Published Jul 01, 2001Gordie Johnson is the lead singer and guitarist of Canadian blues-rock band Big Sugar.
History books. Any and all. The harder to read the better. Hopefully to make up for not paying more attention in school.
Mind-altering work of art:
Chrysler 426 Hemi engine block. It is a forged metal ballet. It produces a sound so musical, and a force so violent, as to be completely awe-inspiring.
Most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
The Sadies at the El Mocambo [in Toronto], Halloween 2000. Dallas Good is my favourite living guitar player.
What has been your career high and low?
Low: carrying a guitar and Fender Twin amplifier on the Queen streetcar to the Woodbine bus to the Bloor subway to the Royal York bus to play a gig at a sports bar in a strip mall to make an amount of money equaling a cab fare half the way back home. It's all up from there.
What should everyone shut up about?
Email. If you want a response from me send me a she-mail.
I would drop everything to play a benefit for:
What trait do you like and dislike most about yourself?
I'm fond of my own mastery of cusswords. I wish I didn't use so many cusswords.
What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
If a band member crawled in to my bed they would definitely be kicked out from both band and bed. However, this has never happened. Seriously, drug abuse is a guaranteed one-way ticket out of my organisation.
When I think of Canada I think:
The prairies. Probably because I was born in Winnipeg. A field of wheat spanning the horizon gives me a great sense of calm.
What is your vital daily ritual?
Espresso at Il Gatto Nero.
How do you spoil yourself?
Cuban tobacco. Ahhhhhh!
What was your most memorable day job?
Stacking tires on a two-story high metal rack at my dad's car dealership. I would prefer to forget.
If I wasn't playing music I would be:
I nearly ended up as a graphic designer (not the sexiest profession ever). If I had to switch now I would probably prefer to be a cowboy.
What is your greatest fear?
That no one will show up for the gig.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To sing like Mahalia Jackson.
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Red wine and a woman with long snaky arms.
Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
Fun for performers and spectators alike. One takes place in front of a large crowd of people, the other, well, it depends. There are advantages to being a solo performer as there are advantages to being a part of a group. There is a lot of hollering and sweating, and musicians tend to get screwed.
Strangest brush with celebrity:
Tie: Goldie Hawn grabbing my pregnant wife's belly at a party in New York. Getting a kiss on my birthday from both Liv Tyler and Kate Hudson.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Stompin' Tom. Beer.
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
My mom is actually quite pleased with what I'm doing. This attitude, however, took years to cultivate.