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Friday, Jul 20, 2018
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  • Steve Spears

Why did Doug (and his slugs) find it hard to climb the charts?

No one may agree, but I've always thought of Doug & the Slugs as the Canadian equivalent of Huey Lewis & the News. The backing band name, an early '80s bar band sound and fun videos that employ all members of the band give credence to my wild boast. It's just Too Bad that the U.S. never picked up Doug & the Slugs.

My quest to bring appreciation to Doug & the Slugs has resulted in a third visit to the video files of the Vancouver band. Following Making It Work and Who Knows How To Make Love Stay, today's video for Too Bad takes us back to 1980 and the debut video for the Slugs. The song was a Top 20 hit in Canada and ended up being their highest-charting single pointing out the most glaring discrepancy in the Huey Lewis & the News comparison - the lack of monstrous chart success by the Slugs.

Still the video for Too Bad is a pleaser with Doug Bennett playing the man-about-town trying to win the affection of a woman with the Slugs lending support as bartenders, tourists, the police and of course band members in their comic relief roles. Complete with a bridge of '80s hand-claps, the silly humor turns macabre when Doug attempts suicide before the video ends with a "where-are-they-now" credit montage ala Animal House.

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