The Coronet Hotel had a long history of entertaining us on Saturday nights with top-notch music acts, but occasionally there was an act that was, well, different and they were(Gary) MacLean and (Blair)MacLean. Originally from Glace bay Nova Scotia the boys moved to Winnipeg and became Canadian Comedy superstars with their combination of music, folksy story’s and outrageous humour that was not family oriented at all. They were nominated for Juno Awards and performed from coast to Coast from 1972 till 1998 and managed to record 7 albums of material as well, with the only instruments being the banjo, Guitar and Bongo Drums and even appeared at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.
Their blend of humour and music just mixed well with my generation, they were unafraid of anything and in fact were once arrested and jailed after performing in Kingston, there they were charged with Public Indecency. The song titles were never politically correct and had such names as “I’ve Seen Pubic Hair” (based upon the well-known “I’ve Been Everywhere”) and an original song, “Dolly Parton’s Tits”, which made the British music charts after it was used as the theme music for a British TV show, they even managed to get Burton Cummings and Skip Prokop to help out on their albums and in the 1980’s created a radio character called’The Champ” that some of you may remember “Brother” Jake Edwards doing. But the highlight of their show was the closing, it was a sight that had to be seen to be believed( And i saw it many Times) they did a song called Fuck ya that involved a”mutual heckling” routine in which the audience and performers jokingly shouted abuse at each other; the song would then be performed as a “sing-along” with the audience. Again it had to be seen. Unfortunately neither brother is with us anymore as Gary Died in 2001 and Blair in 2008, but they have left us with many memory s and if you can stand the vulgarity I suggest you head to your local record store( Millpond Records and Books may have a copy or two) and pick up some of their material and give it a listen, after all, it’s only music, Right?
A list of Albums from MacLean and MacLean
- Toilet Rock (live at the Chimney, Toronto)
- Bitter Reality (1976, mixture of studio, and live at the Chimney, Toronto)
- Locked Up for Laughs (studio recording)
- MacLean & MacLean Suck Their Way to the Top / MacLean & MacLean Take the “O” Out of Country (split album: side 1 is live at the El Mocambo, Toronto; side 2 is a studio recording simulating a country music radio broadcast)
- Go to Hell (studio recording, title can also be read as MacLean & MacLean Go to Hell)
- Cruel Cuts (1986, studio recording)
- The Dirty Thirty (compilation)
- 2 in 1 (1992, re-issue of first and second albums on one CD; omits some tracks to make it fit)
- 2 in 1 (1992, re-issue of third and fourth albums on one CD)
- Live (2003, live at Watts, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, 1996)