(continued from part one) So Shipwreck's got his video camera set up on a tripod on a table to record the night... He did a pretty good job, only in one song (End of the Road) I guess he was bored and spent most of the song playing around with the camera's special effects... At the end of the show I guess he was bored again, it appears that he took the camera off the tripod and was running all over the bar with it...
"End of the Road." (with Shipwreck's bad effects)
After the set, Ryan disappeared out to the suburbs to crash with his friend Chris Walton. Next morning after he got back, he thought he could entertain us with the news of the "Law and Order Marathon" he managed to find on tv... Ryan always seemed to find these TV marathons on the road!... Chris and Shipwreck took off to Shipwreck's. Cobe and I, without a game plan for anywhere to stay opted to hang around the bar as late as we could. My plan was to talk the bar staff into staying for afterhours, in Ottawa this was fairly common, and usually amounted in the bar staff forgetting to charge you for the drinks. But that's really and Ottawa tradition, not so much anything they do or even know about in Toronto. It didn't happen, no matter how many hints I dropped, it didn't happen. Dan Burke was the famous manager/booker of the Elmo, he was responsible for bringing us to the club several times, he was pretty drunk by the end of the night. It as pretty funny by then, I was hinting at afterhours and free drinks and staying up until the wee hours... Dan was blind drunk, he kept telling me that the Phantom Shifters really "Rocked" not realizing that I was in the band at all... Cobe just watched the whole thing, thinking we were both idiots... Cobe and I headed upstairs to the dance club that was upstairs, not much happened up there, but Cobe and I can both remember staring at some girl's behind alot, she was right in front of us... She seemed to love and encourage the attention, but the guy with her sure didn't.
Now there is an afterhours scene in Toronto, it's not sitting around in the dark drinking on the house like it is in Ottawa, it's cabbing off to one of the 3 or 4 afterhours "Boozecans" that operate throughout the city. The Madador was one Boozecan, The "Paintcan" was another. Cobe and I flagged a cab outside the Elmo (after being thrown out aound 2:45pm) and managed to slur something about the Paintcan to the driver. The driver told us we were already there and pointed at a lineup on the sidewalk right across the street... Seeing that, we then slurred something about the Matador to him, he'd had enough of us and told us to get out of his cab, which we refused. I can't speak for Cobe, but I know how I felt, I felt that since I flagged this cab, he should have to take us some place. He was refusing to take us across town to the Boozecan, so I insisted he take us directly across the street, not to the Paintcan's line, but to the 24 hour Doughnut show beside it. I thought that was hilarious, Cobe thought it was hilarious, the Cab driver didn't. But he took us across the street. I paid the 3 dollar fare and didn't tip. I can't remember if we went into the Doughnut shop or not, probably not.
Cobe and I hadn't planned a place to sleep that night. Our choice of spots to stay when we played Toronto was getting worse every time the band went down there. First time we played Toronto Chris sprung for a very decent hotel room. After that Chris usually stayed with Shipwreck, Ryan stayed with Chris Walton and Cobe and I were left to figure things out for ourselves. One night Cobe and I were put up by Pat, and an old Art School buddy of mine. It was pretty funny when he turned on (and up) a radio right beside Cobe's head so we couldn't hear him having sex with his girlfriend at the other end of the room... Another time Cobe and I rented a dirt-cheap room in a Skid Row Hotel, but that's a Blog entry all on it's own. This night, we didn't have a plan even that good, so we out to the van in the parking lot behind the Elmo, right at the corner of Spadina and College Street at the edge of Toronto's Chinatown district. Cobe sat up in a back seat crammed up against the gear, I sat up front in the 'Shotgun" seat. It was pretty cold, but I eventually fell asleep.
Pretty early, a little after 7am from what I recall, I woke up to someone tapping on the glass of the window I was leaning on. Cobe had been up for a bit, if he slept at all, so he was alert and able to talk to this Policeman!... Typically the Cop wanted to know what we were up to, Cobe explained that we were musician's sleeping in our van, watching the gear, which was a good idea considering the neighborhood. Once the Cop saw the gear piled up in the back, he accepted the explanation and left us alone. At this point Cobe explained to me what was going on in the parking lot that morning. First, Cobe was pretty sure he saw a Hooker and guy get it off in a car a few spaces down. Second, Cobe was very sure the cops were running some kind of "Drug Sting" in the parking lot. I didn't really believe him about the Drug Sting or the Hooker for that matter. Soon enough I saw Toronto's Finest in action. A shady looking Chinese guy walked into the lot from the narrow alley that acts as the lot's entrance and exit, he was carrying a gym bad and headed for his car, a pretty nice 2 seat coupe that looked pretty expensive. Before this guy was able to get in his car, the Police rolled in 2 cruisers to block the exit, and 2 Plain-cloth Cops and 3 or 4 Uniformed Cops (including the Cop who checked us out) grabbed the guy and his bag, and in an other second they were all gone. about 20 minutes later, another Chinese guy, and other bag, heading for another expensive sports car was nabbed the same way. I saw about 4 guys get popped, and Cobe saw 2 or 3 guys go down before I woke up. From what I recall, Cobe asked the Cop about their operation and the Cop explained that they were cleaning up a Crack, or Meth Lab that was operating down the street. I was too sleepy to have heard any of the conversation.
Around 11am, Ryan showed up in the Parking Lot, he told us about all the great Law and Order he'd watched, but Cobe and I had a better story for him. Shortly after that Shipwreck came flying into the Parking Lot with Chris, when we told them about the morning, Shipwreck turned pretty blue, jumped in his car, threw Chris's bag out the window and flew out of the lot 20 times faster than he flew in... Chris was doubled over on the ground, killing himself, Shipwreck it seemed was also a small-time dope dealer and a pretty paranoid one at that!... About 20 minutes later, we were icrammed in the van on the Don Valley, on our way back to Ottawa's own Chinatown. The Phantom Shifters only played one more show with Cobe and Chris, Phase one of the Phantom Shifter Story was pretty much over.
"Not Fragile" A pretty good version of our BTO cover. Members of "Sticky Rice" can be seen in front of the stage.