Hit and Run

Hit and Run: The Best of Big Sugar CD

These liner notes include Gordie’s pivotal memories of each song.  Check it out below!

Sleep In Late 3:25
(D. Wall/A. Whiteman) Walt Whitman Music
(SOCAN/Jonestown (SOCN)
Recorded 1991 toronto
Gordie Johnson – guitar, vocals
Terry Wilkins – bass
Al Cross – drums
Recorded two floors below Hypnotic Recordings Studio on a vacant floor of the building.  We strung wires out of the 9th floor window and recorded and shot a video in one take…no overdubs
Ride Like Hell 4:45
(A. Wise/G. Johnson) Walt Whitman Music (SOCAN)/
Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
(Admin. By Zomba Enterprises Inc.)(ASCAP)
Recorded 1993 Toronto
Presence Recordings Studio
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, covals
Al Cross – drums
This was the first song recorded for the ‘500 Pounds’ album.  It signals the era of amplifiers blowing up and things catching on fire for Big Sugar.
I’m A Ram 3:30
(Al Green/Mabon Hodges) Irving Music Inc (BMI)
Recorded 1993 Toronto, Presence Recording Studio
Gordie Johnson, guitar, bass, covals
Al Cross – drums
Gene Hardy – tenor sax
The ultimate recipe for a Big Sugar song.  An old Al Green Memphis Soul classic with a reggae rhythm and 500 lbs of electric guitar.  It continues to be a staple in the Big Sugar live show.
Dear Mr. Fantasy 5:01
(S. Winwood/J. Capaldi/C. Wood) Island Music Inc.
Tamerlane Publishing Corp )BMI)
Recorded 1995 Toronto, Presence Recording Studio
Additional recording at Metalworks studio, Toronto
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, vocals
Al Cross – drums
Tyler Steward – drums
Patrick Ballantyne – acoustic guitar and backing vocals
Good friend and co-writer, Dan Gallagher had suggested this song for ages.  When someone at a show in Ottawa ran up to the stage during the encore and told me that Kurt Cobain had died, we decided it was a fitting song.
Diggin A Hole 4:37
(G. Johnson/A. Curran/D. Gallagher)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
Admin. By Zomba Enterprises Inc. (ASCAP/Molly
Songs/Sony/AT Music Publishing Canada (SOCAN)
Recorded 1996 Toronto, Presence Recording studio
Additional recording at Phase One Studio
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, vocals
Mr. Chill – harmonica
Paul Brennan – drums
A lyrical idea given to me by Dan Gallagher.  I first played the music for Mr. Chill in a dressing room in Ventura Beach, CA., on New Years Eve 1995.  This was the first song on the Hemivision album that I played on the white Gibson double neck given to me by Alex Lifeson of Rush.
If I Had My Way 5:14
(P. Ballantyne/G. Johnson)
P. Ballantyne/Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego
Music (SOCAN) Admin.
By Zomba Enterprises Inc. (ASCAP)
Recorded 1996 Toronto
Intro recorded at Presence Recordings Studio
Song recorded at Phase One Studio
Gordie Johnson – guitar, keyboard, vocals
Mr. Chill – harmonica
Paul Brennan – drums
Garry Lowe – bass
The intro was recorded in the parking log of Presence Studio with Mr. Chill and I sitting on chairs, (traffic noise provided by Dan Gallagher).  The lyrics of the song are actually parts of two separate songs that I worked on with co-writer Patrick Ballantyne since the mid 1980’s.  The musical idea was originally inspired by the old gospel song Samson and Delilah that I first heard recorded by the Reverend Gary Davis.
Opem Up Baby 3:51
(G. JohnsonD. Gallagher)
Zomba Enterprises Inc/Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
Admin. By Zomba Enterprises Inc./(ASAP/Maximum Tunage
Recorded 1996 Toronto, Presence Recordings Studio
Mixed at Phase One Studio
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, harmonica, vocals
Mr. Chill – Harmonica
Paul Brennan – drums
Years ago, Mr. Chill and I played with Blues artist Wild Child Butler.  He had a lot of songs about being locked out and trying to ‘splain your way back in.
The Scene 4:16
(G Johnson/D. Wall/A. Whiteman)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
Admin. By Zomba Enterprises Inc. (ASCAP)/D. Wall
(SOCAN) Walt Whitman Music (SOCAN)/A. Whiteman/
Jonestown (SOCAN)
Recorded 1998 Toronto, Hard Core Studio
Mixed at Phase One Studio
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, keyboard, vocals
Al Cross – drums
Dave Wall – backing vocals
