October 20th @ Free Times Café

Living in Toronto, I am used to seeing stores come and go with amazing rapidity. In the Riverdale neighbourhood where I live, stores seem to pop up and drop dead in a matter of minutes. Inevitably as I walk by another store with a sign proclaiming its imminent opening I wonder, “What was there before – was it Perg-Men the Polish Japanese fusion restaurant with perogies in the ramen, or maybe it was that place that sold artisanal gooseberry salad dressing and ‘distressed’ greeting cards made from obituary notices from Toronto newspapers from the 1930s.” Then I wonder how long the new venture will last, unless it’s a Tim’s or Starbucks in which case I wonder why they need to be located on every block. But when these stores are gone, they’re gone, and with them the hopes and dreams of at least a few folks.

Recently however, there has been a welcome bucking of that trend; a location that was shut down just a few years ago is back. I am talking here about the Hell’s Angels, who just opened a retail store a few blocks from their clubhouse which was raided and closed by the police a few years ago. The term clubhouse is perhaps not the right word to describe what appeared to be a concrete bunker although that’s the word they used to describe it. I was never actually in the clubhouse – which I know will not come as great surprise to many of you. Perhaps it was like any other clubhouse, adorned with posters of sports teams, lots of board games (I don’t think Hell’s Angels play Sorry but I think they’re pretty good at Monopoly) and a fridge stocked with pop, or at least Coke. At the retail store you can buy official Hell’s Angels paraphernalia, and with the holidays coming up it may be just the gift for that hard to buy for person – the store’s open Tuesday to Saturday noon until 8 by the way – no word on holiday hours just yet.

I think it safe to say that we don’t get many Hell’s Angels to our Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room gigs – although you never know, looks can be deceiving. We certainly were never invited to play at their clubhouse. There is a reason for that, though. As tough as the Hell’s Angels are, there is one thing that frightens them – Angel kryptonite if you will – and that is bagpipes. I know, you’d think that a bunch of folks who live amongst the roar of motorcycles would have nothing to fear from bagpipes, but apparently the sound just does something to them. They’re also not very fond of the pedal steel guitar either. That’s why when you see biker movies they’re always playing heavy metal music not Scottish pipe band tunes or country music (I bet you always wondered why that was and now you know – feel free to share this information with your friends).

But If you’re interested in Scottish pipe tunes, country, folk, rock, pop and yes, even bit of heavy metal as well, then please come to the Free Times Café at College and Major (just west of Spadina) on Sunday, October 20 at 8 pm when Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room will take to the stage (and some space around the stage too because we really can’t all fit on the stage). There is no cover, and lots to eat and drink. And who knows, maybe we’ll announce the opening of our own retail store – I have this great recipe for gooseberry salad dressing.

Hope to see you there.


October 20th Set List
Set #1 Set #2
Setting Course For Lewis
Running Out Of Memory For You
Five Days In May
Silver Wings
Down In Belize
Bad Man’s Blunder
I’ll Be The One
Still A Part Of Me
Smoking Song
P Stands For Paddy
Ooh Baby Baby
Unchain My Heart
Waly Waly
Diamond Girl
Spontaneous Combustion
I’ll Take The Blame
Lord Franklin
Slaves Lament
Almost Persuaded
Wild Mountain Thyme
Trashy Women
Dream Lover
Glenora Ferry