When you are young and fresh you look at the world and expect everything to stay the same forever. When I first starting taking the train downtown for punk shows at the Opera House, or in the basement of Who's Emma, or nervously venturing into squats and apartments around the market, I felt like I would find a new exciting place to see music and make friends every weekend, for the rest of my life. As time passed, this new world enlarged, as did my place in it - more friends, more knowledge, more records, more bands. I was young and there was always things to look for, people to look up to. People that formed what I could tell was the foundation of what I was experiencing, started to pop up more regularly, we could start to interact with it all. You start to meet the people who put on the shows, the people who put out the records, and this world starts to take a different shape and get more colourful, as you engage. It was an exciting thing to grow into. As time goes on, things start to change again - years go by and you look back and wonder where your friends ended up, why the same things no longer excite you, maybe you wonder what was the point of it all in the first place. There are fights, you learn more about the bullshit, you stop caring, or pretend to stop caring, and things fade away. Ten years later and it's almost like a dream, it's hard to imagine you came from where you did, when you look back.
But there are these guideposts, these pillars, that don't change. These people that remind you about what you used to feel like when you were a kid, they remind you about why it was all so exciting, and why it will always be exciting for someone. Imants was one of those people. We met Imants maybe at age 17, 18. He was this old/ageless guy from Hamilton how had this record collection, tales of which preceded it. Before meeting him we knew these indelible facts - he had seen the Velvet Underground, he had bought a Negative Approach 7" out of the box at the record release show. He was this living time warp we had access to, which if you think about it, is what a community is all about - those links between generations that enable consistency and let things survive. He was this living link to the things we could only ever read about or see pictures of - but here was this guy who had done it all, and we could ask him. Not only that, he wasn't coveting it, he wasn't this relic, he was still there with us, still picking 7"'s out of the box and record release shows, 30 years later. I never discounted the importance of what he was doing - he bought our first record out of my hand. What did that mean? I was young, unsure of what I was doing, but Imants wasn't unsure, and he should know. He did know. It's rare to find people like this, anywhere. I know I'll never be like that - I'm more of a relic at 30 than he was at 60. What makes the world go around is participation - doing it, those hands across time making the links to what you revere and what you create yourself. He loved the music like no one else, and for us there was really no one like him.