Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Generator

Our new place in Malton had become the new party headquarters. Friends were constantly coming by from Brampton and the surrounding areas to hang out and spend some quality time. It was nice having the crew back together again and I hoped there would be no more squabbles in the future amongst us.

Meanwhile on the music scene, our good friend Noel who was now the manager of Wiggaz and Dirge respectively, was attempting to make his own power moves in the Toronto scene. He had lined us up a few gigs in the past, but he had now affiliated himself with Donny Blaze, the owner of a new club that had opened up called "The Generator".

The club was located at the corner of Queen and Ossington, directly across the street from the metal health centre. Yes, the same mental health centre where Dallas and I had both seen the elusive albino squirrel that nobody believed us about. On an interesting side note, the street that branches off the mental health centre has since been named "White Squirrel Way" or something along those lines. See! We weren't crazy after all!

The Generator was a smaller club that had a feel very reminiscent to Sneaky Dees and the Apocalypse club. It was small, dark, grimy, and roach infested, but it was the new hot spot for aggressive music in the city. I quickly learned that the owner Donny was the same fellow I had thrown my snair drum at back at Hot Rocks battle of the bands during the Grasshopper days, when he informed us we couldn't play because we skipped soundcheck. I decided to put that past me and give him a second chance, after all he was handing us a new platform to perform on.

Noel also managed to land Steve Donohoe a job there as the sound man, which was very beneficial to us as he knew our music inside out and he could engineer our sound like no other. Steve even knew my vocal range perfectly and he would tweak the mic level accordingly throughout every song. Noel was booking us steady gigs on a weekly basis by this point, and The Generator quickly became our new home.

After a short while of gigging, the owner Donny and Steve became quite close, close to the point where Donny would leave the shows early and let Steve lock up. I'd usually hang behind with Steve and help him clean the place up while we helped ourselves to whatever was behind the bar. We generally wouldn't get out of there until 3-4 am and Steve was always nice enough to bring me home despite the levels of intoxication. Looking back I count my lucky stars that we always made it home safe. 

When Wiggaz weren't gigging, I was spending most of my time playing the new Doom 64 red cartridge on the Nintendo 64. I honestly can't even remember who's Nintendo it was as I didn't buy mine until a few years later. 

Black Belt Jones was also pressing forward as we continued to play the odd rave here and there and we too were also making ourselves comfortable on the stage of The Generator. We were usually lumped in with metal bands, so our reception wasn't the greatest, yet we still managed to win audiences over despite the fact we were barely jamming anymore. On an interesting side note, the location of the Generator is now a Starbucks coffee shop of all things. It saddens me every time I pass by that intersection now.

Rebirth was running rampant in the fresh spring air. A new girlfriend, a new house, a new club, and new opportunities. 1996 was definitely shaping up for the better...