I haven’t done a one hit wonder in a while. This band certainly qualifies. They were impossible to miss during the spring and summer of 1996. Their one hit was everywhere on the radio dial thanks to a catchy tune and memorable lyrics that invoked Captain Jean Luc Picard of the United Federation of Planets. As a Trekkie myself and especially a devotee of The Next Generation, it didn’t take much more to hook me.
I graduated university in 1996 and was unemployed for the first few months. My thesis advisor hired me for two weeks to do sample collecting for a PhD student working at a gas plant in Alberta. It was the first time I’d ever flown in an airplane and I was scared shitless. The job required me to take hundreds of water samples during the day and then race them back to Calgary to ship by overnight courier to the library. It was an hour drive from the gas plant to the airport depot and I needed to make it in about forty minutes every day. The rental car I had, a Dodge Neon, had a blown tranny by the time I finished the first week.
Midway through the second week the sample results indicated something or other and I was no longer needed so my advisor told me to use the extra couple days to look for work out West where jobs were in better supply than back home. Cold calling names of former alumni in positions of power eventually led me to an interview in Saskatoon at what would become my first job. I spent almost two years in that beautiful little city, the Paris of the Prairies. I loved it there.
This song was a constant soundtrack to that weekend. I clearly remember driving through Calgary, windows open, warm sun beating down, and this one hit wonder cranked on the radio. I’m kicking off the weekend by transporting myself back to that summer of 1996. There are actually a few good songs on this album which I also happen to own, but this was by far their biggest and only hit. This is “Banditos” by The Refreshments from the 1996 album Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy.