In 1992, Rheostatics released a seventeen song album called Whale Music named after the epochal rock 'n' roll novel by Canada's pre-eminent humorist and good guy Paul Quarrington, himself a musician, a bass player, formerly of the hard tourin' unit Joe Hall and the Continental Drift. A bit of history: In the summer of the novel's release, 1989, Whale Music started appearing atop the dashboard of many a punter's vehicle criss-crossing the nation, and like The Last Waltz, David Wisdom's Nightlines or old copies of Goldmine, it became a required stimulus for extra soul fuel on those long dark stretches from Hope to Hobbema. After passing dog-eared copies from band to band to band, Whale Music soon became the literary compaion to this decade's great CanRock Renaissance, and Desmond Howl and Claire were its Frankie and Annette. Yowsa!!! Our beach was a golden prarie.
In 1993, director Richard J. Lewis and Quarrington came up with the idea to film this fabled novel. Blaspheme!! cried the punters. Well, they didn't really. The story goes that Mr. Lewis, himself a musician who long ago traded his skills for a whirl at the silver screen, originally wanted a one man operation to do the music. He wanted a real life Dez Howl. As fate would have it, no such figure existed, at least not singularly, so after Quarrington played our disc Whale Music to Mr. Lewis, young Richard thought, "Ah, can't hurt to try 'em." So, for one excellent week working at the Gas Station studios in the shadow of the giant chicken bucket (we launched projectiles at it while on break; Ernie hit the "N") we crawled into the imgagination of Quarrington, via Dez Howl, and not surprisingly, found it a nice cozy place. Thus the Whale Music was written. We recorded the final product at Reaction Studios prior to any inch of film being shot (we worked directly from the screenplay) and Lewis and his crack staff made it come to life deliciously across wondrous and career-affirming celluloid. Lawyers and men of reason cried: "You'll confuse the public with two records called Whale Music!" We responded: "Ya, you're right!" Then we asked ourselves: "What would Dez do?" Give it a little more torque!
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