Tragically Hip, the [Hip, the]
- Ryan R. McNutt
Canadian rock band. Its work in the late 20th century made its five members national icons and brought them minor cult status in the United States, particularly among Canadian expatriates. The band consists of Gord Downie (vocals), Rob Baker (guitar), Paul Langlois (guitar), Gord Sinclair (bass), and Johnny Fay (drums).
Known to fans as the Hip, the band formed in Kingston, Ontario, in 1983, taking its name from a skit in Michael Nesmith’s movie Elephant Parts. The band’s music consists primarily of straightforward blues-inspired rock with folk influences, elevated to acclaim by the band’s captivating live shows and Downie’s poetic, imaginative lyrics, which often refer to specifically Canadian locales and characters. Their breakthrough album, Up to here (1989), featured several songs which became Canadian radio staples, including “Blow at High Dough” and “New Orleans is Sinking.” The peak of popularity came in the mid-1990s with four best-selling albums and several radio and music video hits, including “Ahead by a Century,” “Courage,” and “Bobcaygeon.” The Hip launched the Another Roadside Attraction touring music festival in ...