I don't have anything else to say about the The Tote's closure that hasn't already been said here and here and here and here.
Suffice to say I'm appalled that the government's restrictive liquor licensing laws are targeting not only the shitty big city nightclubs for which they were intended to curb violence, but small community based live music venues who have never had any major incidents of violence and can't afford to stay in business with the new fees. Hell, even the POLICE voiced their support for The Tote. It makes me angry. Right now I am transforming into a hulking green beast. The support for the venue and the rallying of the Melbourne music community and even the mainstream media has been heartening though and hopefully we can collectively quash these laws before our music scene goes to complete shit.
So many amazing memories.
- Seeing The Black Lips play then after the show having the bass player, pupils the size of saucepan lids, chase my friend Dan around the venue waving his fingers at him as though he were a wizard casting spells.
- Going on stage to play maracas with Shooting At Unarmed Men for a last song, ending with Jon Chapple handing me his guitar to clang out some noise as he disappeared off stage for a beer.
- Taking pingers on an empty Monday night with a beautiful blonde lady whom I'd only recently met and having the best fucking Monday night of all time. Work the next day.
- Spending an afternoon alone listening to Slint's "Spiderland" in its entirety on the jukebox.
- Dan cooking sausages extremely slowly on the beer garden B.B.Q. Cassie telling him to turn it up and him telling her it was fine and didn't need turning up thank you very much.
- Yase renting the upstairs Cobra Bar for her 30th birthday, someone buying me a shot of tequila near at the end of the night and having to run to the toilets to have a massive spew.
- Yase being refused entry to see Valentiine at the the Public Bar for not having I.D., the band having played the week before at her 30th. The solution? "Let's go to the fucking Tote!"
- Seeing a drummer and guitarist (Digger and the Pussycats?) play in the front bar on the pool table shorty after midnight on New Year's Eve.
- Watching the Japanese re-incarnation of Jimi Henrix himself, the Yura Yura Teikoku vocalist/lead guitarist, shred like a mother fucker and almost bring the place crashing to the ground.
- Moving to Collingwood and living a five minute walk from The Tote.
- A sweaty, bald headed, tribal painted nutcase from Vampillia stage diving directly into me and one other guy. The subsequent stumble trying to hold him aloft while being wrapped in and tripping over the microphone lead.
- Seeing My Disco play two consecutive nights and jizzing my pants over it.
- Hanging out with Captyn and randomly seeing and being amazed by East Brunswick All Girls Choir.
- Someone playing mclusky's "Alan is a Cowboy Killer" on the jukebox and singing word for word with a bunch of mates before ducking outside to two thousand people on the street protesting the closure last Sudany.
- Watching Eddy Current Suppression Ring yesterday play to 50 people at 1:30 in the afternoon.
Those are a few that I can remember. Over the years I've had great times with most of my good friends there. The Tote is a venue that has so much character that it cannot be replaced by another building somewhere else. Rest In Noise.