Guestbook › Swervies – Toronto ’92 – story – help
October 5, 2004 at 5:49 pm #1137630scoopjuicyParticipant
I’m not an expert on the band, but I’ve seen Swervedriver at least five times, probably six. The first time I saw them was the most memorable, even though I forgot most of it, as you shall see. Can someone help me on the details?
The date was January 30, 1992, at Lee’s Palace. Raise tour. It might have been their first Toronto appearance. Support act was The Poster Children.
It was a really weird gig. Apparently their drummer went AWOL a day or two prior, so to fill their commitment, they had to fly in a substitute drummer who learned as much as he could on the plane. He basically didn’t know half of the set, so they took requests from the audience, conferred if they knew the songs in common, and winged it.
I live/work in Waterloo, about 90 minutes from Toronto. I didn’t get any sleep the night before. I did an all-nighter at a newspaper, then went to my regular job. No sleep, and didn’t eat all day. I thought I was going to eat supper, but my ride had other ideas. Even though they already had a lot of pot and hash, they insisted that they needed some honey oil too. So supper was abandoned while the hunt for oil commenced.
So we get to Toronto, smoking pot, hash, oil. No food. No sleep. We get into Lee’s. The Poster Children were awesome!! I was really getting into it, and drained a couple pitchers of beer. Then I started feeling really, really hot, stuffy and light-headed. Swervedriver came on, it was shambolic, but nevertheless fantastic, I was headbanging and generally stomping all over the place. But the light-headedness worsened. I needed fresh air. Badly. So I told my boys, back in a second dudes, I’m wasted, I need fresh air.
Well, I was now down to a t-shirt, and a January midnight in Toronto can get bloody cold. I stepped outside to Bloor Street. The cold felt great. I took a deep breath, and the last thing I remember was falling asleep on some fluffy clouds.
The next thing I knew, I was in the Lee’s washroom, dazed, confused. The doorman was splashing water on me and trying to revive me. I looked into the mirror. I was splattered in blood. My teeth were going through both lips. I went into a state of concussed shock. The doorman said he found me dead on the sidewalk, people walking over me like I was a wino, but as a regular at the club, he recognized and rescued me. He said I was down for about 20 minutes. I guess I blacked out and did a free-fall face-plant on concrete. I’m glad I blacked-out, or it might’ve hurt!
When my Good Samaritan doorman was explaining and I was trying to make sense of it all, I suddenly heard what sounded like the opening riff from “Kick Out the Jams.” I couldn’t contain myself. I LOVE that song!! I burst into the mosh pit and started wigging. I can clearly recall the horrified looks on faces — especially my friends — looking at me soaked in blood, moshing with a big black eye. Some people were pushing me away like I just stepped out of “Dawn of the Dead.” The concert kicked ass!!!!!
After the show, my boys bought me some bandages and a big bag of ice. I laid in the back seat, slapped the ice on my face, we raced back to Kitchener Hospital, made it in about an hour. You’d be surprised how many ice-hockey injuries happen mid-week at 2 am in Canada, so I had to wait for a long time. One guy had his throat sliced by an ice-skate blade, so I wasn’t complaining. They did x-rays and stitched me up. I had a black eye, a hairline fracture on my cheek, and 8 stitches through each lip. They released me at 6:30 am, I called a taxi and stumbled straight to work. They took one look at me, I was still concussed, and told me to go home. I didn’t come back for days. “Uhh, I fell on the ice with my hands in my pocket.”
Moral of the story:
If you’re gonna smoke yr brains out before a Swervedriver gig, act responsibly. Get some rest beforehand. Eat some food. Drink in moderation. Wear a jacket in sub-zero weather. And when you take the deep breath, hold onto a p
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