Martin Short, John Candy, Eugene Levy Play Punks Queenhaters on SCTV - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: Martin Short, John Candy Go Punk as ‘The Queenhaters’ on ‘SCTV’

The greatest punk band in history only released one song, but “I Hate the Bloody Queen” remains a classic

In 2011, Rolling Stone asked readers to name their favorite punk bands of all time, with thousands of fans anointing the Ramones, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Green Day and others as the best the genre has to offer.

They were all wrong.

There is only one right answer: The greatest punk band of all time is the Queenhaters. Formed (and disbanded) on March 18th, 1983, the British punk group, comprised of Martin Short, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty and Andrea Martin, appeared on Mel’s Rock Pile, a show also hosted by Levy that was a regular bit on Canadian cult sketch-comedy show SCTV. As the perpetually nerdy “Rockin'” Mel Slirrup, Levy hosted an American Bandstand–esque segment that sometimes featured actual musicians like Roy Orbison. But now, it was the punks’ turn to take over.

“How many kids here are into ‘punk music’?” Slirrup asks to a sea of boos. The children want to boogie. They will not today. After interviewing clueless students — “Although I have a powerful command of the English language, I can neither read nor write,” says Short. “I still firmly believe that Italy is nestled between Australia and New Zealand and that my morning glass of milk comes from cats.” — Slirrup welcomes the Britpunks to perform their enduring contribution to the canon: “I Hate the Bloody Queen,” a song about hating the bloody queen.

“I’ve always had a dream/I’d like to meet the queen/I’d punch her in the face/Yeah, that would make me laugh,” Short screams. His manic gesticulations look like an amphetamine-fueled Johnny Rotten as Levy’s multi-colored hair, Flying V guitar and “Eat the Rich” cutoff T-shirt puts him somewhere between 1980s Sunset Strip d-bag and Black Flag–loving hardcore kid. Candy — bald, silent and stone-faced — looks more New Wave than punk, but we’ll give him a pass for committing to character. “I feel sorry for you, Lady Di!” Short screams at the end of the song. “Havin’ a mother-in-law like that!”

Even though it’s seven years after the birth of punk, the Canadian teens have not caught up to the Queenhaters’ genius. They’re bored. They just stand around. They don’t mosh. They don’t applaud. They have no idea what they’re witnessing. Slirrup’s attempt to start a slam dancing competition yields more boos and a “That’s dangerous!” from Short.

“Slam dancing. Everybody’s getting into it now,” says Slirrup, describing the only primer burgeoning punks need. “What you do is you get half the people and you line ’em up on this side of the room and you get half the people and you line ’em up on that side of the room. And this is where the fun part comes in: Then everybody runs into each other and starts slamming.” Violence finally ensues.

The song has become a cult classic among a certain type of comedy nerd. Hell, even Mudhoney covered it 15 years later for a Canadian punk compilation. Which rock band today is gonna step up and cover this to bring it back to mainstream consciousness? The gauntlet has been thrown down.

“I Hate the Bloody Queen”

I’ve always had a dream
I’d like to meet the queen
I’d punch her in the face
Yeah, that would make me laugh
I’d love to kick her in the teeth
And then I’d make a picture of it
In lovely Ektachrome
And then I’d give it to the prince
I hate the bloody Queen
She made me go to school
I hate the bloody Queen
And all her bloody rules
I’d like to drown the Queen
Off the coast of Argentine
Throw her off a battleship
With her Falkland war machine
She taxes me to death
I can’t afford me dope
I’d like to get her high
Yeah, that would make me laugh
I hate the bloody Queen
I feel sorry for you Lady Di
Havin’ a mother-in-law like that


In This Article: Eugene Levy, Flashback, Martin Short, Video


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