Canada Unleashed – Montreal To Winnipeg: McGill University Via Rue Ste. Catherines & The Winnipeg Syndicate Via Hostelling International Maskawa Project / Pine Falls (Powerview) – Part 1 Of 2

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[First Pass Edit 09/13/15] Everything I say, that is all I write, is for the record – I have to get it all out for the record. What else can I say but that nothing, and I stress NOTHING, Is EVER pre-planned travel or otherwise (except that I’m going generally somewhere and for incidentals).  As I write this in the present, about the past, I find myself having to call forth my mid 1990’s mindset.  Where I see all these travelers booking flights and trains and hotels, and I say to myself how and why the fuck would you want to do that.  I never know when I will arrive at any particular destination.  On the other hand I get it, I really do, often hotels and trains are already full when one arrives to try to get to their desired destination (I also have had to do it myself when in “On Tour Mode”)…but I’m not designed that way.  No rooms, go somewhere else, nowhere else, I pitch a fucking tent.  No room on the train, wait for the next one or share a ride from a hostel, bulletin board, or stick out my thumb.  I always get to my destination – at some point.  I learned early on from my life coach, that is in utilising guerrilla travel techniques, that the safest place to stay for the night (in a pinch) is inside an airport terminal (even if I had to purchase and get a refund for a plane ticket).  If in a vehicle, the place to be is at the local hospital parking lot.

Now that the above is out of the way…we have to begin to set the stage with music.  Music is necessary for everything…well except for maybe sleeping, but even then there was a time when I slept all the time with music playing.  Quickly pivoting to another paradigm, the best thing about music has always been when it’s not perfect.  When the live band has a few moments out of synch, a missed note on the guitar, a song played differently every time, vocals without autotune…really singing…yes, it was a thing, really singing live.  That sentiment, the reality of it all, was at the heart of what made rock n’ roll dangerous.  Picture this Guns N’ Roses – “Paradise City” blasting in the backround…”Take me down to the paradise city, where the…”, chugging along like a distorted and dysfunctional shaky fucking choo choo train, racing wrecklessly down the tracks. Same with Aerosmith’s – “Walk this way”…”The Next door neighbor, when the daughter had a favor…”, Led Zep’s – Whole Lotta Love (Hear the swagger from the opening riff in comparison to Plant’s Vocals) , and Nirvana’s In Bloom.  Just like Dave Grohl said at the induction of Nirvana, ‘That swing…during “In Bloom”… , that was all Chad (Channing)’…the drummer Grohl replaced.  Now that’s balls of steel and full of crazy amounts of respect!

All right, all right…now that we have the music let me set a vision.  I remember at the time their was a media blitz in the US for Molson Golden Beer from Canada.  I think their XXX brew was just having it’s re-debut and the commercials were endless with the catch phrase “Mölson Gölden, Eh!”. How stereotypical (heh), but driving all the way across Canada, I would find myself on dirt roads in the nether-regions of the country with my head hanging out the window (fresh air bashing me in face, and my hands on the wheel…screaming at the top of my lungs, “MOLSON GOLDEN, EH!!!.  I did it over and over as I drove across the plains of all the major territory’s.  Especially in the middle of nowhere, I would come to a sign that said something to the effect of; Make Sure To Fill Your Gasoline Tank Full At Next Gas Station: NO SERVICES for 700 Kilometers (434.96 miles).  At that I would scream, “MOLSON GOLDEN, EH!!!  I did not have one of the early model flip phones (No Smartphones Yet), and usually the sign would appear just before, the Trans Canada Highway West Route 17 (before Winnipeg) or Route 1 (After Winnipeg) respectively, the road would turn from asphalt to Dirt.  YES… the major highway system at the time had hundreds of kilometers of dirt and rocky roads clear across Canada and this was in the mid 1990’s.  I remember my car bouncing around, rocks shooting out from under my tires, and a dust storm flying every which direction…both in front and behind.  I remember thinking, “I’m going to blow a tire…how could a major highway in a modern country have dirt roads…WTF!”  Again I would scream lovingly at the natural beauty and the barren landscape, “MOLSON GOLDEN, EH!!!

So with all that chaos going on around me…I just thought, just calm down…and go slow, as I bounced all over the road with no painted lines.  I was on the wrong side of the road half the time avoiding ditches filled with water…so as not to damage my suspension in my little red Honda CRX.  One thing I loved though, once I got the hang of it, using my manual transmission to power around like I was off-roading.  I can’t believe that I just recently read an article in the US that said they were phasing out manual stick transmissions for automatics because no one was buying them.  They go further sticking me with the knife deeper saying, ‘automatic transmissions are more reliable than they used to be.’  Lazy fuckers…I love them even in stop and go traffic…In and out of first gear over and over…but I rule the road.  Excuse me while I digress, in Iceland, manual stick shifts are still the name of the game…talk about doing doughnuts on the black ice in a few inches of fresh snow!  There is no substitute!

Anyway I began my journey in Montreal, I could start in the US where the trip really began but nothing of note happened on my few hours journey through Vermont and across the border into Canada.  I went straight to McGill University where a few friends of mine were attending and stayed in their huge party house just off campus in the city.  They all thought I would be into hitting up the infamous strip clubs on and around Rue Ste. Catherine… sorry dingbats It’s not my thing…they were perplexed, but whatever.  I never got the whole pay for some bodacious “woman of my dreams” to rub oil all over over my ass to get a set of blue balls.  I never got the memo for fake breasts, monstrous booties, and chiseled faces  with botox inflated lips.  I’ll say it now, so many women felt the need to get implants and perfect chiclet shaped teeth and shit to impress men…don’t do it, you’re wrecking your natural given beauty!  This was huge in the US in the 1990’s (in reality even more today), as i said I never got it…not like you need my advice, but women…you are beautiful the way  you are…Natural.  There, I said it.

Don’t buy into the Hollywood hype.  Natural women are trending and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.  All women are beautiful and different in wonderful ways, I just hope they feel the same way about men (Touché’). Yes, they have a brain, some men…I wonder (J/K).  The only way I was going to enter a strip club was is if Motley Crue or Metallica circa 1985 on Sunset in LA were going to force me to go and have fun. That’s it right (one would think)…I know life is not so simple, there are nuances…I would find myself at one point on this adventure Staying in a Boot Ballet Hostel/Hotel/Brothel in Whistler, British Columbia because the HI – Hostel was full.  That is a whole other story for Part 2 of this crazy story.  As a matter of fact there will be a lot in this piece that will just be a setup for the bang in Part 2 of this story (It’s the money shot, and ladies I’m sorry to inform you that you’ve been pwnd, tricky this internet thing…”Hot Mess” means something completely different than you’ve been led to believe. Blame Reddit & 4C) Please keep that in mind if I just touch on something and move on.

So couch surfing at McGill in Montreal was always a great time.  I was on no set time schedule but I did know I was going west as far as I could go (Vancouver Island Ferry) by car and then take another ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State…going through customs there, to get back in the US.  I wasn’t in the best of shape to be traveling, but at the time I did not know any better.  I was on a steady diet of laudanum, absinthe, and speed and I must have looked like I walked off the set of The Walking Dead.  I had cocaine eyes and a drop gun at my side…I was not messing around, I’ll guarantee you that.  Coach was able to legally secure an unlimited supply of USP tincture of opium, so that was waiting on call whenever necessary.

Oddly enough I had a tough time keeping stocked up on REAL Absinthe…Coach had it sent to wherever we were and would patiently wait for its expedited arrival.  Coach had a special source and would get it three day air from a clandestine small batch private distiller in the Swiss/French Jura mountainous region of the Western Alps. Extremely high Thujone content from only the best naturally harvested Grand Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium).  Natural Distillation is the only way to drink real Absinthe…if you or the person that gives it to you does not know the difference between real and fake absinth…then it is most likely fake.  All of all the absinth sold in US stores is NOT real absinthe, containing NO or only traces of Thujone.  There are a couple of private distilleries in the US that sell real absinthe distillate online but the Thujone content is regulated at below 10mg/L,  with either Southern, Oregon, or some other strain of Wormwood that are not as psychoactive as the Grand.  If the person giving you Absinth anywhere in the world does not know that “Maceration” or “Oil/Terpene” mixture Absinths are NOT REAL Absinths, then what they are giving you is most likely fake as well.

I will explain why most people have never had REAL absinthe. The Absinthe that Coach would get from French Switzerland (Swiss/High German), was and is not regulated and technically illegal, having an extremely high thujone content of between 100 to 120mg/L.  For our pleasure Coach had to pay 200$ US for a bottle and he would buy it in cases of 9 (It also took him seven years to get off the waiting list…yup, people had to die of old age for him to get on the sauce).  In Canada,  that same case that Coach would get delivered to his door in the US for 1,700$ US total,  would top out at 2,500$ US with added Canadian Customs fees.  Coach knew this about Canada (Customs fees are outrageous), but we wanted to keep it legal and did not want to take the chance of having the case confiscated at the Canadian border going north from Vermont.  Yep we’re crazy, Absinthe over decent hotel rooms…, priorities!  This stuff could kill you if you drank too much even without mixing other drugs with it as well.  …But as you know this is how I lived my life, up and down.  As a budding pharmacology/neuroscience student I knew what I was doing as a human guinea pig…all in the name of science (You heard it here first).

