Big Sugar – Part 1

I have been a Big Sugar fan for a long, long time.

I can recall living at Omi’s house the summer I was 18, sitting in the back bedroom, watching Much Music all afternoon. That of course was when Much Music still played videos, and was the primary source for new music.

This puzzled my Omi and Opi. They could not understand why I would want to stay inside all day and watch music videos, instead of swimming in the pool. But, with incredible videos from Sloan, No Doubt, Beck and of course Big Sugar, I could not be torn away from the television.

Diggin’ A Hole was the song that introduced me to the band I would love for years to come.

I loved the raunchy, bluesy guitar and Gordie Johnson‘s badass image. There was also something about the retro feel of the video that helped me fall in love with the song, and the band as well.

When the album Heated was released in 1998 (the year Connor was born), I was hooked. Many of the songs were in heavy rotation on the radio through the following year. I can recall playing cards with my sister at my apartment in London, and listening to Turn The Lights On. This song brings me back to that specific moment. I miss playing cards with Kari and talking about life.

My favorite album, Brothers and Sisters, Are You Ready? was released in 2001. The lead single instantly became my favorite Big Sugar song. Nicotina was full of the raunchy, bluesy guitar that made me love Big Sugar. The video begins with Gordie Johnson in one of his signature suits, presumably a Hugo Boss ensemble, in a perfectly badass moment. The lyrics are pretty awesome too, comparing cigarettes and a woman, and dealing with addictions to both.

We’ve been a little more than just friends
And in most cases, that’s just where it ends
But I took the time to stoke up your flame
Can I get a witness to back up my claim
Now I’m standing so close to your fire
If I say that I quit ya, you can call me a liar

My other favorite Big Sugar song comes from this album as well. Again, it has the guitar I love so much, and adds in some Canadiana with the subject and lyrics. The song is about a Newfoundlander who left his home to move to Alberta to work in the oil fields.

I have lost my way
But I hear tell
About a heaven in Alberta
Where they’ve got all hell for a basement

After this, their greatest hits album Hit & Run came out. Sometime shortly thereafter, the band broke up. Gordie Johnson moved on and started recording with his new band Grady, which I never took a liking to. I was so disappointed. All those years, and I had never had the opportunity to see Big Sugar live.

Big Sugar got back together in 2010 and started recording and touring again. Several times, they played free concerts near me, but I was never able to attend for one reason or another. During this time, I didn’t follow their music as closely, but remained a fan.

For my 40th birthday in September, my boys surprised me with 2 tickets to see Big Sugar live on November 25th. It was a perfect gift, and I was so excited to finally have no excuse not to see them.

To be continued…

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