In a lot of ways, my first major road trip is still my favorite.
In 1995, I was working for a pizza delivery company called Greco. It wasn’t anything glamorous but it was a steady paycheque, and I was paying my bills. I was also able to save money as working as a driver, you get tips which you can stash away and do add up fast. I paid for most of my trip with tips and commission money from my deliveries.
At that time, I was big on taking road trips. It was quite common for me to call up a friend of mine and ask them if they wanted to go somewhere for the day, or hell, even just for coffee. It was just something that I enjoyed doing.
I had never taken any trips that took more than 3 hours so I wanted to go somewhere that I hadn’t been to before, and some place that I thought would be cool. So, Toronto it was. I booked my vacation about a month ahead of time but then I found out that Faith No More would be performing in Toronto near to my vacation. I was going to miss them by a week or two. So, I of course did my best to get my vacation moved so I would be there when they played. I got a hold of a friend of mine to buy me some tickets, and it was all set.
My friends Chris wanted to come with me but didn’t have a lot of money. I told him, come anyway and I’ll cover what you can’t. That would turn out to be the best decision as having someone there with me made it a hell of a lot more fun. So, at 7:00AM, May 18th, 1995, we left Chris’s place and headed towards T.O.
Toronto is about an 18 hour drive from Moncton. We didn’t figure we would make it all the way in one night, so we got as far as outside of Montreal and crashed at a campground. We woke up the next morning and the weather was great so we hit the road nice and early. We made a pit stop in Kingston but then headed West to Toronto shortly after.
By the time we got to Toronto, we were pretty tired. We had made the decision to camp out in a campground in Whitby which is just outside of the city. We could take the car downtown and find our way around. We did just that. It wasn’t hard getting around town but we were pretty tired. I’m not too sure how we did it, but we still managed to see a pile of stuff including MuchMusic, the Eaton’s Center, and a lot of people out on the streets just playing music and having a good time. We had wanted to see Electric Circus at Much because there’s always cute girls there, but alas it was teen night so no luck there. We went for a drive to see some more stuff and then headed back to the campground.
The next day started off with us trying to find “The Warehouse” which is where the FNM concert was going to be at. We wanted to make sure we knew where it was ahead of time so we’d get in line nice and early on Monday afternoon. After that, we took a trip up to Peterborough to visit another college friend of ours. We ended up hanging out there most of the day and then going to a club that night. The club sucked. We were so glad to be from Moncton and not near anything like that place. Just a lot of lamers. We decided to head back to the big city but by the time we got near our campground, we were pretty tired. So, we both crashed and decided we’d head out to see my aunt the next day.
Sunday consisted of driving to Thamesford, ON. This was a couple of hours from Toronto but it was nice to see some family. We had some great food and hung out with my cousins for awhile. We went out to a local diner and just sat around talking. It was really cool. But, when Monday morning came, things were going to change. We left early as we wanted to get to the concert really early to insure a good spot in the crowd. We got ourselves a motel in Mississauga, and then drove into the city. When we got to the concert hall (The Warehouse), there weren’t that many people there so we were very happy. We were even happier when the band came through the back and we got to see them all. I got an autograph from the drummer and talked to the keyboardist whom I’d interviewed just weeks earlier. It was really cool. Plus, I got to give the drummer a package of stuff from the magazine. That was a real dream come true. But the best part was about to come.
After sitting in line for 4 hours, and then standing through Steel Pole Bathtub’s awful set, Faith No More finally took the stage. I have seen a lot of bands perform and been excited to see shows before, but you can’t possibly know how excited I was to be there. I had driven over 1500kms to see this band play, and there was no way in hell anyone was going to ruin it for me. They opened with “Ricochet” which was my favorite tune at the time and the show was in-fucking-credible. Of all things I have experienced in my life, I know that show was one of the few that stick out in my mind. Anyone who knows me knows that I pretty much worshipped this band and would have gone anywhere to see them, so to finally see these guys perform really was a dream come true. They played an incredible set and joked with the crowd, and by the time the show was over, me and Chris barely had enough strength to walk to the car. I didn’t care. I had seen Faith No More, met the band, and lived through the concert. How was I ever going to top that?
When the show was over, we managed somehow to get back to the motel room and basically died for the night. We had no energy or anything left. We needed to rest. When we got up in the morning, we had to figure out what to do about getting home.
To be different, we decided to travel through the US. In retrospect, it took longer but it was kinda neat to see part of the US, plus we drove through Niagara Falls. It was the first time I had ever driven through there. However, we drove straight through, non-stop. It was very tiring and looking back on it, I probably should have stopped to sleep. But me and Chris both wanted to get home.
For a first road trip. Toronto was really cool. I’m so glad I went and the concert was definitely the best part.