REAL Absinthe does not make one hallucinate as is touted…it’s basically the alcohol version of a speedball. The alcohol in the Absinthe (all alcohol really) is what is referred to as a GABA agonist which stimulates the release of the chemical (amino acid) neuro-transimitter (GABA) in the brain that induces relaxation by closing off the GABA neurotransmitter receptors at the end of their GABA specific transmission terminals.  On the other end of the speed ball quotient is Thujone, levels from which can only be distilled from natural Grande Wormwood, only grown in certain areas of the world.  Thujone is a chemical that is referred to as a GABA antagonist which works in the neurotransmitter terminals to produce the exact opposite actions of the calming and sedating effects of alcohol, which is to stimulate the GABA receptors and keep them open.  So if you are still with me, REAL Absinthe with Naturally Distilled HIGH Quality/ High Levels of Grand Wormwood sourced Thujone, causes chaos in the neurotransmitter junctions in the brain…the receptors opening and closing in a simultaneous excitation/calming storm creating the “Speedball” or “Green Fairy” like effect.  This is why the real stuff is rare and lends to the creation of all the misinformation and confusion, and further is exactly why the good stuff is illegal.  You get very drunk and don’t feel drunk from the speed like effect.

So I was talking to one of my friends at McGill, saying that I wish I had someone to share the driving with me across Canada, and I was told that there was a bulletin board on campus which had people posting (yes with paper) all kinds of things but one was for rides and it might be worth a look.  So we went there to see if anyone was looking to ride share.  There was one message from a guy named Jason who was looking to go to the West Coast US, but the message had a date two months old.  Anyhow I figured it was worth a try, and rang up the number.  A woman answered ( I came to find out later it was his mother) and I asked for Jason, fortunate for me he was home.  I told him about my journey  and he immediately said yes, he could go in two days.  He figured that he would go as far west as he could with me, and then find a ride south from Vancouver.  I was going to be spending an unknown length of time in Port Townshend, Washington at Coaches House on The Olympic Peninsula across the Puget Sound from Seattle. Then when I got the travel bug I would head over to Aberdeen then south to Olympia for a bit….Seattle…and then finally head down the West Coast Highway south (which I will cover in a future article) to Oregon and California .  I really lucked out because he was not even a student at McGill University…he had posted the message and pretty much decided to go another time because he got no calls.

My life was all about living it to the fullest while very high…full stop.  I was looking to master the art of better living through chemistry without getting myself killed.  As someone who goes to holistic aisle of any expensive whole foods store, I was doing the same as if I was running wild behind the pharmacy counter.  My main objective was to find the perfect molecular combination of psychoactive substances, that when combined could get get me out of my mind efficiently, with long duration, and with the lowest risk for physical and psychological dependence and harm.  I became a master of withdrawal, even while using some of the most addictive substances known to man.  Chemical rules, as I have said before, were the name of the game.

I had to learn these chemical rules through trial and error over many years.  First using the individual substances on their own to master the effects profile.  Then when confident combining them, starting at low doses and then titrating upwards or downwards depending on my direct experiences with the substances.  I always self administered low dosages first, then raising in small increments.  The first rule of Chemical Rules is to never mainline or inject any addictive substance.  Once you do the brain is so overloaded with dopamine that you can never reach that height again (chasing the dragon).  Ingesting or administering the  drug through the skin causes a slow rise in intoxication…allowing one to reach similar results over and over.  There are tolerance issues to contend with but no massive withdrawals daily (just discomfort).  Heroin is out because of the small safety to toxicity window as is Crystal Methamphetamine unless insulflated. Heroin is not affective when ingested orally and Methamphetamine (UNLESS Pharmaceutical USP) will rot your gut quick from foreign heavy metals left over in it’s clandestine production.  Smoking either of the two is out as well…same brain overload, horrific addiction, and leads to eventual mainlining of the drugs. Don’t ever do it, you have been lovingly warned!

Everyone knows that opioids are extremely dangerous because of the small window between efficacy, reaching the highest state of euphoria, and death.  Add into that any alcohol, any opiate addict knows that it is a VERY DANGEROUS idea from the start.  The combination of the two can easily cause one’s system to shut down and overdose, halting respiration.  What I came to find that if I mixed low doses of high strength Laudanum with 2-3 moderately small sipped (louched) Absinthes as the only type of alcohol, adding in a few small bumps of cocaine or ingested amphetamine.  I could stay extremely high with little to no nodding out for about six hours.  Because I was administering (orally) the extremely bitter Laudanum 15 minutes before the first absinthe, the opioid had a low dependence profile.  So that was the trifecta and as long as I did not stray from that…I was golden.  No desperate drug seeking behavior or overdose.  DON’T try this at home, as the levels administered were congruent to my weight, sex, and age…chemistry at it’s best, but what was right for me, the same dose could kill you.

So this was what we did in Montreal while waiting to move on to journey west.  It was great because everyone is not all passed out like at a junkie hotel.  We would play pool and go out on the town to check out the wild characters of Montreal.  What an amazing city, we are very lucky to have so close to the US…a place where everyone speaks French.  My french is shit but I can get by on the little I do know (everyone speaks English anyway).   There are so many amazing restaurants, clubs, and shows every night.  The drinking age is 18 so many in the US travel here for that. It’s a metropolitan city with so much culture and history.  As you walk the streets public art is everywhere from murals to graffiti to sculpture.  The city is seamless although containing areas of particular interest to different people, from Old Town to The Village to The Underground city.  You can’t go wrong in this city wherever you go as long as you have street smarts.

Rue Ste. Catherine’s will allow for walking and getting to the main parks, numerous places downtown, as well as the underbelly of the city.  North and south of downtown take Rue McGill to get to the two subsequent areas I will recommend next.  I love to venture up the heavenly public stairs which traverse the large uphill overseers near McGill University and lead to an overlook in the clouds of the whole city.  Another favorite is to venture down further past Old Town to the St. Laurent River and just kick it on the granite cobblestones and benches. The main Montreal Airport (Pierre Elliot Trudeau International) is easy to get to from downtown and is somewhat centrally located as well if you are flying to Montreal.

I cannot say enough of this city…Montreal is on par with the best metropolitan cities anywhere.  Sometimes the people can be a bit brash but nothing more than you would encounter in say NYC.  The difference, a few proprietors may not be English friendly but I always find they come around especially if you say a few words in French like “Bon Jour”, “S’il vous plaît” and “Merci” and you’re in!  That’s what makes traveling fun…you don’t have to speak a lot of any language to communicate.  Greetings, Salutations, and Parting words will take you anywhere around the world. As they say in blogs ad nauseum, “Live a little!”

So the two days I spent at McGill waiting around was no burden as we just got drunk and high…I even got some good sleep the night before leaving which was great.  We could start off right and drive pretty much straight for two days to get through the second half of the province of Quebec and half way through Ontario to Thunder Bay ( just above the Great Lakes Of The US).  Jason was real cool…and he had an even head as he pretty much just smoked a little weed and drank alcohol.  He was a raver actually, so on occasion he did ecstasy and even better he liked to drive sober.  I found out quick that he was an energetic kid and a really good driver.

So I met him at his house near Parc Maisonneuve in Montreal over near the Parc Olympique.  I even met his mom and she was real nice as well…she had no idea what her son was getting into on this trip.  Better for her to stay in the dark…I could tell he was real responsible right away, which I liked because going with someone I was unfamiliar with was always taking a chance.  I could sense his positive attributes might even get us out of a jam if necessary at some point.  So after he put his shit in the car off we went on The Trans Canada Highway 40 and then took the 417 to Ottawa.  There was really nothing much in Ottawa and it was raining quite hard…I remember passing a coliseum in Ottawa which had digital bulletin board flashing coming acts to the venue.  So we continued a ways on the 417 until we got to the 17 which would take us half way across the country to Winnipeg.

I remember driving along and all there was pretty much was farms with large acreage of flat grasslands and lots of cows, horses, and grain silos.  It reminded me a lot like the few times I travelled across the US (which I will also cover in another future article) where there was not much excitement in terms of stunning land formations from the Northeast Coast till I reached Colorado.  So it was the same in Canada until reaching North West Ontario.  Not that there were not attractions of which to speak of off the beaten path, but it was pretty much farms and expansive grasslands most of the way.

I pretty much stayed sober since leaving Montreal, and after driving through Ontario which was at least a 36 hours (or more) drive.  Jason and I got to know each other better and it was nice we got on well.  So we would switch off driving for the first day and a half until we reached Sault Saint Marie.  We were pretty spent at this time, not stopping to sleep much, in SSM which is right on the border of Northern Michigan.  It was nice to stop there and go grocery shopping at a proper market.  We broke out the barbecue in a park there, and ate some steaks and grilled vegetables for lunch.  It passed our minds to cross back into the US for a little bit and see what it was like in the area, but that thought quickly faded with the thought of having trouble at the border crossing.

Up in this part of the country above Lake Huron, driving along the shore at times.  There was some exciting rock formations and plenty of winding “S” shaped roads with rises and falls in sea level.  At times we would find our hearts in our throats…the only downside was that there were a lot of large tucks, busses, and winnebego’s on holiday at the same time as us.  So there was lots of traffic in an otherwise beautiful landscape.  The great lakes were stunning this time of year and it was very warm, with lots of sun.  Although we were lacking sleep, our bellies were full, and with great excitement we traveled on.  Our goal was to make it to Thunder Bay before nightfall at a Hostel to get some much needed sleep.

There was one town that we stopped at off the highway to gas up and it was really strange because it had a very foul smell.  Extremely foul and none of the nature there looked very healthy.  The waterways there smelled even worse…the trees were all dying, it was really strange.  We were wondering why this small town on the US/Canada border was in a word dead.  At the gas station we asked the attendant why this was so and he said that a toxic waste dump had been breached in the area of the lake of the town and the whole town was toxic.  The strange thing is that he was rather cavalier about the whole thing, it’s safe to say that after gassing up we got out of there quick.  We couldn’t help but feel concerned for the people of the town…it seemed that everyone was going about their lives as normal…their had to be health ramifications in really what I viewed as anytown US/Canada.  Many people cannot just give up their lives and homes to go somewhere else.  It was kind of sad…again we got out of their quick.

