January 19th @ Free Times Café

I don’t like to assume that just because I do something that other folks do it too, but I’m pretty sure most people reading this missive, and most people generally, have a list of their favourite lawsuits – it can’t just be me, can it? And so I assume that while most folks have a top 50, their favourite lawsuits change over time. And that goes for me too – see we have so much in common! And while I don’t have one special favourite, the lawsuit between the World Wildlife Fund and the World Wrestling Federation is always in my top 3.

You don’t remember that one – it’s real, and I mean it’s really real, it’s not like some of the things I write about and say are real but maybe aren’t actually real, this was a really real lawsuit. And what makes it even more fun is that the World Wildlife Fund won. Yes, a bunch of people dedicated to saving cute animals (well all animals and the planet generally but their logo is a panda so you know they are going cute) triumphed over a huge conglomerate whose posters feature The Hulk, The Rock, The Undertaker etc. That’s why the World Wrestling Federation is now World Wrestling Entertainment – yes the World Wildlife Fund forced the World Wrestling Federation to turn their F into an E – which kind of sounds like a weird but painful wrestling move.

Despite this loss, and it was without a doubt a loss, the (now) WWE has continued to prosper. One way they have done that is that they know that folks are motivated not only to cheer for their heroes but also to cheer against villains. That’s why every WWE bout features a good guy or guys or gal or gals against a bad guy or guys or gal or gals. And the good guys don’t always win, no, because the WWE is there to teach us valuable life lessons. Life lessons like, when things are looking rough and all hope seems lost, it is always a good idea to hit someone over the head with a chair. I can’t tell you how often that has come in handy for me.

And the creative use of chairs is not the only thing I have taken from the WWE. I have used some of those other lessons to help fuel the meteoric rise of the band that I am proudly part of – Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room – to the pinnacle of musical success and stardom (that is if you assume the pinnacle of musical success is playing once a month at a little bar in downtown Toronto for over 15 years in a row – and I certainly can’t think of a better measure of success than that).

Getting back to the life lessons from the WWWE, I have taken the heroes and villains idea and modified it just a bit. In our case it’s bagpipes. Regular readers of these musings will know that sooner or later I always get around to insulting, rubbishing, and mocking the bagpipes. Some people love this and some people hate it, but it gets folks fired up, it gets them thinking about the band. Like a villain in the WWE, you may hate me for my bagpipe disses but you keep coming back. And the WWE analogy doesn’t end there. At the end of the night, after the ring goes dark, everyone in the WWE gets together because they don’t really hate each other. Same thing for me, I don’t really hate the bagpipes, but, for the sake of band I keep on with it because it works.

This month you have two, yes two, chances to see the Living Room in action at the Free Times Café (College just west of Spadina). We have our regular third Sunday of the month gig on January 19 at 8 pm and then our annual Robbie Burns Show (all bagpipes all the time) on, when else, Robbie Burns Day, Saturday January 25. On the 25th the music will also start at 8 but the bagpipes won’t make their appearance until around 9 (but you’ll probably want to get there early for this one). And as a further incentive (?) there will be haggis. And in honour of our playing two gigs in a month there will also be no cover at either show.

Hope to see you once or twice this month.

Jonathan

P.S. All that stuff about me not hating the bagpipes, it’s all a lie.