I remember seeing Across This Land when I was in high school. Of course I knew almost all of Stompin’ Tom’s songs. They had been drilled into me at an early age by my dad. When he was living in Sudbury, or so the story goes, Stompin’ Tom would show up at parties, hang out for a bit and then bring out pictures of himself to sell to whoever was there.
As far as a popularizer of Canada goes, he may not have been popular anywhere outside of Canada, but I’m pretty sure that many Canadians know about Sudbury Saturday Nights, Bud the Spud and how those big sized french fries love potatoes (the animation is hilarious in the video, check it out) because of Stompin’ Tom. His own strong sense of national identity is a good explanation for why he is relatively unknown outside Canada. In fact, Stompin’ Tom was such a strong Canadian nationalist that he returned his Junos in the mid-Seventies when he felt that the Canadian music establishment was giving too much attention to Canadians living abroad at the expense of those living in Canada. Amazingly, another one of my favorite Canadian bands, the Rheostatics is partially credited with initiating Stompin’ Tom’s return in the mid-Eighties (read about it here).
So, without further ado, sit back for the next hour and a bit, and watchone of the great, early Canadian concert films, Across This Land, with Stompin’ Tom.