Great Party

My friends’ annual Robert Burns party has come and gone and a great time was had by all. Met up with friend Nils at Barfly and got a lift with Allan and Gail down to Old Montreal. Nils is a talented professional singer and guitarist who has a passion for old Scottish music, so bringing him to the party was a no-brainer. This party, which has been going on for over 10 years now, is a real treat. There’s always a large selection of single malt whiskies on hand, great food, and a sing-along led by Johnny Graham and co. Song highlights include “Loch Lomond”, “Flower of Scotland”, and Stan Rogers’ “Barrett’s Privateers”. Best single malt scotch of the night: Balvenie 12 year old.

Nils played a short but fantastic set of some of these old songs he has from an historic Scottish Music collection he has and stunned the guests with the quality of his voice. Gail, Allan, and I have had the pleasure of hearing him sing at Barfly, but the rest of the crowd had never heard him. Hell, they never even met him before. He’s a professional operatic singer, so his voice filled the room. Definitely not sing-along material, but a treat nonetheless. Hopefully he’ll put in a set at Barfly soon.

My personal highlight of the night was Will’s Scottish dumpling made from his granny’s recipe. It was almost as good as my Glasgow granny’s was. Now I’ve got to fry it up and have it with eggs and bacon, just like we used to when we were kids.

Traditional Scottish Dumpling (Clootie) – the only dessert vegetarians can’t eat.


So naturally, Nils and I got dropped off at Barfly and lo and behold Rick’s there with Carlos. Rick Klucinskas and I go way back with the Soria brothers and have probably seen Alex play more shows than anyone. Alex and I met Rick in our first year in CEGEP back in 1983 through mutual friend Dwight Faithful and have been best of friends ever since. In our way, we all felt like we were brothers.

We reminisced – a lot. Talked a lot about Alex, the music we used to listen to back in the day, how great our combined record collections were, remembering the early Nils shows. It was funny remembering that from the moment I saw Alex and Carlos’ collection, I was competitive – I had to have a collection at least as good as theirs. I never managed it, but I know Alex and Carlos always appreciated my tastes and my collection. When my father died suddenly in 1986, I had to bury him on the isle of Eriskay in Scotland where he was born. Because I was going to be gone for a month, I left my stereo and entire record collection at the Soria house on Gilbert Street. That house was the official Nils HQ at the time, and this was just 3 months before they would be forced to move out because their Dad was going away to California. Anyway, I left my records there and my collection was thoroughly raided – in a good way. Many mixed tapes were made from records in our combined collections. It was the only time my records were mixed in with theirs, and it was the ultimate compliment to know that they rated my bunch of LPs, EPs, and singles. Combined, we probably had the best collection of early punk and hardcore I’ve ever seen in one place. It would probably cost thousands to get those records in a single place today.


13 thoughts on “Great Party

  1. Given how much it costs for original pressings of early punk/hc singles these days, it’d probably be in the tens of thousands, if not more. That stuff goes for a pretty penny, especially on ebay. I’ve always been a music lover, but never a collector in the collector sense. I have to OWN as much music as possible, but I honestly don’t care if my copy of the first Real Kids LP is on Norton from the ’90s, or the original on Red Star. So long as I’ve got the songs and they sound the way they’re supposed to, I’m happy as a clam.

    1. You’re right…

      It probably would be in the tens of thousands, given these post-Nirvana years.I agree with you about collecting. It was very different then, a lot of the music we listened to was hard to find new or used anywhere. I sold most of my punk records back in 1990 and haven’t regretted it, with a couple of major exceptions….

      I bought one of the first 5000 copies of Minor Threat’s “Out of Step” EP in 1983. I know this record is widely available now, but the songs were mixed and mastered differently than the way they were in that first pressing. You can tell if you have one of those if the back cover is completely black. They apparently re-mixed the songs and the sound was so much heavier and fuller in the earlier versions I had. I really wish they would re-issue that record with the old mix. I also had the original singles, but they’re a lot easier to get now than they were then and they sound just the same.

      Genetic Control’s legendary single is a big regret. Half of this band were high school buddies of mine and I should never have parted with it. I think I got about 50 bucks for those two records in 1990, which seemed like a hell of a lot at the time.

      1. !!

        Would that be the Genetic Control “1984” record? I just heard that for the first time this summer on a bootleg. Priceless, awesome, amazing. That song was the soundtrack to many walks to a job I wasn’t too satisfied with.

        As for “Out Of Step,” I’d heard that about the original mix. I’ve never heard it– though I wonder if it’s available on that CD of Minor Threat demos they released last year. I bought the Minor Threat “complete discography” in 1993, when I was 16. It’s one of my most treasured albums, so that single must have been something pretty special indeed. I can’t believe that you only got $50 for the two of them.

