Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Wild Ones

The weekend ritual of bar hopping in Toronto had most certainly caused some strain on mine & Tara's relationship, and like the old saying goes "All good things must come to an end". We had been together roughly two years through good times and bad times. Our bond was toxic at times, generally when alcohol came into play. Regardless, our household was down from six to four people now, which meant another increase in rent for us.

One fateful night she showed up drunk to collect whatever belongings she had left at the house. Her and Shayne got into an altercation and she started throwing a barrage of full blown fisticuffs to his face and head. Not one to hit a woman, he opted to go in the garage and proceeded to throw a spare tire through the windshield of her jeep. Tara ran to the neighbours, phone calls were made, and in the blink of an eye the boys in blue showed up and hauled Shayne off to the drunk tank for the night. To this day I'm still dumbfounded how someone who was intoxicated, driving at that, assaulting people, and essentially breaking and entering, got to walk free while Shayne spent the night at the iron bar hotel. 

Speaking of alcohol, Mike C. was partaking from time to time, but generally to the extreme. Over the past 3-4 months I had literally seen Mike blacked out, passed out drunk, yet still standing. It seemed like every time we went drinking now it ended up with Mike asleep on his feet. This also caused him to become a different person, one who was more belligerent towards the people he cared about. One night in particular it sounded like someone was trying to kick the door down at about 3 a.m. I could see it was Michael through the window, so I unlocked the door to let him in. As I opened the door Mike fell right to the ground, the door was the only thing that had been holding him up. As I started helping him up I noticed he had some visible wear and tear on his face. I asked him what happened and he told me John McCuish had done this to him.

I couldn't understand what was happening. These guys were close friends, band mates, and fellow Scottsman. I helped Mike up to his bed and by the time we got there he collapsed into the mattress and immediately threw up between the wall and the bed. I was worried Mike might be concussed so I kept an eye on him, but I also called John in the middle of the night and started freaking out on him. John was super irate and explained everything that had happened between them that night. As it turned out Mike got into one of his belligerent black outs and had caused the whole debacle. A man can only be pushed so far before he snaps, and Mike had clearly pushed John passed the point of no return.

I really hoped Mike would see this as a wake up call now and perhaps slow down a bit on the sauce, and indeed he did. There was no bad blood between these two and they remained "brothers" for many years to come. 


I can't recall exactly how, but an old friend resurfaced around this time. It was none other than Indy filmmaker Owen Roberts, the man who was responsible for giving us the Epileptic Brain Surgeons music video for "Cows". I suspect Mike C. was instrumental in Owen resurfacing, as Mike still worked with Owen's audio engineer Stuart. It was cool having Owen back on the scene again 4 years later. He was the same old guy, but now sporting a half sleeve tattoo of an old ghetto scene. We sat around the kitchen table drinking, smoking, and reminiscing. 

As the conversation unfolded we eventually stumbled onto the topic of film making. Owen was still very much wielding his trusted camera, and he was looking for a new project. I do not remember specifics of the who what when wheres and whys, but by the end of the night it was official: Owen was going to shoot a video for Wiggaz...

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