Dan Burke, As Told By A Jewish Legend

Now many years after first coming onto the scene as the booker of disappeared Spadina hotspot Club Shanghai, Toronto rock promoter(and oddly central figure in my life) Dan Burke is still plugging away, making the most out of the shows he books, and of late, using the internet to advertise them. I attempted to get a few words from him via email to find out about tonight's Class of 2007 show(the second in what seems to be a series) at The Silver Dollar, but couldn't. So that was that. I needed a new tack. The bands performing at the show are dues-payers(TheParkas,The Disraelis), the previously unknown to me(The I Spies,The Sweet Homewreckers) and the new project of somewhat known entities(Josh Reichmann of Tangiers' Jewish Legend, a collaboration with Ian McGettigan and Jeremy Finkelstein). Having known Josh since I was a wee lad growing up in the T-Dizzle, I felt most comfortable shooting him some e-questions about the way of the Dan.

Can you tell me about the first time you met Dan Burke?

I met Dan long ago during The Deadly Snakes' early rise. I would get into shows free. He was always handing out money, that's what I remember. After the[Club] Shanghai times, El Mocambo times was all 20 dollar bills for the band and me and the other music people(kids) who were cool and weird. I was scared of him and also wanted to impress. So I drank and took his money. I gave him his 20's back in the manifestation of shows for many years and [this show] included. I always pay my debts. Always. Jew.

Seriously. Are you surprised Dan is still going after all these years?

Dan has a tenacious grip on survival or something. Look, I don't know how the body or mind pumps up and keeps going while being abused-but he must be fueled by the most romantic inner potion. Some people have life scripts or five year plans, or an inner trajectory that keeps the flame alive even with setbacks. The punishment we endure can cripple or cure us. Or...just become a strange story in our blood. Uh....he must have the organs of a gecko and the chemical make up [of] a North Korean plutonium enrichment plant monitored by a two headed thing!

Most memorable Dan Burke memory?

I went to Dan's place when he had a certain apartment, to drop a CD off or something. I think I had to use the window. Wait...other people were using the window to get in. I was supposed to monitor and guard against certain people coming in the window. He was (is)very generous to a couple transient folks who were in some sort of need. Despite the circumstances he seemed very compassionate and ultimately understanding and giving. I was trying to help him design a poster. He had to go out, and left Wings playing on repeat. That and the rapping at the windows was exceptionally strange. Later he rapped for me-more of a spoken word affair. If it was put to music, the beat would have to be sort of future prog rap. But the story and his memory and delivery was great-I think it referenced late twentieth century baseball and crime metaphors. He finished the poster-we "talked".

Thanks for "talking" with me.


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