Weekend Tune: Houses of the Hosers

9 Dec

The Holy Trinity of hoser culture would be… what, exactly?



Rock ’em Sock ’em hockey…

hockey fight



Tim Horton’s


… and two-fours.

Canadian Beer


Are you still with me, hosers? The rest of you may need to look those up.

The High Priest of hoser culture?


Mr. Rock ’em Sock ’em himself… Don Cherry

Don Cherry

And all the liturgical music in the Hoser House of Worship would certainly be performed by these guys:


Tragically Hip

If you’re a practicing hoser, you are required to worship the Tragically Hip. If you’re a hoser from Kingston, Ontario, you are required – at the very least – to know someone who went to school with someone in the Tragically Hip.

If you’re an American, you are required to have never heard of the Tragically Hip.

I grew up in Montreal, so – unlike my pals who were raised on the hard rock of the Canadian Shield – I will never be able to fully, truly embrace hoser culture. But here’s a token offering… a oldie by the Hip that I’ve always liked:

Approaching the band as a non-believer… from a more distant, anthropological point of view… one is invariably confronted with this important question:

Where did the Tragically Hip’s name come from?

In a recent exchange with me in his blog comments section, this Fifth Columnist claimed the band got its name from a short sketch in 1981’s “Elephant Parts“, former Monkee Mike Nesmith’s pioneering long-form music video. Here’s the sketch:

I maintained the Tragically Hip got their name from “Town Cryer” (short excerpt here), the closing track off Elvis Costello’s brilliant 1982 album, Imperial Bedroom. The song’s lyrics include the line:

Other boys use the splendour of their trembling lip
They’re so teddy bear tender and tragically hip

Yeah, I don’t understand it either, but it does have the phrase “tragically hip”.

So, who is correct, hoseheads? Me? Or Mr. Fifth Column?

According to Wikipedia, he’s right and I’m wrong. The name comes from the Nesmith video. Of course, Wikipedia can be edited, you know…

And until I get around to doing just that…

…take off, eh?


One Response to “Weekend Tune: Houses of the Hosers”

  1. Stephen Dame December 14, 2007 at 2:37 pm #

    Hey man. Nice piece on The Hip, and yes, while many of us Hip Heads aren’t proud of it, the band name does originate from the “Monkees” Man himself, Mike Nesmith. I’m not exactly a hoser, I came to teh band via an academic approach which you an see here http://www.hipmuseum.com, but when the murky opening riff to Nautical Disaster eminates from Bobby’s guitar, we all become a little bit Gordon Lightfoot inside.

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