Thursday, 24 April 2014


So the magical day had finally arrived, and we were off to see DJ Hurricane of the Beastie Boys spin records at the Go-Go Club. The Go-Go was also known by the name "Whisky Saigon" it was quite a popular club with the 102.1 type people, as well as various other types of club goers. The building was quite large and boasted 4 floors.

The first floor was almost like a small lounge club. Very chill atmosphere, lots of couches to relax and drink on, and the music was mellow and played at a respectable level. 

The second floor was like your typical night club. The bar ran the span of the back wall, the dance floor occupied the centre of the room, and to either side of it were chairs and tables. 

The third floor was like a dance club. Just one big empty room with a bar on the far side. It was almost like the entire room was one giant dance floor, and one could not avoid the crammed, sweaty people you'd have to squeeze through just to go get a drink. 

The fourth and final floor was my favourite. It was a rooftop patio with a very chill atmosphere. You could smoke whatever you wanted up there and no one would look at you twice. It was also very cool to be able to look over the city.

The Go-Go as it stands today. Home to CHUM radio and Rogers media.

headed to the city with my 3 n' Pass crew, Mike and Mike. We were all very excited and dressed down as far as club attire went. To put it blatantly we were dressed like B-Boys ourselves, looking like some urban street thugs. We found parking about two blocks from the club, so we ditched the ride and proceeded on foot. As we got close to the club, we were about to cross at a traffic light when a small car zipped past us full of guys yelling something out the window. I was almost certain it was the Beastie Boys, but Mike and Mike disagreed. 

By the time we got to the next traffic light precisely one block from the club, the same car drove by again, only this time it slowed to a stop, and again yelling emerged from inside the vehicle. They were yelling "Weasel" and motioning me towards the car. As I approached the passenger side rear window I just about shit my pants when I realized it was none other than Adam "MCA" Yauch of the legendary Beastie Boys. Yauch quickly blurted out "oh I'm sorry man we thought you were a friend of ours" to which I replied "No problem. You guys going to the Hurricane gig?" Adam confirmed they were going so I said I'd see him there. I couldn't believe what had just happened, I was so stoked. My gal pal Julie from school used to tell me about a punk buddy of hers nicknamed "Weasel" who she always said I reminded her of. My only conclusion was the B-Boys must have known the same Weasel, and had mistaken me for him.

We finally got in the club and found a place to chill. We were smoking pipes inside without attracting any attention, mind you we weren't the only ones. A mediocre DJ spun records for awhile until the mighty Hurricane came out. Hurra rocked the crowd with tons of hip hop classics as well as all the new material of the time. Dude was cutting and mixing like it was nobody's business. Eventually the Beasties showed up, and we had vowed to burn some weed with them. Unfortunately as soon as they entered the club everyone was on them like stink on doo doo. I didn't want to seem like all these other star struck jock riders, so I decided not to approach them like some desperate fan boy. 

It was sickening once again to see all these trendy people who couldn't of given two shits about the Boys 3 months back all over them with praises and words of ass kissery. It pissed me off, but I felt like I had one up on everybody after my brief encounter out on the street. To me I was content enough sitting a few tables over from them, to be smoking herb at parallel moments as them, and to be sitting there taking in Hurricane's performance like them. I was just happy to be in their presence, perhaps the happiest I had been in years...

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Hurricane

The Beastie Boys concert was rapidly approaching. I can honestly say I hadn't been this excited for something since I was a kid waiting for Christmas morning to come. I had already purchased tickets to go and I was giddy as ever. The Beasties were getting quite a bit of press coverage via much music, newspapers, and magazines. It was such a good feeling to see their faces again and to read what they had to say. The new record had only been out for a month, and I was already noticing a lot of dick riders, which perturbed me greatly. I was over hearing people on the streets go on about how the Beasties were the best, how the new album is god, how they were such brilliant musical geniuses, and how they've always been such big fans, etc. Meanwhile these words were coming from the same people who dismissed them back in 1987. Now six years later people were popping off at the mouth like they had been B Boy fans the whole time running. It sickened me.

