The Dog Meat BBQ FAQ

(foolishly asked questions)
Version 1.O

1. The basics 2. Other bands the Dog Meat BBQ crew have played in 3. Recordings 4. Questions about songs 5. Why haven't you answered my question?

1. The basics

1.1. Who's in Dog Meat BBQ?

The line-up is:
1.2. Who else has played in the BBQ?

Three different drummers have filled in at gigs when Justin was unavaliable. They are: Danny Thomas (played at the first Dog Meat BBQ gig in 1986), Des Walsh (one gig at the BIS Club in 1987) and Bruce Cooper (one gig at the Cornerstone in 1987).

1.3. Where'd you get that freaky name?

When the band first formed in the summer of 1986, they had a hell of a job coming up with a name. Sobriquets tossed around at the time included "Batjam", "Psuedo and the Quasis" and, if memory serves correctly, "Three Hail Marys, a Coke and a Bag of Chips". For their first gig, the 1986 Peace-a-Chord, they appeared on the program as "Backstreet Jihad". But mere hours before the gig, fate intervened. In Wallace's mailbox that morning was found a stack of propaganda from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Seems they were out to put a stop to the practice of eating dogs and cats in South Korea, and were in full-on money-begging mode. And there amid their mountains of Eurocentric hogwash appreared the phrase "dog meat barbeque". That was it - the band had a name.

1.4. Who is Dr. Cod?

In it's early days, the band was sometimes known as "Dr. Cod's International Dog Meat Barbiequeue". Here's the story: Once upon a time, Mike was a deejay and sportscaster at CHMR, the campus radio station at Memorial University of Newfoundland. For some of this time, and for reasons we can't go into here, he was forced to adopt a psuedonym. Thus he morphed into the dangerously demented "Dr. Cod". The name originated during experiments with certain mind- altering substances on a road trip to Conception Bay North in 1979 (shout-outs to Roger, Willard and Abner on this one!). The very deep and arcane significance of the name cannot be revealed to the general public. Meanwhile, for some unknown reason (mind-altering substances again suspected), certain media types have chosen to render the name as "Dr. God". Yeah.

2. Related bands

2.1. Who are The Bubonic Plague?

The Bubonic Plague was a band which Mike and Wallace played in from 1982 to 1985 in St. John's and Toronto. Tony, Justin and Craig also appeared with the Plague at various points. The band released two cassette tapes, Wild Wild Youth in Asia (1983) and Smile - Think Positive (1984). A number Bubonic Plague songs found their way into the Dog Meat BBQ repertoire. These include "Freakin at the High School Hop", "Tenth Rate Band", "I'm On Drugs", "Modern Diseases", ""Oh Columbus", "Imperial Birds", "Guiseppe, Are You Dead?" and "Wild Wild Youth in Asia". As well, three Plague songs, "Meat Wars", "Nuclear Baby Rag" and "I Hate My Job", have been re- recorded for Dog Meat BBQ releases. Ckeck out The Bubonic Plague Page.

2.2. Who are Da Slyme?

Da Slyme were Newfoundland's first punk rock band, formed in 1978 with a line-up that included Wallace ("Kirt Sic-o-via"), Justin ("Dead Beat"), Craig ("No Moniker") and Tony ("Roscoe Santiago"). For the full poop on this ground-breaking (and bottle-breaking) band, who recently released a new CD entitled The 20 Year Scam, check their website at Four songs on Dog Meat BBQ's Dead Dogs of the Summer of Love originated as Slyme tunes: "No Talent", "Political Clout", "Running from the Weapons of War" and "Arriva Derci Roma". "I Hate My Job" was intitially performed by Da Slyme, though its first recorded appearance was on the Bubonic Plague's Smile - Think Positive. A number of Slyme songs have been performed live by Dog Meat BBQ, including "Crazy Glue", "Defecation on the Nation", "My Mind is Shot", "Truck Stop Nun" and "Newfie Rastaman".

2.3. Who are The A-Tones?

The A-Tones were a Slyme spin-off band which included Wallace, Tony, Justin and Craig, along with Terry Carter. They did several live shows in 1980 and released a cassette, The Quick and the Dead, in 1983 (check out the cover of this tape). Best known for recording the song "Middle Cove Beach Party" with local blooze-meister Roger Howse. For more information on The A-Tones, as well as predecessors The Infideltones and The Semi-Tones, see the history section of Da Slyme's website.

