all the skin off my right knee.
It was an awfully painful experience, and enough to solidify my decision not to try it again. I was a good street skater so I decided to strictly stick to the streets, which unlike public places couldn't be desecrated by signs prohibiting skateboarding...
(Ching library ice rink my favorite place to skateboard spring to fall)

Friday, 3 May 2013

R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman

Greetings fellow readers, today I am taking a break from our story to recognize the tragic loss we all suffered this week as fans of thrash metal. Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman sadly passed away yesterday from liver failure. This is truly a huge blow to Slayer as a band, to us as fans, and to the history of thrash metal in general. I'm really having a hard time even finding words to express how staggering of a shot this is.

If you've even followed this blog half heartedly then you are already aware of how big a fan I am of Slayer. They are truly one of the most important bands in the genre. Back in the early 90's when it seemed like the birth of grunge was the death of thrash, Slayer were truly the only old school thrash band who were still flying the flag high with pride. To me they were the bridge that stretched from the late 80's to the mid 90's, enabling thrash music to have a road to continue down in the years to come. Jeff's innovative guitar style and sound were in a class of their own, and he was also a brilliant song writer for the group. Some of my all time favourite Slayer songs were ones written by Jeff.

I'd personally like to give my condolences to Jeff's friends, family members, and band mates. We've truly lost another legend here. I'm extremely happy that I had the privilege of witnessing Slayer perform live 3-4 times in my life and they always put on a memorable performance. Thank you Jeff for all the great music and memories you have supplied to myself, along with countless others, over the last 30 years. I will be commemorating the memory of this thrash icon by blaring Slayer non stop all weekend, wether my son likes it or not. I strongly urge you to do the same.

Rest In Peace Jeff, I know you'll have some killer jams in the heavens with Cliff, Dime, Baloff, and the rest of our fallen heroes. Thrash on brother...

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Blueprint

It seemed like grade 10 went by in a flash, and before I knew it the summer break had arrived again. I had really been hitting the skateboard with a vengeance that spring, and the summer was no different. I felt as if I had reached the peak as far as my skills went. I was learning new stuff, landing lots of tricks, and my Ollies were higher than ever, wether I was stationary or moving.

It seemed like every day of that summer was a carbon copy, as my routine was practically set in stone. Sleep in until 10-11am, throw some music on, run a cold, wet, washcloth over my shaven head and face, apply deodorant, brush my teeth, put on clean socks, underwear & shirt, and my dirty camouflage shorts that I'm pretty sure never saw a washing machine once the entire summer. From there I would lace up my converse, grab my skate, and be out the door before noon.

I'd coast down my driveway, hang a left onto my street, then make a quick right turn down the catwalk, which was fairly steep and increased my speed in a heartbeat. The catwalk led to the intersection at Howden & Dixie, so I'd have to pay attention to which light was green, as I had no chance of stopping my momentum. I preferred crossing Howden at the lights so I could bust a monster Ollie over the median.
From there I would coast and carve down Howden boulevard until I hit Central Park drive, from there I would cruise on over to my all time favourite skate spot, the Chinguacousy Library.

I loved it there, the ice rink was gone in the summer and the concrete under it was as smooth as a babies bum, and for some reason I could Ollie the highest in that area. There were also these large stone bricks around the ice rink, they were about 3 feet long by two feet high and two feet wide, and they were just marvellous for busting an assortment of tricks off of, or on to. There were also pick nick tables there as well as planters, and those could be used to your advantage as well, not to mention HUGE sets of stairs with handrails (honourable mentions & props to Steve Waller for being the only person I witnessed with the balls to attempt above mentioned sets) The spot was always full of kids, and once it got too saturated with skaters I would head over to the Peel buildings, and from there I'd goto Ching Park, where I'd usually stay until it was time to go home for supper.

After dinner I'd usually head back out skating or I'd see if there were any parties taking place that evening. This would be the blueprint for my entire summer essentially, until one morning when I got to Ching Library to discover something very disturbing...