The last video I shot for Doug & the Slugs was for the single “Terminal City” off their 1992 album, “Tales from Terminal City” – the group’s final album together. Although all the Slugs were on the album the only original band members in the video were Doug Bennet, Steve Bosley, and Simon Kendall. Filling in on drums was Pat Steward of the Odds, and on guitar was Al Rodger. As well as playing on the album, Al was the recording engineer and co-producer with Simon and John Burton.
The video was shot over a couple of months using my personal Hi8 video camera – which gave me the luxury of time not possible with rented equipment. All the studio shooting, however, was done in one long session. The lighting of the band was purposely dramatic -a white background, with patches of light on the faces and the rest in silhouette – to make up for the lack of resolution of the camera. A hired dancer improvised to the music.
To make up for the lower video quality of the Hi8, all the clips were reduced in size and assembled into a montage of multiple smaller clips for each scene.
The location shots were done all around Greater Vancouver: Square dancers at the Kitsilano Showboat, the view from the front of the SkyTrain approaching Waterfront Station, beach activities, and so on.With Doug driving his VW convertible Rabbit we shot scenes around Vancouver in day as well as the evening, Lion’s Gate Bridge, and other iconic Vancouver sites. Unfortunately I was out of town for the Pride Parade, but Doug managed to obtain some footage we could use.
We also shot some scenes at the Illuminares Lantern Festival at Trout Lake. When the video started airing on Much Music, Doug was contacted by the organizers who felt we had co-opted their event for commercial purposes. I don’t remember how or if anything was resolved in the matter.
The hippies dancing scene was shot in Simon’s backyard and features some of his daughters and friends.
As with the earlier videos, Doug took the footage and sat with an editor to piece the many hours of tape into a coherent video that, like the song, captured some of the unique qualities of our Terminal City.
Hans Sipma, Professional Photographer and Videographer
Comments by Simon Kendall of Doug and the Slugs
…thanks for the photographic memories Hans! (an inexcusable pun but I couldn’t resist)
As with Tomcat Prowl, I thoroughly enjoyed the spontaneous nature of driving around the city shooting whatever was fun or relevant. Looking back, I’m still surprised how Vancouver’s more dignified nickname ‘Terminal City’ has very little resonance in local culture. I suppose ‘Gastown’ sounds like more fun…
The images – from lawn bowling to Pride Parade and everything in between really convey the variety of life in our city’s first century.
The song was co-written by Doug & John Burton who played guitar on the recording. Pat Steward played on the track – this is a rare chance to see him with hair & a cowboy hat! Al & Pat toured with us quite a bit in the early nineties, subbing in as guys took a break from the road. On one memorable occasion we were playing the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto – Al & Pat went out busking on Queen Street to promote the gig. We have recently added the song to our live shows as part of our 40 year retrospective.
Illuminares Lantern Festival did contact us about our using footage of their wonderful event – we told them we were an independent band, funding our own recordings & videos with no record company support. We lived in the neighbourhood & loved the festival. That seemed to satisfy them.
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