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Thursday, June 09, 2011


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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

may he rest in peace

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Canadophile said...

Nicely put, I miss him and I didn't know who he was 10 minutes ago.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. He will be missed. RIP Imants.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Joe Krumins said...

Thank you for writing this. This is amazing. Imants owns your entire discography.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touching story. My condolences...

10:06 AM  
Blogger whatwave dave said...

Very nicely worded!!!

10:14 AM  
Blogger yvonne said...

Wow very eloquently put. I've known Imants for 30 years and unlike me who became lazier and more home bound over the years, he was still out there at every show and going strong for 30 years - his level of energy and commitment always amazed me.

11:32 AM  
Blogger dickvain43 said...

Nicely said!


2:10 PM  
Anonymous Dave S said...

Though I knew him only casually, he left a lifelong impression. I have aspired to be like him... so passionate about music, humble, knowledgeable, and open-minded. He is one of a kind and will be missed greatly.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Imants

7:59 AM  
Blogger Survivalist said...

perfectly put

i miss that guy

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some buffalo folks share their thoughts on imants:

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you speak for a lot of us. Thank you.

1:19 PM  
Blogger vesna said...

Beautifully worded. I am so sad to hear of Imants's passing. It's been a while since I last saw him. I was always awe-struck by his in-depth knowledge of music. Always happy to see him at shows. Took comfort in his presence at Punkfest. He was a kind, funny, gracious man. RIP Imants.

8:35 PM  
Blogger for your pleasure radio said...

beautiful , I read this at the visitation for Imants on Sunday and found it very moving. I'm glad to have found here so I can read it again and share it with others.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Matt Rennick said...

Couldn't possibly have said it better.
RIP Imants

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Angeline said...

Comment this video on your blog please :)

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ how about a little bit of fucking respect

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Hellbound said...

Imants was amazing. I met him at a CHRY-FM fundraiser for S. Perry's old "Fast & Bulbous" radio show around 1993 and he was always the nicest person to be around. Your piece on him says it all

5:37 PM  
Blogger Secular said...

Nice remembrance. Thank-you for posting this. I tried to read it at the visitation, but my focus was elsewhere. I miss Imants, and always will - a huge loss.

Rest in peace.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I met this dude at the Hidden World release weekend in 2006. We were standing next to each other in line one night, talking, for a while. I always remembered him being a cool guy. RIP.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP The world will never be the same

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Kelly K. said...

Well said. I've known Imants going back over 25 years. I ran the Maximum Rock & Roll Radio show tapes at CFMU and would stick around and chat with him afterwards. Pretty soon I was lucky enough to be one of those privileged to road trip to shows with him; Toronto, Guelph, Buffalo, Detroit, Albany, Rochester. Later on he'd visit me in central PA and Chicago. We became friends and stayed friends even though some times long periods of time would lapse. I know he had many many friends and I am certain every one would agree; If you were a friend of Imants you really were truly lucky. Imants, you knew how to get out and live and experience life, and didn't waste any of it. You set an example for all in that regard. I was looking forward to "the next time" but now I'll instead be honored to appreciate those great times we did have.

You are missed.

6:18 PM  
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Anonymous Generic Viagra said...

I was always awe-struck by his in-depth knowledge of music. Always happy to see him at shows. Took comfort in his presence at Punkfest. He was a kind, funny, gracious man. RIP Imants.

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