One Man's Mozart is Another Man's Pitbull: Of Rusty's Fluke

If you've ever listened to a Kick Out the Jams! episode of my podcast, you've heard me talk about the potent power of nostalgia. I've often said the music you loved as a teenager will stick with you the rest of your life.

I was 20 when I first heard Rusty, but my ears loved it. I thought Fluke was the greatest album. In fact, a mere decade ago, I included Fluke on my list of my ten favourite Canadian albums of all-time.

Groovy Dead, Wake Me, California, Misogyny... I never understood why everyone wasn't raving about Rusty. Didn't you all hear what I heard? Ah, the subjectivity of music... one man's Mozart is another man's PItbull.

Last night, I made the very cold late-night bike ride to the Mod Club to catch Dearly Beloved and Rusty and they still sound great. I had extra tickets, and couldn't give them away, which tells you how popular Rusty is in 2017, but I had an absolute blast.

On my chilly ride home west along the waterfront trail in the wee hours of the morning, you could hear me bellowing the hook to Wake Me over and over again. My apologies to the Canada geese trying to sleep by Windermere.


What's your Rusty? You know, a band that can't fill the Mod Club but to you is like seeing U2 or Springsteen?

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Comments (36 - click here to join in!)


Glad you enjoyed the show! Belatedly saw your Rusty ticket offer from late on Thursday
night and figured that they would be snapped up. Oh well, better luck next time!! BTW, were you
aware of Ken from Rusty's former band, One Free Fall? Thanks for the clips!

November 11, 2017 @ 9:57 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Only from their contribution to the excellent Borrowed Tunes: A Tribute to Neil Young albums.

November 11, 2017 @ 10:00 AM


My Rusty is Howie Beck. Loved everything he ever did. He did well, but I thought he was a superstar that never caught fire.

November 11, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

My other Rusty is Hayden. Great career, no doubt, but never reached the masses the way I thought he would. Heck, I thought he'd be the next Neil Young!

November 11, 2017 @ 10:04 AM


Well, I vaguely remember hearing them at least a couple of times on the Edge back in the early
'90s, as well as seeing their video on MuchMusic at least once. The Doughboys were another quality
band from that era that I've recently rediscovered. As for your question about a band that might not
be able to fill the Mod club, but is akin to a U2 or a Springsteen, at least in my heart? Too many to
mention!! Funnily enough, I have only been to a bar for music purposes 5 times in my life, and two
of those occasions involved the Mod Club!! Love the idea in theory of seeing a great band in a small
space, but I'm more a fan of wide-open-spaced concerts in order to protect what is left of my rapidly-
fraying sanity!!

November 11, 2017 @ 10:08 AM


The irony of your Hayden-Neil Young comparison is that Hayden almost signed to Neil
Young's Vapor record label!! Can't see Hayden ever rocking a Vocoder and releasing a modern-
era version of Trans or forming a soul revue and exhuming Spuds Mackenzie for a music video
parody!! P.S., Hayden's theme song to Steve Buscemi's Trees Lounge film is a slept-on classic!

November 11, 2017 @ 10:13 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


The Doughboys were all over the radio and Muchmusic. Shine and Fix Me, in particular. Big 90s Cancon hits!

I saw John Kastner's next band, All Systems Go!, at Molson Park in Barrie on the small stage before the best Pearl Jam concert I ever attended.

November 11, 2017 @ 10:39 AM


Plus, Mr. Kastner was fortunate enough to partner up with the very beautiful Jessica Pare, so
mad props to him!!

November 11, 2017 @ 10:45 AM


13 Engines.
Their last album Conquistador was brilliant (in my mind). Listened to that album for years.
Saw them at the Horseshoe one time and they took requests. Thought that was neat.
Great garage rock.

November 11, 2017 @ 10:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Smoke and Ashes!
Bred in the Bone!

Good stuff, man!

November 11, 2017 @ 11:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

And now I'm thinking about The Gandharvas.

