[I originally wrote this for Global News Toronto. – AC]
Back in November 2014, it looked like the El Mocambo, one of the world’s great rock’n’roll dive bars, was finished. After passing through a couple of owners since 2001 — including time in the hands of a missionary — the club had apparently run its course and was slated to close after a final show on Nov. 6, 2014.
But then, an angel investor.
Anyone who has ever done a home reno knows that these things are never completed on time. But the work on the Elmo has seemed never-ending. Why? What’s taking so long?
For the answers, I went to Eddie Kramer, the famous producer and engineer (Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Zeppelin, Santana, etc.) who has been spending an inordinate amount of time in Toronto.
Alan Cross: You have been hanging around Toronto a lot. Why?
Eddie Kramer: I’m here because of a little club called the El Mocambo.
AC: We’ve been hearing many stories and rumours about Mr. Wekerle and the Elmo and what’s being done there. Can you give us any kind of idea of what to expect when this thing finally reopens?
EK: It’s gonna be pretty amaaaaaaazing! We’re getting real close.
AC: Nobody brings in Eddie Kramer unless they’re building a studio.