It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me


Gotcha !, You thought this was going to be an article about Billy Joel didn’t you? I bet you did ; but anyway let’s get down to business. Originally this column was going to be hard rock and more hard rock but as life is not always guaranteed to go a certain way…well neither is this column.

Today I am going to vere off the metal path and deal with some punks. Punk rockers that is. I’ve never considered myself a punk rock fan, but I can truly say that there is definitely some punk music that I like. I like the sound of local band The Inner City Surfers for their punkish style and on a global picture, you can’t deny The Ramones or Sex Pistols for their musical influence to the generations.

I decided to go punk today because of a request to “push” legendary Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers Canadian tour.

I recently spoke with original frontman Jake Burns about the tour. Currently living in Chicago Il, Jake says he can’t wait for the tour to commence on Nov 7 at the Horseshoe in Toronto. “We’ve toured Canada before but the standard for a UK based band was to come over the pond and play two, maybe three shows in Canada (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal) and then hit the US market extensively. I was bothered by that because I have relations in Canada and couldn’t understand why we couldn’t do more shows. One time I asked my manager, …why can’t we play White Rock (B.C)? and he asked why and I told him quite honestly…well I’ve got relatives there. (laughter). ”

This tour is going to consist of about 15 shows across the country and the first show sold out so quickly that a second show had to be added. If this any indication of success, the tour is looking to start off on the right foot.

Punk and Stiff Little Fingers fans, you can get a glimpse of these legends a short 3-hour drive East when they play The Townhouse in Sudbury on Sat Nov 17.

I had to ask Jake how on earth they came up with the bands’ name. He told me a kind of funny story. “Well Ernest, originally we were called The Fast mind you, we hadn’t played one single show at that time. (laughter). But we got our first gig and about a week before we about to play, the owner of the pub called us to confirm the name as he wanted to put an ad in the local Belfast paper. Well, we found out recently to the call that there was already a band in New York called The Fast so we thought we had to change it . Subsequent to say, when we got the call from the pub owner, we had to come up with something quick so I grabbed the album jacket that was closest to me and it was the Vibrators Pure Mania. I slid my fingers down and stopped on one of the songs “Stiff Little Fingers” and that’s how we got that name.

The bands’ first album Inflammable Material came out in 1979 and immediately put them on the map. Songs like My Dark Places and Silver Lining from subsequent albums are fan favourites.

If you can’t see them in Suds on the 17, you can either catch their show at Crocks in Thunder Bay on the 22 of November or bus-jack their bus when it drives through the Soo and force them to play at your house.

** Steel Panther at the Dream Makers Theatre is only about 3 weeks away (Dec 1). Get your tickets now for a measly $25 and it’ll be a night to remember. Tune into ONNtv’s morning show with Lou Anne and Tim for your chance to win tickets weekly leading up to the show. All you have to do is go to Saultonline’s Facebook page and Like and Share to enter the contest.**

Previous articleHANSSON, Vello
Next articleSSMEDC Gives Update on Economic Development
Ernest Skinner
Ernest Skinner was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and attended Humber College after high school. He has a passion for other cultures and has travelled throughout Mexico and many South American countries. He has written many articles over the years that deal with events happening here in Sault Ste. Marie and around the globe. Ernest has interviewed many rock and roll musicians including, Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy.Dio.Whitesnake, Quiet Riot), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger). Adrian Vandenberg (Vandenberg, Whitesnake, Moonkings), Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Sass Jordan, Lee Aaron, John Corabi (Motley Crue/Dead Daisies), Geoff Tate (Queensryche) Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner) and many more. Reading about ancient civilizations, world politics, and mysteries of the unknown are also defining factors that are his general makeup. Outside of being serious, he has a bright sense of humour that was moulded from shows like Seinfeld & The Simpsons. Ernest is a freelance writer.