In honour of my new play, BIG IN GERMANY, which is all about Canadian rock music and growing up in Toronto in the 1990s, I’m going to share a CanCon music video everyday. BIG IN GERMANY plays at Buddies in Bad Times April 9-21. Get tickets here.
Today’s CanCon Rewind gives us a band that’s become better known for its lead singer’s acting career. The Headstones “Unsound.”
I just loved the bass line in this song. Fuck it, I loved all The Headstones’ singles. Here’s “Cemetary.”
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for “Cemetary” because once when I was young, I went down to the seminary looking for love, and that’s how I got expelled from All Saints’ Catholic Elementary School.
(Ok, sorry, that was uncalled for.)
The Headstones just seemed to have so much fun with their music, which was a refreshing switch from the oh-so-serious grungier acts like The Tea Party, Moist, Our Lady Peace, etc… Here’s an old CBC interview with Hugh Dillon where he even mentions that the Headstones had band rings. Doesn’t that just sound like something a band should do? I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who as a pre-teen imagined that rock bands were like superhero groups who spent all their time together, living in a giant mansion, wearing team insignia, and solving crimes with their mystical grandmother/computer (I may have watched a lot of Jem and the Holograms as a kid).
I distinctly remember several occasions when I was a tween going down to HMV intending to buy Teeth and Tissue, not being able to find it for some reason, and ending up going home with something else. I eventually found it in a second-hand store in Vancouver ten years later. The internet barely existed, so you couldn’t just listen to music whenever you wanted to.
Hugh Dillon eventually became more famous as an actor, beginning with 1996’s Hard Core Logo, Bruce McDonald’s adaptation of Michael Turner’s novel/book of poetry of the same name. This is another movie I didn’t get around to until I was an adult, and I’m kind of glad for that since it’s a pretty depressing look at the rock ‘n’ roll life, and I’m glad I got to romanticize it more through my teens.
That’s Callum Keith Rennie playing “Billy Talent” to Hugh Dillon’s “Joe Dick,” and yeah, that’s where the band Billy Talent got their name.
Dillon eventually starred in five seasons of Flashpoint and when that ended, he moved to LA, where he just landed and recurring role on The Killing. I love that he’s been able to move back and forth between the music and acting worlds so successfully. The Headstones are even working on a new album, according to Hugh Dillon’s Twitter feed. In a kind of bizarro-way, his career trajectory inspires part of the character arcs in Big In Germany — you’ll understand when you see the play.
Get BIG IN GERMANY tickets here.