That time I told Gord Downie that the Hip’s “Nautical Disaster” made me think of Neil Young & Crazy Horse


By Steve Newton

When I interviewed the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie in January of 1995 it was less than four months after the release of the band’s fourth full-length album, Day for Night, and I was still playing the crap out of it. I would also play “Nautical Disaster” over and over again, until it became my all-time favourite Hip song.

I don’t give a rat’s ass that it doesn’t have a chorus; there’s just something magical about that tune. I quite often experience a shivery tingle of pleasure at the back of my skull when I hear it. No kidding. The dynamics of that song just give me a joyful brain tweak.

I told Downie that “Nautical Disaster” reminded me of Neil Young & Crazy Horse–which is about as high as my praise ever gets–then asked him if it was based on an actual event in history. As always, he offered up a memorable reply.

Have a listen:

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