By KIERAN GRANT -- Toronto Sun
Ah, those mythical notions of what a Rolling
Stones post-show party must be like.
The limos and secret locations. The exclusive
guest lists and throngs of famous hangers-on.
The cases of Rebel Yell whiskey and busted up
bits of hotel furniture.
But for Danko Jones, it was Chinese food and a
party of five following the local band's gig
opening for The Stones at the Palais Royale
"Yup, there we are supporting them and a few
hours later we're in a Chinese restaurant on
Spadina," bassist and manager John "JC"
Calabrese says with a laugh. "I can't even
remember the restaurant's name!"
Calabrese was joined for the celebratory meal
by singer-guitarist Danko Jones, the group's
soundman, their tech guy, and a buddy.
Drummer Damon Richardson went home to
bed, exhausted from a three-week Canadian
tour that culminated with the last-minute spot
on The Stones' bill.
If that sounds anti-clamactic, they were quietly
"What we had just done hadn't sunk in,"
There hasn't been much time for that since,
The Danko crew took one day off after the
Palais show, and spent Sunday shooting a
video for their forthcoming single Lover Call.
Then it was off to Sweden, where they've been
enjoying the biggest success of their six-year
career with new album Born A Lion. Following a
concert in the Swedish port city of Malmo on
Thursday, they were off to festival dates in
Holland in Belgium.
Clearly, The Stones affair was just a pleasant
diversion in an already hectic schedule.
"Other Canadian bands have opened for The
Stones before," says Jones, as low-key a guy
offstage as he is cocksure onstage. "The Tea
Party have done it, and Widemouth Mason. I
guess the difference was that we've been
toiling in the clubs for years. We're very much
part of the Toronto club scene -- or we were
until recently. To scoop up one of those bands
and put them together with the biggest band in
the world is special. But it won't define us.
We've never relied on just one thing to spread
the word and we wouldn't start now."
Danko, the band, have had feedback from fans
as far away as Germany, the U.K., Japan, and
Brazil since last Friday.
The band say that apart from the obvious
exposure the gig gave them, the experience
was invaluable for other reasons.
"It was great to see how The Stones' unit
works," Calabrese says. "There are 14 people
on stage, they have a big crew, and the
harmony and efficiency in the way they work is
so impressive when you see it from the
perspective we had. It's really empowering.
These guys have been doing this for longer
than I've been alive."
For his part, Richardson says he expected to
see less of The Stones than he did.
"I'd heard everyone was going to get kicked out
of the building for their soundcheck," he muses.
"Not only did we get to stay, I even got a little
nod and an ''euyyy' from Keith. That was the
closest I got to a conversation with the guys."
Adds Calabrese: "We got treated really nice. It
was funny, I got a call from (a Toronto music
writer) and he was like, 'Did they treat you like
s--- and pay you $100?!' No, no.
"We were treated well. We got positive
feedback from everyone. Mick Jagger's
daughter was dancing at the side of the stage
throughout our set. I got a really cool comment
from (Toronto-based tour promoter) Michael
Cohl. The Stones' crew were complimentary at
how professional our little operation was. It
gives you a real sense of validation."
Danko Jones play with some more heroes this
weekend when they share a Belgian festival bill
with former Stooges Ron and Scott Asheton,
and Guns 'N Roses this weekend.
They return for a spot at SnowJam at the CNE
Sept. 14, followed by a Canadian tour with
opener Andrew WK, tentatively slated for the
Docks Oct. 11.