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Quaid's 'Star Whackers' song makes world debut in Vancouver

U.S. actor Randy Quaid performs a song he's called "Star Whackers" at the Commodore Ballroom as the opening act for local band The Town Pants in Vancouver, B.C., late Friday March 18, 2011.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Randy Quaid screamed through the world premiere of his song Star Whackers at a Vancouver club Friday night, a conspiracy theory anthem whose content did not stray much from expectations, given its title and the recent, bizarre history of its writer.

"I'm talking about whackers," Quaid screeched into the microphone during a late-night two-song set at The Commodore Ballroom. "Those cheesy star whackers!"

The song referenced the tabloid outlet TMZ, murder disguised as suicide (the victim hanged in the closet), and star whackers disposing of their victims' organs online.

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"When you're good and dead and have no say," he bellowed, "they'll sell you by the organs on eBay." (Though at times it was difficult to decipher the exact lyrics.)

Dressed all in black, and performing with four musicians he called The Fugitives, Quaid told the audience his compositions were inspired by his much-publicized troubles.

"These songs are about experiences my wife and I have been going through for the past few months."

Quaid - a once prolific and Oscar-nominated actor - and his wife Evi Quaid arrived in Vancouver last October. Arrested here on outstanding warrants for misdemeanours in California, the Quaids sought refugee status, telling officials that they were in Canada to seek shelter from a "murderous ring" of accountants and other "star whackers" they said were killing off Hollywood celebrities.

Their now notorious allegations have raised a lot of eyebrows, but it appears the Quaids are staying. Evi Quaid, whose father is Canadian, announced last month that she's been granted Canadian citizenship and has filed an application to sponsor her husband.

While Star Whackers was in keeping with the circus that has been the Quaids' life of late, Quaid's first song Friday night was its antithesis. Will We Be Together Then was a lover's lament; a slow, subdued country/rockabilly tune about a couple trying to keep their love alive through tough times.

"When the banker comes a-callin' / 'Cause we're overdue again. / Will we be together darlin'? / Will we be together then?," Quaid sang in silhouette on a mostly darkened stage, surprising some with his vocal skill.

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"Hey, he can sing," one audience member remarked to his date.

Then the stage lit up and Quaid, wiping the sweat from his face, launched into Star Whackers, a song that had the audience laughing and cheering.

Quaid was asked recently by the evening's headliners The Town Pants ("one of the greatest bands I ever had the pleasure of hearing," Quaid told the crowd) if he'd like to MC their St. Patrick's Night show (one night late, granted) at The Commodore. He asked the band if he could also play some music. They agreed.

When Quaid first appeared on stage Friday evening, it was to introduce Mezamazing, one of the opening acts. He used the opportunity to express his gratitude for the Canadian refugee system.

"I want to [offer a]personal note: Thank you to the Canadian Council for Refugees and all the great work they do, for opening their facilities ... for refugees to come into this country. And thank this great nation of Canada for leaving the light on."

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About the Author
Western Arts Correspondent

Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver. She covers the film and television industry, visual art, literature, music, theatre, dance, cultural policy, and other related areas. More

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