Who’s Better, Who’s Best?
A brief discussion about the musical histories of America, the United Kingdom and…errr…Canada.
USA: What’s Canada doing here?
UK: Dunno, mate. Seems a little unfair. To Canada, I mean…
CANADA: Don’t start off this way, buddy! Over the years we’ve had plenty to offer, eh.
USA: Like whom? Anne Murray? Burton Cummings? Loverboy? Some real contenders for the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame you’ve got there…
CANADA: Well, at least we didn’t give birth to Jefferson Starship, guy!
USA: Two words for you, Britton: The Darkness.
USA: Or The Soup Dragons. Or Kula Shaker. Or those goofy twin brothers, you know, the ones that sang about walking 500 miles…
UK: THEY WEREN’T FROM ENGLAND!
CANADA: Close enough…
UK: Shut it Nanook! Still got your Chilliwack cassettes?
USA: All right, all right, let’s give His Highness some airtime to state his case. Then you next, Canada. I’ll go last.
UK: Ok. Let’s start with the 60’s. The Beatles. The Kinks. The Stones. The Who. The Zombies. The Animals.
CANADA: …and Herman’s Friggin’ Hermits. Peter and Gordon. Chad and Jeremy, whoever they were, eh? And Freddie and the Dreamers. Some real gems there, friend. (starts singing “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Loverly Daughter…”)
UK: All right. Stop that! Stop that RIGHT NOW!!
CANADA: Is it my turn yet?
USA: Sure is…buddy.
CANADA: Ok, the 60’s, right? Ok, here we go…ummnnnmmnn…OH, I GOT ONE, I GOT ONE! The Band!
USA: But they had that drummer guy from Arkansas, or wherever. And they had to tour with Dylan, first.
UK. Hold up there, Yank-a-doodle. Give the boy from The Great White North A Chance.
CANADA: Thank you. What aboot Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and The Guess Who? Ohhoohooh, and how aboot Neil Young? Hah! Got ya there, didn’t I?
USA: Since You’re on a roll, go ahead with the other decades. Can you think of anyone other than Loverboy?
CANADA: John Kay from Steppenwolf is Canadian…
UK: Sorry, doesn’t qualify.
CANADA: All right, then. Let’s see…Lighthouse, 5 Man Electrical Band, Moxy, Trooper, Prism, Triumph and Bachman Turner Overdrive.
USA and UK: *snicker, snicker, guffaw guffaw*
CANADA: Can I skip the 80’s?
CANADA: Please? I don’t wanna!
UK: What about SAGA?
UK: RUSH!! What about RUSH!
CANADA: Yes! What aboot RUSH?
USA: We’ll give you RUSH. And the 90’s and beyond?
CANADA: We OWN the 90’s and beyond, guy.
UK: Such as…
CANADA: The Doughboys, Arcade Fire, Sloan, to name but a mere few…
USA: And Alanis Morissette, and Shania Twain, and Celine Dion, and…
UK: Enough America, you big bully. I think you’re hurting his feelings. My turn, anyway. I don’t think we have enough time, or space, to go into all of the brilliant bands from the UK during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, so I’ll just give you the highlights: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, Joe Jackson, Queen, Supertramp, ELO, the Pistols, The Clash, Ian Dury, Blur, The Smiths, Primal Scream, Boo Radleys, KLF, the Damned…
CANADA: Didn’t Sigue Sigue Sputnik come out of England? She-BANG!
USA: Good point, Canada! Oasis, too! And Gay Dad, Sleeper, Soup Dragons…
UK: Oasis were a great band!
CANADA: For two albums…
USA: My turn. We had The Doors, Grateful Dead…
USA: …Bob Dylan…
UK: Oh, and Elton John for us!
USA: …and Elvis Presley, and The Beach Boys, and The Byrds, The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, The Eagles…
USA: …The Stooges…
UK: Oh, and David Bowie!
USA: Can I finish? We also had Paul Simon, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper, Blondie, MC5, KISS, Patti Smith, The Cars, Sonic Youth, Van Halen…
UK: Yeah, been meaning to thank you for that arse-wipe David Lee Roth.
USA: Shut it. More recently we have The Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket, Mercury Rev, Beck, Nirvana…need I go on?
CANADA: Yeah, you do. You forgot Creed, Nicklback, Limp Biscuit and Candlebox.
USA: Touche. Well, at least we invented punk rock!
UK: No, you didn’t mate.
USA: Yes we did. A few names: MC5, Stooges, New York Dolls, Television and the MIGHTY RAMONES!
UK: Posers! The Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Buzzcocks and The Clash! The true faces of Punk!
USA: We’ll call it a stale mate, then.
UK: Fine with me.
USA: Anything further by the delegate from the Shizzle North Of Hizzle, America’s Frosted Hat. What say you, man from Canuckistan?
UK: Hey, what does a Canadian say when you step on his foot?
USA: I don’t have the slightest.
UK: “Sorry.” Here’s one last one…
UK: So U2 is performing a concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when Bono asks the audience for some quiet. Then, in the silence, he starts to slowly clap his hands. He says into the microphone, in a deep solemn voice: “Just for a moment, think outside yourself…Outside this arena. Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”
A loud Newfie voice from near the front pierces the moment: “Well, Lard tunderin Jasus, ya stupid arse, stop yer fockin’ clappin’, den!”