2.4. Who are Wet Cheese Delerium?

Wet Cheese Delerium are an electronic/experimental band in which Wallace and Craig have played for more than 20 years. Details on the history of Wet Cheese Delerium can be found at Da Slyme's website. In recent years, Doug has also played with WCD. The band have released 5 cassettes: Live at Bar None (1990), Bottle (1996), Take This Tape to the End of the World (1996), Destination (1996), and Gathering Electric Swarms (1997). On three occasions, in 1982, 1983 and 1998, WCD have backed up Mike for electronic poetry readings. Check out a poster and pictures of the 1982 show, and a poster for the 1998 show.

2.5. Who are The Black Auks?

Wallace and Craig are also members of The Black Auks, an improvisational group formed in the 1980s. So far there have been 3 Black Auks releases: Cape Spear Passages (1994), Auking (1996) and No Second Takes (1998).

2.6. Who are The Real Fat Elvis and tbe Kountry Klingons?

The Real Fat Elvis and the Kountry Klingons were an "unplugged" version of Dog Meat BBQ, featuring Mike, Wallace, Tony and Duncan. This group played live twice in 1987 at Kibitzers and at Bounders. Most of the Klingons' repertoire was culled from the four Holy Folk tapes released by Vikki-Beat between 1984 and 1988. "The Rocks of Ireland's Eye", recorded by Dog Meat BBQ on Close Enough for Rock & Roll, was first performed by the Klingons. Check out a poster and pictures from the Kibitzers gig.

2.7. Who are The Groovy Shitheads, Kow Kudd Kasserole and The Last Gang in Town?

These were names used by a series of bands that members of Dog Meat BBQ played in after Dog Meat's 1988 demise. With rotating line-ups that included Mike, Tony, Duncan, Justin, Barry Newhook, Don Ellis and Clark Hancock, these bands played a large number of gigs, mostly at the late and lamented Bar None, in 1989 and 1990. Other people may also have played in these bands - our memories are a bit dim on this, as consideable quantities of beer were involved. If you played with us or know someone who did, please contact the webmaster. Shithead/Kow Kudd/Last Gang originals, later recorded by Dog Meat BBQ, included "Sodomy in Georgia", "Jim Bakker's Lobotomy" and "Country Chicken".

2.8. Who are 2000 Perforations?

2000 Perforations were an acoustic duo, consisting of Mike and Tony, who played a large number of bar gigs in 1990 and 1991. They were later joined by Duncan and, renaming themselves The Mental Rednecks, played a single show in June 1991. They subsequently became The Hangin' Tree-O. Original songs by 2000 Perforations included "Monster Truck Challenge", "1-800", "Michael Jackson", "Mangy a Trois", "On the Banks of Old Gitchee Gummee", "One More Song About Chickens" and "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure". UPDATE: 2000 Perforations re-emerged from the nether regions in May 2000 and are once again wreaking havoc on the St. John's pub scene. Heavy casualties have been reported. Stay tuned for further developments.

2.9. Who are Dr. Cod's Psychedelic Stew?

Formed to play at the Peace-a-Chord in the summer of 1990, this one-shot band consisted of Mike, Tony, Duncan, Justin, Don Ellis, Clark Hancock and Jim Fidler. (Check out some pictures from this gig. The band had initially been called "Picnic of Death", but the name was changed just prior to the Peace-a-Chord. Shortly afterward, in September 1990, Mike, Tony and Jim recorded the song "Stuck Between Iraq and a Hard Place," credited to Dr. Cod, Roscoe and the Jim Fidler Jugband, which reached the No. 1 position on the CHMR-FM chart.

2.10. Who are the Hangin' Tree-O?

The Hangin' Tree-O, who took their name from a song by Norton Buffalo, consisted of Tony, Duncan and Mike. The name was adopted in 1990 and used several times thereafter. The Hangin' Tree-O (and friends, including Justin) played at the Peace-a-Chord in 1991, doing a set which included a 10-minute version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire". The most recent appearance by the Hangin' Tree-O was at the Brimstone Head Folk Festival on Fogo Island in 1996. Check out a picture of The Hangin' Tree-O playing at a rally for the Women's Centre on a very cold day in Bannerman Park.

2.11. Who are The Garden of Heathens?

Tony, Duncan and Mike, together with members of local death-metal band Necropolis, performed one gig at the LSPU Hall in the summer of 1995 under the name "The Garden of Heathens". During their second set, they were joined by Wallace for a couple of tunes. This led eventually to the re-formation of Dog Meat BBQ for a reunion gig in December 1995.

