By: Victoria Scrozzo
It was dusk and as we walked
north on John Street, it was eerily quiet and the air was getting colder
with each step. Every few minutes we'd pass other pedestrians on their
way to somewhere else, unaware of our presence. I started wondering if
leaving the crowded and noisy Starbucks on Queen West was a mistake, as
I struggled to keep pace with Baron Marcus, a Toronto vampire and the
lead singer of Vampire Beach Babes ....
He was leading me to his favourite spot in the city, an old tower. Instantly
my mind filled with images of a Transylvanian castle, its towers surrounded
by bats, and a wolf howling up at the moon from within a churchyard at
the base of the castle. Sure enough, after a few minutes, we arrived at
a gothic, ivy-covered tower, remnants of a burnt down church, with a small,
gated graveyard concealed behind it.
It was dark now and as the Baron spoke feverishly about vampire lore,
he looked every bit the part in a black leather trench coat, black leather
pants, gloves and knee-high boots of the same colour. It was as if he
had jumped straight out of the pages of an Anne Rice novel. In fact, the
Baron's persona reminded me of Lestat, Rice's rebellious French aristocrat
turned vampire-rock star. But his slicked back bleach blond hair and pale
skin likened him much more to Spike, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Baron's (fangless) bright white smile was charming and, try as I might
to get myself worked up about talking to a real life vampire, my blood
wasn't curdling, and the voices in my head weren't telling me to turn
Baron certainly didn't mind being called a vampire, or acting the part.
"The vampire's real power is to give a lift or inspiration,"
Baron spends most of his days dressed in the same manner as when I met
him -- covered from head to toe in black, well-worn leather and a thin
black streak of eyeliner to define his eyes that, with their warmth, prove
he's not a member of the living dead. He meets with clients of the software
design company he formed in the early 1990s, and, for the most part, those
meetings take place with the black leather gloves on his hands and the
black leather boots laced up to his knees.
"It's all fun," he says of his performances with the Vampire
Beach Babes. "But it's also scary, because it's one of two things
-- we're either a bunch of vampires pretending to be people, or a bunch
of adults running around dressed as vampires."
As the frontman for the Vampire Beach Babes and a performer, the Baron
says he's "got a job to create a larger-than-life persona."
Episode 187: Halloween
Bela Lugosi: "Listen to them. Children of the Night. What music they
make!" That's right, Bela, and what music we're gonna make at the
Halloween a Go-Go show in the Underground Garage. Haunting us will be
the Woggles, the Fuzztones, the Cramps, the Mothers of Invention. New,
scary music from the Contrast, Jarvis Humby and the Foo Fighters. There
will be Deadly Snakes, Mummies, Apostolic Mushrooms, and Vampire Beach
Babes waiting to suck your blood. Come trick or treat with us this weekend
at the Halloween a Go-Go, in the Underground Garage
Steven's Underground Garage Archives...