LITTLE BOOK OF A BIG YEAR: Rip Van Hip’s A to Z of 2014

It’s January 1, 8pm. I nearly didn’t press go on this, and I am clearly delirious in places. It’s very personal, but I feel in a not corny way that Rex Morgan BC has a very intimate relationship with our audience… so I’m going for it. 

This is too long. You should not have time to read this. If you do get to the end of it then you are probably eaten too many chocolate brandy beans like me. For the last few weeks I haven’t been able to move around physically so I have more than made up for it by leaving my mind to wanderlust, untethered except electronically… as a result I have cancelled every public appearance and decided this missive is all the communication I can manage for the first half of 2015, beyond muttering and singing to myself of course.

A is for Augustus

He might not have a titanium arm, but he still can’t play guitar. Which reminds me of a joke:

AUGUSTUS: Doc, will I be able to play the guitar?
DOCTOR: I don’t see any reason why not.
AUGUSTUS: That’s great! Because I never could before!

Ha ha ha! That shit cracks me up.

B is Bing Crosby

Watch this. I learned everything about dancing from the man.

Now, THAT, my good sirs, is what I’m talkin’ ’bout … all Killah, no Fillah!!!!!!

C is for Cool

Jack Lord

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As in, Jack Lord is cool. As true today as it ever was.

D is for Deep Thoughts

If you can spare 10-1/2 minutes from your day-to-day routine, I suggest that you watch the following in its entirety … what’s the worst that could happen?

E is for EBay

Check this fantastic thing out!!!

Never before have so few lines shown so much! And this:

Incredible! To be one degree of separation from ‘the man’ himself! Of course, THIS is still available:

(why the heck hasn’t it sold yet?)

F is for Friendship

Rex Morgan BC

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Friendship like music is a sacrament to me. I can’t remember who said it; it might even be Nietzsche, who said one other thing – and if I wore tattoos, I would ink this all across my right arm – that to do something really great, there requires “a long obedience in the same direction”. The other non-nihilistic thing he might have said is “friendship is higher than love”. It’s more consistent. There are fewer highs and lows. But great friendships especially childhood ones have a width and a breadth that some lovers just cannot attain. My friends Stig Sandwich, who got me in to Rex Morgan BC, Ringo and Augustus and Zanzibar have pushed me to write better, think better, be better. That’s what friendship does.

G is for GrooveShark

What the hell is up with GrooveShark, anyway?

H is for Huit Vite Beats

Huit Vite Beats

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It’s part of a cartoon that makes me laugh. The artist is some kind of genius.

I is for the Internet

Ain’t the information superhighway grand? There may be those who poo-poo Google, but I say Hurrah and Huzzah!!! Is there nothing that Google cannot do?

J is for junk

Classic Thong

Classic Thong

WTF? We’ve got all kinds of good junk on CafePress. What a world.

K is for Keep It Down!

L is for Light Sabre

Knights of the Old Republic

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This is a screenshot of the Bioware game “Knights of the Old Republic” from 2003. Take a look at that purple light saber … interesting shape! Kinda looks like something out of that new Star Wars trailer. Of course, it could be that the dude is holding another light saber in his left hand, and the beams are crossing, but who knows? Also, it is much higher than his hand as well, and it looks like there’s no emitter up there, but shit, I really dig that new light sword design, and the fact that it could burn someone’s hand in battle? That just proves that those jedis were no pussies!!!!!!!

Above all else M IS FOR MORTISS

Ringo Mortiss. During the mixing of GLS the band ended up sharing accommodation at Scuttlebutt Lodge. I had the room next to Mortiss… this was a mistake. The dude doesn’t sleep. When we record, he’s often playing drums right through the night. I offered him sleeping tablets. He said he’d rather the album be crack than valium. Ringo is not just one of my dearest friends, he, like the missus, remains a mystery to those who know him best…. a paradox… a true gentleman but with the rage of rock’n’roll under quite thick skin…. though he is Rex Morgan BC’s lightning conductor, he moves like a very calm breeze…you might not notice it but for the ripples in the sand, the subtleties in his playing, his drumming hooks… some of them not obvious at first turn out to be eternal. He is the only one who doesn’t know that he is the most influential drummer in a quarter century.

N is for Nostalgia

"Ballad of the Lonely Trucker"

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I have written words for new songs, but I have also had an opportunity to look back and review old ones in a way I’ve never had time to do before… there have been more highs than lows, but perhaps the reason for this A TO Z endeavor is an attempt to learn from mistakes – the first of which is the discovery that I am not an 18 wheeler.

O is for One of the Most Endearingly Naked Messianic Complexes in Rock and Roll History


P is for Pinterest

Need I say anything? Except that we’ve got a Pinterest thingey too.

Q is for Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones

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We have no real ties to Quincy Jones but, man, he could rack up the awards. Like yowza.

R is for Rip Van Hip

Talking about yourself in the third person is a little weird… But Rip embraces it. Rip thinks solipsism for an artist is like an overactive thyroid for a comedian; it’s hard to fix if it’s paying your way…

R is for Rip Van Hip

Again. Because he’s just that good.

S is for SoundCloud

Yeah we have a SoundCloud account too.

T is for Twitter

It’s enough to put a fella off free speech… the problem about finding out what people think is…you find out what they think. Who are these people? Well if they put their real names to their invective then I guess they are people like me – people with the audacity to think they have a thought or a feeling that others should hear about… if they are hiding, I’m not interested. If you’re in an old bar here in Edmonton, in fact most places, walk into the gents and further into the stalls; close the door and study the walls… nothing there… clean as a whistle. Where has all the graffiti gone? The bile and spleen, the grotesque drawing, the sexual meandering, the threats of violence to minorities? Where has it gone? It’s on the blessed Internet. Scroll down… you know you’re looking at your phone in the loo anyway.


Uncle O’Grimacy ?!?!?!?!? How the f did McDonalds survive the 70s? Actually, I think they should dig up these old props and costumes and make more commercials like this! #I’mlovingit

V is for Vinny Castrato

Vinny Castrato circa 1991

Vinny Castrato circa 1991

That rat bastard.

W is for Woodward’s


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Man they used to make good cakes. It’s a shame they went out of business…

X is for X-Ray

Bono's Titanium Elbow

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Bono has a titanium elbow. Here it is. Ouch, mate!

Y is for Why


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As in, “Why are we on YouTube?”. Because we have videos there. Well, not us. Elephants Gerald. They were pretty good. We also have another channel of other stuff.

Z is for Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s bass playing on Go Like Stink! was as fresh and original as his work on our first album, Keep It Down!, which was genius as far as I’m concerned. Songs like Jack Lord is Cool or Cruisin’ the Reef, or Sideburns and Blood depend on Zanzibar… to glue together elements that might otherwise fly off in different trajectories.