Our attempt to make it to Thunder Bay before stopping was futile, we were just too tired, and that meant either pulling off to the side of the road and just falling asleep (hard) for a few hours or get a hotel for the night.  We made the decision to stay at a Home Hostel in Orillia, Ontario that was affiliated with HI – Hostelling International Hostels, it was fortunate because we realized that we were only about fifteen minutes drive from it’s location.  It was pitch black with no street lights anywhere but after a short time of driving back and forth we finally found the place.  It was not too late, around 9pm, and as we pulled up to the house and parked in the large grassy area with other vehicles the owners came out of the hostel.  We asked “Is this the Orillia home hostel?” They replied “Yes, welcome…you can park right where you are.”

So we got out of the car and introduced ourselves and they (A guy and his wife) welcomed  us very kindly.  We grabbed some things to bring in and they showed us into their home and further to the room we would be sleeping in.  It was a small room but quaint with one set of bunk beds…we were quite tired but just making it to the destination gave us a little wind to sit in the kitchen with them and chat for a while.  They were very nice, they offered us some food but we declined…we were exhausted, too tired to eat.  They had a large fish tank and some couches that you would find in grandma’s house, a television, and a lot of small pillows with sayings stitched or knitted on them.

They turned on the TV, and I love watching television channels that are local and located in any particular area of any country.  I remember rabbit ears, no cable…not a problem, again I just love to check out the local channels. CBC was a great classic TV network at the time, I know now that people have said it has gone downhill in recent years.  I almost orgasmed when I got to the French CBC channel.  I love even more watching foreign language channels, wherever I go, just making out the few words I do know.  I don’t know why this is a turn on for me…but it is…not in a pervy way silly rabbit, I just love it even if I have no idea what’s going on.  I just pretend that I do…this would probably drive some people nuts, but that’s just me.  Besides I had no brain power anyway and we were in some engaging conversations with our hosts.  It all worked out great, and soon after, I went to hit the sack. Instant Zzzzzzzs.  Lights Out!

When we got up in the morning stone cold sober but well rested, there was a great breakfast spread of eggs, Canadian Bacon, muffins, home fries, milk, juice, & lots of ice cold beer.  Molson Golden XXX to be particular — just kidding, no beer.  I know some people will be destroyed as their visions of Canadians drinking Molson Golden for breakfast (at any hour of the day) will now be shattered, heheh!  As we filled our bellies a girl came into the kitchen, she saluted with a big “Good Morning”, yawn and stretch.  They said she arrived in the night later than us.  She was Canadian, going the opposite direction than we, to Quebec.  Québécois sunshine!  She was a real cool chick, piercings, tattoos, tough, cute as a dumpling.  She knew her shit and was on the level obviously…their was a lot of great conversation, because not only was she worldly but our hosts were as well.  That’s what I love about travelers, most of them (if they’re not thieves) are really laid back and down for just about anything fun at a moments notice.  It’s great conversation feeling each other out for their unique viewpoints on the world and any particular personal sentiments.  Joie de vivre, “Weltanschauung…Robert’s Dictionnaire says joie is sentiment exaltant ressenti par toute la conscience, that is, involves one’s whole being (I copped this from wikipedia).”

After breakfast we went out into the Canadian Country Morning Sunshine!  It was a beautiful day…I think we got on so well with our hosts that the guy who owned the place mentioned that he was a vorascious writer.  Just past the grass parking area he led us into a trailer that he had separate from the house, used for an office.  I don’t know how we got talking about it but he gave me some great stuff he had written (ironically enough) one piece on the modern day twelve *step** program and it’s origins…how A**A had a bad case of revisionist history.  It was not knocking the group per se, but it was an essay which claimed an alternative and interesting origin for the group based on a set of several core principles that had nothing to do with religion.  It was even further interesting that these core principles were pointed out as originated from centuries old concepts, by a Unitarian Universalist’s minister’s testimony in the early 1930’s, again (secular) not having anything anything to do with religion.  If you can wrap your head around that.  The early A**A groups  had adopted these principles and expounded upon them in 1939 to include their religious leanings (as it had helped them).  I have no agenda against the group I know many people who have been helped by them and have turned their lives around.  I’m just relating what I read and how the concepts came to be and the written history of the groups do not seem to include this version of history.  Oh well, who the fuck knows…If it works for you, and if you believe in that sort of thing…Bless!

Anyway after our educational sunrise, we went into the mid day sun, and it was luscious.  Good ol’ Guenther Grotsch (Hostel Owner) saw how my car was covered in mud from all our off roading and told us we could use the hose to wash the car.  He even offered a bucket and some auto soap.  What a gem he was, I had not thought about it till he brought it up, that the mud barely allowed us to even see out the windows…hahah…epicness.  There was cleanliness everywhere after a hot shower, we decided to take off…even at the generous suggestion of our host to stay around.  It was very kind of him and his amazing wife Rita, but we were itching to get to the massive beauty of the Canadian Rockies.  This need could not be delayed…it was time to go.

After setting off in a shiny vehicle, another half day of driving we arrived in the Thunder Bay area (On the shores of Lake Superior) and it was late in the day but the sun was at painter’s light.  Nature was tempting us to move on…we did not need to stay at the Thunder Bay Hostel because we were re-energized.  I began to notice that there were more lakes, more trees…even the smell of campfires waifed through the air.  We passed a bunch of campgrounds which was our queue, as if to pique our interest and recognize this was true back country.

We were officially in the woods, but again as before there were more amazing rock formations with the sectioned colors of purple and orange and white and blue as one would encounter in Arizona or New Mexico in the US.  Tremendous spires of soapstone and red rocks towered projecting toward the bathing clouds.  These puffy drifting clouds from the gentle winds blew smoke signals careening around the edges of the massive cliffs, visible only if to reveal small flat peaks of land, the size of which only a few people could fit on in the dusty sky.  As the sun began to set we pulled off the road at one of the several sanctioned lookouts, which lent to us the awesome deceptive and most confusing illusion of not knowing whether we were on the ground or in the sky.  Winding and spacious Lakes all around for as far as the eye could see, century old white pines hugging their shores, which at a distance looked as if they were placed there in perfect harmony with the land, although only the size of a fingernail.  There would be cities before we arrived at an unknown destination…but they would be fleeting, and little did we know that what we were seeing was nothing of what was to come.

As light moved to dark over the unspoiled splendour in Northern Ontario on the rugged coast of Lake Superior’s Northern Shore (the world’s largest freshwater lake), we began to see road signs indicating we were just above Minnesota.  No time to stop their now, we were excited beyond belief to finally make it to the border of the great Canadian Province of Manitoba (Ontario I will never forget you!), as we passed through a new lakes region in Kenora, ON.  It was not that there was anything special about Manitoba that we knew of yet, and the light of day was getting on anyway, but if you look on a map of Canada and North America our next stop was Winnipeg (150 miles/240km) which is located dead center, exactly half way across North America (Canada/US).  I’ll tell you it felt like forever getting across Ontario (not a bad thing), just an observation, but we were finally making some meaningful progress.

There was one big problem we were really low on cash, we had cards and travellers checks (Yes, travelers checks were good to use back then…not anymore) but we had misjudged our raw cash flow and it was a Sunday, so we could not get one exchanged for cash anywhere.  This was the first time this had ever happened to me, and the Hostel in Winnapeg only accepted cash.  So we were driving in circles around the city limits trying to decide what to do.  All that were around at that time of night was drug dealers and hookers, so being the adventurers that we were (heh), we decided to drive twenty or thirty minutes north through the flat grass and farmlands near Lake Winnipeg.  Little did we know that this would become a horror show…presenting The Maskwa Project!

So we had enough cash to stay at a hostel near Lake Winnipeg but just short of the amount needed to stay at the downtown hostel.  Another problem was that we only had one quarter tank of gas so driving that extra mileage up north would be taking a chance.  In my head I was doing the mileage by the gallon (liters) thing, into how much we had in our tank. It was a little close but I was sure we could make it…you might ask why not fill up using cards?  Well the answer was that we could not find any gas station open twenty four hours.  This was not ancient times…there were 24 hour gas stations all over the US back then but not here in Canada.  So boiling it all down we were not destitute, we just had to get through that night because tomorrow all the banks and gas stations would be open.  It was just a lapse in judgement on our part, after not getting much sleep since setting off across the country.

Before I get into the hell that was to come, I must say in the interest of fairness the Hostel (Which was at the time an approved HI – Hostel, now it is not/ not a bad thing) today…two decades later in Manitoba (Pine Falls: Powerview / Maskwa Project) has seemingly got it’s shit together, has good reviews, and is run well (conjecture).  I do not know if it is the same person that owned it then so I cannot attribute the horrible experience to them.  There were no handheld portable mobile internet devices then so everything had to be done by intuition or planning, and you know my stance on planning.  They now have a Facebook page and a lot of comments and people who love the place.  Also I had two different hostel books…one indicates that reservations are essential, the second book has no such information (I had never had a problem before, but we also overlooked this). So I thought it only fair to let people know all this.  It is still VERY rustic…all the photos look exactly the same as the day we made our attempt to stay there, still spooky as hell.  On a bright sunny day in the middle of summer I can imagine it being a magical retreat, whatever, enough anal disclosure.

