Annoying Neighbours: The Rave Kids


Lots of action (no, not hot, steamy action) at the BeatnikPad these days, action which has left me feeling discombobulated, exhausted, but at the same time exhilarated and giddy. More as the news develops - now get your mind out of the bordello.

But this post isn’t about my so-called life as much as it is about the lives of other people. Neighbours, actually. Something I read on a friend’s web site this evening reminded me of when I used to live in this beautiful, gigantic old apartment here in Winnipeg called The Roslyn.

The Roslyn was build in roughly 1908 to house dignitaries from the Legislature, which was just across the river. It was designed by William Wallace Blair, who was rumoured to be a disciple of Satanist Alastair Crowley, and nuttier than an Oh Henry bar. As if to prove the architect’s “eccentricities”, the building was a complete maze inside, with hallways and stairwells snaking all over the place, doorways opening up to brick walls, and other strangeness.

johnMacOne of the cooler things about our apartment was that John A. “Canada’s first Prime Minister” MacDonald’s wife and son lived in our actual apartment for quite some time. The other thing that was cool was just how massive our apartment was: over 1700 square feet, most of it this seemingly endless hallway. The nickname for our place was “The Alley”, and we even had a set of plastic bowling pins and a ball as if to cement the name in history.

Other buildings that Blair designed includes the Warwick Apartments across from Central Park, and the imposing Princeton (Kenmore) apartments on Broadway. Just in case you were wondering.

The beautiful thing about this building was the fact that there was heavy cement poured between the floors, which acted as a serious sound barrier. We used to blast hillbilly Robert Gordon albums with absolutely no complaint or notice from our neighbours, as long as we kept our windows closed. On Sunday mornings, I would open my windows up and listen to the woman upstairs play Rachmaninoff and Schubert on her upright piano. The upstairs neighbours were our “nice” neighbours.

Downstairs in the basement, though, was another thing. Downstairs were a bunch of rave kids, who draped black fabric throughout their living room and actually hung a bulbous disco ball from the ceiling. All through the day and night they would blast trance music at ear-splitting volumes, even through the impenetrable concrete and wood of the floor. Many times we would have movies, our music, or even intimate encounters interrupted by the jackhammer pulsating beats emanating from downstairs.

After tolerating this for months, we finally reached our breaking point. I had tried many times to knock on their door to ask them to turn down their music, with no success - the music was so loud that I would had to detonate a small thermonuclear device in order to get their attention. Calls to the caretakers (who lived upstairs, across on the other side of the building) fell on, pardon the pun, deaf ears.

roversSo we took matters into our own hands. One evening, we were planning to go out to see a band play, and in a fit of devilish inspiration, my roommates and I pushed all four of our rather large speakers in the living room against the floor. My roommate produced the weapon: he had just purchased the CD The Rover’s Wasn’t That A Party.

We put it on repeat, cranked up the volume, and walked out the door, making sure that our upstairs neighbours couldn’t hear the music (they couldn’t). Returning six hours later, and turning off the music revealed the sweet sound of silence.

A surprisingly quiet month later, the raver kids downstairs packed up their blackness, tossed their disco ball and glow sticks into the back of a U-Haul truck, and departed. Their replacements were a couple who kept to themselves, and we never saw the evil raver kids ever again.

The lesson of this story is: the next time you’re having a problem with neighbours blasting annoying, brain-melting music, blast terrible Irish drinking music. It works.

Up Next! The BeatnikPad takes on The Evil Hippies and the Screaming Baby!

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