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The Hairfarmers find new inspiration...at Burning Man

Whistler's favourite duo talk Burners, bar brawls and "Brown-Eyed Girl"

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He adds, "They want to recapture what they experienced when they were here, in that bar, sculling pints, eating nachos, powder stuck in their nose — not the bad kind, the kind from the ski hill — and they're like, 'Hey, you know, why can't we have that much fun at home?' So they bring us to their home."

"It's a surrogate," Craig says. "We're actually bringing that vibe to them, as a temporary measure."

And what, exactly, are the corner stones of that vibe? As Craig says, there "are four songs — four wheels to this insane caravan:", "Brown Eyed Girl," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Margaritaville," and "Sweet Caroline." Throw in some Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and other hippie stoner jams and that's what the Hairfarmers have been selling.

"You might sound like the album and have the perfect cadence, but unless you feel it and love the song, you haven't got a hope in hell for that audience to believe in you," Craig says.

Reamsbottom adds, "Maybe that's why we've been Whistler's favourite band for so many years, it's because we actually love the music that we play. We love playing music."

They met in 1998, while playing in separate bands. Craig's Whistler-based Wild Dogs of Wedgemont and Reamsbottom's Vancouver-based Greg and Greg were hired to "play a wedding in the bush." Neither band knew that the other was hired to play, which Reamsbottom says could have been a disaster in the making.

"It's almost like sticking two dogs who haven't been neutered in a room," he says. "You get two bands at the same gig, and you don't know the other one is coming, it's like" — mocks two dogs barking at each other — "but they knew that we would get together, and they knew that we would jam all night long."

And they did. They stayed in touch afterward, with Craig inviting Reamsbottom to play a St. Paddy's Day show at the Dubh Linn Gate. The following year, Reamsbottom met a Whistler girl at a festival in Oregon and he decided to sell his trucking business in the city and follow her up there. As soon as he landed, he called Doug up, looking to play.

By the middle of the 1999/2000 winter season, they had a line of people around Merlin's wanting to come see them play.

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