Tragically Hip put their love of Canada ahead of fame

The band’s powerful ties to Canada cost them dearly in the international market

Tragically Hip put their love of Canada ahead of fameIt was a memorable final bow for Canada’s quintessential band, The Tragically Hip. CBC estimates that 11.7 million people tuned in to this group’s live farewell concert in Kingston, Ont., either on TV, radio or the Internet. That’s close to one-third of this country’s population, if you can believe it. For nearly three hours, including…

Punks unite to educate on Brexit’s ramifications

It represents a triumph for the angry old white folks they thought they had beaten back in the bad old days

Punks unite to educate on Brexit’s ramificationsPunk: anarchy, class warfare, contempt for political institutions, right? Not quite, maaaan. Punk rock, like all youth subcultures, possessed myriad internal contradictions. It decried racism (as did Joe Strummer of the Clash) whilst some of its proponents (like Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols) wore swastika T-shirts. It angrily scorned the upper classes (as did…

Frank Sinatra at 100

To say that Sinatra liked wine, women and song would be putting far too romantic a spin on it

Frank Sinatra at 100Frank Sinatra, who would have been 100 this December 12, was unique among his pre-rock ‘n’ roll peers. As the likes of Bing Crosby became old fashioned and out of touch, Sinatra largely escaped such a fate. And by anyone’s definition, his life was multi-faceted. Sinatra was a singer with over a thousand different recordings…

Selling merchandise during tour just ducky with country star Paul Brandt

The most popular sale item on Paul Brandt's music tours is a rubber duck

Selling merchandise during tour just ducky with country star Paul BrandtMerchandise is as much a part of the concert tour experience as the music for many fans. It’s also a much needed revenue generator for many performers. When I asked platinum-selling country star Paul Brandt what the most popular sale item was on his tours, he hesitated for a moment, then let out a big…

One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock

The birth of post-war youth culture can be marked with the release of Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock

One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rockPurists may argue about the identity of the first rock ‘n’ roll record – 1951’s Rocket 88 has its vocal supporters – but for vast numbers of non-experts who were simply around during the 1950s, Rock Around the Clock was where it all started. Written in 1952 and recorded by Bill Haley and his Comets…

Elvis Presley at 80

If he were alive today Elvis would be a Republican

Elvis Presley at 80Had he lived, Elvis Presley would be celebrating his 80th birthday this month. If you entered your teens in the second-half of the 1950s, the idea of Elvis being 80 sounds slightly ridiculous. After all, for a brief few years he was the symbol of teenage rebellion and parental dismay. Surely the guy who prompted…