Heavy Metalloid Music (2016)

The album above is from Hamilton, Ont. proto psych band Simply Saucer. Friend of Canadian music and Weird Canada alum Jesse Locke has written a book about them, which you can pick up when it’s released in November.

From what he’s told me over the three-plus years of research and writing, there are going to be some grimy yarns spun.

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Today in Alberta History – Miners Strike in Drumheller

Drumheller mine strikers

Members of the One Big Union strike for the right to not risk death every day. Photo graciously borrowed from http://www.history.alberta.ca/energyheritage/

In 1919, the One Big Union (OBU) of miners – totaling about 6,500 around the province -walked off the job in Drumheller to protest all the usual things extraction industry workers face: low wages, cost of living and perilous working conditions.

Owners of these mines hired soldiers returning from WWI to (scab) work for the striking miners. Union busters, some of whom carried brass knuckles and whisky on their breath, intimidated, beat and otherwise suppressed any action taken by striking miners to, y’know, be paid a decent wage and not work in an utter and complete death trap.

On August 9, 1919, one of the leaders of the OBU, John Sullivan, was attacked in his own home by union-busting thugs. After a couple more strikes against the union, the strike was ended a couple days later. Wage increases were presumably laughed off the table.

A hundred years later, and the playbook essentially remains the same.