2.12. Who are The Incredible Floating Widgets?

Named after the plastic thingamajig in a can of Guiness, The Incredible Floating Widgets, consisting of Mike, Tony and bassist Robert Kelly (of the folk group Middle Tickle), appeared at the Brimstone Head Folk Festival on Fogo Island in 1999. Songs performed by the Widgets included "The Rocks of Ireland's Eye", "The Evil Drunks" and "Baboon". The children of Fogo were suitably impressed. Expect trouble down the road when they hit their teens.

3. Recordings

3.1. Just how many recordings have you guys done?

A bunch. So far there have been three official Dog Meat BBQ releases: Besides these three Dog Meat BBQ releases, members of the band have been involved in numerous other projects. Wallace in particular has appeared in one capacity or another on about 30 different cassettes, LPs an CDs.

3.2. What's a Vikki-Beat?

Vikki-Beat is the name of a recording label founded by members of the Bubonic Plague in 1983. Like many punk rockers of the early 80s, the Plague wasn't satisfied with a status quo in which musicians had to either bend over for corporate hacks or have their music go unheard. So, at the suggestion of drummer Terry Carter, they started their own cassette-only label to release their music and that of some of their friends. The following explanation of the Vikki-Beat philosophy appeared in the booklet accompanying the Label's first release, the Plague's Wild Wild Youth in Asia:
The Vikki-Beat label was conceived as a means of making available original music (?) which might otherwise have been lost in the proverbial shuffle. The aim is to provide at the lowest possible cost and maybe at the best quality (?) we can muster, material unavailable through normal channels, i.e. access to the excess. Therefore we hope you can excuse the odd bit of hiss, and we hope you will be pleasantly surprised at the level of production attained.
Vikki-Beat took its name from Victoria Street in downtown St. John's, where Wallace's home recording studio is located (the name was suggested by Adrian of Phil 'n the Blank), and John O'Brien (Mike's brother) designed the official Vikki- Beat logo. Early Vikki-Beat releases were accompanied by illustrated booklets and sold in zip-lock bags [Instructions: "Open bag, Take tape out of bag. Place tape in player. Fill bag with glue. Press Play. Inhale. Enjoy."]. The first tape sold surprisingly well, so more were made, including the first two Dog Meat BBQ releases, Dead Dogs of the Summer of Love and Hang Up Yer Raw Hides. Other artists who released tapes on the VikkiBeat label include The A-Tones, The Reaction, Big Tears, Nina Patey, Jim Payne, and The Stolen Bones. The most recent release was Seeing Double (1998), a compilation of the two Bubonic Plague releases. A complete list of Vikki-Beat tapes can be found here.

3.3. What are the "Holy Folk" Tapes?

In late 1983 the major culprits behind Vikki-Beat hatched what was then a novel idea: have a punk band play songs on (mostly) acoustic instruments. Experiments in "unplugged" music (we called it "campfire music" in those days!) by the Bubonic Plague and later by Dog Meat BBQ were released by Vikki-Beat on a series of four cassettes, dubbed the "Holy Folk" tapes (say it out loud). To make a weird concept even weirder, all the songs on the tapes were credited to different "artists", with names like The Oval Orifice, The Sacrificial Yams, The Cuntree Cowfreaks, Cosa Nostra Damus, and so forth. The four tapes produced are: None of these tapes sold more than a few dozen copies, and all are now out of print and extremely rare. Movements may be afoot, however, to put some "Holy Folk" highlights out on a CD. Many of the songs from the tapes were performed live by Der Kampfire Boobonic Plague and later by The Real Fat Elvis and the Kountry Klingons. As well, several early versions of some Dog Meat BBQ songs first appreared as "Holy Folk" jobbies. These include "Star Kist Tunie", "Wilbur", "Tory from Muskoka", and "The Beer Drinking Rap". For the complete "Holy Folk" discography, click here.

3.4. What's an Underground Stream?

Underground Stream is the label the Wet Cheese Delerium (see section 2.4) records on.

3.5. What compilations have Dog Meat BBQ appeared on?

Just one so far. The band's verion of Peter Narvaez's "Freedom to Freak Out" was included in the CD Cover Story: 15 Newfoundland Bands cover 15 Newfoundland Classics, released by Alice Productions in 1998.

