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Music / BA Johnston

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"I’m just happy someone’s talking about my dumb show."
The next throat he pours that Sour Puss down might be your own!

The pride and joy of Hamilton, Ontario, the inimitable B.A. Johnston (aka Bryan Adams Johnston - no relation) is a Canadian Folk Music/Synth-Pop/comedy musician. Johnston specializes in rambling, stream-of-consciousness pop and folk songs about pop culture, junk food and the less glamorous side of Canadian living, namedropping cheap Canadian stores in his songs like Dollarama and No Frills.

He’s gathered a cult following in Canada as a true entertainer, with high-kicks, a raspy, whiskey-soaked singing voice, his tendency to wander through the crowd singing and dancing with an extra-long microphone cord, playing some of his songs off a Discman, waving his "millionaire cane" and dipping it in audience members’ drinks, and gradually stripping down to his bare chest. His songs bear titles like "Steve Guttenburg," "Grease Lullaby" (aka "I’ve Got A Deep Fryer In My Bedroom"), "How Many Tbone Steaks Can I Fit In My Pants," "Donair Sauce," "Everyone You Date After Me Is A Sack Of Shit," and much, much more.


Johnston is a Workaholic and tours frequently. He’s become such a beloved figure in Canadian indie music that he now has his own beer, Olde B.A. Johnston’s Finest Malt Liquor, made by the Sawdust City Brewing Company.

If you’re Canadian and you’re reading this, it’s likely he’ll be coming through a dive bar - or some guy’s basement - near you very soon.

Tropes associated with B.A. Johnston include:

  • Audience Participation: A guy like B.A. rarely passes up a chance to do this. His song about buying junk food on his tax return, "GST Check (Gimme Some Treats)" makes for a good call-and-response.
  • Fun Personified: Go see any show, and he’ll be making a glorious fool of himself for the enjoyment of sloshed Canadians.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: His song “The Best Day Ever.” And what makes it so great? It’s the day McDonald’s coupons come in the mail!
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  • Lower-Class Lout: He’s this trope in musical form, and proud of it.
  • Self-Deprecation: You can bet that during his concerts, he’ll frequently mock his own rudimentary setup.
  • Shirtless Scene: Played with. Johnston commonly starts a show off by wearing a sweater with a crude slogan on it, and then takes it off... only to have the same sweater on underneath. Inevitably, he’s baring his beer belly for audiences by the end of his sets.
  • Sticky Fingers: “How Many Tbone Steaks Can I Fit In My Pants” is about the boss at the grocery store not giving the protagonist a raise, and the protagonist retaliating by constantly stealing from work. Even the awful toilet paper.
    "Don’t they realize my lunch bag / should not be a hockey bag??"
  • Three Chords and the Truth: His folky acoustic songs, which are usually played very, very fast.


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