Spirit of ’96


I’ve still been going through old photos and thinking about all the things I was working on at certain periods of time, and collected all these from the spring, summer and fall of 1996 when I was 17. 13 years ago, while I still had an after-school paper route, a treehouse, and a year before I got my first email address, 2 years before I put out the Man Who Was Thursday 7″. (Carlos, I’ll send you your copy this week)

The first photo is the grand finale of the Riverside Secondary School fashion show. I was one of the models, and I was sort of “known” for my crazy dancing so at the very end of the show I came out and danced around like an idiot and everyone thought it was funny. What can I say, I’ll do anything for a laugh. It was around that time I was elected Prime Minister of Student Council for the following year.

The second photo is a collage wall I had in my room from stuff I cut out of magazines like Spin, Rolling Stone and Request.

Wonkavision played our first out of town show, 2.5 hours away from Windsor in Woodstock ON.

My dad drove us up there and we stayed overnight with some family friends. This is the kind of sober fun we used to have.

A week after that I went down to Lookout Mountain, Georgia for my 21-year-old sisters wedding. I went to the Coke Museum in Atlanta with my parents the day after the wedding.

I drove with my parents up to Illinois where they dropped me off at a “boot-camp” for me to get ready for a missions trip to London UK to tell people about Jesus. I was there for 10 days before we flew to London.

I spent 5 weeks living in a church in Brixton with 20 other people. We couldn’t go anywhere on our own and had to wash ourselves from a sink. They made us perform humiliating singing and dance routines in the street and then forced us to go up and talk to people about Jesus. See how unhealthy my face looks?

I came back completely brainwashed and spent the next couple of weeks at my parents cottage, and convinced Ian and Nick they needed to live their lives for Jesus.

I designed the poster above, which happened to be Sewing With Nancie’s first show. Bianca Oran and Nick Bechard’s cousin Kelly were in Stepasides.

The score card is for a Battle of the Bands in Dec 96 at McKenzie Hall. One of the last Wonkavision shows.

We started playing more shows again (none of our songs were about Jesus), put out a tape featuring covers of Minor Threat, and Elvis Presley – All Shook Up. We made out only radio appearance on Laura Dal Fara’s “Hold Your Ground” on CJAM 91.5.


These pictures are from early October 1996. As Prime Minister of the school I was obliged to spend a week at Point Pelee’s Camp Henry, helping to run a leadership seminar for 8th graders. I don’t have any pictures, but I also attended a weekend leadership retreat in Michigan due to my involvement with student council. And I interned at 89X Radio for some youth show that year.

Here’s a video of Wonkavision practicing in my room in Spring 1996. The song is called Biology Bore and is about shooting everyone in the school. Pre-Columbine!!

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