We’re Here For A Good Time (Not A Long Time)

Oh Canada.

Canada, Canada, Canada.

You have some of the most beautiful topography in the world, your entire population doesn’t even equal that of California’s, you’re nice folks, you’re clean, and you’re modern. It doesn’t snow as much as it used to, there’s free healthcare (ha!) and the economy isn’t nearly as bad as ours. Canada has everything going for it so why, oh why, do you guys have such a hard time with your musical identity? Canada is the Rodney Dangerfield of countries, and it’s really not deserved. Mostly.

Let’s talk about Trooper. Often described as “pedestrian but passable Seventies Rock N Roll”, upon further examination things start to glow a little brighter for these misfits. The band’s 1979 greatest hits album, Hot Shots, broke all records for Canadian sales of a Canadian album, reaching Quadruple-Platinum status (which, if I can recall, means they sold approximately 378 albums). Hot Shots contained songs from the bands first five studio albums and freakin’ dominated Canadian radio at that time. I mean dominated. Every song on this sucker received copious airplay, but the massive hits were The Boys In The Bright White Sports Car, Raise A Little Hell and We’re Here For A Good Time (Not A Long Time), and in my opinion these songs were more than simply pedestrian. Of course nostalgia plays a huge part, as does the fact that I’m half canuck, and yes there’s a distinct odor of Camembert cheese in the air when you hear these songs, but you know what? Cheese can be tasty fun! Trooper were no cheesier than, say, Meatloaf was/is, and they wrote better pop songs than Mr. Loaf and Mr. Steinman did. Simple, fist in the air, quality pop songs.

Time has a funny way of rehabilitating artists, and Trooper is no exception.

“In 2001, “Shot Spots”, a Punk tribute to Trooper, was released on Visionary Records. It contained 30 Trooper songs performed by 30 Canadian punk bands (D.O.A., SNFU, Dirty Bird, Dayglo Abortions and others) and an introduction by Canadian comedian Rick Mercer. As detailed in a four-page 2004 photo essay by Todd Korol in Macleans Magazine and a two-page 2005 Globe and Mail story by Peter Cheney, Trooper is still very active and popular as a touring band, performing as many as 100 shows a year across Canada.”

Canada, you’re a 9 dressed up as a 3. It’s your time to shine, my little misunderstood adopted country. Put on your Sunday best and go strut your stuff!

Let your freak flag fly!