Here’s what happened.  With one eye on the gas tank and another on the road we are heading north directly toward southern Lake Winnipeg…it takes about a half hour or more to get there in the spitting rain, overcast voluminous sky, and on the edge of darkness.  We have a hard time finding the road it was on because of the weather conditions as well as its being out in the middle of nowhere.  We knew going into this that it was going to be a budget hostel but we thought we were up for it.  So we find Maskwa Road and it is NOT paved, and a muddy mess…Not having a four wheel drive we pondered if we should attempt it.  At first it was just a little bit of slippery brownish-red mud, but just as a rock climber or adrenaline junkie knows that you have to go with you’re gut as to whether to take the next step…once you commit there is often no going back.  In our case just taking the turn onto Maskwa Road was committing and there was no turning back because the road itself was not wide enough, with all the mud, to turn around.  So as we are going deeper into the woods and the unknown, we realize that the mud is now getting quite deep…I knew that as long as we went slow and did not come to a complete stop we could make it

Next thing we know there is a bend in the road to the right, and right where this bend begins it winds a bit downhill…not good but no turning back now!  So as we fishtail and take on the small downhill, all of a sudden we come to a grinding scraping metal halt.  We had landed directly on top of a huge rock, which was hidden in the mud right in the middle of the road.  So we get out of the car to assess the situation.  No AAA out here for sure..hahahh!  We found ourselves standing in one to two feet of fluid mud…So I decide to go behind the car and push as Jason hits the throttle slowly.  Surprisingly after just a few minutes we were able to shimmy the car off the rock and even more wonderful the road became more stable with less mud and more grip.  I remember thinking how the fuck are we going to drive out of there but one thing at a time right.  So we hop in the car and as we continue on, we see a clearing ahead in the woods and what we would come to find out was the Maskwa river and a large grass yard next to the hostel.

We were excited, we made it… I could see a Hostelling International sticker in the front window so we knew we were at the right place.  Nothing was out of the ordinary until we stepped out of the car…all of a sudden, and I mean instantly we were met with hundreds of biting mosquitoes the size of small birds.  I had dealt with mozzy’s my whole life, but this early in the season in any other place I had ever been, mosquitoes would usually fly around and then land on my skin and I could smack them away with ease, not these killers.  They were vicious (I expect if the current owners of the hostel read this, they’ll have a laugh, I don’t blame them, it’s fucking nature.), so viscous that hundreds of them instantly landed on my arms, legs, face, and neck and bit down hard instantly…no warning.  It was like they were drunk on the blood of a thousand other victims but still had the accuracy of a GPS. So what do we do, get back in the car…it was that bad, we did not make it to the house.

So in the car again, after killing all the mozzy’s that made it in the car because we had opened the doors, we could make a plan of attack.  The mozzy’s that I had smashed on the inside of the windshield of the car, exploded into a big blood coagulational mess.  There was blood everywhere.  I can still laugh about it…it was gross but what can you do, at least we did not get any diseases or illness…just the expected itchy hives randomly dotted on our skin.  So I put on some sweatpants over my shorts and a North Face Jacket that zipped up to my nose and had a tight hood.  We decided that I would make it to the house and check in…there were no lights on in the house but I could see reflecting off the windows a waving fire from somewhere in the house and smoke coming out a chimney.

It was time to make the jump…so i quickly got out of the car with a one…two…three count, go!  I got out closed the door and ran up to the main side door of the hostel.  I noticed that there was campfire smoke leaking out the door, which cut down on the mozzy’s but I thought how could someone live in a house full of smoke without carbon monoxide poisoning…hmmm.  I shouted at half volume, “Hello…hello, anyone here!”, I got no answer.                I then noticed that the door was loose and was just held closed by a latch.  I lifted it to open the door and it swung open about a foot and huge clouds of smoke baffled out all around me.  For a moment I thought, was the owner of the place dead from all the smoke…I guess it’s extreme mosquito control.  Natural yes…no chemicals from sprays, still very odd, at least to me.  Maybe the hostel owner had gone mad from mozzy bites Elmer Fudd style, and was hunting mosquitoes like wabbits with smoke signals and a shotgun.  I went to open the door which was pretty massive and heavy, and as I opened it, I could see a large log tied to a rope swing up toward the ceiling,  The door was being held closed by a wood weight…never seen that before.  Physics lesson, yup!

Anyway the inside was almost completely dark except for a fire on the opposite end of the house, and it was full of smoke as I have already said.  As I called out again for anyone I noticed someone’s shadow as if they were hiding around a corner and not acknowleging me.  It was just then that all the horror movies and acid trips came full circle and hit me hard in the medulla oblongotta, this was very very very abnormal and creepy, wtf!  I stood there a couple of minutes stunned and then said to myself…that’s it, I’m getting the fuck out of here, See ya!  So I trudged back to the car and explained what I saw to Jason…at the moment we were the cast in a horror movie.  We caved, let’s go back to Winnipeg, we agreed to that pretty quick.  Fortunate to us the ride out was pretty straightforward, we were able to slide our way out of there avoiding that rock this time.  The mud was fine as long as we kept at a consistent speed…this is where I reiterate at my love for standard stick shifts in cars, if we were in an automatic we would have never even made it down the road in the first place. we would have been stranded with no phone.  We were lucky, if you believe in that sort of thing.

Yep…so looking at the photos on this link to their Facebook page, someone mentions something about respect for subsequent owners of “The Maskwa Project” Hostel.  So it does seem there is a pulse up their after all.  Our experience, as foreboding as it was I would not trade it for the world.  It is what it is.  As I write this I can’t help but think of “Blair Witch Project” as a similar name…not in substance.  If anyone needs a set for a horror movie go to Maskwa on a Cloudy/Foggy day and see what I mean.  You will not be disappointed, Eli Roth!  It’s Deliverance (The Sequel).

Check it out…Maskwa Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/Maskwa.Project

So there we were on the main highway headed back to the city (Winnipeg), again with one eye on the gas gauge…we were getting low but had enough to get us back downtown where we had started a few hours before.  A little rattled but nevertheless happy that we we were going back to where we felt safe with the hookers and drug dealers.  At some point it started pouring rain…which in one respect would clean all the mud off the car.  We shot like a bullet back to the lights of the city..hoping against all odds to not hydroplane, obsessively staring at the painted lines to stay on the road.  There was fog and we could only see ten feet in front of us.  We were in a time machine transporting back to safety. Hellions screaming to Iron Maiden blasting on the stereo…we were unstoppable, unyielding as well, we were strengthened through our adversity.  It was now time to have some good luck, we could taste it…the world was in our hands.

So as we entered the outskirts of Winnipeg proper, we found ourselves in an industrial part of the city and we were encouraged because the fog had lifted and it was not raining anymore…damn!  So after passing some billboards, we found an empty lit parking lot which had entrances and exits on both sides of the throughway.  We figured we could catch out breath and get our bearings as to what we were going to do.  Sitting on the hood of the car we could smell fumes from the cars and lorries that passed us in the night…for a moment all we had to do was get through till the morning.

It was then that I noticed a guy walking down the road and somehow I could tell he was not from Winnipeg either.  I asked him over to see if he knew where the hostel was.  When he started talking I could immediately tell from his heavy brogue that he was from Ireland and he confirmed this…from Northern Ireland.  I lit up, thinking this guy had to know where the hostel was.  He said he did not, but said he had another place to stay, and after hearing our story he said we might be able to stay there too.  All he needed was a ride! yahoo!  So we got in the car and followed his directions to the place he was staying…there was a parking lot adjacent to the residence and we pulled into a space.  He said that he would go inside and get the house manager to see if they could put us up for the night.  After about twenty minutes he came out and said to grab our things, that we could stay.  Jackpot!

The best way to describe what was going on here, I mean we got the lucky touch somehow, really I don’t believe in luck but you know what i mean when I use it as a form of expression (in terms of how people use it).  So we go inside and there are people milling around everywhere.  Playing music, strumming on a guitar, eating food, watching TV in a common area…it was just a chill atmosphere right off the bat.  So the Irish dude, introduces us to one of the senior people staying there.  He was a guy from India…very hospitable, we told our story of woe and he was sympathetic to our cause.  He let us know that this building was a housing unit used by the Canadian Government to house refugees and immigrants in exile from their home countries.  Meaning that the people housed here were seeking asylum from their home countries, which if they had to go back to, there was a good likelihood they would be killed.  Whoa…heavy shit!  He showed us to a large dorm room with several bunk beds, and said to make ourselves at home.  Even better we were the only two people in the room, we had it to ourselves.  The senior told us that it would cost us some cash per night but we did not need to pay until we got our money the next day when the house official arrived to check on upkeep.

The place was very clean…with excellent facilities, showers, and three meals a day (included)…the only rules were if anyone had to smoke do it outside and to respect others.  The place was open 24 hours a day and everyone was so thankful that no dared to break the rules.  We were the only North Americans, everyone else besides the guy from Northern Ireland, were from countries like Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, China, and North Korea.  The guy asked us if we needed to see a Doctor for any physical or psychiatric ailments…as well if we needed any emergency medications.  This place was a sanctuary…an oasis in the desert, damn!!!  We just wanted to get some sleep and a shower and we did just that then went to bed.

We ended up staying for about five days hanging out with these cool people from around the world who were hoping to get Canadian Citizenship.  The worldwide phenomenon FIFA was going on that week and all the people there were glued to the TV watching matches and having a wild time.  I learned more in that one week about their respective countries than I could in a whole year of classes and even then I don’t think that could give me the same experience.  It was life changing…they were mostly muslim but I never saw anyone pray the whole time we were there.  They all spoke great english.  Their religion seemed to be futbol(soccer) and everyone was united by the sport, no matter what their cultural differences.  It was quite a spectacle.

