In The Out-Crowd


I’ve been triggered but most likely you, the reader, will NOT be triggered by this nobody rant about nothing.

When I was 12 or 13 I started buying punk records. Mainly Canadian but a few American and British. At school I got shit on from one side (I never once got shit on by a few fine folks like S.R. and R.M.) for buying “strange” music. The other camp gave me shit because I never went to punk shows. In or around 1986 I started going to Edmonton Punk shows and low and behold, I STILL got shit on. It seemed like I was not part of the “in-crowd” because I had a mullet (remember them?), huge “preppy specs” (remember them too?) and failed to wear the current punk attire too and hence I deserved to be shat on.

I was so disappointed after going to my first Edmonton show that when my family went to Calgary I’d go to shows there instead. Between 1986 and 1988 I went to 2 or 3 Edmonton shows and got shat on at EVERY show. I went to maybe 10 to 12 Calgary shows (Joker, Beyond Possession, Ninth Configuration, etc) in the same time period and not once did I get harassed at the shows. Oh I got harassed in Calgary but only on the bus or streets but that happened in Edmonton (and the streets of Vancouver, Toronto and Saskatoon when I went to shows in those cities too). I’m well aware that every music scene in every city has an in-crowd clique. It seemed to me that Edmonton was the worst and still is the worst.

There are exceptions. Locals like S.Y.J., J.R., C.Z., G.K., J.W., T.S., A.B., A.H., A.B., J.S., D.B. of J.G.W. or T.M. of K.C.B., P.J. & O.R. or C.C. of S.N.F.U. & D.B.B.B or R.H. & D.R. of T.I. or T.J. of T.S. or S.L. of M.O.S., O.R. & P.J. have all been exceptionally welcoming and every time I see them again are truly superior friendly human beings. I will not tag you fine folks named above for fear of repercussions against me and by proxy, you. On the other hand some of my favourite local musicians and scenesters that were nice in the beginning soured pretty quickly. April 19th (or was it the 20th? It’s been a terrible blur to me) happened and my teeny tiny nobody nothing world was shattered after I posted my grief.

Some of my local favourite musicians and scenesters (NOT the few I’ve named above) took the liberty to call into question my honesty and integrity. This was extremely hurtful. More-so than the 3 or 4 people who I had no idea were (and as of writing this still do not know who they are and it seems pointless to find out) but took the time out of their day to message me on Facebook calling me a “fucking liar” or threatening me. Boy, did my Facebook block finger get a work out in the last 2 plus weeks! 16 people and counting. Now I won’t even abbreviate the names of my local heroes and I most certainly won’t abbreviate the strangers either. This made me realize that I’m only a 50 year old punk and not a 58 or 59 or 60 (why does this even matter?) punk. The world is on fire and you want to brag about going to punk shows 5 to 10 years before me? Really? To quote S.YJ. “some people never leave the playground” and to quote my lovely wife “never meet your heroes.”

I will get through this but if I seem irritable or cranky it’s because of this Edmonton clique crap. Most definitely the debacle with my artwork on April 26th (or was it the 27th? It’s been a terrible blur to me.) has contributed to my crankiness. It’s frustrating that I can no longer publicly talk about my art without the threat of legal actions being taken against me. But as the mighty Kurt Vonnegut said so many years ago, “and so it goes.” To the people who stuck with me, much love and respect. To the people that made my pandemic year(s) worse than it already was, later days.

To whoever takes the time out of their busy day to read this thanks, I send genuine and honest love and respect to. Good luck, take care and stay healthy.

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