November 11, 2017 @ 11:48 PM

Javed Jafri

This post reminded about the great David Wisdom who hosted Nightlines on CBC FM in the 1990's. Multi genre show. He was a musicologist with a great sense of humour. You got to hear all kinds of indie music like The Mountain Goats or Scruffy The Cat mixed in with some vintage rock or folk. I have some tape that I recorded of his show but this clip sums up a lot of what you heard ( but perhaps more tilted towards heritage tunes than usual).

Anyway it's brain busting musical quiz from 1996 consisting of many tunes ( a few seconds each) and the idea is to figure out the artists. First of the two clips on the post:

November 12, 2017 @ 9:46 AM


Ned's Atomic Dustbin. Still relatively popular in the UK, but seemingly forgotten over here. Surprising to me for a band that headlined and co-headlined (with Blur) the first two Edgefests.

November 13, 2017 @ 7:39 AM


"Not Sleeping Around" and "Walking Through Syrup" sure were great songs!! Loved that two
bass lineup! A lot of U.K. bands that were staples of The Edge's early 1990s' playlists have largely
been forgotten on this side of the pond: Charlatans, Inspiral Carpets, Swervedriver, Catherine
Wheel, etc..

November 13, 2017 @ 9:12 AM

James Edgar

I saw the ticket offer but we were painting out living room /dining room and i thought I'd never talk my wife into letting me take off for a show. Turns out that we went to see Murder on the orient express as a "Break" Saturday night . So if i had been kind of awake i'd have tried to score a ticket. Murder on the orient express was NOT on my I'd like to see that list ,

I didn't buy Rustys albums at the time but was a casual fan for sure. I have a couple of Ned's albums and they are still in rotation. Great band that should have been at the top IMHO.

November 13, 2017 @ 9:33 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's Rusty's setlist from Friday night:

Groovy Dead
Doin' Fine
Oh No Joe
Fuck Off Fly
Empty Cell
Part Time Hero
Soul for Sale
Death has No Shadow
Wake Me

November 13, 2017 @ 9:52 AM

Ben V

Rusty was a huge part of my Grade 8-10 musical awakening. WE used to go play Mario cart on N64 at my buddies house and blast that on his parents speaker system.

First time seeing them live was at Food fest at Arrow Hall. Rusty, Treble Charger, Foo Fighters and talk show(when weiland was kicked out of STP they formed this without him).

Misogyny will always stick out for me. What a great album and a great Canadian band.

November 13, 2017 @ 9:56 AM


Glad to see some ned's love still heh.


I feel like Charlatans and Swervedriver are still reasonably popular. Catherine Wheel had a long tail on 102.1 but are probably forgotten by now. Inspiral Carpets are certainly vanished.

I'm blown away by how big crowds have been for Slowdive, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Chapterhouse.

November 13, 2017 @ 11:02 AM


Chapterhouse are still a going concern?!? Wow!!
FYI: Inspiral Carpets regrouped with their original singer and released another
album, but their longtime drummer unfortunately took his own life almost a year

November 13, 2017 @ 11:05 AM



I really like an electronic artist named Ulrich Schnauss. Chapterhouse was a major influence for him and he apparently talked them into touring again (a while ago now) ... it was excellent.

The Inspiral Carpets' keyboardist passed away from disease within the last year too. I'm a huge fan of that band. I like the Happy Mondays too but not as much as the rest of the Madchester scene.

November 13, 2017 @ 12:29 PM


Wasn't aware that Clint Boon from the Inspiral Carpets passed away this year and could find no
record of this, so were you perhaps referring to a pre-fame member of that band? They were
definitely my favourite Engish band back in the early nineties, especially their second and fourth
albums. Heard them on the Edge a heck of a lot back in the day. Loved that organ sound!!

November 13, 2017 @ 3:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Clint Boon is very much alive:

But drummer Craig Gill did pass away about a year ago.

November 13, 2017 @ 3:26 PM


I know, that's why I suspect markosaar was referring to a member I wasn't familiar with!
Still, whatever the case might be, the Charlatans have sadly suffered a lot more band member loss
throughout their nearly 30 year career.

November 13, 2017 @ 3:30 PM


Weird, I must have confused him with someone else. For some reason was under the impression two members had passed now. Sorry about that. I blame the insomnia.