The next evening the government official came to the house and came to see us.  He was very nice…saying it was 5$ Canadian per night and he wanted to know how long we would be staying.  As I said we, paid him for five nights and he gave us a reciept.  He said if there was any problem after the five days and we needed to stay longer we were welcome and could pay him when we made our decision.  We were stunned…in what world does this happen, CANADA!!!

/End Of Part One/

Photos and Subsequent Edits: will be added throughout the week…so check back whenever you want. Cheers.

Part 2 ~ will chronicle what we did during our wild stay in wonderful Winnipeg…and the rest of the journey across the second half of Canada.  I can guarantee you it gets pretty crazy. heheh!

 

Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support.  My Readers Are Awesome!

Cheers and Bless!

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

News: Tool, Nirvana Doc., EDM Sins And 2015, Aerosmith & Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rock Vs. Pop, Carl Craig Vs. Audion……

News: Tool, Nirvana Doc., EDM Sins And 2015, Aerosmith & Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rock Vs. Pop, Carl Craig Vs. Audion, Pink Floyd Mason Vs Apple, Sonisphere 2015 Cancelled, The Black Crowes Split …

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

*******JUST UPDATED: 01/16/15 15:30Hrs********

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  *******JUST UPDATED: 01/16/15 15:30Hrs********
Sonisphere Knebworth 2015 Shocker: Festival cancelled ~

http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-01-16/sonisphere-shocker-festival-cancelled

 

Black Crowes Split In Ownership Row ~

http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-01-16/black-crowes-split-in-ownership-row

 

Nick Mason Of Pink Floyd – Apple Get Away With Devaluing Music ~

http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-01-16/pink-floyd-nick-mason-apple-devaluing-music 

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TOOL Gives Brief Update On Progress Of New Album ~

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/tool-gives-brief-update-on-progress-of-new-album/

 

 

First Fully Authorised Kurt Cobain ( Nirvana ) documentary To Feature Unreleased Songs ~

http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-01-10/nirvana-doc-to-feature-unreleased-songs

http://www.teamrock.com/news/2014-11-26/cobain-authorised-documentary-in-the-works 

 

Sins Of A Loop Da Loop Era: “Flat Beat” And EDM’s Embarrassing Lack Of 786676jCRPflpSampling Ethics ~

http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/633-sins-of-a-loop-da-loop-era-flat-beat-and-edms-embarrassing-lack-of-sampling-ethics/

 

Aerosmith’s Joe Perry Recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Near Miss ~

http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-01-14/aerosmith-s-perry-recalls-skynyrd-plane-near-miss

 

Rock Twice As Popular As Pop, Research Shows By The Numbers ~

http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-01-13/rock-twice-as-popular-as-pop

 

Resident Advisor: Electronic music, Some Thoughts on 2015 ~

http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?2382

 

 Redux: Top DJ’s Of 2014 ~

http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?2328

 

Redux: Bob Daisley Was ‘Devastated’ By Judge’s Decision To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Ozzy Osbourne ~

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/bob-daisley-was-devastated-by-judges-decision-to-dismiss-lawsuit-against-ozzy-osbourne/

 

 

Parting Mix – Carl Craig B2B With Matthew Dear (Audion) (5hrs, 51mins)

 

 

Enjoy and Bless Bless!

Thanks As Always For Your Support!

 

CM

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

Sunset Hollywood, Seattle Sound And European Christmas Vacation Anthony Bourdain Style! Also My Latest Swedish Snus Haul…

Sunset Hollywood, Seattle Sound And European Christmas Vacation Anthony Bourdain Style! Also My Latest Swedish Snus Haul ~

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

UPDATE: @ BOTTOM OF THIS POST 12/23/14

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

So I just got off the phone with a relative visiting Los Angeles, and I ask, where have they gone…”We’ve been to Venice Beach, Santa Monica, yada yada, and Disneyland in Anaheim. We’ve been very busy, tomorrow we head to San Diego where we will be able to relax a bit more.” I replied, “Awesome…what about the Sunset Strip, how did you like that?” I remember when I went to California for my first time…I had a local take me to see the sites, and when I brought up that I wanted to go to the strip, she said…’there’s not really much there, but I get it, we can make a stop there so you can check it out.’ I get it many locals will say that it’s a dirty waste of time. Not me, I thought, I was on a pilgrimage and if I did not experience anything other than “The Strip” that would be fine. I also get that it’s very touristy…I did not care it was the 1980’s and I had to go. So anyway my relative on the phone today  says, they did not go to 346462hjSunset, and they would not have a chance. It was like a knife in my chest…WHATTTTT!!! At least do a drive through, WTF! So much amazing history but I guess it’s not to be. I know some of you are saying F Sunset, dirty waste of time…WRONG!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

 

All I could think of to myself is that some day they will regret not going to the strip, just to see The Rainbow, The Whiskey, and The Troubabour. It reminded me of my first trip to Continental Europe with my Grand Parents when they took us on the “safety tour” in the 80’s when I was young, God love em, but I remembered that they tried to censor our trip. I grew up in Iceland so debauchery was not new to me, but the grandparents were a bit naive and did not get that we, the young ones already experienced the “adult stuff”. My uncle, aunt, and cousins lived near Nijmegen, Holland. It was pretty awesome experiencing it like a local…riding the bike paths in and out of the city and the 10 miles from Beuningen to Arnhem. We had Fritz Met, fries Old Skool 377 Holland - CopyEditand mayonnaise, had to explain what the American word “Cool” to a local (It did not mean cold), and were hit with major porn next to the Disney Movies at the “Video Ring” while renting VHS tapes. As you know women’s breasts on TV, on the front page of the newspaper, and at the beach is normal in Europe.

 

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

We ate horse meat burgers (salty strange), canned hot dogs, and dairy products like eggs / butter / and unpasteurized fresh milk not refrigerated. Actually reminded me of Iceland, not the same, but eating strange foods that is. Remember there was no Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern on TV then and wandering gastronomy was not popular with Americans…still is not, but people “get” foi gras now even if they don’t want to eat it themselves.  Now I know better to go for the Pig Cheek and Tuna Collar…first! Thank you Mr. Bourdain.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

I also went to a Dutch school with my cousin and a friend of his, and all the students were asking me all kinds of questions about celebrities (blech!) and MTV (remember it was the 80’s). It wasn’t all bad, in fact I had a great time in English class. Everyone in Holland had English class in school, what was really cool was when I listened to the kids speaking English (Very fluent by the way), I realized they were learning British English. When they asked me to read a passage in their class book everyone seemed amazed and were stunned that I did not have an Icelandic accent. American English I found out that day was quite different from UK English.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

Anyway I did not accept the idea of a censored Europe, no matter what they did (Much more on that later in this piece, see the plane ride home)…I spent my free days to do whatever I wanted, on my own wisely. I knew what I was looking for and I was going to take advantage of it, no matter what anyone said. We drove to Paris and I remember my Grandparents rushing us by the nude statues…very silly indeed, could not be avoided in The Louvre. Also all the sex shops near the Moulin Rouge was awkward for them…lol. We also went to East Germany, this was before the wall came down, and it was quite sad. Far from the free East Berlin Berghain / Panoramabar lawlessness I would visit several years ago, totally not like I remembered in a great way. We further went to Antwerp Belgium, Amsterdam NL (All Over NL), Berlin DE, Luxembourg, and Zurich Switzerland.  It was a very fun trip. 346346hg

I know now days seeing police dogs and Machine guns at airports is pretty common, but back then it was not.  You see we planned our trip months ahead and found ourselves in Holland with military fighter jets doing mission test runs above the house. We turned on the radio and in Dutch, they were saying America was on the brink of w*ar after blo*wing up one  of K*had*afi’s homes, kil*ling his s*on. It was pretty scary for a while we did not know what was going to happen day to day. Would we be taking our scheduled flight a few weeks later from Brussels to the US. We thought about leaving early, thankfully we did not as everything seemed to settle down when it was time to leave.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

So as I said I was not going to allow a censored tour of europe, I was a young kid but had been around the block a few times. So I was worried about customs searching my bags especially with all I had acquired on my trip…unknowingly by my Grandparents and with the heightened security. My collectables in my luggage were; several Cuban Cigars, a bottle of cheap French Drinking Wine that all the locals in Paris drank at lunchtime with their bread and fromage, 1 bottle of Russian Potato Vodka, 1 bottle of REAL Czechoslovakian Absinthe, 1 Switchblade, 1 pen…woman with disappearing dress, 1 pack of Po*rn Star Playing Cards, and there was more but you get the idea. I was not even a teen yet and I was a walking ball of debauchery to go, just add water. It was that Heavy Metal music, it was a bad influence on me…I’ll blame it on that. K.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

So we get to the airport in Brussels and began to put our luggage on the conveyor to the x-ray. As it went through I could have pissed myself. Breathe! As soon as my bag came through I picked it up and hustled it away about 30 feet to the bottom of the escalators. I grabbed another bag of my family’s as well. Then all of a sudden there was a commotion behind the scanner and two airport officials come out from behind and start pulling my Grandmother’s bag apart, obviously looking for something. They found nothing as my bag was safely away. Ah to be young again, man was I a handful. That was very close…very very close! Imagine them unpacking my suitcase full of treats right in front of my stunned Grandparents?!?! Anyway I passed through customs and on arrival in the US scuttled without even a search or declaration form in the US. As I walked by inspectors they paid me no attention as I tried to steady my bag, the bottles had come unwrapped and were now clinking. I almost shat myself…steady hand!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

More to come about my trips to Continental Europe in the future, time to get back to music, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Forward a few years…Now it was the late 80’s, but I had travelled to LA in 83, 85, 88 and 89 and I did not establish my connections in the music industry until the middle of 1989. I thought to myself, I had missed out on Hendrix and the 60’s scene, as well as the Punk Movement in the 70’s (single digits, although I saw the 44633363mjRamones in 83 but that does not count, right, as I missed the movement). So I had to go to LA for the 80’s Glam Metal Scene…the Sunset strip was insane. The freaks were out and dressed to kill, it was more than you would imagine, the smell of Aqua Net and Phunky Kush was overwhelming. I got to see almost all of the LA Metal bands as there were shows every night of the week. It was a pretty carefree time as I was traveling back and forth between the UK, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle quite often. There were also many side trips to Vegas and Frisco as well. In the future I would find myself living between the UK, Reykjavik, Boston, San Diego, and San Francisco between tours in the 90’s. What made it even more amazing was that I was able to physically see the major turn in the music industry from LA Glam to The Seattle Sound.

