Archive for June 27th, 2010


G20: Crucial Shortages In Wake Of Protests

June 27, 2010

As Toronto settled back down after Saturday’s flaming-cop-car protests, people woke up Sunday to learn about crucial shortages of much-needed supplies.

Rioters smashed windows and looted during the protests Saturday, leaving many downtown businesses in a shambles … with a particular emphasis on coffee-shop chains. This forced their closure Sunday … which meant if you were downtown, you couldn’t get a cup of coffee. All Tim Hortons were closed until Monday, as were most Starbucks. The Toronto Sun reported Sunday night that a lone Second Cup had long, long lineups Sunday, as it was one of the only spots open. You know things are bad when people are lining up for The Second Cup.

Torontonians, it seems, don’t know how to make coffee at home.

In the meantime, the head of Toronto’s official association of  prostitutes, and I am not making that up, complained to the same newspaper about how the G20 hurt the local sex trade. You will probably ask “Wouldn’t these people see more business with all these visitors, particularly American political types, in town?” No, says Valerie Scott of Sex Professional of Canada: G20 visitors tend to be “too busy” to sneak out for any fun. Meanwhile, Scott said, authorities were checking IDs of everyone entering the downtown core during the G20, which meant the “high-end brothels” in downtown condo buildings saw a drop in business. And police sweeps meant the streetwalkers had to clear out.

Torontonians, it seems, don’t know how to make love at home.

The biggest city in Canada saw a lot of flaming violence this weekend, a lot of punk-rock protests as people had their say about the governments, economics and politics of the world’s most powerful country. But in typical Canadian style, when two things we really, really like were taken away, barely a peep was heard.

In related news, a cottage-country bakery named a muffin after Barack Obama. So there’s that.


Turds of Misery: The Lost Turd

June 27, 2010

Every great band has its Pete Best, its Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy, a founding member lost in the sudden onslaught of fame and fortune. In the case of Davenport, Iowa’s Turds of Misery, that was the band’s original drummer. He isn’t in the famous photo, and he doesn’t remember why … although he acknowledges that he may have taken it.

Pat emailed me today to share his memories of the band.

“Hey, this is the lost Turd, Pat,” he wrote. “I was the drummer for the Turds and probably the least talented of our group, but we always had lots of fun jamming.”

I’ll just bet. Look at that photo … some of the most fun I’ve ever had has been down in the basement, with musical instruments and beer. I was the drummer, too, and also the least talented, especially in my basement. This has not changed, by the way.

Anyway, Pat goes on to explain a bit of the history of the band. “It was so long ago, but I believe we played in the early ’70s, because for some reason I think it was during my college years …”

Well, I can relate to that, too. My memories of making music in my college days in the ’80s are pretty fuzzy, too. Our band was called The Rhythm Method, which makes me wish I had thought of Turds of Misery.

“I’m not sure where the name originated,” Pat says, “but least of all, it was appropriate!” In other words, they played places that paid in cheap draft beer and pickled eggs — again, I can relate. “Lots of fun,” he goes on. “Ah, for the good old days …”

Pat didn’t say what he’s doing now, but I checked the Foreigner website and he’s definitely not a member.

Anyway, it was Laurie, the daughter of band member Dave (not the Dave who looks like Jakob, but the one who looks like Seth Rogen), who first turned me on to the Turds’ true history after I invented one of my own. Laurie then went on to set up a band website as a Father’s Day present, and told me on the weekend via email that she’s trying to convince Dave to write a full account of the band … and maybe even put together a reunion of sorts.

This is the sort of thing that could work really well in the YouTube age. If it happens, I think I’ll put together the opening act. I’ll call it Bagpipes MacDonald.