No Cause for Concern? Issue #8 | October 1983 | Page 6 | Toronto scene report
The Toronto Scenario
- Jill Heath
Here it is, kiddiewinks, the scene report(s) you've been waiting for all your lives. Mucho has been going on here since you heard from me last. Not surprising, really. It's been a heck of a long time.
April heralded the birth of BYO/JILJIL PRODUCTIONS, a rip-off of the logo of a certain rip-off promoter around these here parts. It was conceived on the spur of the moment, as was the gig it presented. Just after 5 on Monday, April 11, I got a call from California telling me the CIRCLE JERKS wanted to play Canada the following week. 11 days later (April 22, a Friday) the Circle Jerks played the downstairs room at the Edgewater Hotel to an audience of 200+ people. If you were annoyed that the Circle Jerks didn't play your town, let me make it clear that Montreal and Ottawa were given the opportunity. Both cities declined. Not enough time, they said.
The Circle Jerks had just hit the stage and 250 people were packed to the front, leaving the rear 2/3 of the club empty. Specifically for this show, a restaurant license was in effect, allowing minors to be admitted, setting a precedent in T.O. for a bar gig. A handful of Metro's finest wandered in and declared that "This is verging on a riot. Everyone sit down." Keith sat on the back of a chair and was a key figure in keeping the crowd calm and sensible. What with some being carted outside for a breather in the backseat of a car while having their ID checked and others having their ID taken from them with instructions to "wait there", until it was given back, the situation was getting understandably tense.
The end results were 2 (count 'em, two) minors busted for underage drinking, the Bilgewater shut down for a week (lower room only), and Saturday's show was cancelled. Saturday's show would have been even bigger, as more advance tickets had been sold. In addition, a ticket stub from Friday's show was good for $2 off the price of admission of Saturday.
Sunday, April 24 the Circle Jerks played a speakeasy and unfortunately, the event left a only a bad taste in my mouth. Nothing wrong with the bands, just a few attitudes. Chuck's bro and road manager for the CJs, Bob, put it in a nutshell: "They strengthen the case for abortion." Tuesday the 26th saw THE SPANKING MONKEYS (aka CIRCLE JERKS) play a surprise show at the Bev with YOUTH YOUTH YOUTH and MICROEDGE. The place was packed with people sitting on the floor even, so I guess it wasn't a surprise to some.
With July came MDC, ARTICLES OF FAITH, YOUNG LIONS, CIVIL TERROR (Ottawa's own), and the debut of the UNDESIREBELS. If Janine and Civil Terror have been telling you that AoF were anything short of one of the top bands in North America, they should be shot on sight. AoF played the Friday and Saturday at a speakeasy with local bands but no MDC, due to Ron and Franco taking up residence in a TO 'correctional' institute for a week. AoF get the 'good attitude' (pun intended) award for donating a hefty portion of their earnings those 2 nights to MDC's bail fund.
Next up were ZEROPTION, the F.U.s, (from Boston), YOUTH BRIGADE and CH3 (both from L.A.), on the first weekend in August. Sorry, I made a slight error there. YOUTH BRIGADE are actually from Tarrannah, (Toronto to you). All three out-of-town bands were whatever enough to have played separate show, so it was great to see them all on one ticket. I'm getting tired of forever reading about killer bills that always happen anywhere but T.O. I'm sure you're familiar with the experience.
Friday September 9 saw the YOUNG LOUTS (LIONS) at the Cabana Room opening for the RAVING MOJOS, who have found a new bass man in the form on Screaming Sam. Opinion was that it's a good match. Also playing that Friday night were DEAD END at the only bar that matters, The Turning Point. You weren't all at the Cabana Room cuz I stuck my head in there too. I guess what everyone was saving their pennies for was THE BIG SHOW. A SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE TURNING POINT! DIRECT ACTION, CHRONIC SUBMISSION, SILENT MINORITY (A-ok) and last-minute addition of the CRAZED and MICROEDGE. Some of us work so I didn't get there until 11. The place was so full that Vic and another guy were standing in front of the entrance turning people away. I mean I even had to lie and say I was on the D.A. guest list to get in, they were just so full. Happy Birthday to Tim of D.A.
Wednesday, September 14, saw YYY at the Cabana Room with some band. Sorry I missed that one. Last Friday and Saturday saw DEAD END play host both nights at the Turning Point. Three-plus bands every night and a good turnout this time around. And where was everyone for the D.A. matinee Saturday aft? This was the first time in a long time that ANY bar has had a show that minors were allowed at (try years) and there were maybe 50 people there. I don't want to hear any whining or bitching and moaning if it doesn't happen again and you can't get into a show because you don't have I.D. Boo-fucking-hoo! as Ian would say. It's your own fault. UPPER OF THE WEEKEND definitely goes to Lisa Smith's surprise visit to T.O.
Vinyl releases expected soon from YYY, THE YOUNG LIONS and ZEROPTION.