THE SYLVAN LAKE MASSACRE:1994
Note: this is taken from the original Benalto site which was written up by a man named mr. Mylar...where are you now, Don? Anyway, enjoy.
The general rule is, Benalto never played live: ever. But there was indeed, one gig, summer 1994, in the small resort town of Sylvan Lake, located on highway #11 coincidentally only a few miles down from the town of Benalto. What exactly happened? Culled from various sources, I've prepared this page to explain, exactly - "what the fuck happened in Sylvan??"
1) The gig
In an interview with a fanzine from Calgary, Toqueface explained:
"Well, there was this guy, we only knew him as Dell from college..he was in some audiovisual program and for some reason for a final project was preparing a documentary on Benalto. He followed us around, doing little interviews, it was all very pissy, very stupid...I think there's copies of the final piece still floating around. If you see it, don't buy it - it's a waste of money. Anyway he had this great idea that to end the thing, we should do a live gig. So, DARKMAN and Pete, I think they really wanted to pull it off, Cranemaster he didn't want to do it at all, and I didn't care either way."
DARKMAN continues the story by relating how they got the gig.
"Man, it was really hard for us to get gigs: usually we didn't even try, you know - the way we sounded (laugh). Dirty Pete and I, we thought it'd be a great idea. We originally wanted to play in the Benalto School, by invitation only, but they didn't go for that, some rock band tearing the place up. So we decided the closest thing was Sylvan. They had a bar there I think it's called "Beach Something er other" now, and me and Dirty Pete sent them the first Replacements album as a demo tape. It was the only way we could get a gig, by pretending we were another band. Sure enough, the dumb hicks fell for it, and we got the gig".
There's many versions of what exactly happened, but Chupa Rimbey (who never played anything for the gig, just merely was a spectator) is probably the most reliable source. This is from an interview with a radio show which is side 2 of the "Sylvan Apocalypse" bootleg cassette. (does ANYONE have a copy of this?????? mail ME if you do - I only have a second generation side 2)
"Oh, man, Sylvan...jesus christ. Okay, so I got to the gig a little late, and missed the opening band. Benalto was setting up, in all their glory. To overcome Cranemaster's stage fright Toqueface had erected this giant apparatus which shielded him with like, old sheets sewn together, so all you could see was his sillouhette.So no one would have the CHANCE to see his face, he was in Peter Criss makeup as well (laugh) you'd think he was ashamed...I ran into Dirty Pete at the bar, and he was just fuckin' wasted, man, his eyes were all over I didn't know what he was on. I said hi and he leaned over - this is all he said to me, he said "Fuckin' Toqueface bastard, he's going DOWN!". Then this massive feedback started filling the room and I looked up and there was Toqueface, crouched against his old peavy amplifier, just making noise. I guess it was his signal for the band to get up and play. Everyone stumbled onto the stage, it looked so ugly from the start, they were all hammered except for Cranemaster, who was all jittery. Finally you hear the drums count 1-2-3-4 and WHAM! they went right into "Benalto" except dirty pete didn't know the words, and you could see toqueface yelling something in his ear. After about a verse and a half of this, Cranemaster stopped playing and Pete went up to the mike and started growling incoherently something about "my fucking cunt band"..then there was minor discussion amongst them, Darkman I remember was saying right into his mike "Let's do one of my songs. Eh? Let's do one of my songs.". Then Dirty Pete screamed "ALRIGHT! DIDSBURY HIGH!" and the band obliged....and I have no clue what happened, what Toqueface did, he was doin something up there, but right near then end of it all Pete lifted up his mike stand and slammed it into Toque's back, HARD...toque fell into the crowd, screaming, and the other two guys were laughing at him. Cranemaster somehow disappeared at this moment, after only one and a half songs. Toqueface finally got up, all hunched over, and he sat behind the kit, giving Dirty Pete the guitar - oh, right before he sat on the drums, he spit in Pete's face, I remember that. Then they did "Louie Louie" for about 10 minutes before the owner pulled the plug. It was wretched. The next day I saw Cranemaster and asked him how his brother's back was doing. He just said "I don't fucking care. We're never doing this again.". And that's the story"