Monday, October 27, 2008


This is one of those posts where we take a really big leap out of the vintage years, all the way into the 80s –oh my! But there’s a subtle connection, if you’ll humor me a little. Let me set it up for you. Back in the 1980s, I was working in the fine arts biz in Alberta, Canada. The oil boom was well underway, corporations were moving their head offices from Toronto (aka Hog Town) to the Calgary (aka Cow Town). It seemed like every third person you met was from Houston, and money was practically falling out of the sky. And with that much money, things that would not have mattered as much under different economic conditions became all the rage. The downtown bristled with building cranes, and all those big shiny new office towers had lots of bare walls. A corporate art collection became a must-have. In the uptown area of the city, it seemed like there was an art gallery on every corner. It also seemed like every company that had more than six employees had it’s own official art collection. Oil companies and legal offices led the charge, but even the hospitals were getting into the act. And of course, all the private citizens had collections, too. That was the community I worked in, and it was quite an experience. There was so much money to be had, that there was only a modest competition between galleries. Usually everyone knocked off work around the same time and headed down the street to the local cantina for happy hour. That's when I got my introduction to the music of Doug and the Slugs, a Canadian band out of Vancouver. One of the fellows from a friendly rival gallery, who knew of my taste for the oldies, said, “You should check out this group, I think you’d like them – it’s kind of 50s/80s music.

That was a good way to describe it, although I just looked them up in Wikipedia, and they are now being labeled as “alternative pop.” Well, that fits, too. Doug and the Slugs were a pretty zany bunch, musically, but were also very musically solid. They has a good run for close to ten 10 years, after which lead singer Doug Bennett continued to tour with a revolving set of musicians until his untimely death in 2004. I had the good fortune to hear them live once, and it was something to behold!

I hope you are ready to have some fun. If this sounds familiar to you, then you get points for being a real TV trivia fanatic. This song, “Too Bad,” from D&TS first album, Cognac and Bologna, was the theme song on The Norm Show (1999-2001) starring comedian Norm MacDonald (also of SNL anchor desk fame). Okay, let’s dance!

Video from YT member mojofilter02
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of them. They sound like Gary Lewis and the Playboys.