So … we’ve got this crazy mayor. This is not the first time. Toronto has lived through a lot of crazy mayors; electorally, our sense of humour seems to have the upper hand in the voting booth. We’ve had staid, boring mayors, and we’ve had Mel Lastman, the “Nooooo Body!” guy (and I’ll never figure out how that happened. Well, at least we got a little bit of a subway out of him.)
Archive for Toronto
Quality Records was my training ground. Back in the seventies there were no school courses teaching the music business. If you wanted to work in a studio you hung around studios and hopefully someone would ask you to pick up a broom or maybe get the engineer a coffee. If you wanted to work at a record company you needed to know who to talk to and where they might hang out. A good in was getting to know the label publicists and the easiest way to do that was by writing album and live reviews for your school newspaper. I starting doing this in high school and by the time I reached college I had a couple of good ins at the labels (as well as lots of free albums and concert tickets).
It was a sad night in Toronto this past Monday. Leaf nation had to endure the biggest disappointment they’ve faced since ye old strike of 2012; the Toronto Maple Leafs lost their shot at the Stanley Cup. Losing a 4-1 lead over Boston, the humiliation was solidified into a 4-5 loss in overtime. The city was quiet, the dejection palpable in the downtown streets. But for those of us lucky enough to be at Cherry Cola’s that same night, the disappointment was distracted and then washed away by a completely different form of entertainment; The Bobcast.
It’s been 21 years since I lost my mum, and still there are days when I think, “Oh, I must tell Mum! She’d get such a kick out of hearing about that!” Then I remember that she’s gone, and it hurts all over again.
But I am lucky. I had a terrific mother, who was funny and smart and strong and she loved me, despite my failings. Even when I was at my most hateful, a rebel without a clue, Mum encouraged me and found the good in my mutinous soul.
At the beginning of May I released my fourth book – ‘Life’s A Canadian (Punk) Rock – Who Wants Guns?: The Swindled Story (1973-1983)’ Check it out here.
In it I discuss my formative musical years and how an innocuous friendship with a high school punk took me on a two year roller coaster ride through the 2nd Wave of the Toronto punk scene as alleged guitarist in hardcore act Swindled. I had previously run the chapters as blog entries in Don’t Believe A Word I Say back in 2010. The band reunited in 2011 with the ever professional Cleave Anderson on drums, we recorded our long awaited debut album (only 30 years in the making) and everyone lived happily ever after. That chapter is the epilogue in the book.
You don’t believe me? Just step outside and see me baby
I was a punk before you were a punk
You want some action? I’ll put your ass in traction baby
I was a punk before you were
I was a punk before you
I was a punk before you were
I was a punk before you”
The Tubes (Spooner/Evans/Waybill)
Just before we started taping the Bobcast last week, I was telling our producer, Brian Jedan, about a friend of mine who used to volunteer at “Meals Without Wheels.” Apparently that’s not what it’s called.
You see, the whole driving thing, cars, and all that … it’s a different world for me. I’ve been around vehicles all of my life, I can even convert miles to kilometers, almost … but driving is just not something I’ve ever mastered.
I realized as I sat down to write this column that I’d written two very serious columns back to back. I’m not a very serious person, or at least I try very hard not to be, so, frankly, I figured it was time to tackle a far more inane subject, one that’s near and dear to all of our hearts: Reality Television! I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’d had a brief brush with that television phenomenon that is sweeping the globe. I won’t go into specifics about the show I did, mostly because it’s kind of embarrassing, but also because if you really want to watch it, it’s not that difficult to find and you, my lovely readers, are surely up to the challenge if your urge to see it is so great.
I’m the first to admit – I’m not a great housekeeper. There are far too many other things I’d rather be doing than futzing with cleaning products. Oh, sure, there are a few things I will do – like empty the ashtrays, full of cigarette butts, hiding the evidence of the nicotine I’m not supposed to be ingesting. Or rounding up the empties for a lucrative trip to The Beer Store. I have some standards after all.