March 15th @ Free Times Café


Since 2004, Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room has done monthly shows at the Free Times Café (and an annual Robbie Burns show on top of that). That is over 200 shows at that one venue alone. In all that time we have only had to cancel one show – due to a snow storm. Until now.

Given the uncertainty that has arisen in recent days and as people digest the important directions and warnings from those who actually know something about communicable diseases, we think it best to cancel our show for Sunday, March 15th.

Music is important in all our lives – and live music has special powers. We very much hope to be back on and around the stage at the Free Times in April. In the meantime, if you miss us, watch our videos on YouTube – you can almost put a full show together.

Stay safe and be well.


For some reason I’ve been hearing lot about pandemics these days. Everywhere I turn someone is talking about pandemics, but no one seems really sure what pandemics are. And because I’m the sort of guy who likes to roll up his sleeves, wash his hands carefully, and then go to work on a problem, I thought I’d figure out what the word “pandemics” means.

To start, the word pandemics is made up of two words. The first “pan” obviously refers to the Greek god Pan. Pan was half man half goat. From the pictures mostly bottom part goat top part man but he has horns on his head so it’s not like it was a strict divide. Pan was the god of shepherds and flocks. He was also a bit of a musician, playing – naturally – the panpipes. (I suppose “pan” could also refer to a metal utensil used to cook food or look for gold but I think the Greek god thing is way more likely).

As for the “demics” part, that clearly refers to The Demics the legendary punk band from London Ontario. The Demics big hit (and I use that term advisedly), released in 1979, was “(I Wanna Go To) New York City” a song that, in 1996, was voted by readers of Chart Magazine (whatever that was) as the greatest Canadian song ever.

Even leaving aside Chart Magazine, “New York City” is a great tune. For those who have never heard it – or want to hear it again – you can find it here: – and turn it up. I last heard the song – other than just playing it now – a few months ago when a busker was singing it outside a liquor store on Spadina Avenue. I was very happy to join in on the chorus (and more about Spadina Avenue shortly).

So I think my research conclusively shows that pandemics refers to a half man half goat who really wants to go to New York City. And while that clears that up, I have to say that it doesn’t really explain to me why so many people are suddenly so fascinated in a Greek god with an interest in the Big Apple.

Perhaps out of fear of what might happen in the general population if they run into Pan as he tries to make it to NYC, in some parts of the world people are being advised to avoid large gatherings, where I guess Pan is likely to show up. And so major sporting events are being played in empty stadiums and some conferences have been cancelled.

This then, as it inevitably does, brings me to Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room, the band with whom I am honoured to be a part of. In these days of concerns about pandemics and attending things with lots of people, the Living Room provides a delightful alternative. You see, we play our monthly shows, this month it will be Sunday, March 15, at the Free Times Café – on College, just west of Spadina (see, I told you Spadina was coming back in this missive). There are a lot of nice things to say about the Free Times- it’s got great sight lines, good food, lots of drink choices – but one thing that you won’t say about it is that it’s big – because it isn’t.

Going to see a Living Room show at the Free Times does not, in any way, constitute attending a large gathering. So if you find that, for whatever reason, you don’t want to go to see the Raptors or the Leafs, or go a concert at the ACC or Roy Thompson Hall because there will be too many folks there – come see us Sunday at the Free Times. The show starts at 8, there is no cover, and you will hear lots of great music.

Hope to see you there.


P.S. If Pan had been named Bag then we would have an explanation for the term bagpipes, but then the shepherds would have had a really hard time watching over their flocks who would have fled at the sound of that instrument being played.