My first experience with Fraser Aitcheson involved watching him lumber his scowling, muscle-bound self all over the floor at Vancouver’s late, lamented Olympic Gym and thinking that this was likely to be Olympic’s next successful competitive bodybuilder.
But after dabbling in physique competition, Fraser chose a different (many would say much wiser) path. In 2000, he became a student of mine at the Wrestle-Plex Pro Wrestling Academy, and subsequently made a name for himself on the indie scene as “Fade” while working his way into the entertainment industry .
Now a recognized, credentialed and established stunt performer, Fraser’s genetically-gifted physique (for which I’ve never stopped hating him) has made him a go-to guy for any stunt coordinator shooting a comic book or video game adaptation.
But before launching a career that includes portrayals Mortal Kombat: Legacy’s “Baraka” and Smallville’s “The Persuader” (both shown here), he was just a young musclehead enforcing the rules (while breaking a few of them himself) at some of Vancouver’s “livelier” establishments.
(You can spot Fraser’s ugly ass at the 1:04 mark of the linked Mortal Kombat trailer -- and there’s also a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment at 1:27 showing me getting my ass kicked in a scene where my nose accidentally got legit DESTROYED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxwBz0aRp-I)
IN THE LATE 80s, I WORKED AT A CLUB CALLED “LUVAFAIR”. I was really young, probably too young to even be working in that bar. One night, a friend of mine comes running inside and she’s like, “There’s a bunch of guys beating up this dude, you gotta come outside and handle it!” Now, this is WAY before I knew how to fight or anything. I was just strong ‘cause I was lifting monster weight every day, and was also on a bunch of supplements that you can’t buy at your local vitamin store.
So a few of us go out there and there’s this guy getting beaten up by, like, four different dudes, so we save him and we break it up. And then the trash-talking commences, and the guys who were doing the beating start stepping to us.
I end up squaring off with this one guy and he’s really pushing it. I’m hearing from the peanut gallery behind me, “Knock him out! Knock him out!”, and even the guy himself starts goading me, “Yeah, why don’t you knock me out?” At this point, I feel like I have to do something to keep from losing face in front of all these other bouncers who I powerlift with.
So I grab the guy, pick him up over my head, slam him onto the hood of a car and start to feed him. Bang. Bang. Bang. He slides off the hood a little, so I start giving him knees. Knees. Knees. Knees. I think I kneed him to the point that his eye was almost hanging out. When I got home that night, I threw my pants in the laundry and the next morning my mom thought I got stabbed!
So I finally let the guy drop to the ground and I turn around, at which point a couple of complete strangers, a guy and a girl, step off the curb and get right in my face. I mean, their faces are only inches away from mine, spraying spit on me as they scream, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU ••••ING ASSHOLE?” and whatever.
At that point, everything goes gray -- seriously, I don’t remember a thing about what happens next. A minute I come to, and there are the guy and the girl lying on the street in front of me, both sleeping. I mean, OUT COLD. So obviously, I must have dealt with them while I was blacked out.
It might sound funny, but I never feel bad when I tell that story, because I don’t have patience for that kind of thing. In a fight situation, your adrenaline is flowing, your fight-or-flight instincts are on full blast and you’re just “go, go, go”. If some stranger is dumb enough to run up at that moment and start shrieking in your face, well... they get what they get.
If you don’t like it, don’t poke the monster with a stick.
A few years later on one of my nights off, I go out with a bunch of friends to a nightclub called “Tonic” on the Granville Street strip. We’re having a good time, having drinks and stuff like that, but as we start to leave to go to the next club, I get a weird feeling. Like hair standing up on the back of my neck. Then I realize, “Why aren’t my friends with me?”, and I turn around to see a circle forming in the crowd. A fight’s starting and my friends are in it. ••••.
Now, because me and my friends are all bouncers, the Tonic bouncers let us get away with whatever, which means that nobody tries to break us up as the circle forms. It’s my friends versus this other group in front of the main bar. We square off, there’s some yap-yap-yap, and then we all mutually decide to take it outside. At this point, the consensus is it’s gonna be a one-on-one fight between the two guys who had the initial beef.
We go outside, and my one friend squares off with the one guy from their group and we’re all watching. But then I have a problem. A BIG one. You see, before I left the house that night, I had taken some, um, “supplements”, and at that precise moment they hit me FULL BLAST like a bat across the face! So, suddenly, I’m ••••ED. ••••.
Even through the haze, I can see that one of their guys is creeping up and trying to be the third man in, and it looks like this fight’s no longer going to be one-on-one, it’s gonna be multiple-on-one. So I decide to intervene, and I kick off my sandals and intervene. Don’t ask me why I’m wearing sandals to a nightclub because I have no idea.
I put my hands up, jump in, and then... welI, I don’t really know what happens. Like I said, “supplements”. All I know is that a short time later, I hear the sound of glass breaking all around me -- PSSSSSH! -- and then suddenly I’m lying on my side.
I’ve just been thrown through the window of a taco place.
So I’m like, “Holy ••••, I just got thrown through the window of the taco place!” This is awesome! But, really, not awesome. While I’m laying there, I do a quick self-diagnostic to make sure there’s no arterial bleeding or anything, and okay, there’s not. Then I look up and see five pairs of legs -- the dudes who threw me through the window are coming for me. ••••.
I cover up and they start laying the boots, but because there’s so many guys, I don’t really get hurt. Unless guys really know what they’re doing and can work as a group, they usually get in each other’s way because they’re all trying to get there at once. So they’re all kicking and I weather, I weather, I weather, and a few bruises later there’s finally a pause and I pop up to my feet and say “Alright, let’s do it!”
They all stop and stare at me for a second... and then they take off! I guess they didn’t expect me to be ready to go. Bitches. So I’m just standing there with nobody around -- not even my damn friends are around -- and now the cops are arriving and it’s looking bad. Then a couple of my friends come spilling out of The Roxy across the street -- I don’t even know how they got over there so fast -- and I’m PISSED. “Where the •••• were you?!” Excuses.
I quickly get out of there before the cops know who is who, and I go to a buddy’s house to shower and get cleaned up. My shirt’s ruined so he gives me a shirt that says “INNOCENT BYSTANDER” on it -- you know, so nobody will ever know I was involved. I mean, half the ••••ing city saw me go through that window, there’s even a little blood seeping through my shirt in various spots, but hey, with “Innocent Bystander” on my shirt, it couldn’t possibly be me, right?
So we go back to Granville Street and hit The Roxy. We’re drinking, and I’m telling the doormen the story when it just so happens that I see one of the guys who threw me through the window right there in the bar. I mention that fact to one of my friends, a pro boxer named Lumpy Dalton, and he asks me, “Are you sure that’s the guy?” I’m like, “Well... I’m PRETTY sure that’s the guy... ”, but that’s good enough for Lumpy and off he goes. ••••.
I start telling the doormen that something’s about to go down, but I don’t even get halfway through what I’m saying when Lumpy taps the guy on the shoulder and says, “Hey, you’re one of the guys who threw that dude through the window across the street, right?”
SMASH. With a ••••ing PINT MUG.
And then Lumpy goes to work.
As Lumpy proceeds to kill this guy I decide that I’ve had enough for one night, so I ghost out of the place while every bouncer in the room rushes in.
From what I heard the next day, Lumpy’s victim ended up with mega-stitches, but Lumpy walked away clean after the bouncers smuggled him out the back door.
Solid mother••••er, that Lumpy.