3.6. Has anyone covered any Dog Meat BBQ tunes?

Yes. Fur-Packed Action covered "Dance of the Flaming Assholes" on the afore-mentioned Cover Story CD.

3.7. Where can I buy your recordings?

Currently, only the Dog Meat BBQ's latest CD, Close Enough for Rock & Roll, is available online. Click here to see how you can buy it. We're working on making some of our other recordings available in the near future.

4. Questions about songs

4.1. Wasn't there a movie called "Twisted Brain"?

Yes. Also known as "Horror High", "Twisted Brain" was a 1974 turkey in which your typical high school nerd drinks a serum which turns him some kind of monster which devours jocks, cheerleaders and so forth. Unbelievably bad. Mike saw this movie on late-night TV back around 1979, and wrote the song a few years later.

4.2. Who are those people mentioned in "Star Kist Tunie"?

Five of them were members of Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's cabinet between 1984 and 1986. International Trade Minister Pat Carney was one of the main instigators behind the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States. Defence Minister Robert Coates resigned in February 1985 when he was deemed to have become a "security risk" after visiting a West German strip club. Communications Minister Marcel Masse resigned in September 1985 over allegations of electoral fraud; he was subsequently reinstated. Environment Minister Suzanne Blais-Grenier, "universally regarded as a walking disaster" according to journalist Jeffrey Simpson, resigned in 1985 following allegations that she had taken European holidays at taxpayers' expense. "Sinc" was Industry Minister Sinclair Stevens, who resigned in May 1986 over conflict of interest allegations. Richard "Disco Dick" Hatfield, Conservative Prime Minister of New Brunswick, was arrested on drug charges when 28 grams of marijuana was found in his suitcase while he was travelling on a jet in the company of the Queen. Hatfield, who clained he didn't know how the pot got there, was later acquitted. The title "Star Kist Tunie" refers to the infamous "tainted tuna" scandal, in which one million tins of rancid tuna, which government inspectors had declared unfit for human consumption, ended up on Canadian supermarket shelves. This led to the September 1985 resignation of Fisheries Minister John Fraser who, at Hatfield's urging, had over-ruled his own inspectors and allowed the sale of the tuna. You might think that Dog Meat BBQ are some kinda loonies, but...

4.3. Who's the Naomi in "Cruisin'"?

Some people have asked about the identity of the Naomi mentioned in "Cruisin". No, it isn't Naomi Judd. Here's the story: In 1985, while Mike was residing in the murky depths of Parkdale, Toronto, one of his house-mates worked in an upscale downtown bookstore. After remarking several times on the bizarre nature of some of the books sold there, she brought one home to show Mike. It was a gay pornographic novel entitled Nam Vet, in which a young draftee, on arriving in the Nam, discovers that his Sergeant other things than killin' Commies on his mind. Entranced by the Sarge's "delectible bunghole" (that's how the book put it), our young hero forsakes his sweetheart back home, whose name was, you guessed it, Naomi. At this time, Mike was writing "Cruisin", and the name sort of, er, slipped in. This is proof positive that anything can end up in a Dog Meat BBQ song.

4.4. What is/are "C, D & G"?

"C, D & G" is Chips, Dressing and Gravy, a Newfoundland "delicacy" consisting of french fries served with fake stuffing and even faker gravy. Best enjoyed after consuming large quantities of local brew. The places metioned in the song are well-known St. John's fast-food joints, some of which, alas, are no longer with us. Perhaps coincidentally, the chord progression for the song is: C, D and G.

4.5. What is the Radical Looney Ha Ha Ha Party?

The Radical Looney Ha Ha Ha Party is a political organization which began as a skit on the CMHR comedy show Issues in the Loo. It is also known as "The Party of the Common Drunks", and its policies clearly distinguished it from the pack. Under Radical Looneyism, for instance, it will be illegal to drive sober. After the party made a dismal showing in an election in the early 1970s, some of its adherents saw the Harbour Light - some just saw the harbour. "Political Clout" is a tribute to Radical Looneyism and all that it stands for (and against).

4.6. What's with "Sodomy in Georgia"?

In the state of Georgia, consensual oral sex is illegal under a so- called "Sodomy Law". Mike wrote the lyrics after reading a newspaper story about a man who was sent to prison for having oral sex with his wife. Only in America, you say? I'd say somebody's pretty damn lucky he's from Arkansas.

