VANCOUVER — I just finished binge-watching two years’ worth of The Walking Dead over the last three nights while procrastinating this column. The parallels are immense: loss, appreciation of what once was, making do with what you have, starting from scratch, doing your best, surviving. Fuck…This sounds like one of my dad’s lectures from 35 years ago.
Yes. I miss the Cobes. Those were special times. I know where I am now obviously irks some people. It has given opportunity to many and it sucks that some people are gone. Shit changes. We are still here. John the Soundguy, Cheese, Evil Bastard, Phill and I, are the remnants of the corporate cull. Some new, cool allies have arrived. I’ve put in six long years trying to make a go of this place. It’s tough to feel like you’re on borrowed time against the swell of gentrification or hipsters usurping what you’ve built yet again. Bullshit resistance from your own scene for whatever reason fucking sucks.
If it’s something I did, I wish people would be adult enough to discuss it. This seems to be a world that’s morphing into gutless, gossiping keyboard warriors. The irrational rumour mongering and petty innuendo are affecting people’s lives. I’m sad to see how entitled and irresponsible society has become. Got an issue? Own it. I’ve pulled my weight, endured endless bullshit from scumbags and sacrificed more than I needed to in an effort to see live music continue. Grudgingly, I was thrust into a position of being an authority figure to boozers. But understand that to exist legally means there are rules. Anarchy isn’t possible. I had to be hard on people who could crumble the scene structure with their hijinks antics.
If your problem is because the bar has a weird stage, I’ll just laugh. I remember when the city rolled into the Asbalt and ordered the stage removed because it was deemed illegal. I came into work for a show and the $700 worth of wood we had used for our side stage was gone. Later, during a shitwater episode we looked up to the roof and there was the flooring of the bright red stage up in the rafters. I had listened to bands gripe about having to play on the floor only to see that now it seems that is all the trendy rage. I prefer a stage for bands. Deduct my punk points if you must. At least the audience can see the performers and the singers aren’t losing their chicklets when a mic gets smashed into their mouth from an exuberant music fan.
At this point, if the Trump style “you’re fired” threats became reality, my Plan B is I’ll just rent four walls and a roof and sell off all my venue-related equipment and memorabilia. I still have a P.A. in storage and the cash register, ice machine, and other goodies. I could throw some boozecan style shows for rent revenue while downsizing my musical hoard. Goodbye Public Storage and finally space for an art studio in my cave. That intrigues me. Starting from scratch again to endure more overlord bullshit does not.
When you have a friend tell you that what you’re doing is for naught because you have a “dead” venue, it stings. Sure, old George was a bastard and the Corporation thinks of me as a minion and doesn’t appreciate my work, but I’m still fighting. These are the cards I’ve been dealt. I’m working with my hands tied behind my back and am becoming an expert in damage control. I’m happy to report the absurd online harassment has subsided as clicking unfollow and blocking have become my favourite tool for “Take No Shit 2016.” I will always wonder who the fuck started that swirling shitstorm. There are still good local shows to see here. Buckle up.Asbalt, BC, British Columbia, running a venue