by carl wilson

The Amazing Adventures of Dan Burke

Dan Burke currently books bands at Toronto's Silver Dollar Room, formerly at the El Mocambo and myriad spots in between. He is nothing if not one of the most colourful & controversial figures in Toronto music: How many show promoters are actually the subject of entire songs that agonize over whether they're truly good at heart?

In any case, there's a thread up on 20hz right now called "Dan Burke Beaten Up," gossiping about an altercation between Dan and a band called The Hospitals at the Silver Dollar on Apr. 13. After a couple of days of that, Dan suddenly spoke up this morning, and his version is too good not to share. (I should say that none of the following is endorsed or suggested by Zoilus to be the truth):

danb.jpg Beat-up? Fuck, took two guys and a guitar to battle me and the only thing broken at the end of it was the guitar. Yeah, I did throw the snare -- though at what point in the commotion, I don't know -- and I hope that wasn't what broke the guitar because it certainly wasn't the intention. (Was I then hit by a broken guitar in the head?) Even by my standards, that night was one fucking hell of a commotion (I don't call my promotional vehicle El Fiasco Commotions for nothing). All I know is that I was getting on fine with The Hospitals, even though they'd arrived really late (around 10 p.m.) for the show when load-in/soundcheck was scheduled for 7 p.m. Nor did they phone (common courtesy) to say they'd be late. That upset things because people were showing up to see them and I didn't know what to charge as a cover because maybe they weren't gonna show. However, the night before they'd checked in at Smalls in Detroit at 11 p.m., with out phoning beforehand, so I figured they'd probably make it. The late arrival screwed up the whole soundcheck/starttime process and the show was running late. And that was my fault, too. I shoulda pushed the openers harder. The problem started when I'm standing at the bar with Sean from The Sadies and all of a sudden The Hospitals start playing from a spot on the bar floor near the washrooms. Shit, I thought they were just getting their gear organized there for a quick move to the stage. Can't figure out why they didn't tell me they wanted to play there 'cuz I woulda said OK. They also started playing from that makeshift second stage while the Vulcan Dub Squad were in the midst of their last song. I thought that was impolite and, The Vulcans having been four swell and talented gentlemen (very fucking talented!), I thought it was necessary to impose a little order in the court. So I went over and grabbed The Hospitals mike (musta been hooked up to one of their own cabinets) and said, "You gonna fuckin' play here, or on the stage!?!?!?!" And the drummer just launched himself at me. Now, I don't know who threw the first punch, all I can say is that when he charged at me I thought, "Uh, oh, violence." So we start throwing punches. The kid was an okay scrapper but I was nailing him fairly easily. Some people got between us and that's when the guitar came down on my head. Or did I throw the snare first? I dropped to one knee (just for a sec) but that hit from the guitar set off a super nova in my brain. Like, I'm fuckin' out of it. Can't see. All I can feel is these rapid punches from behind and I'm thinking, "Who the fuck's hitting me now, because this dude can swing." Every shot creates a new super nova and as hard as I try to recover stance and start countering, there's no fuckin' way. Anyway, the security man finally gets between and gets me to the washroom. Sean from The Sadies comes in and says, "Dude, what's with those guys? That was fucked up." I tidy up and Danielle from Soundscapes comes in to visit and is really cool and I tell her thanks a lot. Anyway, I decided to go to Oasis for a quiet drink with Sean. Let The Hospitals play, y'know. Later when I cam back, had they said, "Sorry, Dan I dunno what happened..." I woulda said exactly the same thing,"Yeah, I didn't mean for all that to happen." But they started screaming at me. "You owe us money, fucker." Very uncool. They wanna be abusive? "I owe you money? Then fuckin' take it off me!" So I took off my jacket and stood back. Alone, as always. Let's do it boys! They didn't. So, yeah, they didn't get fully paid. (I've since phoned their booking agent and we're gonna work it out). The moral to the story: yeah, I've done a lot wrong, made mistakes, but I still don't fear no fists or slander (what's with the "nazi" shit? man, I don't belong to a fuckin group of any kind, nor do I endorse any dogma). And, the show went on that night. Yes it did. Yes it did. So, stay tuned for more -- The Horseshoe on Thursday, April 22, a full fuckin brigade of bands I fully back, a show that is one serious fuckin' statement of talent. Oh, yeah, my next Band of The Month is The Suicidalists (start Tues.Apr.20 @ Silver Dollar). Gotta love a band who names themselves after me, eh?

If I had the time - and the nerve to keep up with him - Dan Burke could make a whole book. Maybe someday he'll write it himself.

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Friday, April 16 at 1:19 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)



I'm Dan Burke of Toronto, but not the one in question. I overheard two guys at a party talking about this Dan Burke and I was baffled. I showed them my drivers license to prove to them I was also Dan Burke and they explained who this Dan is. So I googled on in and here I am. So if you ever hear people at a party talking about Dan Burke the software developer or the snowboarder than you'll know who they're talking about.

Posted by Dan Burke on December 17, 2004 11:41 AM



Dan's a brilliant dude, unfortunately also a suicidalist. Thanks for getting that quote, Carl. It brightened my sleepy day. Oh, and Matt, Dan is always aware of and quick to dispute any criticism leveled at him, whether it's accusations of nazism or lack of band payment. If he checked out half the shit said about him on 20hz he'd have some really awesome responses. Anyway, most people are hung up on nazis.

Posted by Nick Flanagan on April 17, 2004 9:10 PM



Dan can write all right too, he should write a book. He seems a little hung up on the nazi stuff though.

Posted by Matt Alexander on April 16, 2004 10:42 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson