I was blessed, during my nine-year residency of Victoria, BC, to have met Jro and Renee from the Copper Owl. I first met them one hazy night after Benji and Jack’s Friday Night Quiz, and we became fast friends. Jro and Renee are pillars in Victoria’s artistic community; they work harder than anyone I know to preserve and maintain Victoria’s music scene. Victoria is very lucky to have this couple as residents.
My introduction to Jro and Renee coincided with the launch of my short lived publication, analogue magazine. I worked with Jro and Renee professionally, as the Copper Owl hosted many of analogue magazine’s launch parties, and I got to know them on a personal level as well: they are two of my best friends.
Sometimes I get a little silly. I get carried away, and over-excited. For instance, one New Years Eve, while attending and performing at Hank and Lily‘s NYE Extravaganza at the Copper , I took exception to the security guard, who was brought in for the occasion to work the door. We got off to a bad start when he asked me to move my bicycle so that it wasn’t blocking the fire exit: I offered, instead, to light the bicycle on fire much to his bewilderment.
As the evening progressed, I got progressively belligerent, insisting upon sliding down the Owl’s banister in spite of a number of warnings that I was not allowed to do so. I should have been tossed out, but instead, I got a stern talking to, and only then did I start behaving myself.
From then on, Jro, Renee, and the rest of the Owl’s staff referred to me as “Ding Dong”, a phrase borrowed from our mutual friend Kees, who does sound at the Copper Owl when he’s not busy touring the world with his amazing band, The Backhomes. The nickname stuck, as many other nicknames have. Depending on which bar I go to, I am referred to as “Dickhead”, “Bimbo”, “Bimbsy”, “Bambsy”, “Bambi” or “NnnnNnnnn”: all of these, believe it or not, are terms of affection.
But at the Copper Owl, I am “Ding Dong.” And seeing as it is one of the few places in Victoria that I am still allowed to go, “Ding Dong” shall be my moniker for this blog and for life. Renee wrote me a nice little note (see photo below) at my fourth and final farewell party, instructing me to start this blog, and so I shall. I hope you can glean some value from it. Tomorrow, I shall do a walking tour of Cochrane, Alberta before I head to Hanoi, Vietnam at month’s end.