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

When I look back on it, it was a seismic shift but as I just liked loud music I transitioned easily from Motley Crue and Ratt to Alice In Chains and Nirvana. I did not give a fuck about the politics and I got along with almost anybody, so at the time I did not notice the music was too different, of course it was different, but more importantly I could feel that I was part of something very unique and a part of history. What made everything more confusing was that Guns N’ Roses, Janes Addiction, and The Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s holding it up for LA blurring the Alternative lines. Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer (The Big Four) where holding things up for thrash in the US and even bigger in Europe and South America. I would just the same listen to LA Guns, Mudhoney, or Megadeth (just as I do today)…where I really noticed the transition was when I went back home to work in the clubs in the 90’s.  All the work shifted from LA to Seattle for sure but back home Glam Metal was out and “Grunge” (hate that term) was in at some point. I didn’t get the memo that Metal was out and Seattle was in. I just went with the flow. The difference at home was the radio had stopped playing 80’s metal and full rotation was set on Seattle, it was really strange. Instead of taking my flights to LAX, I was now heading for SEATAC. That’s just the way it was. Not Enough time to write about the Raves and The Grateful Dead, Old Skool Rap Shows ( Notorious BIG, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Warren G, NWA, Public Enemy, Wu Tang Clan, KRS 1, Dr. Dre, etc.) that’s for other articles…I was going nonstop for sure!

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Photo Courtesy Of Doc!

My experiences during these times are just beginning to be published, every day still I remember a new adventure and make note to be sure I remember to write about it here. “Bastard Saint” the Series has turned into something bigger. A book about all my experiences set to a bizarre ethereal netherworld. Based on a true story…there is so much to it, I will be posting excerpts from it in the New Year of 2015. Sorry, much later than I had expected because I want to give everybody a taste of how the book is coming along and the characters within, without giving away everything in a few posts. However I will probably self publish and give it away for free. So I look to give everyone here pieces to wet the tongue, while leaving people wanting to see development and progress with the full text.

So in closing here I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays! Have a drink and a toke on me…I’ll be sticking with my coffee, Ettan, and Skruf Xtra Stark with a little Thunder Ultra Raspberry / Thunder Frosted, Oden’s Kanel, Gotlandskt Julesnus to keep it real for the season! Real Swedish Imported Snus Taxes Paid(Med Smak Av Jul !)….not that American SNUS Shit!

 

Most Recent Imported Swedish Snus Haul:

CRPRSZ

UPDATE: 12/23/14 ~ Excellent News…I guess it was meant to be. I just got off Facetime and the relatives did make it to the Sunset Strip today and they Loved It!!! They are now safely in San Diego [Dago] @ Mission Bay. Pacific Beach Manana!

So Cali Love!!!

 

Thanks for reading and for all your kind words and support!

More Interesting Articles and Reviews to come.

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

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3 Of The Strangest Musicians I Have Ever Met…Part #3, Person #3 Of 3…[Remixed, Re-Edited, and Remastered]…

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

3 Of The Strangest Musicians I Have Ever Met…Part #3, Person #3 Of 3…Rob Zombie.

 

There are three artists that stand out in my mind as being quite interesting people and very strange at the same time. The years have allowed me to meet some extremely eccentric 180315f-illcharacters. As I said there are three that instantly come to mind, and here’s the story on the third.

I reiterate, over the years of working in the nightclubs, I would have some very memorable encounters with musicians often well or just before they became famous. You know already that I worked for a string of clubs in a major city, and depending on the night I could be doing Fashion shows, DJ’s, Boxing matches, Spoken Word, Gay nights, Local and International acts, and all things outside and in between.

My coming to this conclusion about the strangest musicians I have ever met, all have different characteristics as to how they were chosen. This person was part of a band that I was onto very early on. I had a feeling they would be big because they were playing some earth shattering music, and it sounded different from everyone else. It was heavy and loud but they still had there own sound signature, so if you heard them you instantly knew who it was. What it was, slowed up and sexy grind core, with a dark foreboding melodic edge.

Beyond this strange character I am writing about here is a bigger story, that is all about the phenomenon of one band member having a vision, and it would be fair to say that these people may not have become famous without their original band that got them there. That is to say that once one member that was the voice of a band was able to turn the original 363381-1-1254775920877members into “hired guns” over time they could leave and restart a band based around them with new members and continue on, leaving all loyalties behind.

There are a lot of bands that have done this, some of the more notable ones are Billy Corgan of The Smashing pumpkins removing D’arcy and James Iha and creating a whole new band and acting as if the band was the same. Now we can see Billy was always the  leader and creator for the band, he had reached stardom, by losing the original members could he now reap more of the profits and full control? (The way the finances are split between the members). Who knows he may have had this setup from the beginning. I know that Billy has said he played most if not all of the music on their first and best albums. Ever since losing James and D’arcy they have not been anywhere near as good IMO.

Next is The Black Crowes, I must preface this part with the idea that was not all their fault…but then again some of it was. I also would like to say that both Chris and Rich Robinson have never received the respect that they deserved as songwriters when Marc Ford, Johnny Colt, and Uncle Ed were in the band. Marc Ford was fired for drug problems and Johnny Colt probably left because he had enough. I personally know that being around 363381-7-1280682138731the dark cloud of the fighting Robinson Brothers, was hard to endure and I remember the anger between the two could be cut with a knife backstage before and after shows.

Another is Megadeth…again another situation where it was not all Dave Mustaine’s fault. There is however in all of the examples I present here enough fault to go around for everyone. Chris and Gar from the original lineup was inevitable because of drugs and death. Mustaine along with Junior were so amazingly good with Marty Friedman and Nick Menza. Bassist David Ellefson recently stated in part of a Blabbermouth article were he said that people don’t like band lineup changes but it is inevitable. I can see his point, sometimes you just can’t be around “unprepared” band members. I do see that Nick and Marty are everywhere as good as they were then and the current Megadeth lineup is not tight, with Drover on drums, he is always fighting to keep up and drumming style is boring IMO. Chris Broderick is technically amazing on guitar but the sound is to the point of being clinical and lacking any feeling or soul. So as much as Ellefson may be right about lineup changes being inevitable, I can also come to the conclusion that it does not mean a real progression for a band, symbolically yes…creatively, no.

Next the situation is a little bit different but comparable in every way to the aforementioned bands without getting rid of any members. That was Nirvana, and you know how I feel about them. The one thing in the Nirvana story which got me hissing was when Kurt Cobain through lawyers decided to change the three way split that had been in place, to where Krist and Dave received a percent of the original split because they were not the main songwriters. Maybe it’s just me but if I was in the same situation there is no way I would reconfigure the three way split out of principle. As it was, everyone would be filthy 18024-hottest_worldrich for life with the three way split. I understand Kurt was the force, but the band was Nirvana because of all three members.

Then there is Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy under the cover of Sharon has continually screwed original and former members out of publishing and writing credits since the beginning. A lot of what made Ozzy famous was his voice as bad as it could be live…it still was a force and often hauntingly amazing. Ozzy would never have been able to pick up the pieces after his firing from Black Sabbath without Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, and Lee Kerslake. Sharon was behind all the underhandedness and Ozzy just went along. Before “Blizzard of Oz” was released, the band had agreed to call and label themselves “The Blizzard Of Oz Band”, and that their first album would state this. When the album came out it was Ozzy who received top billing and the rest of the band just became the name of the album. Sharon chalked this up to a “Printing Error”, ahh yeah…ok! Ozzy is known to be able to come up with good random melodies but he barely wrote any of the music on his first two albums. Ozzy and Sharon did not want to give writing credits to anyone but Ozzy and maybe Randy (Also Rudy and Tommy who were the touring band later on but did not perform on the first two albums), and later would call the real authors of the albums session musicians. They did the same to Jake E. Lee. Very sad, and there is so much more to this story but I can’t get into it here now, it will have to come in a future article. To hear this about one of my favorite artists really left a bad taste in my mouth.

The last group I would like to touch on is Guns N’ Roses. They fit this list in the sense that Axl wanted ownership of the name and he’s been the force for many years now. Where they are different is that original members come back and leave  the band (for the most part) on their own volition. Some members don’t want to come back at least for now. Oddly enough the fact that the new Gun’s N’ Roses is very good musically and sounding excellent, and Duff is back…is a great sign that Rose with all his eccentricities has assembled a tight musical entity with Bumblefoot and Ashba.

