A Plethora of Videos Pertaining to My Good Friend Chris Barron

by Jun 8, 2016Off the Wall

If you were alive in 1993, you heard and saw the Spin Doctors. My daughter – born on the anniversary of Billie Joe McAllister’s leap off the Tallahatchie Bridge – was seven months old when “Two Princes” was released, and she probably knows the song’s lyrics. Well, she probably knows “Just go ahead now” anyway.

The band – fronted by Chris Barron, aka That Guy In The Funny Hat – was ubiquitous. They even appeared on my daughter’s second favorite (after Barney the Dinosaur) television show…

Since then, Chris and the guys have been somewhat more difficult to encounter. But I’m happy to report that my good friend Chris Barron is alive and well and still making great music. He turned up recently on a mountain near Stavanger, Norway performing “Steal a Little Time” with The Canoes…

The studio version of the track, from the 2013 album Booze and Canoes, reveals “Steal a Little Time” as a classic track with that I’ve felt this song before quality that marks the best pop music…

So who are The Canoes? The best description is found in a 2011 post by Norwegian journalist Knut-Øyvind Hagen, as mangled by Google Translate. The amount I’m quoting violates all standards of Fair Usage, but Google’s rendering is just too good to pass up…

 The fires personal resumes is almost scary strong.

Chris Barron and his band Spin Doctors had two songs that has asserted itself in the top of the world’s most prestigious hit list, the American Billboard list: “2 Princes” and “Little Miss Can not Be Wrong.” The band has been nominated for both Grammy and American Music Award. In 2011 they toured in Europe and marked its 20th anniversary as a band, and published an anniversary edition of their first album, “Pocket Full of Kryptonite”. Chris Barron has also released a solo album, from 2009.

Hans Petter Aaserud has published seven albums together with colleagues in Trang birth. The band has stood for radio hit songs like “Italic”, “Hippie”, “Life is all right” and “Drømmedame.” For “Italic” were also Grammy-nominated for the award for the song. Aaserud has participated as a songwriter in Eurovision past two years, respectively Sunny and Heine Totland. Heine Totland song he wrote with The Canoes colleague Arne Hovda.

Arne Hovda played from 1994-2001 in the group The Getaway People. The band released two albums on the American label Colombia, and was known for songs like “Give Me Love,” “There She Goes” and “Six Pacs”. Sistnavnte song found its way to American television screens through participation in the television series Young Americans. Hovda has worked as a studio musician in a number of big-selling albums for artists such as Robbie Williams and Stavanger pop king Morten Abel. He has participated as a songwriter in the MGP in 2004, 2010 and 2011.

Last Man Erik Røe had great success with the group Baba Nation. The band served radio hit songs like “Ragamuffinmini,” “Too Bad” (17 weeks on the charts) and the ballad “Time To Heal,” and released three albums in the period 1994-1998. Roeser solo album “Under The Same Sun” came in 2004, and led to him being compared to himself Lenny Kravitz. In 2012 he makes finally its Eurovision debut!

The Canoes marks the four successful gentlemen have moved into a new phase of life:
“We’ve all been successful and lived rock’n’roll life with fine ladies, now we are in 40 years, established and adults. But it should not be on humor and nonsense that reason,” said Chris Barron with distinct twinkle in his eye.

Don’t be misled by the translation: the vast majority of Norwegians speak perfect English, though they may be stumped by Americanisms such as The whole thing went south on me and You’ve got a real exploding stove on your hands.

The article was written in the runup to the 2012 Melodi Grand Prix, the competition that selects the Norwegian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. Here we see Chris and the guys belting out their entry, “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time…”

Alas, The Canoes were eliminated in the semifinals. So how did Chris Barron go from MTV to MGP? I don’t know, but I think the lesson is, Life is a full 18 holes, so you might as well enjoy the course.

Chris travels the world and you never know where you will stumble across him. You might encounter him performing “Two Princes” on a plaza in Madrid…

Or you might run into him in Hong Kong, translating “Two Princes” for Scottish singer Laura Kenny…

Or he might even appear on Fox News…

To translate what you just saw: professional wrestler Mick Foley (great choice on your talking heads, there, Fox) thinks Chris Barron, head of the gay conservative group GOProud, is our boy. I’ll give Mick credit: at least he tried to do some show prep. And credit to the unseen producer who was obviously screaming into the host’s earpiece, “Say they sounded like Steve Miller! Say they sounded like Steve Miller!”

So there it is. Maybe my good friend Chris Barron is not so difficult to find after all. And even if you never leave the comfort of your couch, you can find Chris on Twitter, on Facebook, on his website, and on Bandcamp.

And be sure to visit The Canoes website, where you can stream Booze and Canoes. The album is available on CD Baby, and on iTunes.

A Plethora of Bonus Material That Did Not Fit the Narrative…

“I Love You, I Love you, Good-bye,” a great track by Chris Barron and the Time Bandits. A timeless, classic song. Be sure to download from Chris’s Bandcamp page.

Laura Kenny performing “My Love is Like a Red Red Rose.” This stuff never goes out of style. Nice hair, Laura.

“Missing My Muse,” music and photographs by Reverb Raccoon (shameless self-promotion). The video features scenes from Stavanger and Oslo, and a few other places. You will notice the European’s strange version of the King Bed, which is two twin beds that you have the pleasure of shoving together. Norway is a nice, though expensive, place to visit. Two cheeseburgers, fries and drink at McDonald’s will set you back about 15 USD. But everyone speaks English and the trains are easy to decipher (though I never figured out the buses or trams). If you fly into Oslo, take the Flytoget train into Oslo Sentrum. The airport is in Sweden, so if you take a taxi you will blow your entire vacation budget before you ever get to town.

And finally, for anyone who was living under a rock in 1993, that video for “Two Princes,” featuring my good friend Chris Barron.

Since 2013, Reverb Raccoon has featured the best music from unknown and independent musicians. His interests include eating leftovers from the neighbor’s garbage can and watching The Royal Tenenbaums.  Email: reverb.raccoon@gmail.com

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