An Ottawa area musician, Alex Scott, appears to have left his dad high and dry after taking $1,000.00 from him.
Ian Scott, 57, is stuck in Greece after running into problems trying to return to Canada last year. Late in January, after learning his eldest son, Alex (John Alexander Scott) had been fired or laid off his work, he offered to pay his son to help him out with some personal items at the father’s house in Orangeville, Ontario.
According to the father, who will be 58 years old this year, “everything seemed great. I had offered an advance of $300.00 to help him get going. Then he asked me for the rest of the money as he said he needed it for more repairs to his truck. I sent that to him, and he’s pretty much ghosted me ever since.”
Alex, who will be 32 years old in June, has not responded to emails, texts, a phone message, and has even appeared to delete the Viber app they were using to communicate together while Scott is in Greece. According to his father, Alex has been a drummer for the popular Wise, Young, & King and Suns of Stone bands, both of which have been based in Ottawa, Ontario.
The sorry saga began on January 26th, the birthday of one of Ian’s other sons. The father had turned on his Canadian mobile phone to call his birthday son, and then also tried to get in touch with Alex for a quick call to say hello. “That’s when I learned that Alex was out of work. It seemed an odd coincidence as I had been thinking about what I needed done back in Orangeville. So I asked him if he’d be interested in heading to Orangeville to help me out, and I’d pay him. He seemed really excited to do it and thought he might even leave first thing the next morning.”
But then Alex decided he needed his tires fixed before heading out. “I agreed with him. Even told him it was not a great thing to be driving around with tires that are leaking air. He’d sure save some fuel consumption in his truck to have his tires at the right air pressure levels.”
The father says he forwarded $300.00 via email interac to his son immediately while they were talking on the phone as an advance and to help get him started. But then came the next phone call that his son claimed the tire repair shop told him he needed his brakes fixed as well. “I half-joked with him on the phone, ‘yeah, I remember those days – take your car in for a $50.00 repair and you leave with a $500.00 bill.'” That was Ian’s motivation to learn more about car repair when he was a young man, and shared that with his eldest son on the phone. He apparently encouraged his son to learn how to do his own oil changes and find someone that could teach him about brake repairs and other fairly simple procedures so he could know himself when a repair shop was telling him the truth, or exaggerating.
The result was that on January 29th, Mr. Scott sent his son another $700.00 via email interac for a total of $1,000.00 which was the originally agreed upon amount for Alex to go to his dad’s house and deal with the things that needed to be done there.
In addition to the cash, Mr. Scott had offered his son for nothing, many of the items in his house that he no longer needs. “I told him he could take the big screen TV, and a bunch of other things if it suited him, and helped him out. I’m not using the stuff and don’t need it, so it seemed a great thing to do – to let him have a bunch of stuff that’s there.”
But Mr. Scott has not heard from Alex since February 4th. “At that time, Alex claimed he still needed to get one tire fixed and that he’d be in touch and be on his way. He had hoped he did not have to replace the tire, but he would let me know. I haven’t heard a thing from him since although I tried to get in touch. No response from Alex.”
Mr. Scott claims that he tried to follow up with Alex on February 9th with the Viber application and is certain because of the way the app works, that Alex had seen the message. But Alex did not reply. Mr. Scott apparently followed up again on the 10th with the same result. A third message sent on the same date had a Viber response code that indicated Alex had deactivated or removed Viber from his mobile phone.
Scott then followed up with email on the 10th of February. “It was a pretty simple email, basically, ‘hey man, can you let me know how things are going? Love Dad’ but there was still no reply.”
Dad Begins To Worry About Health Of Son Alex Scott
The father says he started to worry that maybe his son had taken severely ill or something. But he was pretty sure if that had happened, either Alex’s mom or one of his brothers would have let him know. He did send an email to Alex’s mom on the 12th of February asking if she knew anything about Alex’s health, but there was no reply. “I’m not sure I have the right email address for her though. It’s one that Alex provided, and I didn’t recognize it as the one I used to use, years ago when we were in more regular contact.”
Mr. Scott pointed out that not only was there worry about his son’s health, but also worry that Alex had ripped him off (he says this is not the first time), but also the embarrassment of having to let his landlord and a client know he had no idea what was going on with his son.
“I had told my landlord who has an office next door, to expect to see Alex imminently, back in late January. I had also made arrangements with a client near the town to give Alex any supplies he might need, and to bill me directly instead of charging Alex. How do you explain to these people why you’ve not heard from your oldest son when they tell you they haven’t seen him yet? It’s personally embarrassing.”
Greek Companion Shocked At Alex Scott’s Behavior
According to Mr. Scott, his companion in Greece has expressed shock and astonishment at Alex’s behavior. “She can’t believe it herself. She was present during the phone calls I had with Alex, and could even hear Alex on the other end. She also saw the messages that we shared. In her mind, the only possibility is that Alex must be in the hospital in intensive care; why else would anyone especially a son, do this after taking the cash? He’s what we would call a ‘Malaka’ here. He seemed so willing to be great at helping out… then disappear after he has the cash? Malaka!”
