Early days. My parents split in about ‘91?
My bro and I struggled. I remember that day in the back of the station wagon when my mom broke the news to us. On the way to our cousins. My bro and I looked at each other. We broke down.
Tough times head.
Grade 9, in a rural HS, Pickering HS, I got into metal, bands like carnibal corpse and NiNs. And then into Marilyn Manson. Until I heard Green Days dookie where I would listen to that cassette everyday on the bus to and from HS everyday. This was 1994.
Halfway through grade 9 I went from this rural area back to Toronto where I was born and raised.L’Amereaux CI, Warden and Finch. Where I was the only Caucasian guy. I was threatened. Choked. Had a knife pulled on me. A friend of mine from music class was shot in a drive by shooting across the street from me. At a donut shop. He had my offspring and bosstones CDs. I think I had his OLP cd. So punk rock is where I officially turned. This is where I had found home. A family. And friends. In punk rock.
I had a computer my uncle built for me. I saved up and bought a 72k modem and my mom got me my own phone line for my bedroom. Just so I could run my own BBS. It was run off of Renegade. I hexed the shit out of it. I called it Astro Creep 2000 after White Zombies upcoming album. I did all the graphics in Anscii. One online user at a time. I learned all this from my Uncle Louie (RiP) and from being on the WBBBBS (Worlds Biggest Bookstore BBS out of Toronto. I’d stay up until 4-5am with little or no sleep. Before going to school again. Come home from school. See someone online. Chat with them. Trade files at a slow speed. Chat music. This was the early beginning before the internet.
My dad took an HTML course when the internet was born. He taught me a few things. I fell in love with how it worked. How I could write even more code. It was a step up from the old BBS stuff I was used to. Had my first client almost a year later. For a gift basket company. Worked hard on it. The clients wife did not like the colour red. So many revisions later I was ready to quit designing for others already. But I kept going.
I had started transitioning into punk rock more and more as I had heard of bands such as Rancid, MxPx and Blink 182. Traded in my Toronto maple leafs coat for a leather jacket. Added some chains and bought some boot docs.
I somehow survived HS. By the time by younger brother was there. He made a few friends who all started a band. His friends all skated. So we would all skateboard in underground parking lots. Hip hop and punk rock. Sam van wipe out. Cow head.
Went to warped tour 98?
Dated Ashley. Tried to change me back to preppy. Fuck that shit.
Met Niki who introduced me to the local punk rock scene. That was really when I met my new family and really started to change my life.
We moved to St Kitts.
After a few local punk shows. I wanted more. But the only way of finding out. Was if you went to one. And happened to be handed a flyer.
That’s when OntarioPunk was born. A place where all flyers could be posted. A place where all bands could communicate. A place for promoters. Managers. Venues. All to unite. And make one big scene not based on local flyers and by word of mouth. This was it!
I got mono.
So that weekend. I started to really build OPC.
My first big one, favourite story. I met Nick from Mugshot. They were playing a show in the GTA. I made 2000 print outs to hand out (I know eh), for OPC. And I said to Nick. Can you please announce that I have launched Ontariopunk.com. And I had all these print outs. So he did. He got up on stage. And he said it. But he said “OntarioPunks”. Plural.
Either way. The site went viral before viral was even a thing. My dad wanted me to charge ever my band $2, a one time charge. I said no. I had over 800 bands. That would drop to maybe 50 bands. I’m not in it for the money. Didn’t want to lose the contacts and friends I had made. I’m in it for the support and love of these local musicians. Always have been. Always will be.
I was good friends with Not By Choice and many local bands. I was asked to be a guitar tech for Not By Choice for an upcoming Canadian Tour with Sum 41 and I was ready to quit my job. Until they got signed to Maple Music, when Maple had the final say on Techs. So I was out.
I had my first compilation cd that I created with about 20 bands, funded by the bands and sold by the bands. And sold at our OPC shows and the bands individual shows.
I then started a record label with Murray Daigle from MDS studios in Scarborough. We recorded an EP for Autumn Avenue and another band.
I landed a few more jobs. I wanted music and the skate scene.
