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- Posted on Jun 27th 2011 4:00PM by Dave Jaffer
Courtesy of Cancer Bats | AP Photo, Mike Groll
"We were going to play a show in Aberdeen, Scotland, earlier this year, and we stopped for gas and to take a leak," he tells Spinner before performing at the D-Tox Rockfest in Montebello, Quebec last week.
"It was just a tiny gas station, and basically I was waiting for our bass player Jay to finish his business in there. So I was in this hallway, and in walks this guy. It was winter, and he had a jacket and a hat on. I didn't really notice him at first, and then I heard him say something to somebody else that he was with, and just that voice is unmistakable. And then I look and I see [his] face tattoo, and I'm just like, 'Holy crap, that's Mike Tyson.'"
Did looking straight into the eyes of the former heavyweight champ force Middleton to quake in his boots and look at the ground? Hardly. Middleton did what came naturally. He acted like a friendly, inquisitive Canadian.
"I just turned to him, immediately, as soon as he sees me, and I'm just like, 'Hey man, how's it going?' and I shook his hand. And he's like, 'Are you American?' And I was like, 'No, no, I'm from Toronto, Canada.' And he said, 'Oh, you really sound American.'"
It merits mention that Middleton's attempts to do Tyson's voice during our interview were hilarious. Instead of sounding like the vaguely calm, high-pitched Tyson, Middleton's imitations sounded more like when 'Saturday Night Live''s Darrell Hammond imitated Richard Dreyfuss' whine in the famous 'Star Wars Screen Test' sketch.
Middleton's own voice takes on an interesting tone later on when explaining that he was confused by Tyson's entourage -- and with good reason.
"One of his bodyguards heard him talking to somebody, so he came in and checked, and then I see that he has four bodyguards with him. And you wouldn't think that the former champ would need all these bodyguards, but I guess people try to fight him all the time."
He didn't have to fight much with the gas jockeys, though. Middleton explained that Tyson got the star treatment -- such as it was -- by the employees at the gas station shortly after their short chat.
"He got let into the employees bathroom so he didn't have to wait in line."