Tips and stories from our travel adventures.
(New posts about once a month)
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Saturday, 20 May 2017
The Safety Dance
Location: West Kington, England
Address: Drifton Hill
Date: September 2015
"We can go where we want to. A place where they will never find." It may seem like an unlikely place for Canadian band Men Without Hats to film their Safety Dance video, but thanks to some internet research and a very informative blog, we paid a visit to this special place.
West Kington is a small village that is located north of Bath and east of Bristol. We were traveling along the M4 highway and had a plan mapped out before we left. We made a few wrong turns but eventually reached our first sheep filled destination.
Ebbdown Farm is in the background of the opening scenes of the video. We don't recall seeing any sheep in the video, but when we visited they were everywhere. If we walked close to a fence we would hear some baa-ing as they ran away on the other side. The farm is located just a short drive from West Kington.
We drove our car up to a cattle guard at the gate of the farm. Cattle guards also work at preventing sheep from crossing them as they have similar feet. Anyway, enough about the sheep let's get back to the video locations.
The video starts off with lead singer Ivan running through a field with a little court jester. They go past this wall and then run down to the road that leads to the farm.
It is here that they are joined by a dancing girl and come to a crossroads. You can't see the other road as it is hidden behind the hill and tree, but they choose the one on the left. The action then moves to West Kington.
The jester and girl dance along beside Ivan as he walks past some houses. The home above still had the same red post box in front of it.
Next we come across the gate where they do The Safety Dance. The utility pole in the background helped us know that this was the place. To do The Safety Dance you use both of your arms. Your left arm goes right over your head and your right arm goes left across your waist in a jerky motion. Now look at your hands. If you are doing it right it will appear like you just formed an S.
A crowd of people dressed in costumes head across the little bridge and march down the street. They were all dressed real neat from their hats to their feet. They would be heading towards the photographer in the photo above.
They all seem to be going to a May Day festival which takes place in the courtyard of this building. There are people dressed as barnyard animals (but not sheep), there is a Punch & Judy puppet show and lots of dancing. We can dance!
A group of people are dancing around a May pole as Ivan continues to sing. The party continues for the rest of the video. The Safety Dance came out in 1983 and was one of the more memorable videos and songs from the 80's. Thirty years ago we were wondering what those strange people in the video were doing. Today we know first hand exactly where they did it, but we still have no idea what The Safety Dance really is. Oh well! They can dance if they want to.
Map of Our World
Ebbdown Farm , West Kington
Post # 177
Saturday, 20 August 2016
The Tragically Hip
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 50 Bay Street
Date: Aug 2016
The core members of The Tragically Hip have been making music together since 1986. Recently, the Canadian band announced a farewell tour due to lead singer Gord Downie's health. We were lucky enough to see them during one of their 3 nights in Toronto. Today they will play their final concert in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. We started off trying to compile a top ten Hip song list, but could not do it. We finally managed to narrow down the list of songs that follows to include just twenty of our all time favourites.
1 38 Years Old
2 Ahead By A Century
And that's when the hornet stung me and I had a feverish dream
3 Blow At High Dough
A mural outside the Air Canada Centre pays tribute to a famous line from this song.
5 Boots Or Hearts
Courage, it couldn't come at a worse time.
7 Fifty Mission Cap
8 Gift Shop
A machine inside a trailer makes more Hip T-Shirts for sale.
The Hip have a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in downtown Toronto.
10 Greasy Jungle
11 Little Bones
Baby eat this chicken slow. It's full of all them little bones.
12 Locked In The Trunk Of A Car
13 Long Time Running
The Tragically Hip was formed in 1984.14 Love Is A First
15 Nautical Disaster
16 New Orleans Is Sinking
I had my hands in the river, my feet back up on the banks.
A room in Toronto's Masonic Temple (The Concert Hall) is dedicated to The Tragically Hip.
19 At The Hundredth Meridian
20 Wheat Kings
Long after the sound of their last concert stops ringing in our ears, The Tragically Hip's music will continue to be played across Canada and hold a special place in our hearts.
Map of Our World
Air Canada Centre , Canada's Walk Of Fame
Post # 128
Monday, 30 May 2016
Lovers in a Dangerous Time
Location: Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2822 Eglinton Ave. E
Date: March 2015
In 1991, The Barenaked Ladies recorded a wonderful cover version of Bruce Cockburn's Lovers in a Dangerous Time. The music video shows the band in the back of a truck driving all over Scarborough and then holding a record signing. We thought it would be fun to visit some of the locations seen in the video.
The video opens with some random shots of Scarborough. The first of these is the Faith Baptist Church (pictured at the top of this post) on Lawrence Ave. East which is wedged in between two apartment buildings. One interesting thing we noticed is that the church has a steeple in the video, but when we took our pictures the steeple is now missing. We are not sure how the church came to be "de-steepled".
Another shot is of Club Bingo further west on Lawrence Ave. East near Brimley Road. This bingo hall has now become a Top Food Fresh Mart.
The lyrics begin with Barenaked Lady, Ed Robertson, singing on the back of a pick-up truck that is driving through the parking lot of Eastown Centre. Eastown Centre is not a typo of East Town Centre but is really the plaza's name. The truck drives along headed towards the dollar store (below) which used to be a Woolworths.