It can be noted that $1,000.00 Canadian is more money than many people in Greece would take home as an entire month’s wage for work. But even in Canada, it’s not exactly chump change or coffee money.
While Mr. Scott wanted to agree that maybe there was some medical issue Alex was facing, he points out that Alex seems to have a history of this, “but I thought he had matured. I really wanted to believe that he had and wouldn’t pull a stunt like this.”
He agreed with his companion though, to give it another weekend before following up and trying to locate Alex, hoping he’d just get back in touch. He didn’t.
On Monday, after not hearing anything, Mr. Scott again turned on his Canadian mobile phone (which costs him $14.00 per day every time he does that) to try to get in touch with one of Alex’s brothers. That brother responded and said he had heard from Alex on Friday the 12th, and indicated that as far as he knew, Alex had not been severely ill or anything but had been spending the week with his “lady friend.”
Mr. Scott is not on Facebook, so he arranged for someone to check Alex’s Facebook account. “Look, it was just strange and disappointing, and I wanted to cover all my bases before coming to any conclusions.” And with heavy heart and hurt, he discovered that while his son could not get in touch with his dad, he could post on Facebook, text his brother, and totally ignore the commitment he had made to his father.
Mr. Scott says this behavior with ripping people off over money is not the first time Alex has engaged in this behavior. “I’m not going to provide details; he already knows but I hoped he had learned some things over the past several years.
“But one of the most embarrassing things to me some years ago was when I attended one of his band’s gigs, and a band member said to me, ‘How did you raise such a talented drummer, but such a mooch when it comes to money? He never pays for anything or pays back when he borrows money!'”
“I certainly didn’t raise Alex that way and am convinced his mother never did either. I don’t know where it comes from, this lack of personal responsibility that he has.”
Does Alex Scott have a drug or alcohol problem, the father was asked.
“No. I’m absolutely sure it is not. More of a character issue. A lot of times, he’s a great guy – and then he just sinks when it comes to financial agreements. He doesn’t seem to understand or care that this is a deep moral issue and could also be a criminal issue if one wants to go that far.”
“Why are you going public now?”
“It’s a good question. Look, I’ll be 58 this year. My father passed away at age 65. That’s constantly on my mind. Here I am, almost 58 years old, I’m not exactly rich, and just needed some help with a few things and could put some cash aside to pay Alex. I hope I can live some of my life doing some things I enjoy. I hoped my son could help with this a little bit. And, being paid – I didn’t ask him to do it for nothing.”
“On January 26th, I was pretty sure he would live up to our agreement that we had. But he didn’t. Who’s next? An old lady? More of his friends? They need to stop enabling this behavior, if they are. I told him he’s going to find himself in a lot of trouble if he keeps it up. Someone is going to get pissed off and decide to ‘teach him a lesson’ as happens in real life – and he’s going to get hurt.”
“He also needs to know that his actions are really hurtful.”
Mr. Scott reports that he’s working on finding other solutions to what he needs done – it’s pretty important that it be done sooner rather than later, but he can’t do it personally as he cannot travel easily under the present COVID pandemic circumstances. He hopes his son will return the $1,000.00 that he was sent. But his father doubts that will happen.
“More than anything, I hope he returns the pocket watch that I gave him for family safe-keeping a few years ago. It’s been a tradition in our family that the eldest son has some family items, including that watch and the Family Bible passed on to them. I thought my son had matured and wanted him to enjoy those things, and have the joy of responsibility of being the “keeper or guardian” of them. Now, I can’t really trust him. I’ve asked him to return the watch to me, and I’ll figure out the best way to preserve that family history at a later date.”
Mr. Scott reports that he again tried to get in touch with Alex on Monday, February 16th, by leaving a voice mail and sending a text message to him, but again, there was no response. The frustration, hurt, and sadness built up during the day, and an email was sent that included a demand for the return of the money and the watch. That too has been met with zero response.
“Here we are during a pandemic, and I’m approaching the age where I’ll just be 7 years younger than the age my father died. And your oldest son pulls a stunt like this on you. It’s pretty sad, and I don’t wish it on anyone, to be honest. No one.
“I get it that it’s not always been the best for Alex in that his mom and I separated when he was young – about 8 years old at the time. But under the circumstances, I really tried my best to do all that I could do. I would drive to Ottawa and back, after working different shifts, and did that for some years. I know there were times I was late – getting off work at 6PM on a Friday and then driving out to the Ottawa area will make you late. Often, I would also be required to stay late at work, if there had been a late call – it was an offense that I would face discipline for if I refused. What to do? Alex actually brought that up once – as a complaint to me that when he was younger, there were times I was late arriving at his mom’s house to pick him and his brothers up. We didn’t have cell phones back then – but as far as I recall, his mom always knew if I was going to be late. It’s a five hour drive from Toronto to Ottawa – lots of things could make you late. But I never didn’t show up! Ever! Why he remembers the times I was ‘late’ and that makes me a bad dad, I don’t know. I showed up even when the snow was blowing drifts across the road. Nothing ever stopped me from getting to their house in the Ottawa area on my weekends with my sons.
