Saskadelphia first appeared on a Sask. album cover 24 years ago
SASKATOON -- The latest album release from The Tragically Hip perked up ears in the province with its title Saskadelphia, but the Hip isn’t the first band to dawn this name on an album cover.
Twenty-four years ago Regina-based artist Jack Semple released an album and a song called Saskadelphia.
“It just kind of describes the style of music I was playing at the time, in the geographical region,” Semple told CTV News.
On Thursday Tragically Hip announced the release of its new album Saskadelphia. According to the band’s website, Hip drummer Johnny Fay suggested the name for its 1991 hit album Road Apples.
According to the band, the name Saskadelphia derives from when Fay suggested it best defined the band’s place at the time.
“I remember seeing this Church of the Christadelphians and thinking about how part of it could be crafted onto any other word.
“We were touring a lot, going from New York and Boston to Philadelphia and Saskatoon. It seemed like the clubs were the same size, and you could be anywhere. So, we crafted one part of a Canadian city onto an American one.”
However, label executives rejected it for being “too Canadian,” according to the Hip.
For Semple, he loves the idea for the new Tragically Hip album and its name.
“I was flattered because originally I thought ‘I can’t wait to hear them play their versions of my songs,’” said Semple with a laugh. “It’s a great name.”
This is not the first instance Semple shared an album-title with another artist. In 2008, Semple said he released the album In the Blue Light. 10 years later 16-time Grammy winner Paul Simon released an album with the same name.
“You can’t copyright a title, I could call a song Hey Jude and Paul McCartney couldn’t sue me,” Semple told CTV News, adding he came up with Saskadelphia from the Vancouver-based band Roots Roundup over 25 years ago.
“In this artsy-rock music video the word Saskadelphia floated by in a very dreamy-kind of graphic,” Semple said. “I thought ‘wow what a cool name.’”
CTV News reached out to Root Roundup, the group said it couldn’t recall Saskadelphia flashing across the screen during one of its music videos. In a social media message with CTV News, the group said it may have popped in there as the whole video was about touring Canada in a van.
“I thought it was Roots Roundup but maybe not?” Semple said. “I would like to know the real origin story because obviously, that name isn’t just an obvious name. Somebody came up with it.”