Bowser and Blue Still Funny After All These Years

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Submitted by Don Graham

Canada is well known for its great musicians, singers, songwriters, comedians and entertainers. George Bowser and Rick  Blue, collectively known as Bowser and Blue, are each blessed with all five attributes. Each is musically talented, good vocally, write well crafted songs ,have comedic timing nonpareil and have entertained small intimate audiences as well as 5,000 seat venues. For over 35 years the duo has been crisscrossing the continent of North America with their unique brand of musical comedy and wry satirical wit and show no signs of slowing down.

Both George and Rick were born in England and both ended up in Montreal, Quebec where the duo was formed in 1978. George was born and raised in Sussex, England where he had a band called People Like Us with Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) and Bill Bruford ( King Crimson) and arrived Montreal in 1970. Rick was born in Liverpool, England, left when he was 8 months old (I didn’t have an accent yet)and took a more circuitous  route to Montreal. He came by way of New Hampshire , Maine, New Jersey, Brooklyn ,Toronto ( I might have missed a few stops) and finally landed in Montreal. Once in Montreal each of them were in various bands and duos and solo acts performing in the vibrant Montreal club scene. Bowser made a couple of records and worked constantly; Blue did the same.

In 1978 George got a call from Sandy Graham (now the CEO of this publication) asking him if he could put together a duo for St Patrick’s Day at a bar she ran called The Irish Lancer Pub in downtown Montreal.

Bowser and Blue Cartoon by AislinBowser and Blue Cartoon by AislinThe result was Bowser and Blue.

“We had to learn a bunch of Irish songs but George knew a lot rugby songs, ‘Seven Old Ladies’ and such so we built on that,” Rick said by phone from his home Montreal. Bowser added “Neither of us really thought it would last this long, although we knew we sounded good together.” They were doing parodies of established hits and one day Rick said to George “You know, we should write  our own songs.” It was on a drive back to Montreal from Toronto when Rick said to George “I have seen our future and it is comedy.” As Rick explained “It was the 80’s, comedy was big, it was getting harder and harder to find work in a rock band or even a duo in a regular pub. We started doing comedy and it worked.” Bowser adds, “We landed at the Cock ’N’ Bull Pub across from the old Montreal Forum and found our crowd. The college circuit was looking for irreverent acts like ours so we got booked on that tour route.  We recorded a song of ours called ‘Polka Dot Undies’ that Doctor Demento in L.A. somehow  picked up on and we became known as a quirky, novelty act. We were thrilled. We had so much creative leeway in what we wrote and put out there.The whole Quebecois thing, anything topical that we could find. Then we were doing the Comedy Festivals and corporate jobs.”

Rick added “The real turning point was when we were put on tour with Katrina and the Waves. At that point we needed to decide how we wanted to present ourselves and Satire and comedy was the route we chose.”

The first four Bowser and Blue albums were released on the Justin Time label but now the boys  have their own label called You Guys. For a full list of available CD’s and DVDs visit www.bowserandblue.com.

Bowser and Blue have a new stage play in the works that will be officially announced March 10th, 2015. “We’re pretty excited about this” said Rick. “We can’t really comment too much on it because the Theatre is planning a big announcement in March so we’re best not to tip our hand yet.” Added Bowser “This was really fun to write, especially the songs because it’s a period piece so I got to write some piano melodies. I’m not technically a pianist, watch you enunciation here, but I know some interesting chords that may or may not have existed prior to my playing them. Also Rick and I are not actually in the play so we get to see our creation from an audience point of view.”

George says “the Bowser and Blue mission statement is simple ‘Have Fun, Make Money’  and it seems to be  working out pretty good.

Carry on Bowser, carry on Blue, the world needs to laugh right now.

Polka Dot Undies Bowser and Blue
http://youtu.be/RRSnND5rknY

Kim Jong Un
http://youtu.be/vDizdr7XesU