New Blog Announcement, And Why This Will Be My Last Post On MadeOfSteeltown..

It’s been a long time since I wrote on this blog. (Not since September of 2013.)
I haven’t been up to much, scene-wise.
I haven’t been going to shows, I haven’t been writing publicly, (electronically or
on paper), and I just generally haven’t been what you would call ‘around ‘in Hamilton.
Well, it’s time for my confession about why that is. I’ve made excuses before, but I want to finally tell the truth.
I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and Social Anxiety Disorder.
This is not an excuse to friends who wanted me at their show. I’m not trying to get pity.
I’m just tired of lying and excuses. Not to mention hiding what has affected me for so long.
(I have had these conditions since I was 17, but in September of last year, it got to the worst point.)
I’ve put a lot into trying to get better. Everything isn’t as good as it once was, but I’m working on it.
I just want any of the people I know who might read this to know that I appreciate and miss them.

Now, for the good news. I’m starting another blog here on wordpress. It will encompass what’s going on with me, some music-related content, and essays I’ve been writing.
The link is:

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the support you gave this blog.


How I Got Into Punk Rock. Conclusion.

And now, the conclusion as to what brought me to the present.

After hearing ‘American Idiot’; and deciding to be a ‘Punk’, I started hanging with my one Punk friend. And researching the genre. Whether by spending a few hours on a library computer, asking my parents what they knew, or reading the books that had been written on the subject.

Green Day was no longer the only band I was listening to. I started listening to what little Punk my parents had, and I listened intently to the ‘Alternative’ radio stations. That led to alot of (home-made) mixtapes with everything from Billy Idol to Teenage Head.

Around the time I was 15, I was getting alot of crap from certain members of the church for the whole Punk thing.  (Apparently; a knee-length kilt, a Green Day shirt, dyed red hair, Converse, and bad-mouthing the U.S was a no-no. I soon quit.)

That led to the Goth phase and that  lasted for 3 years. (I still listen to the music, but I am totally devoted to the Punk scene at this point.)

I remember exactly how I fell back in love with Punk, and how I actually got into the scene here in Hamilton.

It was a June day, and I was visiting Crash Landing. As I leaving, the owner Suzanne Kirkwood, handed me a flyer. She told me there was going to be something called a ‘Punk Rock Matinee’ that weekend at a place called the Casbah.

I took the flyer, thanked her, and left. All could think was how weird this sounded. I knew what Punk Rock was, and I knew what a matinee was, but throw them together? What the hell was that?

I finally decided to go. I figured if it’s sh*t, I don’t have to go again.

But after I made the decision to go, I started to get nervous. I read books, and I listened to ‘Ongoing History Of New Music.’  I knew Punk could get down-right violent!

I honestly thought I was going to die. The pit would crush me, the lead singer would have glass shards like Iggy and stab me….

But curiousity prevailed. I am not lying when I tell you I felt a tug and knew I had to go.

I was one of the first people there, and it was quiet. I met someone who introduced himself as Randy,  and we talked a little. He assured me that the place would fill up, and I seriously doubted him.

But I shouldn’t have. The Casbah was soon packed with Punks, and I was gladly proven wrong. Even if I didn’t know that many people, it felt great to see people that looked a little like me.

From the time the first band ,(out of 4 or 5 that would play in a row), went on and I moshed, I knew something.

Wherever this music was, I was supposed to be there too.

Oh, and everything was fine. No one died, and there was no danger.

Today, I am so glad I went to that first show. Punk and the people within it have given me so many things: Wonderful friends. Great music. A place to belong. Something to contribute to.

But mostly, Punk has given me a second home.

How I Got Into Punk Rock. Part 2.

And now to continue my brilliant story. (I know everyone was waiting with bated breath.)

Just kidding. But to seriously pick up where I left off, I had just heard Green Day. And my mind was blown. I think I was even in some kind of reverie, because the next thing I knew, the song had ended and my Mom was yelling for me.

I quickly shut off my stereo and rushed downstairs.

“What was all that noise just now?” she demanded. “You’re supposed to be doing school-work.”

That noise?!? That had been awesome! I HAD to find out more about the band.

As part of your studies when you’re homeschooled, you are required to spend time at the library. I loved it because we didn’t have a computer at home, and at the library I had access to one.

While my Mom was helping my brother, I skeeved off once again. (I was such a bad student then!)

I looked up Green Day in a search engine, and found out alot about them. I also found out they were associated with Punk. I knew what the word meant vaguely, because of some of the bands my parents listened to. I wanted to find out more, but Mom was coming back over. And I was supposed to researching something.

Back in 2002, Center Mall had a CD store called Music World. And not long after I heard the band, I went to the store to find the CD that contained ‘Basketcase.’

My trip was successful, and I brought home ‘Dookie.’ Further trips yielded their other CDs, and I listened to nothing but Green Day for 2 years straight.

2004 was a big year. I was 14, and I didn’t know it, but my life was going to change.

Now, this might surprise some people, but I used to go to church. I am spiritual to this day, but I believe in evolution and women’s rights.

Anyway, I had found a Punk at my church. He didn’t dress the part, but he had amazing music. Especially the latest Green Day album, ‘American Idiot.’

He didn’t get the chance to lend me his copy, but I knew to be on the look out for the CD. And after church, we had shopping to do, and I grabbed a copy.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when I popped it in the CD player at home. It was searing, it was pissed, and said what I was thinking.

While I was listening, I decided two things:

-That I was devoting myself to this Punk Rock thing.

-And that I was going to embrace being the outsider I had felt like my whole life.

How I Got Into Punk Rock. Part 1.

This post was inspired by Mr! Erik, of the Hamilton Punk band Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans, and his new blog. (He’s actually on wordpress at:

He was talking about how he became part of Punk’s vast, varied family, and it gave me an idea for a story.

I don’t often talk about how I entered the Punk Rock domain. I might tell bits and pieces of my story, but not much more than that.

I actually grew up listening to a little Punk. My Mom is a big Billy Idol fan, and my Dad likes quite a few Punk bands. From local heroes Teenage Head and Forgotten Rebels, to the Clash and the Pretenders.

But they listened to the group or artists most well-known song. And Punk wasn’t their first genre of choice. My Mom is a lite-rock and Pop fan first, and my Dad is devoted to Classic Rock.

While I listen to a mix of music now, including music that my parents do, when I was 12 I was getting bored. Call it pretentious, but I felt like the ‘music’ I was hearing on the radio at home was garbage.  And I was too good for it.

Now, so you can get a picture of that fateful day, you need to know 2 things about me. I was homeschooled. And, I had a cool hand-me-down from my Dad. His stereo from the 80’s, that had two tape decks, a CD player, and a ton of volume.

That day, I was supposed to be doing my school-work. But I was fiddling with the dial, wishing as I often did for something cool to listen to.

And that was to be the day, I suppose. I landed on a station that was swearing that somebody’s version of the up-coming song wasn’t as good as this original.

I sat there in awe. The vocals were clear, yet kind of weird. The tempo was like being on a manic roller-coaster. The guitar  soared like nothing since the Rebels. The drums were pounding like the ones in war movies. And the bass, pinned underneath, kept what little sanity this track had.

According to the DJ’s, I had just heard Green Day’s ‘Basket Case.’