I could write a novel on the many lives of Baron S Cameron. He is without a doubt one of the most fascinating people you will ever have the pleasure of conversing with. Usually found holed up in a West Vancouver pub, photographing the streets of Vancouver, or in the crowd at a burlesque show – always with a notepad in his pocket, sometimes with a camera. He’s a rogue. One of the last remaining true rogues. And I say this with great affection. His words will find their way into novels and his photos will be compared to Annie Leibovitz. Meet Baron…
What’s your tale?
I have a polar bear on my money but an eagle on my passport. Holding a pen in my south paw for as long as I can remember, I’ve penned plays, movies, songs, poems, essays, short stories, and full length novels. It just seemed writing blog reviews for a spot on the guest list and a free beer was the next logical step. I’m back into short stories now, pure smut. It’s fun. Getting serious about my photography is a couple years old now but I’ve been shooting pictures and videos for well over two decades.
I love this city. I love all cities, but this one especially. I need to call North Shore Search & Rescue if I move too far into my garden, but if I have concrete underfoot and streets and avenues to navigate, I’ll be just fine.
Favourite bar stool and why?
I have sat on many but to say anything other than The Squarerigger Pub in West Vancouver would be a lie. It’s my home base. I cut my teeth as a DJ and doorman at The Sandy Cove, but “The Rig” is HQ. When you get your bill, it actually has “West Van’s Dirty Little Secret” printed on the bottom. It’s one of the few places left that can put “Pub” above its door and have it mean exactly what it should. Multi-millionaires tip glasses with construction workers but no one really gives a fuck.
The staff are fun (and easily manipulated), the customers drunks, and we all argue over whose iPod plays the night’s music. There is only one rule: If you come to the bar to have a drink, shoot some pool/darts, and make some friends, that’s exactly what you’ll do. People who want to be assholes are “dealt with” accordingly.
It’s a dive booze can but we’re all honest about it. It’s a really great little room.
What are you drinking at said bar stool?
Beer, usually whatever’s on special. I’m a man of expensive taste but cheap pleasures and drink, to me, is a pleasure. I like Guinness. My favourite beer is Moretti from Italy. It tastes like a good campfire smells. As for the hard stuff, I have a long standing love affair with Wild Turkey and Jack Daniels but prefer them straight from the bottle. If I drink too much vodka, I usually end up in police custody after a pit stop at Emerg. Dani and her gang [at The Keefer Bar] have really got me hooked on cocktails but The Keefer is the only place I order them, When you lose your virginity to Audrey Hepburn, Rosie O’Donnell just won’t cut it anymore.
Most interesting conversation you’ve had with a stranger.
I was in a bar called Jake & Elwood’s working on a university paper. A guy was walking down the booths looking for someone. He stops at mine and asks, “Are you Baron Cameron?” It’d been a few years since it was dangerous to answer that question so I answered, “Yes.” He said he had a problem and his sister had suggested he come talk to me about it. I invited him to sit down and asked him what the problem was.
“I’m supposed to get married tomorrow and I don’t know if I want to go through with it.”
What’s your most memorable moment on a bar stool?
It’s not a happy one, but if I’d finished my story, he’d still be alive. That’s all I really care to say about that.
Best line ever used by or to you.
At The Keefer Bar to a touchy-feely broker type who wouldn’t leave the girls alone: If you don’t step the fuck back, hikers will be finding pieces of you for the next ten years.
Not exactly a pick-up line but still extremely effective that evening.
Do you sit at bars alone?
Quite often, but never for long. This is a world of stories and I want to hear them all. Sitting on a bar stool is a great place to make that happen.
If you could have a drink with anybody, who would it be?
Henry Miller. No doubt about it. Some Parisian dive, surrounded by dancing girls.
What’s your dream in life?
To live long enough to see Real Housewives of Vancouver cancelled before I am. Beyond that, I’d like to write one of those books, y’know, something like The Catcher in the Rye, On The Road, Lord of the Flies… Write that one book and live off the royalties, movie rights… Publish a few short stories a year. Live somewhere in rural France or Italy and the day after my 50th birthday, open the door to a 25yr old brunette who had spent her summer seeking me out…