B.A. Johnston: Buttressing the Foundations of Ticat Nation

With all this talk of Brian Melo, I thought it only appropriate to post a short commentary on the recent B.A. Johnston concert at the historic Albion Hotel in Guelph, Ontario. As many of you know, B.A. Johnston is a proudly Hamiltonian musician and Tiger-Cat fan, as well as a member of this forum (well on his way to “highly-esteemed? status, IMO). I had seen him perform previously, but never in a setting where he could unleash his full potential. Until now.

I could go on and on about the musical genius of B.A. Johnston, but to keep it topical, I will stick to the Ticat-related portion of the show. Firstly, what impressed me was the extent to which he has ingrained Tiger-Cat mythology in the hearts and minds of people who otherwise wouldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about our Head-of-the-Lake district. That night in pretentious Guelph, the kids were screaming out requests for his song “Hamilton,? which has an entire verse on Danny Mac, Ozzie, and the dreaded Argos. I overheard young, artsy-type, university girls talking about Paul Osbaldiston as if they were beer-swilling schlubs from the East end zone. I heard one patron explaining to another the significance of the “Argos $uck!? sticker on B.A. Johnston’s guitar, and how it symbolizes the wider, historical rivalry between Hamilton and Toronto. And this was all before he took the stage.

So finally the lights go down, and the crowd is tense with anticipation. As the opening notes of “Gonna Fly Now? begin to play, B.A. Johnston appears from a back door and comes dancing through the crowd, high-fiving the patrons, waving a sparkler in one hand, all the while draped in a vintage Hamilton Tiger-Cat flag. As he took the stage, he carefully spread out the flag where all could see, and it remained front and center for the entire show.

It only took a few minutes before B.A. launched into his smash hit “Jesus is from Steeltown.? The cool Guelph folk present that night, many of whom would have previously held the CFL, the Tiger-Cats, and stinky old Hamilton in contempt, were instead singing along to the lines of that song that reference Ivor Wynne Stadium, Pinball Clemons, The Forbidden Chant, the Labour Day Classic, and much more. As someone who witnessed the near-demise of the Tiger-Cat franchise in the mid-90’s because of public apathy, it warmed my heart to see and hear B.A. Johnston single-handedly making the Tiger-Cats cool and relevant for a whole new generation, in his own (highly) idiosyncratic way. One could spend millions on marketing and never, ever reach this pivotal demographic so effectively.

I had a $10 bill in my wallet that night set aside for the cover charge, but, as it turned out, one of the best concerts I have ever seen was in fact free of charge! I therefore parlayed it into a B.A. Johnston CD, which turned out to be chock-full of more Tiger-Cat goodies, like the song “When My Hero Retired We All Cried? (telling the tale of breaking up on the same day that Oz announced the end of his career).

So, in conclusion, kudos to the CHUD that is B.A. Johnston. At the very least, it would be swell to see the Tiger-Cat organization repay him for all his hard work by getting him in the line-up of celebrity Oskee Wee Wee'ers.

For further info, including more about his Tiger-Cat influences, check out his stuff here:

http://www.justfriends.ca/ba/indexx.html http://www.myspace.com/bajohnston

I for one cannot wait until his DVD release party in Hamilton on Sept. 14th at the Mini Lounge (I think?), so keep it in mind if you would like to support a local artist - come for the Tiger-Cat references, stay for the songs about Dungeons and Dragons, squirrel-hating, deep-frying, Mean Gene Okerland, Pita Pit girls, and the joy of poutine.

Nice backdoor promo. I like the way you threw in the Ticat connection a couple of times to disguise it. Anyone else want to advertise their stag and doe or anything?

Hey! Where did that come from? We're not pretentious, just better than you.

Oh for the love of God, can't anyone post something good without the vultures circling??

I, for one, found it a very nice thing for you to do. It's great to see someone being so proud of Hamilton and the Ticats and I'll definately have to check out some of his stuff. Sounded like a lot of fun.

Another excellent local band, "Country Church vs. the Crotch Rockets", does an excellent cover of this song.


