(Originally written December 2, 2011)
Once upon a time in the Toronto metal scene, you could tell the nu-metal kiddies from the tr00 metal heads by asking someone if they knew the Glen Benton Blue Moon story. Mind you, that was about five or six years ago. Since then, I’ve sorta disassociated myself from the scene by listening to too much of “that slow shit” and for all I know, there could be a whole generation of tr00 Toronto metal heads that haven’t heard the story about the time that Glen Benton walked into the Blue Moon on Queen St E. That said, if you found this post by typing “tr00 Toronto metal heads” into Google, read on to score some scene points…
First, I should say that I wasn’t actually at the bar when this happened, however I’ve heard this story from two people who claimed to have been there, and I don’t think they had any reason to lie to me at the time. Since then, it’s become a bit of a running gag with me bringing “real man’s beer” to birthday parties, and I even told this story at a recent office party that was serving Coors Light, so I guess now the secret’s out.
Anyways, if you’ve been to a major metal gig of the non-stadium variety in Toronto, chances are you’ve been to the Opera House. Although more and more gigs are booked at the Mod Club nowadays (which suits me just fine, cept for their outrageous drink prices!), it used to be that if a band was too big to play the Kathedral, you’d probably find ’em at the Opera House on Queen Street, just east of Broadview. Right next to the Opera House is a bar called the Blue Moon, which actually put up its own stage a few years ago, and now hosts metal gigs of its own. I think that Kory Clarke-fronted Trouble has even played there. But before any of that ever happened, it was primarily a place to grab a couple beers before a gig at the larger venue next door. Sometimes, you’d even meet a couple guys from some of the bands playing if you got there early.
On one such evening, in 2005 I believe, or 2006, Satanic death metal band Deicide was in town. This was somewhat of a rare occurrence, as the band has become known for booking, then backing out of Canadian tour dates. But they made it up here this time, and if you were sitting at the bar at the Blue Moon, you would’ve seen Glen Benton, their inverted-cross-branded frontman storm in, screaming:
“It’s fucking hot in here! Put a fan on! And get me a real man’s beer–Coors Light!”
Only if you’re from Florida is Coors Light considered a real man’s beer, I suppose. But alas, whenever I’m at a bar that has an unsatisfactory tap selection, I sometimes ask for a real man’s beer. And I wouldn’t ever think of drinking Coors Light if it wasn’t for Glen Benton.
(And there you have it, kids. Scene cred+1.)
UPDATE: The Blue Moon is now a country bar called Boots ‘n Bourbon. I’m guessing they still serve Coors Light?