        A friend of mine (Simon: )who runs a hardcore label and has by far the widest knowledge of the history of punk and hardcore was recently running down a list of great stuff he sold for next to no money at various times in his life, and I believe that record might have been one of the items. I remember, I think, the Government Issue “Legless Bull” EP being another, as well as, I believe, the Teen Idles “No Policy” EP. Luckily for me, this was following him taking pity on me during one of his visits to Mtl, which involved going to many record stores and him selling a lot of records while I hungrily looked on, broke and sappy. To thank me for my patience, he bought me the Dischord 4 7″s on a 12″ record, which had two of those records on it.

        Incidentally, doesn’t one of those Dischord comps contain the original “Out Of Step” 7″? I thought the CD of the 4 7″s might have had it.

        See, I may not be a collector, but I can be as fierce a record geek as any.

      2. Re: !!

        Indeed that would the one and only Montreal hardcore legends Genetic Control. There’s a whole history here that I’ll have to write an entry on. Here’s a picture from 1982.

        Robert Huppee (aka Kung Fu, guit-Gencon), Alex Soria (guit-Nils/Chino), Doug Crevier (bass-Gencon) Chico Fit (bass-Nils), and yours truly. This is in Doug’s Mom’s Kitchen in Candiac in June 1982. We were all high school buddies and a pretty tight bunch. Not many kids into punk in those days.

        I was a huge Minor Threat fan but I hardly listen to them anymore, mainly because what I have left is all on vinyl and my turntable sucks. There’s a 7″ of “Out of Step”? My 12″ was a 45 RPM.

        I also had that Government Issue(GI) single. Bought it while visiting Vancouver in ’82 and couldn’t believe it. When I brought it back with me no one knew what to think, it was so different from anything we’d heard before. Ten songs on a single? That was hardcore. Most of us got into it eventually, but it took a while. We were still mostly into earlier punk….

      3. Re: !!

        Jesus, you guys all look about sixteen. My girlfriend’s little bro is seventeen now and he seems older than all of you in that picture– and yet, this was at the time when both the Nils and GenCon were playing? That’s crazy. My creative output at that age was the artistic equivalent of cat vomit.

      4. Re: !!

        We were sixteen. We all started hanging out in early winter and when I got my license and the use of my Dad’s car it was time to “bust loose” (a favourite expression of Alex’s at the time). I had just got my license that spring, which helped bring us together for jams and parties. Though Gencon would be a few months away from this photo, Rob had already written “1984” and “Brave New World” and a few others that would be Gencon tunes.

        The Nils were by this time in full swing, though nothing was recorded yet. The brilliant “Now” cassette came out the next year.

        I feel privileged to be part of it.

      5. Re: !!

        For Rob Huppee, it should also read aka “Duke Crystal”, since that was the offical gencon alias.

        This from the definitive story on “Genetic Control, written by a guy only a very few knew as “Stanley”. I got mixed up on the year for the birth of gencon – it was 1983, not 1982.

      6. Re: !!

        I only have “1984” on the “Killed By Hardcore” comp, but I could certainly burn that for you if you wanted.

      7. Re: !!

        My ISP is dialup, and it won’t send shit to shit.

        Got this tracklist for the comp off some internet site, since I’m too lazy to type it out myself:

        1 Urban Waste -Public Opinion
        2 Gasmask -Koruse
        3 Terveet Kadeet -Utopia
        4 Sound Of Disaster -Moral
        5 Nog Watt -Going On
        6 No Pigs -Broken Promises
        7 Nota -Taking Away Your Rights
        8 Colera -Deo Fora
        9 Actives -Riot
        10 Capital Scum -Clutch The Flag
        11 The Left -Fuck It
        12 Ultraviolent -Dead Generation
        13 Fix -In This Town
        14 America’s Hardcore -Born Prejudice
        15 Fallout -Punks United
        16 Genetic Control -1984
        17 Youth Patrol -America’s Power
        18 Lama -Ajatuksen Loppu
        19 Kansan Outiset -Home, Religion, Native Country
        20 Indirekt -Shell Helpt
        21 Nihilistics -Black Sheep
        22 Execute -Going Back
        23 State -No Illusions

      8. Re: !!

        Jeez, I don’t know any of these bands except Gencon. I’ll see if I can find this particular comp on donkey and just keep the gencon tune.

      9. Re: !!

        The vast majority of songs on it are either European/Japanese, or just extremely rare American (like The Left or Fix). Good stuff, though.

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