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YYZ-YHM-YYZ Jan 19-26th, 2003
By Team Pure Hemp 1/25/2017 4:50 PM Comments

Grand Theft Bus and the Jimmy Swift Band were in Ontario this last week and they ripped it up with their "seamless set-blenders" The first night I caught them was in Hamilton on Wednesday, January 22nd at PepperJacks, which is a killer venue. I got there late because I missed the bus because I was engrossed in drawing circles intertwining. All was not lost, in fact it really had just begun! The Bus was busy moving people while I spent a couple of minutes outside, hanging up the Pure Hemp Banner and just getting my (head) space ready. It had been a long time since I'd seen a lot of the people there and in a way it's kind of like coming home, being an Ontario kid and all. Hamilton "The Hammer" has been synonymous with the Fat Cats on Tuesdays and also had a stint with The Dead back in '92. You could say it's a "Rocking Steeltown". A lot of the steel used in cars and industry nowadays is refined in Hamilton, causing air, water, and spirit degradation. There have been increasing smog alerts and the infrastructure is severely in need of a fix-up, yet city counsel is gung-ho to spend 10.5 million dollars on 7.5 km of expressway that will clearcut and pave the last remaining in tact river valley in Hamilton. The Red Hill Valley and Creek is the largest urban greenspace in Canada, is home to over 20 different mammals, including white tail deer, red fox, mink, and even a rare flying squirrel, salamanders live under rocks and 30lb salmon come here to spawn there. Red Hill Valley is home to 63 kinds of birds including a very rare hawk and is the last wildlife trail connecting the top of the Niagara Escarpment to Lake Ontario. None of the "people" want it, it's just a project designed to give some construction companies work, while repaying some of the city counsellor's election debts. It is so shortsighted, but then when you think about it, so many of our freeways and roads are built on land originally similar to this. I guess the fact that it's the last of Mother Nature in this City makes it feel so atrocious. The show ended up being really good. It was fun to dance and hang out with the Niagara kids down there too. Erin and I danced a bit and that's always been a lot of fun. We've been apart for nearly a year already, though we've seen each other lots since, just not as partners. It 's been good for both of us. Sometimes we miss each other, but it's been good to have the space necessary for personal growth. She's a wonderful, courageous woman who taught me a lot about me and how I am and also how to be. Thanks, dear. She's continuing to dance her way along the rainbow road, inspiring and teaching others to dance along too. Blessings! Kevin and Helen invited me to stay with them in Hamilton. They're good friends from the bike trip, Cycling For Sustainability. Kevin got me fired up over the Red Hill Valley and gave me the petitions that we filled over the next few days. The set-blender went to Guelph next and I got a ride from Shayne, one of the guys from, Canada's version of Greg Hemmings was running the Merch table, selling copies of A Head's Tale and Revolve, along with the Grand Theft Bus and Jimmy Swift stuff. They were cool with me setting up and promoting Pure Hemp stuff while getting signatures on the Red Hill Valley Petition. Thanks Guys! It was a really fun night. A set-blender involves music being played all night. The two bands jam "into" each other. It 's a great concept and keeps the energy high all night long. I crashed in the Bus's hotel room, and went to T.O. with Shayne the next day. After spending some computer-time at the Pure Hemp office, I headed down to The 360 on Queen Street West. I took my time, though I felt a bit late, had a slice of Amato's Vegan Pizza, and arrived just as the bands and Erin showed up. Spirit works so well because we were able to just slip in with the band, as we were with them. A Head's Tale had just started, and I was able to set up then. I finally saw myself on the film, and that was neat. Greg did a good job editing and I really did feel like a festival at the time. Grand Theft's songs are catchy, dancy and original, and The Jimmy Swift Band does well with their trancelike, breakbeats that make your body move three directions at once. Both are from East Coast Canada and both are picking up steam and will be heading west in the spring to show all those West Coast Heads a thing or two about a thing or two. The East Coast is going off and will have a great time this summer.

~ Johannes Chapman, Pure Hemp Caravaner 1.0

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