JOHNNY DOWD with the SILVER HEARTS and the BLUE DEMONS at the Tequila Lounge (794 Bathurst), Friday (January 25). $8. 416-968-2001.
just when it looks like the bizarre saga of Dan Burke and the El Mocambo can't possibly get any stranger, there's an unexpected new turn in the twisted tale.Having spent the past month and a load of loot trying to turn the old Ted's Wrecking Yard into the new El Mocambo, Burke is suddenly booking gigs at the Tequila Lounge, a roomy dance club on the North West corner of Bathurst and Bloor.
He's starting with an Exiled From College St. Live Bash! featuring Tchort, Puddy, Shikasta and the Two Minute Miracles tonight (Thursday, January 24) followed by the always menacing Johnny Dowd Friday (January 25).
Burke's His New Year's Eve party plans at Ted's were scuttled when he violated his special event license by advertising the show. Bigger problems soon followed.
""We still have a five year lease, unfortunately, and the building owner, T.K. Kim, has our money for six months rent and a security deposit," explains Burke. "But we're disputing its legality because the lease we signed was for a live entertainment venue."
Isn't Ted's Wrecking Yard is a live entertainment venue? The City of Toronto says no.
"We had a visit from the Toronto Urban Development Department's Licensing and Standards task force who said, 'You can't do here what you did at the El Mocambo. This isn't the entertainment district -- it's zoned for restaurants and bars.' But Ted's and Bar Code had live music for four fucking years! I mean, what about the Orbit Room?"
Michael Swann, a building regulations consultant with Toronto Urban Development Services confirms that, "549 College is zoned as CR or commercial - residential. If it's a restaurant, besides preparing and serving food, there would be certain accessory uses of limited size permitted such as a dancefloor, stage or disc jockey. But an entertainment facility alone is not a permitted use in a CR zone."
Rather than fight city hall, Burke temporarily moved his El Mocambo Productions operation over to the Tequila Lounge to continue putting on shows while the lease dispute is solved. There was also a possibility of buying the venue but now even that seems unlikely.
"When my old El Mocambo partners Lamin Dibba and Jim Eng checked into the Tequila Lounge, they found out it was also zoned for bars and restaurants, not live entertainment.
"After all I'd been through with the El Mocambo, I wanted to preserve that name and the spirit of rock and roll it stands for but it's now becoming an albatross.
In another weird development, a rumour that Abbas Jahangir (the guy that bought the El Mocambo and bumped Burke) has formed an alliance with Ted Footman (whom Burke displaced by taking over the Ted's Wrecking Yard space) turns out to be true
"Ted introduced me to Abbas who seems like a very nice chap," says former Ted's Wrecking Yard booker Yvonne Matsell, now at Rancho Relaxo. "Ted is actually helping Abbas renovate the real El Mocambo... it's a bit like wife swapping isn't it?"
Jahangiri couldn't be reached for comment but Burke, oddly enough, sounds delighted about the pairing of his rivals at the El Mocambo.
"Those two getting together is the best thing that could've happened," roars Burke. "Wherever Ted goes, the taxman won't be far behind." firstname.lastname@example.org --