November 13, 2017 @ 4:22 PM


The Sadies are among Canada's greatest rock bands, and still playing rugularly at beer-drenched clubs across the country. If you can catch them on a night when Travis Good is doing double duty on bass with the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, there isn't a better double bill that encapsulates the Queen Street scene from the 90's to today.

November 14, 2017 @ 3:41 AM


No apologies necessary, as it it extremely hard to keep track of all the numerous musician deaths that
have really begun to add up over the last several years. Probably shouldn't comment any further in this regard, lest I'm accused again of being an elitist rock snob, self-centred, myopic, and a nostalgic

November 14, 2017 @ 9:52 AM



I hate making factual errors and spreading false information. I'm very glad it got nipped in the bud immediately.

November 14, 2017 @ 10:09 AM


I know exactly what you mean, but sometimes these things can and do happen!!
Wouldn't worry too much about your minor error, as not sure how many people
on here even remembered Inspiral Carpets in the first place (quite sad, actually, as
they really did have a cool sound!!).

November 14, 2017 @ 10:12 AM


Wha? Nobody took up your offer of free rusty tickets? I absolutely would have gone, but we don't really get out much since my son's leukemia diagnosis in July.

rusty AND Hayden? You and I would have been fast friends in the 90s for your mutual love of these two.

Big 90s fan here: Superfriendz, The Inbreds, Sloan, Eric's Trip, Killjoys, rusty, hHead, Hayden, Limblifter, AoE, etc. etc.

November 15, 2017 @ 11:58 AM

Javed Jafri

I heard most of the groups you mentioned on CBC FM. David Wisdom on Night lines was an important champion of all types of indie and other forms of music. One of the unsung radio heroes in Canada.

November 15, 2017 @ 12:46 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Sorry to hear about your son. Fuck cancer!

November 15, 2017 @ 1:59 PM


@Javed, yes, Night Lines. I remember that one now. I also remember Brave New Waves & trying to connect & listen to archived sessions with Real Audio when the internet was mostly still dialup for residential.

@T.O. Mike, thanks, he's getting the best care he possibly can from SickKids. We are lucky to have a world class facility such as this in our city. if I may promote my awareness blog about my family's experiences since the diagnosis.

November 15, 2017 @ 2:10 PM

Scott McCullough

Hey Mike,

Scott from rusty here...that was a bit of weird show, we have no problem selling out the Horseshoe where we usually play these days, but that Mod Club gig was pretty sparsely populated. We were getting a flat fee for it, so we kind of left it up to the Indie Week Festival to promote it...and there ya go. I saw a bunch of people mentioning the Doughboys in the comments above so I thought I'd pass on that I was a founding member of that band. Myself, Kastner, Brock Pytel and Jon Ascencio started the band in Montreal in fall of '86 and I only played on the first album "Whatever" and the subsequent three month U.S. tour with Henry Rollins, The Descendants and MIA. I've started doing a little blog that references those days(and the rusty ones) on the newish rusty website at And since we didn't mention at the show or at our nonexistant merch booth, I wanted to let you know that we have finally launched our PledgeMusic pre/order/crowdfunding page in order to finance our new album. It's at and you can get involved in the making of the record in a variety of ways. And thanks again for the kind words Mike, next time we play come by and say hi and introduce yourself. Scott McCullough

December 13, 2017 @ 2:31 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Scott McCullough

Thanks for the note!

Doughoys and Rusty... a couple of 90s Cancon heavyweights!

I'll definitely say hi next time.

December 13, 2017 @ 2:38 PM


Rusty's "It's Christmas Time (and I'm Poor)" is a great track for anybody who's short on cash during
this festive season, obviously the least commercial holiday of them all!!

December 13, 2017 @ 2:55 PM


Was totally unaware of the gig. Will watch closer.

Speaking of post Manchester, I caught Swervedriver in Denver, on a business trip, a few years back. Room was quite full. Never saw them in their heyday but really enjoyed the show. Still love their albums.

December 13, 2017 @ 3:21 PM

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