I had began scrapbooking a bit, so naturally I would take any article or blurb I could get my hands on that had anything to do with the triumphant return of my beloved Beasties. Down in Toronto, NOW magazine & Eye weekly were giving the Boys quite a bit of coverage since the album had dropped, so I made sure to grab a copy of each rag every week. Plus there was always great scrapbook material and things of actual interest to read about in the pages within. On this particular day I was flipping through the pages of Now or Eye, and I stumbled upon a revelation. I actually almost flipped the page past, as the add in question looked like a fashion advert or an ad for a night club. But two words caught my subconscious eyes and mind.... "DJ HURRICANE"

For those who might not know, DJ Hurricane was the only black member of the Beasties and he was their resident DJ for over a decade. It surprised me how many people would say "The Beastie Boys have a DJ? I thought they were just three white guys." Well correct they are, but somebody had to be laying the cuts down for them. It's common knowledge in the world of rap music that there is always a DJ behind the MC. Never the less, this ad that caught my eye stated that DJ Hurricane would be spinning records at the Go-Go, a large popular night club in the city. 

I found this so exciting and amazing, especially the fact that the concert was going to be the following day. This would definitely be two of the most incredible days of my life. I let the crew know about it, and we had a convoy ready to roll. One had to assume wherever Hurra was, the Boys would be with him, so we were almost certain we'd be meeting the Beasties there that night. It was only a few days away and I really couldn't control myself. I couldn't focus on anything or anyone. My attention definitely was divided. It was like being in some type of haze that week, until the magical night finally arrived...

Friday, 18 April 2014


It now had became a tradition to goto Tremors on the weekend with Paul, granted I wasn't doing gigs in the city. It was the same game every time too. Hang out by the back door area and drink peoples drinks while they use the bathroom. The great thing about this little club that could, was the fact that more and more people were catching on to it, in turn causing a higher number of people to show up every weekend. Stationed beside Paul in my pseudo doorman position enabled me to meet a few ladies. I wasn't normally outspoken or outgoing with girls, but Paul sure was. That kid had charm. I suppose he was somewhat inspirational in that sense, plus add in all the free booze combined with that inspiration and you've got one outspoken, outgoing Kevin.

I made out pretty good for myself. After a mere month or two of going to Tremors on occasion, I now had three different girls on the go. The silly part is I met them all at the club at one time or another. They all went to the club every weekend, yet none of them knew about each other. Mainly because I always hung out at the back door with Paul as opposed to schmoozing around the club. The girls would be off drinking and dancing, completely unaware of each other's existence, and I'd only ever see them when they came to the back of the club to use the bathroom. I'd drop my lines, get a kiss, cop a feel, and then they would be on their way back to the dance floor. The odd time I'd go out the back door with one of them so we could fool around in their vehicle. I guess I thought I was pretty slick, I had officially become a player. But with every game you play there is always a price to pay.

Derek was going on a vacation with his girlfriend and her family, and he had some movie passes he wasn't going to be able to use. They were advanced screening tickets, meaning you would get to see the movie before it was officially released in theatres. The film was called "Singles" and it was a romantic/drama/comedy exploring the new found craze of Seattle and the grunge scene. Derek handed the tickets off to me since he wouldn't be able to go, and I graciously accepted them. Now I just needed a date.

Out of the three girls I had been messing with, there was one in particular whom I found to be a cut above the rest. Embarrassingly, I can't even remember her name, but I asked her to goto the movie with me and she agreed. On the night of the screening she picked me up at home and we drove to Toronto. The film was packed with all kinds of trendy Toronto people who seemed to favour socializing over the fact they were watching a movie. The flick made absolutely no impression on me, and I found it to be quite boring. I was happy to be spending time with this girl though.

On the drive home we talked and really connected. When we got to my house I thanked her for the lovely night and exited the vehicle. She called me back over to her car and asked me why I didn't kiss her goodnight. I told her i wanted to, but I was trying to be a gentleman. She grabbed me, pulled me in, and kissed me deeply and passionately. I had never been kissed like that. She went on her way, and I went to bed, although I couldn't sleep as she was running through my head all night.

