Whatever happened to …

… Major Hoople’s Boarding House?

This week, I had the opportunity to be interviewed for an episode of Noa Daniel’s “Personal Playlist Podcast” for voicEd Radio. It’s an interesting concept where you pick a song that is personally classified as nostalgic, identity, and inspirational. It was an interesting challenge for me since I don’t do playlists. I enjoy all kinds of music and so I typically let iTunes randomly pick songs or podcasts for me to play when I’m out walking.

So, I did some thinking and narrowed things down to two songs in each category before making my final selection. The runner up for nostalgic was “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and specifically the version played by Major Hoople’s Boarding House. Granted, it was a cover of a song from The Tokens but I remember them doing it so well.

Yes, it’s an oldie. It was an oldie at the time too!


Why is this significant? At our high school, we had a lot of dances in the gym on Friday nights. Major Hoople’s Board House always seemed to make a stop once a year. And they packed the place.

When I was on Student Council one year, I was in charge of organizing dances and of course, we booked them! It was a real fund raiser and I remember one of my contributions was to convince the principal to allow students from other schools to attend. All they had to do was show their student card and pay the fee. So, we’d end up with people coming from Seaforth, Goderich, and Exeter to fill the place.

In doing my research for Noa’s show, I was hoping to find a YouTube video of The Lion Sleeps tonight by Major Hoople but couldn’t. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the band is still together. They have a website here. I’m going to keep an eye on it and, if they’re playing in Southwestern Ontario, I’m going to try my best to be there.

For a Sunday, how about a little music memories from you to share.

  • Have you ever seen Major Hoople’s Boarding House?
  • Did your high school have dances where you brought in a live band?
  • Of course, with that many teenagers in one spot, there may have been issues that broke out. Do you have any that you’d care to share?
  • Do you recall any of the bands that played at your high school?
  • Are live concerts a current thing at your school or have things changed?
  • What major fundraising schemes are in place at your school these days?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Bonus points if you share a song from your high school years!

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

2 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …”

  1. Hmmmm. Major Hoople’s Boarding House. Maybe I remember the name? I don’t think I ever would have gone to see them.

    I did a search for Mott the Hoople, and came up with this.

    I remember driving through a huge rainstorm one day (the water was at least a foot deep on the surface streets) to go to the home of the student council Treasurer to get a cheque to send off for a deposit on a band we were bringing for a school. I think the band was the Canadian progrock band Saga — It was less of a dance, and more of a concert. The guy who ran the lasers for their light show gave me the leftover dry ice after the show which I took home and used to make clouds the next morning by putting it in water! A year or two later when we were away at school in Toronto we went and saw them perform at Massey Hall.

    Of course, we also had Max Webster come to our school. We also had The Spoons.

    Kim Mitchel is still around. As are The Spoons

  2. Have you ever seen Major Hoople’s Boarding House? I must have! I totally remember the name off posters, and if I did I think it would have been at the U of W pub.
    Did your high school have dances where you brought in a live band? Yes, several times a year. Our most famous one was Alice Cooper, about 4 months before his first hit. Supposedly he was going to bite the head off a live chicken. I did not go. We had “Activity Nights” that involved basketball, swimming (with student lifeguards), rollerskating around the second floor hallway for two hours, followed by a dance. Can you even imagine the liability questions these days?
    Of course, with that many teenagers in one spot, there may have been issues that broke out. Do you have any that you’d care to share? The worst issue that I recall was that Alice Cooper and the band wrecked the boys’ gym change room.
    Do you recall any of the bands that played at your high school? Our favourite Windsor band was called Meadows, and we did get them to come once.
    Are live concerts a current thing at your school or have things changed? We used to have Much Music dance parties at our middle school, but then the videos got a bit risqué, so now more local DJs. I don’t know of any live bands the way we would have had.
    What major fundraising schemes are in place at your school these days? All kinds of products are sold! My friend who is a music teacher is a whiz at bake sales. Her students really like her, and bring in vast amounts of baking:) She can make $100s off a lunch time bake sale followed by an evening PWYC performance. It is quite a small school. have never seen anything like it!

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