20 years of Doing-It-Myself


I put up the FB event yesterday for what’s officially known as M for 159 Manning, colloquially known at the 6th Annual 159 Manning BBQ. I’ve already reached the limit of number of people FB will allow me to invite, so feel free to add yourself or invite your friends to the event.

This past NYE party commemorated 10 years of me living in Toronto at 159 Manning, and this summers BBQ coincides with 20 years of DIY for me; releasing music, playing, organizing and promoting shows, etc… always with whatever limited resources and talent I had at my disposal. Here’s the first show poster I ever drew, for the first show I ever played, and the first show I ever promoted. July 21st 1995 at the Acapulco Delight in Windsor. $2 at the door, includes a free pop.

Wonkavision’s $3 Basement Party was the first tape I released, recorded in May and June of ’95. I listened to the first half of it with Andrea last week, and I gotta say, you’d have to have a VERY open mind and consider the context to appreciate what we were doing at the time. There will be no Wonkavision reunions, no re-release of the recordings. I just want to make a point of saying “I started spending my time and energy doing this, 20 years ago”.

I could tell you the good things about that tape, but to cater to the haters; maybe the songs were terrible, maybe the lyrics were silly, maybe the recordings sounded like shit, but I don’t care. I had a 2-track Teac reel-to-reel, a couple high-impedance mics, the same frankenstein drum kit I have now, the same Traynor PA head and Peavy guitar cabinet I play through now, a shitty guitar and a bass, and a Casio keyboard to pull that project together with $0. I’m proud of it, because I made something out of nothing.

I sold about 300 copies of $3 Basement Party back in the day. I cut out and colored all the covers by hand, and even wrote out all the songs on each and every copy of the tape labels. The internet didn’t exist back then, at least not for me, so what else was I going to do with my time? At any rate, I think 16 year old me would be pretty excited about this party on June 19th.

One Response to “20 years of Doing-It-Myself”

  1. Stefanie Romano Says:

    So proud to know ya, Tim. This is the most authentic thing I have ever witnessed.

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