The weekend came and I was back at Tremors with Paul once again stationed in the usual location. A few hours and a few drinks later into the evening, somebody tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to see all three girls I had been "dating" standing in a group together. They were all in sassy poses, arms crossed, hands on hips, etc. and they all had fire in their eyes and cocky smirks on their faces. I held my hands up like they were the police and exclaimed "YOU GOT ME!!!" They all started having a go at me verbally, but I was so drunk that I just laughed it off without shame. My first attempt at being a player had been stymied. I really didn't think much of it nor did it bother me, so I partied the rest of the night away.

When I awoke sober and hungover the following morning, I replayed the scenario of the previous night over and over in my head. At the time I didn't care, but now that I had somewhat of a clear mind, I realized exactly how badly I had fucked up. I really didn't care about the first two girls, or how my actions effected them, but I was really bummed about the "Singles girl". I had truly made a connection with her and I was definitely harbouring feelings for her. I tried calling her but she wouldn't take my calls. When I saw her at Tremors I attempted to talk to her and confess my feelings towards her, but she wouldn't even give me a chance to speak.

I had learned a life lesson the hard way. I had abused someone's trust, and later developed strong feelings for them, but by the time I realized, it was too late. As a young man I thought I had known love, but looking back I realized it had not been true love. Now I was feeling the real thing, but it was too late. I'd blown it, and there was no way I was going to get this girl back after leaving the taste of betrayal in her mouth. "Singles girl" had officially became my first true lost love...

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Skids of Degrassi Street

Grasshopper was slowly gaining momentum, and we were taking any shows we could get. We took part in a few "Battle of the Bands" competitions without much luck. I suppose because of our lackadaisical playing style and limited skill, we were overlooked as a band with potential. We were swimming in a sea of mediocre rock bands who were talented players, so I guess the judges were looking for what they considered to be "talent" or "the next big thing"

One of these competitions was actually at Hot Rocks in Brampton, an infamous Rock n' Roll bar. We were slated to play a certain time slot, so we showed up somewhat fashionably late. When it was time for us to perform, we rushed on stage and began to set our gear up. The fellow who organized the event was named Donny Blaze. Don was an older, shorter, heavier set man. As we were setting up Donny walked to the front of the stage and asked us who we were. We told him we were Grasshopper, and his response was "You guys won't be playing now because you didn't show up for soundcheck" For those of you not familiar with musical jargon, soundcheck is when you play a song or two before a show is open to the public. It generally gives the engineer a chance to get familiar with the band's sound, allowing him to mix the levels of each band member.

Grasshopper generally didn't do sound checks as we were all about noise and chaos. But now it had come back to bite us in the ass. We went on to explain to Donny how we never soundcheck, to which he responded with some "no soundcheck! no performance" bullshit.
Things started to get heated in the discussion, and I eventually lost my cool. I picked up my snair drum and threw it across the club in Don's direction, just missing him by inches. I jumped down off the stage and got right in his face. A yelling match ensued and I voiced my opinion of how this was an absolute bullshit decision on his part. I went onto explain how we had spent time and money to be here, how we had transported all of our gear here, and how we deserved to play just as much as any of the other bands. I guess my intimidating strong arm tactics worked, as he finally agreed to let us play. It was the same outcome as all of these other competitions we'd played before. There was no love or interest for Grasshopper.

One day Jim, the drummer from Goatdance, asked us if we'd be interested in playing a house party. We agreed, as we needed all the exposure we could get. Much to my surprise, the house party was in Toronto on Degrassi street. Anyone who grew up Canadian in the 80s can tell you they watched "The Kids of Degrassi Street" and "Degrassi Jr.High" and now we were going to be playing on that famed street! I was a huge fan of both shows growing up, I had a few crushes on some of the females involved with the shows, so needless to say I was excited for this gig. I was convinced we were going to see some of the kids from the show. A few summers prior while visiting Canada's Wonderland amusement park, my friends and I noticed three of the lead males from the show. "Joey Jeremiah, Snake, & Wheels" We trolled them around the park while slandering them and trying to instigate a fight, but they wanted no part of us. Now a few years later I thought I just might have the chance to do it again, but I was more so hoping for cameos from "Stephanie" or "Spike" come party time.

