Barenaked Ladies: The Sordid History of the World's Most Canadian Band

1983: Steven Page and Ed Robertson meet at the Peter Puck Memorial School for Creatively Deficient Boys and Chronic Bedwetters, where they bond over their love of "Weird Al" Yankovic and their hatred of getting beaten up by the other children every day after lunch.

1988: At a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert in Toronto, Page and Robertson run into each other again and decide to start a band together, with the goal of being "much nerdier, less tuneful, and not quite as clever as They Might Be Giants." The pair dubs itself "Barenaked Ladies" after something they're positive they won't see until at least their late 30s.

1990: On their "Too Polite to be Funny" tour of farm communities and hockey camps in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Page and Robertson encounter conjoined-twin mimes Jim and Andy Creeggan and aspiring rodeo clown Tyler Stewart. Impressed with their non-musical abilities, the duo asks them to join the band. Following successful surgery on the Creeggans, Barenaked Ladies is now a quintet.

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Comerica Theatre

400 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Category: Music Venues

Region: Central Phoenix

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Barenaked Ladies are scheduled to perform on Sunday, July 25.
Dodge Theatre

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1991: Barenaked Ladies are forced to remove the line "If I had a million dollars / I'd buy you lots of D batteries, ninja throwing stars, and hydrochloric acid" from their new song "If I Had $1,000,000" after die-hard fans take up the goofy tradition of hurling said items at the band at concerts.

1992: With production help from fellow Canadian musicians Sebastian Bach and Skinny Puppy, Barenaked Ladies release their proper debut album, Gordon, which is titled not in honor of Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot or hockey legend Gordon "Gordie" Howe, but Typhoon Gordon, which killed nearly 100 people in the Philippines in 1989. Hits (at least in Canada) include "Be My Yoko Ono," the revamped "If I Had $1,000,000," and "Brian Wilson," an ode to the fledgling TV news reporter and future Fox News anchor. Esteemed rock critic Robert Christgau either trashes or heaps praise on the band in an inscrutable 27,000-word review of the album that includes the memorable observation, "Doffing lugubrious meta-hodgepodge to escape rigorous self-sophistication, Barenaked Ladies' anti-modern transcendence validates function as fiction. Antisepsis."

1995: Unhappy with the more commercial direction of the band, as well as his unconjoined life, Andy Creeggan quits the band to become a gangsta rapper. He is never heard from again. Creeggan is replaced by rooster farmer Kevin Hearn.

1996: Barenaked Ladies befriend actor (and fellow Canadian) Jason Priestley, who directs a video for their song "The Old Apartment" and invites them to appear on Beverly Hills, 90210. Not only does the band perform at the Peach Pit, Ed Robertson persuades Donna to dump Ray, but only after Jim Creeggan, Dylan, and Valerie get trapped in an earthquake on the way to stop Clare's drug-dealer father from killing Brandon on the speedboat. Thus, the band's U.S. popularity begins to rise.

1998: "One Week" — a track from Barenaked Ladies' fourth studio LP, Stunt — receives the prestigious "Most Annoying Song of the Decade" trophy at the North American Songwriting Awards gala ceremony, hosted by Bobby McFerrin.

2006: Controversy erupts when Vice President Dick Cheney defends the CIA practice of playing "One Week" on endless repeat while interrogating suspected terrorists, insisting it's not torture.

2008: Steven Page is arrested in New York after it's discovered that he's the head of Canada's notorious and secretive Maroon Cartel, responsible for more than 80 percent of the cocaine being smuggled into the U.S. He's kicked out of Barenaked Ladies and is never heard from again.

2010: The Page-less Barenaked Ladies, which hasn't had a hit in a decade, considers changing the band's name to "The Irrelevants," but opts to keep the BNL moniker in the hopes of at least getting free drinks from sympathetic bartenders. The band embarks on the "Funny Puppet Show and Barenaked Ladies" tour.

 
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3 comments
Phire42
Phire42

The Ninja Stars an Hydrochloric acid WAS kinda funny! The 2010 entry was kind harsh, but I follow the 11th commandment: Thou shall not take thyself too seriously.

John
John

Imagine that - a Barenaked Ladies "luver" doesn't like someone making fun of their favorite band. Wahhhhhhh!

Besides, "straight-up reviews" are boring.

Bnlluver
Bnlluver

This is more than merely stupid. It's just plain not funny. I didn't laugh once. How about we see a paid professional write a straight up review for a change. Is that too much to ask?

 
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