Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Chris Burns Fire Story

In the Montréal indie scene, few stories compare to the time where Chris Burns' place went up in flames. It had everything all of our daily lives consisted of: shitty building ran by a slumlord, not being able to afford insurance, a whole scene banding together to (temporarily) help cope with a crappy situation, from indie newspapers like The Mirror promoting a benefit show, to all the bands that wanted to take part in it, to everyone who showed up, and to everyone who gave perhaps not money but time and/or goods to help Chris and his girlfriend Isabelle get back on their feet.

Chris' story resonated deeply with me, because I lost all of my shit myself once, in a flood after the thawing of the 1998 Ice Storm - I had pretty much the last remaining pictures of deceased family members, hundreds of rare arts books and first editions of classics, four guitars (I managed to save one) and two amps (ditto), and the usual stuff like furniture and electronics.

It took me years to get back to the level of comfort I'd been accustomed to - though on the bright side probably enabled me to rely less on my possessions and afforded me the emptiness I required to spend a bit longer than a year going back and forth between Montréal and NYC.

But back to ''Crispy'' Burns. Here's the video from the benefit show that was held on his behalf, complete with his recounting the fire saga in the middle of a rendition of The Talking Heads' Burning Down The House...

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