Next the Ladies are on the opposite side of Lawrence Ave in Knob Hill Plaza and headed east again. You can see the Opticians and a teak furniture store behind them in the video. The Opticians was still there, but the furniture store and old signage is slowly being consumed by various small businesses. You can only see the LLERY left of what we believe once read TEAK GALLERY.
If you follow Brimorton Drive westward you will get to the corner where it intersects with Markham Road. Here you will find The Real McCoy restaurant which has been in business at this location for almost 50 years. The Barenaked Ladies drove their pickup through this plaza and we can only assume that they also enjoyed a few burgers here as well. The Ladies are also seen playing their instruments near the very eastern end of Lawrence Ave. East where it becomes Rouge Beach. They are on a hill near Ridgewood Road and the camera turns to show the train tracks running along the edge of Lake Ontario.
The video ends with the Barenaked Ladies holding a record signing at an A&A record store. This store was located in a field between Trudelle Street and Eglinton Ave. East. It used to sit all alone in the middle of that field. It is now an automotive repair centre and has residential houses built beside it. The last time we visited, the field was being torn up to make way for a French school.
The crowds rush into the record store and across the road behind them you can see the blue Speedy Muffler shop which still stands today.
The crowds rush in and head to the Rap Dance section of the store. Only the two girls who had been running throughout the video stop to ask the Ladies for autographs. The video ends with an impromptu performance in the field next to the store. The Barenaked Ladies had their first hit with Lovers in a Dangerous Time and they would go on to greater success. This video is a nice little time capsule and homage to their Scarborough beginnings.
Map of Our World
Eastown Centre , Knob Hill Plaza , A&A Records Scarborough
Scarborough Hydro Corridor , Faith Reformed Baptist Church
Club Bingo , The Real McCoy
Post # 116
Friday, 15 April 2016
Location: Athens, Greece
Address: First Cemetery of Athens, Logginou
Date: Aug 2015
Dimitrios Mitropanos was one of the most highly regarded Greek musicians of all time. On April 17, 2012 he passed away leaving millions of fans saddened. At least his music will live on and bring them comfort. Some of his most popular songs are Ta Lathathika, S'Anazito and Panta Gelastoi. When we were in Athens we decided to pay our respects. At the front gates of the First Cemetery of Athens was a woman selling flowers, candles and other religious articles. Her stall was surrounded by the ever present pigeons and at least one sleeping street dog. We purchased some white roses that we planned to leave at the grave of Mitropanos. We knew that he was buried somewhere in the cemetery, but despite trying to do some research beforehand we did not know exactly where.
After entering through the front gates of the cemetery we came across the Church of St.Theodori. We had seen video clips of Dimitrios Mitropanos' casket being carried through the crowds and into this church. Now we just had to find his final resting place. We knew that he was in an area of the cemetery along with other artists and musicians. We walked up and down the rows of graves in hopes of spotting his name on one of them. After some time we decided to ask for help and consulted with a guard at the western gates. He sent us towards an area on the other side that we had not checked. Again we walked up and down the rows with no luck. The cicadas buzzed in the trees that sheltered us from the midday Athens sun. We were prepared for the heat, but we feared the flowers may not reach their intended destination. As we headed back towards the front gates, a groundskeeper approached us. He had no doubt been observing this couple wandering from row to row with flowers in hand. We asked if he knew where Mitropanos was buried and he said "Of course". We followed him as he wound his way through the cemetery until we reached a section far in the back corner. We realized that we never would have found this place without his help.
We thanked the groundskeeper and then placed our roses at the foot of Mitropanos' grave. We stood in silence for a moment and then turned to be on our way. We took one last look as a dove flew down and landed on the cross of the grave next to Mitropanos. As Dimitrios sings in his song Akou, "Listen, I'm still living".
Map of Our World
First National Cemetery of Athens (Dimitrios Mitropanos) , Ekklisia Agii Theodori Malamou
Post # 107
Posted by On Vacation at 12:30:00 am No comments:
Labels: Athens, Greece, Music, Structures
Location: First Cemetery of Athens, Greece
Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Jane St. Clair
Location: Toronto Ontario, Canada
Address: Jane Street & St. Clair Avenue West
Date: Jan 2016
The girl works at the store sweet Jane St. Clair.
As we were driving around Toronto we realized that our path was going to take us to this very spot. We turned onto Jane Street and headed north. We headed into the tunnel that goes under the railway tracks and then the intersection opened up in front of us. We snapped a few photos through the window of the car and turned right onto St. Clair Avenue West. There was nothing particularly special about this area. There was an interesting home on the north-east corner that looked a bit like a castle. We imagine this is where Jane would live if she really existed.
In reality Jane Street was named after Jane Barr. Her husband was a real estate developer in the area and named the street after his wife. He also named some other streets after his children. Nearby Annette Street is possibly one of these. St. Clair Avenue gets its name from a misspelling of Augustine St. Clare. He is a character from the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Barenaked Ladies fans may want to visit this intersection just for fun and see the location that inspired one of their best known songs. If we can make one suggestion about visiting, it is the same as the album title that the song Jane is from... Maybe You Should Drive.
Map of Our World
Jane St. Clair
Post # 91
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