So all of these stories have something in common and it took me some years for it to pan out. There are many other bands that I did not touch on here in the same or similar situations but you get the point. There is something to be said for a major creative force in a band taking control and continuing the money machine however it can be done. Where there is no loyalty to the other members from the past that made the band the success it is today. The lineups that I mentioned were amazing to watch and it was when all these bands were at there best. The members kicked to the curb were forces to watch onstage, now I go to see any of these bands live today and it is all about one or two members and they do not have the mojo that they once had (with the exception of Guns N’ Roses). With that said, I am still a fan at heart and Bild-105-600x685still listen and follow these bands…and I can’t help loving them even if they are just a shell of their former selves.

So with all that said, there was a band that I personally witnessed this phenomenon, and it has been largely written out of the record books, but as I was there I saw it happen right before my eyes. The band was White Zombie and it’s co-founder Rob Zombie. Now if you go to see Rob with his band name being all him, and you did not follow him early on you may not know the details on the split. It was not a direct result of the end of Rob and Sean’s intimate relationship, as that had ended years before. This may have been part of a continuing tension, but I got to see Rob in action in the early days, and now I know that Rob never had the desire to stay in White Zombie and that it was all about him. When guitarist Jay and bassist Sean we’re kicked to the curb it was not a surprise to me, again as it was all about Rob.

I remember seeing White Zombie live many times and at the beginning it was a small audience that grew quickly from show to show. I also remember seeing them play a club and it was sold out, and the next night I went to see them play at a different venue, the Campus Club in Providence Rhode Island and there were seven people there (Yes, seven including me). They played to an empty club and did a full set. I also remember that Rob did not interact with many of the fans at any of the gigs I was at, he would push them off on to Jay or Sean, and they would stop and talk for as long as you wanted they were really nice. This happened so many times to me and I saw it happen to others all the time. In fact Rob Zombie was one of the musicians that I found myself in a situation to talk to him dozens of times and he never spoke more than a few words to me…he always had a look of I don’t care, I’m all business.

So I had many conversations about music and other things with Jay and Sean Individually, so at the time I did not care about the lay of the land to come. Then there was the time I realized all was not good in White Zombie land. Jay and Sean were at NAMM in Anaheim and they were signing autographs on a photo of just him and Sean from “White Zombie” and there was no Rob in the picture. I remember thinking that’s weird that Rob is not in a White Zombie press photo. Sean and Jay also did not look happy to be there as well. It’s safe to say they looked miserable and a few years later would come to find out that Zombie had split IMG_3229_editedup and that Rob was going solo. Everything clicked at that moment to me. Rob, in my mind was the epitome of an opportunist and if you ask Rob Zombie fans, many would only know of Rob being the star.

Don’t take this to be sour grapes, because that could not be further from reality. I have nothing against Rob Zombie, he never did any thing negative to me. Just talking to Jay and Sean at the time I was happy because I just thought Rob was just impersonal.

If you had a chance to see White Zombie in the early days in a club, you would have been mesmerized. They were a force to be reckoned with. They were different than all the other bands out at the time and they rocked hard. All members of the band were amazing to watch and they were so damn tight. I have never bought a solo Rob Zombie album even though I heard songs that were very good. So I get it, Rob was the Alpha force driving the original band. When they broke up It was rare to hear anyone talking about it. I guess one had to be there to know what I’m talking about.

It’s interesting to see Rob in interviews now, because he comes off as very likeable and objective. It’s like he has settled into his fame and he is happy. He’s not as focused and intense as he was when I was around him. He knew he was going to be famous early on, I can see that now. I’m happy for him although I don’t follow him anymore. It was as if Rob was giving Jay and Sean that time to be around him for this journey, out of the kindness of his heart.

I write all my articles off the top of my head, this is why there is a free form feel to it and why I go off on tangents. Sometimes after writing about something that interests me I look around online to see if there is anything I should add to tighten up the writing. When I read the “White Zombie” Wikipedia Page, I got to the very last paragraph, and to put things in perspective, compare and contrast all that I just wrote with this quote ~

In June 2011, in an interview with Metal Hammer magazine, Rob Zombie was asked why White Zombie split up, in which he replied: “It had run its course. Success is a big thing that you can never plan for, because it affects everybody differently. I don’t want to blame myself or anyone else in the band – it’s just that the band didn’t work any more. Rather than continuing on and making shitty records and having it all fall apart , I thought ‘Let’s just end it on a high point'”.

 

It would be nice, one day to see a white Zombie reunion, but I will not hold my breath as the way it will probably go will be with John 5 on guitar instead of Jay. Again, nothing against John 5, I dig him he’s a Randy Rhoads fan and a sick guitarist to boot. Who knows, that is history now, and now you’ve heard it. My Process my review. Oh yeah, and don’t get me started on my favorite band Pink Floyd and Roger Waters.

 

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

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©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

My Experience: Nirvana ~ The 2 Days Punk Went Mainstream…& My Time W/ Kurt Cobain

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

 

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My Experience: Nirvana ~ The 2 Days Punk Went Mainstream…& My Time W/ Kurt Cobain

 

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Many of you know by now from previous posts, how I was involved in the music industry so I am not going to go over all that again. If you are new and you would like to know then you can read a lot of posts on just this subject from the last few months at this website. Many more of these will be presented here over time and I hope you get some enjoyment in reading them. This one in particular has been painful to reexamine but I am looking at it as a sort of catharsis, and a way to organize my emotions that have been quite tangled over the years just thinking about it. I was affected by it, and I don’t know how far I will go to explain why.

I have fought my emotions over and over as to whether I should publish this for two reasons; I did not want to write about someone who became a mega cult figure in the world of music just to gain readers, and two for a long time I thought I should let sleeping dogs lie. There are portions of this story that I was aware, and in the middle of, that have caused major shit storms in the media in the past and a lot of people were hurt emotionally. I will have to walk a fine line here so as to not sensationalize this piece, meaning that some things will be spoken of in generalities where people will know what I am talking about, and also may have to leave some specific details out as they are just dirt and have been well covered by the mainstream press.

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My experience of the two days punk went mainstream took place in three small clubs in Boston in the fall of 1991, where the first show on a Monday in late September was in every sense of the word pre-punk mainstream and the next day literally “Oh well whatever, Nevermind”. I decided to write about my experience as an ode and a sad goodbye to my cultural guide for many years, a free weekly entertainment and lifestyle paper which served as my source of news (The Boston Phoenix), and a farewell to it’s sister radio station 101.7 FM WFNX Boston.  This week the final issue was sent to press and the word came down, even as a surprise to workers, that the complete media group would be shutting down for good after a decade of trying to reorganize to save the iconic presence that it held in the difficult media space that we find ourselves in. Ladies and gentlemen this is the death of not only an era for Boston but more importantly the continuation in an age of 092391.0003superficiality that has been brewing for a long time. As Holden Caufield would say we live in a phony time.

I find it akin to Nirvana and all the other great bands at that time wiping the slate clean of decadence and bringing with it heroin chic and doom and gloom. None of the bands were at fault as we know that music in any time period is a reflection of the society as we know it  If the 80’s were all about fun and excess, then the 90’s were about introspection and cutting the fat. Both era’s felt really powerful and exciting, while at the same time courting death as if it was an old friend on standby just waiting to fill the void. The big difference was that in the 80’s seemed without consequence, where the 90’s were all about celebrating the damage that had already been done. They were both thrillingly dangerous coupled with the excitement of endless possibilities. Now the danger has accelerated to  a new level of pharmaceutical purity and as I said a disconnect of virtual 092391.0002superficiality where everyone is a “rockstar” whether everyone else around you knows it or not. It takes “fake it till you make it”, to new levels of obscenity and vulgarity.

So Nirvana was coming to town from Canada and they arrived on September 22, 1991 (the day prior the WFNX Party but were not present at the clubs that I knew of until the next day), they had played a show in Montreal the night before. The reason that Nirvana was coming to town was a result of a number of serendipitous reasons as well as some hard work by a DJ at the local alternative radio station in Boston WFNX. It just so happened that Nirvana had Boston on their minds inadvertently for a long time as big fans of the amazing Boston band The Pixies. Second WFNX was one of the few radio stations that was playing Nirvana early on, well before they were famous. WFNX happened to hold 092391.0004a birthday bash every year where all the clubs on Lansdowne Street hosted up and coming bands as well as some headliners that were on the verge of some trajectory of stardom.

I think the DJ at WFNX I am referring to was Kurt St. John, he ended up doing some interviews with Nirvana (Not the one live on air done at this party) but a few which would be the first, if not only, CD interview with the band released officially by Nirvana’s Label. Earlier in the summer of 1991 St. John basically begged  Nirvana management to play the WFNX birthday bash in September 1991. After some wrangling and persistence by St. John he convinced them to agree to Headline the party at Club Axis. At this time Nirvana only had the album “Bleach” out, as well some singles that would eventually end up on “Incesticide”. A few people had advance promo copies of Nevermind (WFNX being one of them) on cassette and probably CD and I seem to remember hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” played on WFNX in the afterhours, at the time 61EZcegYhCL._SY300_not knowing exactly who it was. I had already seen Nirvana play once before with Chad, and it was also the first time I met Kurt…we finished off a bottle of my …. ….. Not proud of it but it happened.

So when I heard they were coming to town for the WFNX bash, I was excited but I had no idea. I had seen many bands that got my attention early on and after they had received some commercial success only to fizzle out or just maintain a cult following…so this was how I imagined it would go as well. I was going or working at every show I could any day of the week because it was essential to me to hear the latest and the greatest of what was to come. Because I was around the clubs most of the day in the preparation stages of setting up and on days like the WFNX Birthday…officials from the record labels as well as radio representatives would be there along with members of the crew and the bands. Being in this position I saw almost everyone that was coming or going throughout the day.