I landed my first job at Music World at Markville Mall. Where we could only play softer music in the mornings. As I always opened up shop. So I would play what was on our playlist. Jimmy eat world and unwritten law at the time.
Then music world went under. We had to sign the papers saying we were being let go. No joke. I signed “shane fucking macaulay” and left.
I got a job instantly at HMV. Just a walk away down the mall way at Markville. Worked there thru the famous east coast blackout.
From there. It got too mainstream for me. So I went to West 49. I was in management there. Or somewhat. I had some pull. I was older than the HS kids. I was in charge of opening and closing. And band deposits.
At this point. I knew I needed to Better than retail. This just wasn’t doing it for me.
My dad had been in radio since the early 70s. My mom also worked at CBS as promotions at the same time. I was born in 1980. I knew this was my life. And retail was just a stepping stone.
I asked my dad who was still in radio, this time in oshawa for Durham Radio Inc.
I said. I can’t do retail anymore. I wanna work in a real music career. Is there anything open for labels or anyone you work with. He actually said that their events guy quit. So I could come and be interviewed by (my current boss, not my dad) for the position. I was to set up gear at events. Sound systems, tents, etc. talk music.
My other duties were to be doing contesting and working with major labels.
So. I went for this interview with my boss. Steve Kassay.
He was very impressed that I had been running Ontariopunk for many years. And already had relationships with all the major labels. Already running promotions with them. Already doing visits with them. Already running my own web ms graphics site. Already doing it all on my own!
Going to the Universal HQ was fun and exciting at such a young age. Only a block from my house. Coming home with 20 unreleased punk CDs. I was in my glory.
I got the job.
After our webguy at the company suffered some medical issues. Was the same time CMS (content management systems) really came out. And social media really came out. Facebook too. And I was asked to take over. That’s when I became the web and graphics director for Durham radio Inc.
When I started. We had 949 the rock, kx96, and CKDO. And a small station the wave in Hamilton.
I settled down for a bit. Found my love. Got married. Had a beautiful son.
Since then. In my past 19 years with the company. We now have kx947 another country station in Hamilton. 929 the grand in Caledonia. 885 the lake in Grimsby. And another Wave in Vancouver.
A few summers ago. I met a new friend courtesy of my best friend Matt Rock who moved to Winnipeg a few years ago. He was here visiting recently. We had some of his friends over in my back yard for a bbq. I met this guy Johnny.
(Somewhere in here this story)
One day after driving my son to daycare. I came home to having all the lumber and concrete delivered for a new backyard deck that my wife never cared for for. That what to be placed temporarily in her parking spot. Blood pressure was running high. Made it home in time. I was on the porch. Had and seizure and 🤬 collapsed. It’s on my security cam. From then. I lost my license.
I got it back after 8 month after no other seizures. But somehow. They linked in to alcohol with drawl. Ya know. Coors light. 4% beer withdrawl.
So. Still no license. Stressed as fuck. Show must go on. My dreams and goals must continue. Nothing will get in my way.
After Matt and his family flew back home to Winnipeg, I asked Johnny out for a beer. So we did. He has two girls. His youngest. Same age as my only son. 3 at the time.
So he said. Let’s all go up to my cottage this summer. So we did. Twice.
While there. Johnny was pretty eager to start a podcast him and I. I was microphone shy. Always have been. Finally. After a few visits. And a few jagerbombs. I said I’d give two shows a try and we will see where it goes.
We just wrapped up season one. With 32 episodes. Recorded in his basement studio.
Shane landed a sponsorship with Threads of Society, a merch company out of Peterborough.
We’ve had Nick a pyro guy for Blink 182 (7 years) on, as well as Taylor swift, Rush, TSO and many others.
Matt McCoy who was pyro for Green Day on their Australian tour on.
Ed the Sock, who was fun. Ripped us apart a bit.
We ended the final show from Oshawa’s Convergence Fest outside of KOPS Records.
We are excited to kick off season two with such guests as Cone and Dave from Sum 41 , shane told from Silverstein and many more.
more to come...