Gruesome Greg

Goodbye Cleveland…

It’s been about a week since I returned from The Mistake on the Lake, with many memories of my stay. The wildly energetic performance of almost- 60-year-old Bobby Liebling, the massive collection of artifacts at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame–the bitchy cab drivers who didn’t wanna break a 20, the prying border guards who searched my bag… Well, they weren’t all fond memories. But all in all, twas a highly enjoyable excursion.

Heading down to Cleveland to see Pentagram on Thursday… My DOOM awaits!

A couple years ago, I saw Blue Cheer at Sneaky Dee’s, in what turned out to be Dickie Peterson’s last performance in Toronto. (May he rest in peace.) Few musicians worshiped Blue Cheer as much as Bobby Liebling, the Pentagram singer who turns 60 this summer. In what could be another “last chance” gig, I’ve made the decision to catch Liebling and company on their January tour as it stops within driving distance of The Big Smoke next weekend.

What’s in a band name, anyways?

Toronto hard rockers Ape have made it their New Year’s Resolution to go after A Primitive Evolution, a local band that goes by the acronym A.P.E. Presumably, they don’t have the cash to pull a Satriani and serve them at their next public performance. So they’ve decided to post on every message board they can think of — and maybe tear down a concert poster or two.

The last all-ages punk show at the Kathedral…

…that I’ll ever attend took place last nite, when the Dayglo Abortions made their annual January cross-country trip to the Queen Street venue. That’s no knock on The Matadors or Oi Polloi; between my work and radio commitments, twas the gig that best fit onto my calendar.

Too much Cowbell is never a bad thing…

White Cowbell Oklahoma is now 10 years old, which makes them the same age as a fifth-grader. As a collective unit, that is; there are at least a couple geezers in the band. I wasn’t aware that the oldest of them, the skullet-headed Sergeant, had left WCO, giving them one less voice, guitar, and rhinestone-studded cowboy outfit. (He was always the best-dressed member, too…) But alas, they’ve soldiered on with their slimmed-down lineup, and celebrated their 10th anniversary in style last nite at Lee’s Palace.

Hotter Than Hell: Chicken Wings on Bloor St. (Toronto)

When I heard that a chicken wing joint was opening two doors down from St. Louis on Bloor, I thought that was a dumb idea. A few months later, when another bar specializing in wings opened at the corner of Bloor and Walmer, well, I figured that was a really dumb idea. Yet I found myself drawn to the winning combination of spicy wings and beer, so today I went to all three wing joints. My verdict is as follows…

ZZ Top: The Most Unlikely Arena Rock Band

Back before the “Steven Tyler falling off the stage” incident, ZZ Top and Aerosmith were scheduled to tour the football stadiums of the CFL’s Western Division. What with the pissing match that ensued, Aerosmith haven’t made up the dates yet, but ZZ Top came to Calgary for a headlining gig at the Pengrowth Saddledome, just a few days after the city played host to the 97th Grey Cup.

My pre-teen dream was nearly dashed by a shitty soundsystem…

When I was 10, the holy trinity of hard rock bands consisted of AC/DC, KISS, and…wait for it… Nazareth. The Scottish rockers had a shoulda-bin stadium stomper in “Hair of the Dog” and turned Joni Mitchell’s “This Flight Tonight” into a hard-rockin’ hit. I actually used to draw pictures of myself wearing a Nazareth T-Shirt. I kid you not.

To this day, I still don’t own a Nazareth T-Shirt. I also haven’t seen them live, and I think I could live without doing so. But after catching AC/DC last November, my pre-teen dream was realized last nite when I finally saw KISS in concert.