I didn’t realize until I began writing this piece, that October 30, aka Devil’s Night, was a Detroit thing. Being born across the American border, in Windsor, Canada I grew up thinking it was an unsaid holiday. When I moved to Toronto, I assumed it was an American thing. This was the direct result of the pattern I picked up in Torontonian’s eyes after I’d ask, “So. What are you doing for Devil’s Night?”
As a kid, Windsor was on a curfew and Detroit was on major lockdown. Devil’s Night was a night of mischief, Halloween’s foreboding sister. One year a neighbourhood could be hit by an artillery of raw eggs and toilet paper and another year, it could be burned down. Detroit was heavy on the arson, Windsor was more of an egg and toilet paper sort of city.
On my end, in my teens Devil’s Night evoked..I don’t even know how to put it into words, I wanted to be out, roaming the streets, hanging in alleys, if it meant drinking, sure, if it didn’t that was fine too. Perhaps it was the roaming that was key. The following night, on Halloween, all I wanted to do was break into graveyards and try to evoke the dead. I didn’t say I was a normal kid… I just love darkness and Devil’s Night combined with Halloween was the one time a year I could openly celebrate. (Note, I’m not of the belief that darkness and evil are synonymous. Another topic, another time).
Nonetheless, three consecutive Devil’s Nights in Thailand….I’m shaking my head as I’m writing this. There is no Devil’s Night, there is no Halloween here, other than I believe in the tourist areas. Call me an elitist jerk if you’d like, but I’m assuming most tourist area Halloween parties suck. No darkness. Just decadence and wigs.
So, I find myself getting nostalgic and with that trying to find a specific Cold As Life show I went to on a Devil’s Night, somewhere in downtown Detroit, what year, I don’t even remember. I just remember it was sometime after orignal frontman Rawn Beauty’s murder and I had a hell of a time trying to find someone to go with me.
So what have I got? A small example of early 90s Detroit as I remember it. I omitted pieces that weren’t live, and unfortunately could only find one show that I went to – which is included in this set. The sound quality and filming are gritty on some of the pieces, but so were those times.
Here you go….
Now go blow something up*…
COLD AS LIFE:
NOIR LEATHER store ad, filmed at STANELY’S bar in Windsor, the first establishment I remember using fake ID, I think I may have been sixteen…awww…:
*Please don’t tell me I had to tell you, I meant that figuratively…