The party actually ended up being quite lame. It was nothing like a Brampton party. Everyone was sitting around talking quietly all polite and proper like. I didn't really see any drug or alcohol consumption going on, and the bands performing were quieter than I'd normally play my stereo. When we finally got on to play it was like we woke everyone up. People were covering their ears, some ran for cover, while most finally got into party mode. We were rocking the house and injecting life into this dull party. A few songs in I looked over to my right to notice two uniformed police officers standing in the doorway smiling. I payed them no attention and kept on smashing my skins. When we finally finished that song the police informed us they had received several noise complaints from the neighbours, and it was time to shut things down.

We were kind of bummed out that our set got cut short, but on the other hand it felt great to know we were the cause of that. Our loud, pounding sound had actually caused an uproar in the neighbourhood, enough so that numerous people called the police to complain long before the allotted time slot for noise complaints. I think some of the party goers resented us for bringing the night to an early end, but we were also getting a lot of positive feedback from people. We were the party stoppers, but more importantly, we were getting noticed...

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Combination Is Born

1992 was shaping up to be an interesting year. I had made a lot of new friends, both in Brampton and Toronto. Things were starting to pick up for the band and we were now starting to play more gigs. I had the privilege of seeing some great concerts including the return of the almighty Gwar, and my luck with the ladies...well....let's just say I'd come along way since high school, despite the fact that I was still single.

The biggest news of the year for me thus far was the release of the new Beasties album, and the fact they would be coming to perform in Toronto late spring. This was like a dream come true for me. By this point in my life the B-Boys had been my favourite band for 7 years running and I'd also been waiting seven years to see them in concert. I couldn't believe it was finally going to happen. My patience, loyalty and dedication was finally going to pay off.

While down in the city one day, Derek and I went to watch The Satanatras jam one evening. It was pretty mind blowing to witness such great musicianship up close and personal like that. I'll never forget after the jam when their drummer Ruston had to go number two. The rehearsal space didn't have an operational toilet, so he took a crap in a plastic shopping bag. His band mates told him to make sure he took it with him to dispose of, so it wasn't laying around their jam space. We stopped in an alley behind the rehearsal spot to smoke one quick, and Ruston started running amok swinging the bag of shit around like some medieval weapon. Everyone was laughing in hysterics while running for cover to avoid flying feces. These guys were a riot to hang out with! 

After we left the jam Derek informed me that him and his girlfriend Dawn were going out for a function of some type, so I was left to find my own way back home. I hopped on the closest subway and rode it to Yorkdale, then grabbed the GO bus to Brampton. I arrived at the Bramalea City Centre around 8pm. The mall didn't close for an hour and I was starving, so I decided to go grab some Mexican food up in the new food court. In the process of doing so I was approached by Paul. He was one of the guys from Demon Barf, who I hadn't seen since the Ice-T show when Sue introduced us all. Paul joined me for tacos, so we grabbed a seat to eat and chat.

Paul rocking the mullet in style!

It was kind of strange. I didn't really even know this guy but he was super friendly. We talked about music mostly, but we actually hit it off really well. Paul asked me what I was up to on this night and I told him I was heading home with no plans. He went onto tell me how he had to work, a bouncer gig at a new club called Tremors, ran by the same fellow who operated Backtracks. That club had been closed down after a doorman tried to wrestle a knife away from a drunk skinhead and inadvertently stabbed himself, causing him to die on the ambulance ride to the hospital. That knife wielder just so happened to be the boyfriend of my good gal pal Julie. It was a messed up scene to say the least that I'm not really going to get into.

So Paul asked me if I'd be interested in going to the club with him, and I eagerly agreed. We stopped by his parents house in the J section for awhile, then we were off to Tremors. The inside of the club had a great vibe. The music was a bit more on the industrial side, NIN, KMFDM, Ministry, etc. but the DJ also played some grunge and metal. Even the odd rap song like "Bring Tha Noize" was getting played. This club was pretty cool in my books.

After mingling and drinking for awhile, I made my way over to Paul, who was stationed at the back of the club. His job as a bouncer was to make sure nobody brought their drinks into the bathroom and to prevent people from going out the back door of the club. It was a pretty easy gig, plus he got to talk to the ladies whenever they went to relieve themselves. I didn't really know anyone at the club so I decided to stand with Paul for the rest of the night. Much to my surprise, every time someone went to use the bathroom Paul would take their drinks, then he'd hand them to me to take a few swigs since he didn't drink. After about an hour of this I was pretty buzzed. 

