This year has seen David Bowie, Prince and other renown musicians face their mortality and pass away. Today I have seen news on my instagram and twitter feeds, while perusing through them, not wanting to start an early day that Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip has terminal brain cancer. I was never the biggest Hip fan, if only that they were a band slightly before my time, but I have felt their purely Canadian legacy throughout my own life in small small ways. It is a nod I think to an artist, and a band more than something 'I remember from highschool' - but to music that somehow spoke to and created a culture.
1. Beiseker Blazers - I had an assistant to the assistant coach one year playing Bantam hockey for the Beiseker Blazers. He smelled like alcohol some early Saturday morning games, but he was probably my favourite coach, the most kind in my memory and I remembered that he played the drums and loved 'The Hip' - This was when I had fist started to play the drums, probably about grade 8, and I was happy that there was some mention of music in the hockey dressing room. I had no idea who 'The Hip' were - but I remember his eyes lit up and he unmemorably described how they were the best band that will ever live. Then one night in Golden, BC on a 'tour-stop rehearsal' in Golden , BC at The Rockwater - another band joins the bill, and sure enough Steve Richter is playing the drums, we put this all together, and I reminded him how much he loves the Hip.
2. Lucky Bar - Colin McTaggart's Kermode features Jason Nassichuk as the lead singer, and myself as the bass player. I remember how much Colins auroa oozed this music, and I had trouble understanding exactly how we were supposed to be, until I just sat back and repeated this bass line over and over and over and over. After this I felt like I had my study in the music of The Hip. We played 'Nautical Disaster'
3. Rifflandia 2010 - I think it was 2010 Gord Downie played at Market Square, and I was there to see Hey Rosetta! obviously. But that is the only time I felt this vibe, seasoned and still honest and very raw. I remember not really knowing Gord Downie at all, but respecting and admiring his vibe and his art.