-GIVEN WHAT YOU FIND IF YOU TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE, I HAVE BEEN PREPARING THE TERMS OF REFERENCE FROM PAST COMPONENTS OF MY "INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC WORK...ON A DIRECT BASIS" FOR THE WORLD'S CHILDREN THAT RESPONDED TO THIS PROBLEM BEFORE IT GOT SO OUT-OF-HAND.
WHEN THEY'RE DONE, THEY'LL ALL LINK TOGETHER, SO JUST CHECK OUT THE LINKS TO SEE THEM IN FUTURE.
ABOUT THE SPECIFIC ONE HERE, I WANT TO BRIEFLY EXPLAIN THAT WHEN MR. LECKIE AND HIS BAND, THE VILETONES, FIRST DID SHOWS IN TORONTO IN LATE-1977, THEY OFTEN WERE AT THE CITY'S GAY CLUBS...AND AS I EXPLAINED IN WHAT YOU FIND IF YOU TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE: I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE STRAIGHT.
ALSO, I WAS BUSY ORGANIZING MY MOVE BACK TO VANCOUVER FROM TORONTO, SO I NEVER ACTUALLY SAW THEM PERFORM LIVE.
BUT WHILE I WAS OUT IN VANCOUVER AGAIN, I HAPPENED TO READ A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE THAT REPORTED MR. LECKIE WAS SO DEPRESSED BY LIFE AS DESCRIBED BELOW HERE, AND AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS THAT HE CONTINUE THE SELF-MUTILATIONS, THAT HE WAS PONDERING A DATE WHEN HE MIGHT ACTUALLY KILL HIMSELF ON STAGE TO SATISFY THEM.
SO I WROTE HIM AND TOLD HIM NOT TO DO IT.
I WAS MOVED BY THE SAME FEELINGS THAT WERE AROUSED BY "MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND" IN OUR TELEPHONE DISCUSSION(S) TO SEND HER WHAT IS INDICATED BY WHAT YOU FIND IF YOU TAKE A SERIES OF (5) BRIEF SIDESTEPS HERE: THAT THE VERY REASON WHY I HAD PREPARED THE 1978 STAGES OF MY "INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC WORK...ON A DIRECT BASIS" FOR THE WORLD'S CHILDREN WAS SO THE WORLD WOULD NOT GET THIS DEPRESSING FOR ITS MOST VULNERABLE.
IF I ASSUME HOW MY "INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC WORK...ON A DIRECT BASIS" FOR THE WORLD'S CHILDREN WAS RESPECTED BY THE RESPONSIBLE AUTHORITIES TO DATE MAY YET RESULT IN (MORE) WIDESPREAD PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THE WORK AND THAT ACCORDED (DIS)RESPECT, THEN POSSIBLY STEPHEN LECKIE MAY SEE THIS.
IF SO, THIS BRIEF PREFACE IS JUST TO SAY I WASN'T ONE OF THOSE WHO OFFERED HIM TRICKLING DOWN WHEN HE WAS AT HIS LIFE'S LOWEST POINT.
TORONTO--Stephen Leckie, a 25-year-old rock singer, is amazed he is alive and sober after earning a reputation as a self-destructing hero.
"It's a total miracle," said the man whose stage name was Nazi Dog when he founded the group Viletones back in the punk days of 1977. Darkly drunk with a penchant for self- mutilation, Leckie frequently slashed his arm with broken beer bottles while performing and established a reputation as a bad, barroom brawler--and the fans loved it.
"I thought I was going to die. There was nothing else for me to do," he said of the day last January when he woke up in a Toronto apartment and knew that after six years of sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and booze he had touched bottom.
"I was this far from being in the missions and hostels," Leckie said, his forefinger and thumb a centimetre apart.
What drove him to rid himself of a killing booze habit was a face-to-face meeting with his father. "Seeing the look on my dad's face, that was it. He was totally heartbroken."
His father, management consultant David Leckie, downplays his role in his son's recovery, but recalled the moment: "It was a matter of, 'This is it.'
It got to the point where, 'You're at the bottom; it's up to you," he said.
"I'm just so happy that he's turned himself around. There's an awful lot of good there and positive energy."
Stephen Leckie's slide into alcoholism began at public school--"drug abuse was optional," he said--and grew steadily through his last year of high school, Grade 9.
In 1977, punk rock music was launched by the Sex Pistols, a crude British band led by the infamous Johnny Rotten, who spit on audiences and savaged adult sensibilities.
"I just had to get my own group," Leckie recalled. "It was a matter of 'Parents hate rock 'n' roll, so kids love it.'"
Naming his band the Viletones because a magazine article had said rock 'n' roll had "a vile tone," Leckie took the stage name Nazi Dog. "I wasn't a Nazi or anything," he says. "But it sounded about the worst thing you could call yourself."
"The concerts were quite heavy, quite destructive. We should've been arrested. We were committing slow suicide on stage. It was all real blood and one band member (the late Jack Tassae) was a junkie, so that gave us rock 'n' roll respectability.
"When you're in a group and drinking all the time (beer and bourban[sic]), it's just a day-to-day existence. We got money, free drinks, girls, everything we wanted." The gifts included drugs, even heroin which he didn't like.
Leckie, married three months to Lorraine, carries his past on his skin--ugly jagged scars down his left arm. "There is no way to justify that insanity," he says.
In June, the Viletones--singer Leckie, guitarist Steve Koch, bass guitarist Sam Sinatra and drummer Gene Vincent--recorded a live album for release in November.
Leckie feels he has broken his drinking problem. But when he needs help, he will again turn to Alcoholics Anonymous.
(text of September 1, 1983 The Province article)