A little while later a few guys approached Paul and asked him if they could go out the back door to smoke a joint. Paul pondered the question for a few ticks, then replied "Sure!.....But you have to bring this guy with you" as he pointed his finger at me. Now I was in the parking lot blazing up with these complete strangers. I headed back into the club and took my position next to Paul. He continued to give me peoples drinks every time they used the bathroom, and by the end of the night I was three sheets to the wind. The best part was it didn't cost me a dime. Paul gave me a lift home and we exchanged numbers. He invited me to come to the club again the following weekend. After the hospitable treatment he had shown me I accepted graciously. I could definitely get used to this...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Check Yer Demo

After three long years of patently waiting in silence for some type of sign, my beloved Beastie Boys appeared in a newspaper article one day. They finally had a new album on the go. I had waited from 1986 to 1989 for them to release their second and most triumphant album "Paul's Boutique" and now here I was repeating history. Another long three year gap. It amazes me how I had the love and patience to do such a thing. Since Paul's Boutique is what I consider my musical bible, it's comparable to die hard religious fanatics waiting around for the second coming of Christ I suppose. The wait had been well worth it for Paul's, so one could only imagine what the Boys would serve up after another three year hiatus.

Everyone, with the exception of the die hard fans, had turned their backs on the Boys after the success of their juvenile debut "Licensed To Ill" fizzled out. Sheepish people pegged them as one hit wonders and then closed the door on them. I can't even begin to count how many times in that three year span that I listened to Paul's, nor can I count how many times while listening, someone asked me what I was listening to, and the scenario always played out like such:

"What is that you are listening to?"
"The Beastie Boys"
"They're still around?"

People had no idea they were still a functioning group and still making music. Nobody cared. Paul's Boutique, in my opinion, is one of the greatest rap records ever made in the history of rap music, but sadly it was slept on by nearly everyone who considered themselves a fan of rap and hip hop. One could only wonder how the B-Boys were going to deliver on this new record. An answer was soon delivered in the form of a music video for their first new single called "Pass The Mic" As soon as it aired I was covered in goosebumps, it felt so good to see the boys again, and they were looking fly. At first I thought the song was decent, but the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. To this very day I still get that feeling of excitement every time it hear this song. It's like a constant reminder of true love coming back into my life. The love of their music. I was totally stoked to see what else the Boys had cooked up for this new record. Unfortunately there was still another month to go before it hit the record stores. It was going to be a long month, or so I thought.

I'll never forget this. It was a Friday night. I had plans with the Brampton boys to goto Ci-Ci's for drinks. I was hanging out at my parents waiting to go out. The phone rang. It was Derek. "Hey do you mind if I stop by and see you quickly?" he asked, to which I responded "Sure"
I couldn't figure out why Derek wanted to come by my folks house. Whenever he was in Brampton, he spent all his time at his girlfriends until she went to bed. So needless to say I found it odd that he was coming by my parents at 8pm on a Friday evening.

Derek showed up at my door with a big smile on his face. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a blank cassette tape and handed it to me. I looked down at the hand written label on it and read "Beastie Boys - Check Yer Head" I absolutely freaked out. My reaction was easily comparable to a young child on Christmas morning finding exactly what he or she had asked Santa for sitting under their tree. We exchanged a few words and then D went on his way. Once again his good karma and connections had pulled through.

As soon as Jerry picked me up to goto the bar, I pulled the tape out with a wicked grin on my face. We popped it in the deck and headed on our way. We only got about 4 or 5 songs in by the time we got to the bar, but we were loving what we heard. After pounding a few back, I noticed a familiar face at the bar, it was George. I went over to say hello. We chatted for a bit, then headed out to Jerry's truck to burn a pipe of maryjane. I popped the tape in and Georgina instantly started grooving to it. I knew right then and there the Beasties had truly come up with something special. We were totally in the zone when all of the sudden a badge and flashlight pressed against the truck window. It was a Peel Regions finest. Thankfully we had already smoked what little weed I had, so the cops sent us on our way with a warning. We headed back into the bar and closed the night off, both of us constantly singing "Funky boss funky boss get off my back!"