B.A. JOHNSTON DVD Release Party
with Dead Love Triangles, HotKid, and Sean Ward and the Realness
@ Casbah Lounge -- Doors TBA -- 19+ :: $TBA
(Behind LaLuna, corner of King & Queen)

I'm sitting here at work wearing my B.A. Johnston "Poutine" shirt right now.

B.A. Johnston IS Hamilton.

...you'll never achieve Highly-Esteemed Member status with that attitude.

Raining on a fellow Ticat fan's B.A. Johnston love-in even calls into question your "die-hard" credentials.

There's been lots of talk about a Toronto "mole" within the organization, and if you're not careful, you'll make yourself a prime suspect with such comments.

"Cunny." Rhymes with "G-Money." Hmmmm, I wonder....


Actually quite a few years back, when he was a struggling artist, BA performed at a Stag and Doe for one of the Forbidden Websites' Directors.

He was a smash hit and showed his brilliance in stellar fashion. He is a genius, a musician....and like many other gems....."From Hamilton".

Bunner- it wouldn't surprise me to find out that you also work for the Spectator. G-Money I am not but nice try. What next, are you going to lobby for Big Brother votes in here. Stick to Ticat talk and quit trying to promote your hick buds.

I cheerfully accept the shot in exchange for the thread bump. Thanks man!

Is there a particular reason why you're always so nasty??

As for Big Brother votes, you can't vote silly. The houseguests have to evict someone. If I had my way Jen would be gone though. :wink:

Bunner, don't worry about the shot. At times like this it's always best to consider the source. :smiley:

Just pointing out the obvious Borehamgirl. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Hard to distinguish, when the player dictates the game. :roll:

Don't scare him away, I've been trying to cultivate a nemesis to bump my threads for years now! A kind of Bill Reilly to my Al Franken, a Zontar to my Mikey, if you will. When I posted this, I expected it to be met with befuddled silence like most of my threads. But now, the view count has gone up by 262 since G-Money got in my grill. I would've paid for such a service, had he only asked.

For the record, I should state that I'm simply a gushing fan, and don't even really qualify as an acquaintance of B.A. Johnston's. Although, I am honoured that G-Money has promoted me to "friend" status. In your face, JerkFaceLoser!!

And I think it goes without saying that the original post in this thread has more than enough Tiger-Cat content to legitimize its existence on this forum. It is also convention that discussions of the socio-cultural context in which the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are immersed qualify as "talking Ticats." The career of B.A. Johnston is as much a Ticat story as it is a music story.

I am more than open to debating these points however, especially if it continues to bump this thread to the top, thereby promoting one of the finest musicians to ever come out of Hamilton's arts community.

B.A. Johnston: It's as if back in the 70's, Stompin' Tom Connors and Gordon Lightfoot got drunk at the Royal Connaught, and somehow sired a love child.

It’s guys like this that give Hamilton a bad name. This guys’ music is pure garbage. How guys like this get recording contracts is beyond me.

G’d up from the feet up…

I thought I was the one with the hidden agenda?

Then why do people around the country always sing along with him?...

whether he's outside the Now Lounge in toronto...

[url]B.A. Johnston - My Heart is a Blinking Nintendo - YouTube

in a washroom (apparently) in Guelph...

[url]BA in guelph! - YouTube

at a house party in Edmonton...

[url]My Heart is a Blinking Nintendo Light - YouTube

or outside the Pepperjack Cafe in downtown Hamilton... in the freezing cold in March.

[url]- YouTube


my hidden agenda
Post number fifty ......hee hee hee hee

Here is BA singing "Jesus is from Steeltown". The Forbidden Website is proud to have hosted this song as BA's first podcast (before YouTube was so popular).


I wouldn't wanna be from Moncton right about now.

Interesting. In fact, that was the first ever Ticat-related podcast in the history of the internet.

Some have even claimed that the success of the Forbidden Website’s B.A. Johnston podcast is what prompted ticats.ca to add a podcast section to their own website. Certainly the timing of the introduction of Ticat podcasts, coming as they did on the heels of the Forbidden Website’s own innovative foray into this medium, is highly suggestive. I think I recall just such a discussion from a while back:

[url=http://www.ticats.ca/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=6692&highlight=podcast]http://www.ticats.ca/index.php?name=PNp ... ht=podcast[/url]