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This was the point where the sound engineers would be consulting with the bands as to what the they required for setup for them to play. Amplifiers, guitars, drums, etc. were brought into the clubs. Each club had it’s own security and crew setting up for the evening festivities. One thing that was different this night is that Nirvana was going to be performing a sort of record release night. The night of the WFNX bash was the day before the release of “Nevermind” and of course few if anyone knew what was about to happen ( at least how big ). On days like this there was always a heady excitement in the air…so I look back and remember that I recognized it was to be special night as everyone was running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

At some point in the late afternoon Smashing Pumpkins arrived as did Nirvana and the other two bands that were opening that night, it was the first time seeing their new drummer Dave. Kurt was with his “girlfriend” at least I thought it was his girlfriend she was around the whole two days and they seemed more than just friends. I did not give any more attention to it friend or girlfriend, they were close I’ll put it that way. So Nirvana did their sound check and they tore the roof off…I thought holy shit, I don’t remember them being this good. I do remember thinking their new drummer hit the skins as hard as John Bonham…no joke he was that good. Soon after their sound check I ran into Kurt and he remembered who I was because he walked up to me and I said something like…’The new drummer holy shit.’ Kurt replied…”That’s Dave he’s great”. I said I’ll be around for the duration if you guys need anything just let me know. Kurt said “Thanks, I’ll see you later.” I then went to get dinner on Boylston Street and stopped by Tower Records and I knew someone who worked there and after telling him I was going to the Nirvana show that night and I can’t wait to get the new album. He said I have something for you…he gave me the “Nevermind” cassette without a cover or artwork, I was on cloud nine to say the least. After a quick meal it was back to Lansdowne for the night.

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The best thing I remember about the two days was just being around to take it all in(I know that sounds camp)…I look back on it now and I remember bumping into Kurt several times over the two days and having a smoke. He was very shy but personable. At one point he seemed to put me in a psych corner, asking me what music I listened to. I told him everything from Metal to Classical to Jazz and Punk. He said something about “Macho”. I was not shy and I told him “I Fucking hate Machismo…” I said ‘I joke about the Men Men Men thing, but I get along better with women than men. Not in a sexual way, I have a lot of girls that are friends, more than guys. I know it sounds cliche but I remember having short chat about gays as well because I worked at the gay nights although I was not gay (not that it mattered anyway but that’s how it came up), I’m comfortable in my sexuality.’ (I said with a smile) Kurt was like ok, smirking “I get it” as if a tip to calm down. I remember vividly thinking he’s probably going to ditch me now. He did not, we just had a smoke and I remember him also saying to me “Boston is a great city.” He was always on the move and had a lot of people shuffling him around. So I had chats with him when we found ourselves standing near each other off and on over the next two days.

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Kurt wasn’t around a lot…I found out later that he was hanging out with his girlfriend, would’nt you do the same. Dave and Krist were around most of the time doing promotional stuff. I found it funny that Kurt just ditched it. Of course what we know of Nirvana now it 092391.19was not a stretch to see Kurt disappear on all the phonies. Krist and Dave were funny to watch and were constantly joking around. When Kurt was around he was selectively responsive and short in conversation with others in an ironic way. Depending on who he was talking to he could switch right into sweet and kind mode. It was interesting just watching him talk to people, he seemed to have a very active intuition about people…he would take in the vibe and then return with a similar response on a dime. He was definitely an interesting person, and as I found a joy to be around.

Now to logistics, if you’ve ever been to Axis you would know there really is not any backstage, just a small area to the side of the stage House Right Stage Left speaker avalonaxis 11 lstacks. There is a door there that leads to a fenced in alley between what was then Axis and Club Venus De Milo. This is were people would hang out and smoke or catch a breath of fresh air. The backstage for Axis was either the second floor up one of two stairwells as well as a door that led to a room off the second floor above the stage of Avalon Club. The bands, crew, and security would wander between the three clubs as food was being served. A while later they did an on air interview with WFNX which I did not see, but then they went onto the stage at Bill’s Bar and MTV was there where they filmed all the bands playing Crisco Twister. Krist was the most outgoing slathering himself up in Crisco (See Video). Kurt, Dave, James Iha, and Billy Corgan jumped in as well.

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dave_grohl_james_iha_nirvana_smashing_pumpkins_crisco_twister

 

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Next was the show for the first night, I heard the Smashing Pumpkins go on so I went in the side door. They were amazing but way too short. Bullet Lavoltta was great as well…at that point I was really excited for Nirvana the place was sweaty and packed! The crowd was like the tide going in and out, undulating to the beats and harmonies. Axis Club which 092391.16was a black hole (even when empty and the lights on) and smelled of piss and rubber latex, but that night had turned into a black mass. The altar on which legends are made, and the crowd was lovingly violent. The floor in front of the stage only held several hundred people and all the wings were standing room only. I remember thinking why did they not have this at Avalon. I didn’t go on about it because I was in…I did wonder how many of the masses of people lined up down the street got in. There were three shows going on at once, one at Venus, one at Axis, and one at Avalon. How it would work is, you had to get into the club you wanted early because if one was full, as Axis was, you could wait for people to leave or go to one of the other clubs. In this case that meant being shut out and have to settle with another venue.

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I remember talking to people later on that had no idea who Nirvana was and went to the other clubs instead. Major fail, as we say today. It took a while for Nirvana to go on and when they did it was just Dave and Krist…Kurt came a bit later, it seemed like forever.  When they ripped into their first song, the place went absolutely mental. The songs that stood out for me were, Drain You, “Jesus Don’t want me for a sunbeam” (their first known performance of this) and “Rape Me” which would not be out for a few more years on “In Utero”. I was mesmerized and in love, all the talk was that this band was going to be huge. Now thinking back it reminds me of how Lemmy of Motorhead described what it was like before and after rock and roll. Lemmy said somewhere that he ‘remembers what it was like before Rock and Roll’. All there was and I’m paraphrasing here, ‘was your mothers Rosemary Clooney Records, then all of a sudden there was Elvis, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis.’ When I heard him say this all I could think of was these Nirvana shows. Exactly how it felt…there was before and after, like a demarcation in time, as if that time had stopped for a while and then started again. Everything was somehow different. I’m not trying to be dramatic here, it’s just how it was.

Nirvana: Live at the Axis Nightclub – September 23, 1991
Intro
Aneurysm
Drain You
School
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Come As You Are
Sliver
Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam
Floyd The Barber
Polly
About A Girl
Breed
Rape Me
Blew
Been A Son
Negative Creep

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After the show was over I was pretty hopped up so I went to a friends house that was having a late night party. When I got there I told people what I had just witnessed and I said you have to hear their new album…so I put the cassette in a boom box and played “Nevermind” in full. The reaction was negative from everyone, I think the words used was, “hated it” and this was a crowd into new and heavy music. I was stunned, they did not get it. It’s safe to say that a month later they were all listening to “Nevermind” on repeat. I never mentioned the cold greeting it got when I first played it that night. Not only that I did not pursue any of them to go the next day to the second show as a result of their reaction. So I got fired up that night on chemicals, alcohol, and my beloved cough syrup. What a blur!

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Photo Courtesy of Doc! Oh Well, Whatever, NEVERMIND!

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Woke up the next day early afternoon and shook off the cobwebs and head back to Lansdowne for the second early show. They had decided to add another show that day September 24, 1991 because the first show was 21+ this way younger people could get in. It really seemed like everyone in the band was having a great time here in Boston. I was quite proud of that. That Boston could stand tall against bigger markets in terms of music quality, with top shelf audio engineers, crew, and staff second to none.

Again it was another blowout  It was magnificent, the sets were a little different, on order especially. The standouts were Come As You Are, .Breed, Pennyroyal Tea, and my favorite song Dive. I only remember the setlist because I have the recordings of these shows. Thank God someone realized that this was history in the making and knew to record it. I’ve recorded some great shows as well but this was before my rogue recording career was in full swing.

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Nirvana: Live at the Axis Nightclub – September 24, 1991

Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
Drain You
Floyd The Barber
Sliver
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Come As You Are
Breed
About A Girl
Satisfaction
Territorial Pissings
Pennyroyal Tea
School
Blew
Negative Creep
Been A Son
Dive

When It was all over it really took years to sink in as to how great that moment was. Now I am able to look at it with a smile. Nirvana was not on my mind, although I do remember thinking it would be great to see them again. So when I was in the UK the next year I saw them at the Reading Festival…I was now just a face in a crowd of hundreds of thousands it was weird but still fun. The thoughts of the guys in Nirvana just walking around unknown, flashed in my memory and now this. OMG! My next recollection in regard to this time that would cause me to sink into the very lowest point in my life. It was April of 1994 and I was driving through Kenmore Square in Boston, and I heard over the radio that Kurt had died of a self inflicted gun shot wound to the head. I went into a trance it seemed, like I had been punched in the gut. I almost got in an accident pulling over to the side of the road in busy traffic. I was gutted.

The next few days I reflected on my life what was important family, etc…and I had a mean drug habit as well. This is why it was so hard to even begin this piece. I was one of the lucky one’s. I was able to clean up quite fast, still at such a young age, and sad to say that it had to take something like this to happen. I probably would have straightened out eventually anyway…it was in my thoughts already. I was using hard and not getting high anymore no matter how much I tried, I think what saved me was that I never hit the needle. Too many of my friends are dead from guns and drugs so much pain for the families left behind…so much freaking wreckage!

There seems to be a cult following of Kurt today and he was not a superstar first, he was not a God, he was just a person. Nirvana was really something special and for a moment in time it felt like we could fly….Two for the ages!

 

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Up the Irons, Droogies! 🙂

 

Thanks, as always, for your support.

RIP~ Tommy Ramone!

 

Enjoy, more interesting articles to come!

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

 

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