For the next month straight, nothing but this tape was playing in my life. I listened, studied, and memorized the lyrics to each and every song. By the time the record was actually released in stores I had already played it countless times. It felt great to be ahead of everyone else, and regardless of the facts, I still went out and bought the record, on cd AND on double vinyl. The record cover was so simple. Just the three of them sitting on the curb, photographed in black and white. As I sat with Mike and Derek one day listening to the record I had a revelation. "Yo! We should rip this cover off for our demo!" Mike and Derek loved the idea. So much in fact that we instantly hit the streets looking for a suitable location that resembled the picture. We ended up settling with Ellen Mitchell recreation centre. A place we all went swimming throughout our childhood, and neighbour to the legendary MacKay Pizza.

We dressed as best we could to match the picture, we were on location, and we were ready to shoot, but there was one slight problem. We had nobody there to photograph us, a minor detail we overlooked. I quickly called Sanjai from the pay-phone since he lived around the corner. Sanj pulled up on his bmx less than five minutes later and the photoshoot was history. We went and got the film developed as quickly as we could, then we selected the best picture. From there we photocopied the picture so it would be rendered in black and white, since there was no such thing as Photoshop back in the days. Our demo now officially had a cover and we were ready to shop it around. We had the Beastie Boys to thank for that, as we were stuck on the cover concept idea.

It was a great choice on our part. Check Yer Head was blowing up the charts fast, and people instantly recognized our homage to the Boys when they first looked at our demo cover. Peoples faces would light up when we handed it to them, causing them to smile from ear to ear. One could only assume that this was going to help us get noticed that much more...

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Re-Birth of Thrash

called Georgina the next day, and we started hanging out on a regular basis. She was a very cool, laid back, down to earth person, and she knew quite a few people from my circle of friends. She enjoyed being introduced to new music, which was a specialty of mine, so needless to say we hit it off. One day we were hanging out listening to the newest Slayer album "Seasons in the Abyss" when I made the realization that the record was now two years old and there hadn't really been much new thrash music to hit the scene. I had gotten so involved with hip hop music that I had lost touch with my roots to a certain degree. Derek was also introducing me to new music all the time as well. Perhaps the combination of the two had set me off course. But even when I flipped through the pages of M.E.A.T., Now, Eye, Maximum Rock and Roll, etc. I wasn't seeing any of the bands I was familiar with. Groups like Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam were getting all of the coverage. It seemed like Grunge was in and thrash was out. These were dark days for metal.

Then one day George came over and she decided to return the favour of musical introduction. She had brought a Cro-Mags cd with her, a band I was familiar with. I did not however own any of their material, so I was more than happy to dub the cd to cassette. George also brought a second cd with her that had just been released a few months back. It was called "Vulgar Display of Power" from a new band on the scene called Pantera. I popped the disc in the CD player and sat back to listen. Right from the get go I was captivated. The music was heavy, the production was great, and the song writing was brilliant. In a time when it seemed like Thrash was about to die, Pantera had breathed new life into the genre. I felt fortunate that George had opened my eyes to this band, and of course I copied the cd to tape. It would now receive endless plays in my boom box and my Walkman. I vowed to fly the thrash flag with pride, and I would strive to keep my eyes and ears to the ground so I would never lose touch with the music most important to me.

I was really starting to develop feelings for George. I was rarely in Brampton, but when I was I'd spend most of my time with her. One day I finally built up the courage to tell her how I felt about her. Much to my surprise, she didn't harbour the same feelings. She considered me a good friend and nothing more. I was baffled. I couldn't figure out why a girl would kiss me, give me her number, spend all of her time with me, and then just want to be friends. I was hurt, confused, and conflicted. Being a young man, it's hard to just be friends with a girl you have strong feelings for. It became harder and harder for me to hang out with George, so I slowly started distancing myself from her, focusing more on the band and rekindling friendships with my Brampton boys.

