Tragically Hip/Crocks/Thunder Bay/Feb 1988
So I had a friend who went to college and she told me there was this band from Kingston that was playing a local bar (Crocks) coming up on the weekend (Friday & Saturday) and that they were worth checking out. Of course with it being Feb in Thunder Bay that means cold and snow and I remember distinctively that we did not go to the Friday show but me and Tbone said we would go to the Saturday show and well not only did we go but a snowstorm came with us as well. The city got covered that day but Tbone said as Downie would say ‘Fuck This …Fuck That” and well we got to Crocks.
Crocks back than was a small bar comfortable to hang out in but it could get crowded and well with the snowstorm blasting outside I think there were maybe 25-30 people there that night so umm we had a ton of elbow space. While we were killing time there was one pool table in the joint and some guy was itching to steal someone’s money so he asked me if I wanted to play a round of snooker. I passed as I was the shit’s at it and I’m not making a $20 donation to some clown but Tbone accepted and threw down his $20 and proceeded to demolish the poor sap and I still recall the fella telling Tbone that no one in a long time had beaten him so bad. Tbone just shrugged his shoulders grabbed the $40 and told the guy he could have his pool table back! Classic!
So from Kingston here’s mine and T’s intro to the Hip and boom there they are all long-haired fellas jammed on the tiny stage playing it all and giving it all as well! Too be honest I don’t remember many songs as I mean they were just plugging there 5 song cassette EP that night.( I’m sure as well the other songs would have been ones that would have been on Up To Here which came out in August of 1989)I do know that when they played I’m A Werewolf,Gord Downie was jumping all over rhythm guitar player Paul Langlois’ back! A site to see and kinda funny that’s how that’s one thing me and Tbone still recall from that show! The other thing was they were hocking there cassette tape from the stage for $5 in which I purchased and still wish I had today! I would sell it to Probie (huge Hip fan)for $500! Hahaha……
For me and Tbone living in Tbay it’s not too often you see a band that within a year that is gonna go huge in Canada and boy did they ever. I did a review of when a little of a year later me and T caught the Hip playing our University plugging there Up To Here release and the place was jammed! So you knew they were making leaps and bounds in the size of buildings they were playing. But it’s sometimes cool to go back and pull off a Marty Mcfly and step into that time machine and trip out!
Also what must be noted that as crazy as it sounds that this show was 25 yrs closer to 26 yrs ago is that the Hips lineup of Downie/ Fay/Sinclair/ Baker/ Langlois is still intact today….and in the music biz that’s impressive…
Enjoy the tune posted for Highway Girl..crank it and Gord as always tells a great story……..