The Grapes of Wrath Reunion – What Was Going Through My Head

My favourite stories of the Grapes of Wrath – one of Canada’s most popular and well-loved bands – tend to include beer.

I started out as a fan. That’s me with the band, above, in 1990. Cute, no?

Then I became a friend. There was the time when drummer Chris Hooper and I got drunk together at the 1990 Much Music Video Awards. There was the time when I sat in a bar at Ontario Place in Toronto with Chris, his brother/bassist Tom Hooper, singer/guitarist Kevin Kane and friends, after a huge gig, singing “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce as we polished off pitchers and cried with laughter. There was the time when I smuggled Chris – my closest friend to this day – past the waiting girl gaggle into Massey Hall in Toronto after we’d done some post-soundcheck, pre-gig drinking at McVeigh’s Irish pub down the street. There was the time we sang “Corn Circles” by the Waterboys and songs by Pansy Division in the back of a van. There were times at bars, hotels, clubs and backstage.

There were so many times with the Grapes of Wrath.

For me, and for probably a lot of people of my generation in Canada, the 1990s belonged to these Kelowna, BC boys. It belonged to their Beatles-y songs, their impeccable harmonies and guitar rock, and their amazingly curly hair. It belonged to tracks Peace of Mind, Backward Town, I Am Here and All The Things I Wasn’t.

But in 1999 the band more or less dis-banded and after a fight about the name, continued on as Ginger, minus Kevin Kane. It’s been about 11 years since the original trio played together. But they’ve buried the bullshit. On July 17 in Surrey (a Vancouver suburb), Hooper-Hooper-Kane reformed for a summer festival.

15 songs. And for a lot of us, so many memories. Click on each photo to embiggen. And scroll down for the set list. For more information on the Grapes of Wrath or to get in contact and book them for a giant, well-paying show, visit their Facebook page.\m/

July 17 Set List:

  • Peace of Mind
  • Stay
  • Backward Town
  • The Time is Here
  • Traveling
  • Away
  • A Dream About You
  • Misunderstanding
  • You May Be Right
  • All The Things I Wasn’t
  • What Was Going Through My Head
  • O Lucky Man
  • Do You Want to Tell Me
  • I am Here
  • Lucifer Sam (Pink Floyd cover)

5 responses to “The Grapes of Wrath Reunion – What Was Going Through My Head”

  1. Hey thanks for sharing the stories and photos. It was a wonderful time down in Holland Park that night. (the 18th)

  2. Ahh… how time has stood still for GoW.

    I confess, whenever I’m in that melancholy mood and in need of a good cry in my beer, Misunderstanding is never far from hand.

    Simply brilliant, grossly underrated and happy to keep them all to myself (the collective myself – as in Canada). It’s time for a cross country tour boys. You can stay at my place here in Toronto.

  3. Looking forward to seeing them at The Venue in Vancouver at the end of October. I’d be happy with this set list, but would be nice to see some tracks from Field Trip. I love that album! I know it’s not the ‘classic’ Grapes stuff, but there are some great tracks on that album.

  4. Thank god Grapes came along and saved me from my Michael Hutchens hair fantasy. I still own a modest collection of vintage tweed blazers. They really helped me become all the things I wasn’t. Nice article… Thanks

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