Musically, this song started out as a fast version of Ground Hog Day with a chorus grafted on from a very silly song written by Dave Wall and Andrew Whiteman (authors of ‘Sleep In Late’). The record company debated for weeks over the crowd noise in the middle of it. (P.S. I’m six foot one.)
Better Get Used To It 2:55
(G. Johnson/E. Wall/D. Gallagher/G. Brown)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
Admin. By Zomba Enterprises Inc. (ASCAP)/Walt
Whitman Music/mazimum Tunage (SOCAN)
Recorded 1998 Toronto, Hard Core Studio
Phase Onetudio
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, keyboard, vocals
Gavin Brown – drums
Dave Wall – backing vocals
The chorus was taken from a comedy tape that had been passed around by Dave Wall to all our friends since the 80’s.  It took me a while to figure out how many dimes would equal a million dollars! I broke a guitar string during the first take of recordings…this song features a 5 string guitar solo.
Turn The Lights On 3:54
(G. Johnson/G. Lowe)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
Admin. By Zomba Enterprises Inc. (ASCAP)/G. Lowe
Recorded 1998 Toronto, Hard Core Studio
Phase One Studio
Gordie Johson – guitar, upright bass, organ, vocals
Gavin Brown – drums
Garry Lowe – vocals
That was the last song written for the ‘Heated’ alubm. It was written in 15 minutes, culled together from pieces of dub mixes that were going to be on the ‘Alkaline’ record.  This features Garry Lowe’s first vocal ad-lib.
Red Rover 4:56
(G Johnson/APJJ/Whitey Don)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
(Admin By Zomba Enterprises Inc.) (ASCAP/APJJ)
(SOCAN/EMI April Music/Ja-Can Music/EMI
Blackwood Music (Canada) Ltd. (SOCAN)
Recorded 2001 Toronto
The Bakery Studio
Phase One Studio
Gordie Johnson -guitar, bass, vocals
Al Cross – drums
Mojah – Rhythm guitar
The third verse of Red Roer was taken from the ‘AlKaline’ dub record and served as an inspiration for the rest of the song.  The car running in the intro is my 1970 Dodge Charger which is pictured on the inside album jacket of Hemivision.
Nicotina (She’s All That) 4:01
(G.Johnson/APJJ)
Zomba Entertainment Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
(Admin By zomba Enterprises Inc.)(ASCAP/APJJ)
(SOCAN)
Recorded 2001 Toronto, The Bakery Studio
Phasse One Studio
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, vocals
Al Cross – drums
Mr. Chill – harmonica & keyboards
Everybody has their vices.  I suppose we covered ours in this song.
All Hell For A Basement 3:56
(G. Johnson/P. Ballantyne)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
Admin. By Zoba Enterprises Inc.) (ASCAP)/
P. Ballantyne (SOCAN)
Recorded 2001 Toronto, The Bakery Studio
Phase One Studio
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, banjo, pennywhistle, vocals
Al Cross – drums
I was always intrigued by this turn of phrase used by Rudyard Kipling to describe the oil fields & gas flares in Alberta.  It must have seemed like the other side of the world to him – kind of like the modern day Newfoundlanders working on the oil rigs in Northern Alberta.
I Want You Now* 3:39
(G. Johnson/P. Ballantyne)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
Admin. By Zoba Enterprises Inc.) (ASCAP)/
P. Ballantyne (SOCAN)
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, vocals
Eric Paul – drums
Trouble In The City* 2:53
(Robert A. Nelson/G. Johnson/Mojah)
Lord Nelson Music (BMI)/Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
Admin. By Zoba Enterprises Inc.) (ASCAP)
Gordie Johnson – guitar, vocals
Garry Lowe – bass
Eric Paul – drums
Mojah – vocals
Colin MacDonald, John Angus MacDonald, Kate MacDonald, Cory Tetford and Paul Lamb – backing
vocals
Cory Tetford and Paul Lamb appear courtesy of Sonic  Records
Three Minute Song* 2:46
(C. Read, R. Hope, A. Mack, P. Kehayas, G. Johnson)
Chan Diego Music (SOCAN) (Admin. By Zoba Enterprises Inc.) (ASCAP)
Gordie Johnson – guitar, bass, vocals
Eric Paul – drums*Recorded 2002/03 Toronto
Backroom Recording Studio
Produced and Engineered by Gordie Johnson
Additional Engineering by Anthony D’Avanzo
*Phase One Studio – additional recording and mixing
Produced and Engineered by Gordie Johnson
Additional Engineering by: Steve Payne, Michael Jack,
George Seara, Greg Kolchinski