Tell me if this sounds familiar.
Picture it: 1989, a suburban home in the middle of Ontario; a pudgy Italian kid sits rapt in front of his family’s television set with boom box close at hand; finger itchy to trigger the pause button and start the tape rolling and recording at a moment’s notice; the dial set to channel 5, CBC, the signal coming in strong for a clear Thursday night. On the screen, a man dressed as a chicken lady sits atop a nest making inappropriate passes at an unsuspecting blind date while a studio audience roars with laughter. The pudgy Italian kid would be laughing to if it wasn’t for his umpteenth attempt at capturing the show’s theme song to cassette, whereby he’d be able to enjoy it continuously via the concrete brick he calls a Walkman. The song is called “Having an Average Weekend” and it’s by a band who’s anything but average: Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet.
It wouldn’t be too long before Savvy Show Stoppers, the 5-single compilation album from which the song comes from would be counted amongst his growing CD collection, but alas time passes, university residence roommates come and go, and along with them a number of pried CDs disappear. Weekends go back to being shadowy men-less.
Fast forward to 2012: Mammoth Cave Recording Company, an upstart label out of Alberta heeds a silent call from fans far and wide, and slowly, surely, the Shadowy Men catalogue (all three official releases) see the light of day once more, and grown men (not so pudgy anymore) are instantly McFly’ed back in time to a more innocent, “not fucking surf” instrumental rock era where heads were made of cabbage and Thirty Helens agreed that tattoos are not for everyone.
Savvy Show Stoppers has been lovingly remastered by Peter J. Moore from the original tapes and is now out on deluxe 180 gram black vinyl and FINALLY as a digital release. The band itself as come out of an extended hibernation for a special of live shows,with founding members Brian Connelly (guitar) and Don Pyle (drums) being joined by Dallas Good, of The Sadies, playing bass guitar, honouring the memory of the third original Shadowy Man, bass player Reid Diamond who passed away in 2001 after a battle with cancer. No self-respecting Canadian music fan should let their collection go without these reissues (subsequent albums Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham and Sport Fishin’ are to follow within the next year or so).
And Ricky DiMarco, UW class of ’96, if you’re out there: you may have my Savvy Show Stoppers CD, but I have compromising pictures of you and a certain first-year Intro to Biology TA that you forgot to clear out of your desk drawer at the end of the semester. Call me, Ricky, we’ll talk.
MP3: Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet “Good Cop Bad Cop”
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Twitter: Mammoth Cave Recordings
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