“I’d drive to Ottawa, and then pick my sons up, turn around and drive back to the Orangeville area, or Toronto when I rented a room from a friend, or Oshawa later on. Then do that all over again on the Sunday. I didn’t have enough money to rent a hotel in the Ottawa area – back then, a monthly take home pay cheque was about $1,800.00 and around eleven or twelve hundred of that was going to my child support payments. Not much left over and you have to pay your own rent, gas, car repairs, insurance, food, etc.
“I’d also make sure I had enough ‘time in the book’ so that I could take off the days for my sons’ birthdays, and I drive out to Ottawa to take out which ever the birthday boy was for dinner, then after dinner, head back on a 5 hour drive.
“I don’t think anyone can call me a ‘dead beat’ dad. My sons have always been really important to me.
For several years after our separation, I fought really hard at my work for a schedule that would be easier for me to be able to see my children. I was mostly working what we called “M-A-D schedule” (a rotation that included midnights, then afternoons, followed by dayshifts) which only gave me every third weekend off. I took a lot of abuse from my employer for fighting for this until eventually they gave me 10 hour shifts that included 8 days on. But even then, I had to work overtime or keep time in the book just to get the Friday off before a weekend, otherwise I’d be finishing my shift at 02:00 hrs on Saturday AM. I did this because I needed to have time with my children.
“As far as Alex individually is concerned, I’ve helped him out. When I realized just how awesome his band, Wise, Young & King was, and discovered Alex had issues getting practice and gig time on his uncle’s drum set, I did a funding drive on my blog to help him raise the money for a new drum kit back in 2007. I contributed a substantial amount to that myself as well, and put the initial down-payment on the kit he wanted while it was on layaway at a music shop in Brampton. I promoted his band, drove through snow storms to be at his gigs, and did what I could.
“There was help with new bikes, a camera, and things Alex was interested in, as I could find a way to do it. I really don’t know what more I could have done in a significant manner. I suppose I could be criticized for stopping for a coffee or a meal or something after 12 or 18 hours of work sometimes, on my way to pick them up when they were kids – I’m all ears if someone can tell me.
“Alex actually called me a ‘dead-beat’ dad about 4 or so years ago, during an earlier time when he had previously agreed to a business arrangement and I needed the money. I had my own out of pocket expenses that also needed to be covered. It was really insulting and hurtful to hear that from him. We did eventually work that out; he apologised to me. But now this, in 2021. Maybe he has some good reason to think that I am – but he’s more than welcome to view the financial statements from the Family Responsibility Office, or discuss anything else with me. Maybe someone else has lead him to believe something. I don’t know. But I think deep down he does know that I was not a dead-beat dad.”
“I tried to spend as much time as I could with all of my sons, and with Alex, taught him to fly fish, camped with him and his brothers, simply hung out, did a Who Concert together, along with his youngest brother and his mom, and much more. Back when Alex was about 16, his mother and I both agreed he was at an age where it might be the last chance to ever spend a “family vacation” together, even though she and I were seperated/divorced at the time – so I made sure we did that on a vacation farm in Eastern Ontario at my expense, and had fun with him driving when he got his ‘365’ driver’s licence. There we all were, Alex, his two brothers, his mom, and me – like a family again for that time, as best as we could to create some happy memories.
I’d be there as often as I could (for all of my sons), for Christmas concerts, high school music nights, and whatever special event was going on. I’d try to get time off work, and drive the five hours to their schools in the Ottawa area, and then back. Had long conversations several times with Alex’s music teacher at the time, asked for advice on how to encourage and nurture Alex’s musical talents.
I was there for Alex when he was the ‘co-MC’ at a big special youth event in Osgoode, Ontario.
“I have no clue how he could think of me as a dead beat dad, or someone that he could excuse ripping off for a big sum of money.”
Alex Scott, of Torbolton Ridge Rd, Woodlawn, Ontario, has still not responded or repaid back the monies he took from his father, at the time of this writing.
Does Mr. Scott Regret Going Public About His Son?
“You know what? Maybe I will regret it. I also feel that the only other option is legal action and that becomes public as well anyway. What to do? Allow this behaviour to go on and on? It’s not the first time he’s done this to me; it’s not even the second time.
“I know for a fact he’s done to others as well. Not just to me. That hurts a lot to know that. And obviously, other forms of coaching and talks have not worked.
“You know what my big fear is, if he doesn’t change? One day he’s going to pull this on the wrong person, or a person one too many times. And one night, two big muscle men are going to meet him in some dark place, and beat the shit out of him. Or crush his hands and fingers and he’ll never be able to drum again because he didn’t repay a debt or he screwed someone around financially. I spent almost 20 years working some of the mean streets of Toronto in the role of “Community-Based Policing” and I’ve seen it happen. Maybe Alex thinks it will never happen to him. That’s what other guys thought too.
“I just hope it doesn’t happen to him – and maybe going public will help him figure out his ways. Public shame used to be an acceptable method of helping someone turn around some thing. It seems it’s not so popular anymore – but what’s the alternative?
“Maybe Alex will be so pissed off with me for the rest of my life, he won’t show up at my funeral. Well, I’ll be dead and it won’t matter to me. What matters is now, while I’m alive and looking at 65 coming quickly – the same age my dad died.”