Grasshopper was still blowing up. We were getting more gigs and we were still playing shows regularly at the 1150. It seemed like every time William New booked an up and coming band he would give us an opening slot. This was quite exciting to us, as we were making new friends and new connections in the industry. Our songs were starting to get a bit more refined and we were writing new material. We planned on going into the studio with Dummy for June, but that was still months away. So we decided to make a new demo tape. I had been playing around with Derek's four track recorder over the last year, so I took on the production duties.

We set the gear up in our jam space in Dawn's parents basement and we were ready to roll tape. We spent the day laying down tracks and I was quite surprised by the final outcome. The recording sounded just as good, if not better, than the Slow Poke demo Alvin had recorded for us. The three of us were quite happy with the finished product, and we now had a newer, updated demo tape to shop around. 

We just had to come up with a cover concept for it...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Songbird Connection

Things were definitely starting to look up for us as a band. We had a solid lineup, we'd played a few gigs, we did some interviews, and we were making new, great friends everywhere we turned. We started frequenting a new music store that opened called "Songbird Music" they had the coolest new and used vintage gear, instruments and accessories. Derek never liked going to "Steve's Music" as they made him feel dumbed down with their inferior knowledge. At Songbird everyone was friendly regardless of their knowledge. They also had better prices and they were amazing at repairs. It was at Songbird that we first met the best repairman Jeff, and his band mates Dallas, Bernie, and Ruston. They had a new up and coming band called "The Satanatras" 

It didn't take me long to realize Jeff had been in a Toronto hardcore band I knew from a few years back named "Guilt Parade" I had seen them open for Day-Glos, at my first punk concert ever. I also owned the Guilt Parade album on vinyl, so it felt pretty special to be hanging with someone I considered a local legend, and I made no qualms about pumping his ego up at any given chance.

One day while chatting with the boys, Ruston asked Derek and I if we could drop him off at home, to which we agreed without question. We piled in the van and Ruston handed me a blank cassette tape followed by the statement "You guys like rap right? Check this out" the tape opened with an aggressive beat, loud gunshots, and samples of Al Pacino from the film Scarface. This shit was loud, heavy, and angry....just how I liked my rap. "Who the fuck is this?" I asked. Ruston replied with two words: Geto Boys.

I had never heard of the Geto Boys, but this shit was heavy! What made it even cooler was the fact it was produced by Rick Rubin on Def American, the same record label that Slayer was on. Rubin had started Def American as the metal offshoot of Def Jam. I always thought it was so cool that Slayer was the only metal band on a rap label, now Geto Boys were the only rap band on a metal label. I instantly fell in love with Geto Boys, so naturally I rushed out to buy the cd. I was quite taken back to learn one of the rappers, Bushwhick Bill, was actually a midget, a term that isn't no politically correct by today's standards. I thought it was the coolest thing. This gangster little person who looked like he'd fuck you up in two shakes of a rattlesnakes tail.

Growing up I had a knack for discovering new, unheard music, and I couldn't wait to get back to Brampton to spread the gospel of the Geto Boys. I hadn't seen Shayne or many of the old thrasher crew in ages, so I stopped by his place to catch up and expose him to some new music. I was surprised to see he had cut his hair off, was working a suit job, and he had no interest in hearing the Geto Boys. In fact he wouldn't stop going on about how the new Guns & Roses double album was the best thing going in music. I was speechless....guns n fucking poseurs as I used to call them. I hated them. I hated Axel's winey voice. I hated the fact this hardcore thrasher was praising them. I really couldn't figure out what had happened to Shayne. All I knew was I had to get out of here and find someone else who would appreciate the Geto Boys, which I eventually did. The majority of my friends loved it, and went out of their way to track any material down from the boys.

Somewhere along the line I had become a single man again. I honestly for the life of me cannot remember how or why it ended, but Sue and I went our separate ways and I was on the prowl once again. I didn't spend much time in Brampton these days, but when I did, I'd usually goto Ci-Ci's bar&grill with Jerry, Foxy Bano, and James. It was here one night, not long after breaking up with Sue, that a very attractive young lady randomly came up to me out of the blue and kissed me. By the time I was done seeing fireworks she had handed me a piece of paper and walked out of the bar for the night. I opened it to see a phone number and a name....Georgina...