(We would like to welcome musician, publicist and writer Dave Chinner to the Rock and Roll Report team as our new Toronto-based correspondent. And what better way to start things off then throwing him into the midst of the colossal Canadian Music Week and see what gives!)
Ok, maybe the title is a bit of a stretch… Ok it’s a huge stretch, considering Gene doesn’t even drink, and even if he did, he probably wouldn’t drink with the likes of me. But I decided to roll with it, since I needed a smoking headline for this, my first Rock and Roll Report piece, and I personally think its way more catchy then say…. “Drinking in the same hotel as Gene Simmons sort of…..”
Now I find myself sitting in front of my laptop for the last hour, as the Canadian Music Week dust settles, trying to decide which piece of wisdom to share with the RRR world. In the last week, I’ve done everything from appearances on reggae radio, to 3am Chinese food with CTV comics, to award shows including the Indies and Canadian Radio Music Awards. I’ve met everyone from Dave Foley from The Kids in the Hall, to bassist Tommy Mac of Hedley (honorable mention to Gene of course). The week was a whirlwind of activity, and everywhere I went could have likely produced enough “wow factor” to justify an article, but what I found most strange, is that no one thing really blew my mind. There’s a significant possibility that I’m just an asshole, and I’m certainly not implying that there was nothing good to see. I just think, it’s silly when the biggest star of the week, is such that would encourage forty-something’s with mullets to paint their faces and head to the Royal York Hotel. Nothing against KISS or their fans, but let’s face it, nobody can hog a spotlight like Mr. Gene Simmons, and for a festival showcasing 45 venues, I would have liked to see more media attention given to the independent artists who desperately need it. So rather then writing yet another “OMG Gene Simmons” piece, I’m going get real with you here, and share with you some of my observations as a writer, publicist and musician.