A Guided Tour of "Hookahman"

"Hookahman" highlights the diverse talents of nine musicians and six songwriters. Here's the tour:

¥ Freedom (Moscow 1992) - written by Frank and Jeff while in Moscow, Russia on May Day 1992, the first May Day without communism. Hanging over Red Square, in English and purchased by a visiting association of American lawyers, was a large banner proclaiming "Freedom Works." All the crowd had to drink was Orange Fanta. Hookahman later supplied the acoustic samples that begin and punctuate the song.

¥ Outta My Face Polka - written by Jason on his accordion to fill the time onstage when strings break.

¥ Jesus - written by Wes after being visited in his home by religious types canvassing for Jesus. The song tells the story of a good Christian, who comes home from work and witnesses the Second Coming, gets taken up to Heaven, but misses his evil friends. Contains a riff lifted from Shriekback's "Priests and Cannibals". The parade that ends the song was written by Frank's friend Reverend Ken, and Wes has transformed it into a festive march into hell.

¥ Moving Day - a song written by Joe when he was, guess what, moving out of yet another squat box. The opening Tabernacle Choir version of the chorus is an experiment in thunderous music.

¥ Worldwurkz - was written in Jeff's head while, guess what, waiting for a bus. He has since given up smoking. The bullhorn rant in the refrain is courtesy of John B. Hall of King Missile, who e-mailed us to say that if we made any money he wanted some. Fair enough.

¥ Weenie - is a true story; Jason did actually get in a fight once while ordering a hot dog. Joel adds a bit of low-altitude perspective to the whole affair.

¥ San Franciso - is Joe's political song, written while travelling in Guatemala in 1994. He wrote in on a mandolin.

¥ Come Back Gladys - is Joel's tribute to Bill Bourne and is also the metaphoric history of Hookahman.

¥ The Noodler's Opus - is nine minutes long in five movements. The story, briefly, is: A roaming fiddle noodler meets an accordion noodler. They, in turn, meet the rest of the noodlers, who all enjoy some soup and appolonian cheese. Upon finding the trombone noodler, they play the only song they all know (Hawaii 5-0 theme), and polka down to Victoria, BC.

¥ How She Can Be - written by Jeff at 25 Mile Creek near Chelan, Washington. It's a melancholic kind of love song.

¥ Mint Bum (Jelly Love Child) - was written by all of Hookahman by passing a folded piece of paper around. No one knew what anyone else had written. We later discovered that it was about prostitution. Shows what the collective unconscious is really up to.

¥ Toi - was written in Paris, by Frank and his friend Lucas from Belgum.

¥ Old - is Joe's bitter tirade against aging. It's fun for the young to dance to.

¥ Spring - is Jeff's bitter tirade against winter. Actually, it's a rather sweet tribute to his favourite season.

¥ Love Ain't - Someone once said that Hookahman didn't do any love songs. Joe changed all that with this two verse ditty. The rest of Hookahman thinks this is our most poetic song.

¥ Ghanja Farm - was written early in Hookahman's life by Wes and Frank. It is about a house we lived in at 10731 - 86 Avenue in Edmonton. It was the birthplace of Hookahman, and has since been torn down and replaced by a Condo. Oh hut...

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