4.7. Is there really a "Bob's Donuts and Firing Range"?

Yes. It's in Rapid City, South Dakota.

4.8. Who is/was "Wilbur"?

This song was written during The Bubonic Plague's foray in Toronto, where Wallace worked for awhile in a shoe polish factory/aerosol plant. Object lesson here: quit your day job before it's too late. The name "Wilbur", incidentally, was nicked from the 1951 Abbott and Costello movie Comin' Round the Mountain.

4.9. Who was the original "Tory from Muskoka"?

Frank Miller, a used car salesman from Bracebridge in Muskoka County, became Conservative Premier of Ontario in February 1985. Four months later, his "Big Blue Machine" was defeated in a general election, ending 42 years of Tory rule. The Ontario Tories returned to power in June 1995 under the leadership of Mike Harris, a former golf pro from Nipissing County, barely a stone's throw from Muskoka.

4.10. What's the story behind "Clar Riley's Rathole"?

One night, when Wallace was doing sound at a bar on the infamous George Street strip in St. John's, he looked out the window and saw some guy in a suit rolling around in the gutter. This inspired him to write a somg about every bar we've ever been in. Some of it may even be true.

4.11. Who are the "500 fishers" in "The Boats that Joey Couldn't Burn"?

The initial contingent of Newfoundlanders sent overseas in 1914 to fight the First World War were popularly known as "The First Five Hundred". Many of these men were killed by German machine-gun fire during an attack on the French village of Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. You can read more about it here.

4.12. Who was the SS con-man?

He was Dr. Alfred Valdmanis, a former Nazi collaborator from Latvia, who was appointed Newfoundland's Director-General of Economic Development by Premier Joey Smallwood in 1950. Valdmanis, who had been recommended for the post by famed Canadian economist C.D. Howe, was convicted of fraud (to the tune of about $500,000) in 1954. Smallwood had promised Newfoundlanders that, once Valdmanis's schemes for industrial development were implemented, they could "burn their boats" - hence the song's title. You can read the whole story here.

4.13. Where is "Ireland's Eye" ?

Ireland's Eye is a small island in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. In the November 1987, it was the site of what was then the largest- ever drug bust in Canadian history. About 15 tonnes of hash was allegedly meant to be smuggled to Montreal hidden in a semi-load of onions. The case dragged on for years; no convictions resulted.

4.14. What is "The Moon Opera"?

Meant to be part of the never-released fifth tape in the "Holy Folk" series, "The Moon Opera" was recorded in early 1988. It tells the story of a poor sap who, while drowning his sorrows in a bar, accidentally swallows a miniaturized alien space-ship, and in a "bizarre transformation" ends up being whisked off to the moon for further drunken adventures. One of the movements of this opera, "Lunar Detox", was re-recorded for Close Enough for Rock & Roll.

4.15. What is "BSE"?

BSE is Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, commonly known as "Mad Cow Disease". You can read more about it here.

4.16. What's this about a "Beer Drinking Rap" video?

When "The Beer Drinking Rap" was recorded for the Dead Men Don't Yodel compilation tape, the boys thought it would be the perfect subject for their first DIY video. Armed with a borrowed camcorder, a couple of two-fours of beer, an intitutional-sized can of beans and sundry other props, Mike, Wallace and Tony proceeded to demolish the back room of Wallace's house while the videotape rolled. Definitely a classic of some sort. Some very obscene gestures by a ski-masked and clearly unbalanced Mike effectively scotched any chance of this ever appearing on television. It did get played a few times at the Cornerstone, though.

4.17. Wasn't there a movie called "Lust for a Vampire"?

Yes, and it's a classic. Lust for a Vampire was released by Hammer Films in 1971. Directed by Jimmy Sangster, the film stars Yutte Stensgaard as Mircalla the vampire, who wreaks havoc at an all-girls finishing school. This is definitely the Citizen Kane of lesbian vampire movies. The film was a sequel to Hammer's The Vampire Lovers (1970), which was based on J. Sheridan le Fanu's classic story "Carmilla" (1871).

4.18. What is "Santa's Last Ride"?

"Santa's Last Ride" is a punk/disco (?!?!?) Xmas carol first performed by the Bubonic Plague in 1983. Dog Meat BBQ recorded the song in 1987 and made a DIY video to go along with it.

5. Why haven't you answered my question?

Probably because you haven't asked it yet. If you have a question, e-mail Mike at, and we'll try to get it up on a later version of this FAQ.

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