Trent Alumni and Hamilton native B.A. Johnston will be once again gracing our city with his Casio keyboards, face humping, and sweaty rowdiness.As far as I can tell, Mr. Johnston is as permanent a rotating feature in Peterborough as the winter or the rain.The first time I was blessed by his ambiance, he drank my beer and rolled around in broken glass on the Montreal House floor.Older and perhaps slightly wiser through long talks with his mother, Mr. Johnston has just released his seventh (give or take) studio album of tuneful monologues spanning the history of videogames, chilidogs, loneliness, and cheeky self loathing.Johnston reminds us of our past with his utter refusal to forget it.Self described as a thirtysomething year-old boy, his banter recalls past mainstays of the Peterborough scene such as Ted’s Video (now a pawn shop) and City Lights (about to become a Pita Pit). If you are new to B.A., do yourself a favour and attend the arts event of the year.If you know all about him, come out anyways, he promises he has learned new songs this time.

B.A. will be playing his Peterborough album release show at the Pigs Ear Tavern on Saturday March 3 with local heroes Nick Ferrio and His Feelings.

Arthur was able to speak with Mr. Johnston on a few matters of importance.

Arthur: A notable portion of your stage banter and general presence has revolved around how fat and tired you are (although I have personally noticed that your fatness/tiredness has fluctuated throughout the years). How much of this has developed because of your performance career? Have you ever found yourself about to step onto a treadmill for health and vitality, but then have thrown down your sweatband and grabbed a cheeseburger for the music and the fans?

B.A.: Yeah fat tends to fluctuate. Mostly with touring and summer heat. Usually I am less fat in the summer, fatter in the winter like a raccoon. I have never thought about stepping on a treadmill or doing yoga. The last time I was in a gym was in 1989. Sometimes I think that I should get in “tour shape” as I call it, but then I usually just book a few shows in a couple towns I don’t care about and then get in shape playing there. Let Sarnia see me dry heave.

Arthur: Your old website refers to you as a “fat lazy chud”, “chud” being a crappy 80’s movie acronymn for Canniblistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. I have always found your nostalgia for the past 30 years worth of B-Movies, fat comedians, and 8-bit consoles charming. Do you have a particular peice of culture you could define as essential in your development towards adult human being?

B.A.: I’m not sure. I guess as I age I tend to romanticize my youth. At the time I hated the 80s. Now that it is impossible to play Pac Man at the 7-11 I miss it. I miss what we have given up as we advance to people implanting an apple chip into their heads. I guess the corner stores of my life and what has helped to build me into the aging child I am would be the Atari 2600, dirtmall arcades (like Peterborough’s not forgotten Mr. Arcade), AM radio, and John Candy movies.

Arthur: You quite often invoke your mother’s name, whether to thank her for allowing you shelter in her basement, or borrowing her car, getting you dates, etc. Has your mother ever attended one of your performances? what did she think?

B.A.: Mother doesn’t come to my shows. She thinks about it sometimes and then doesn’t come. Probably a bit too late for her. Plus the finest wine she could get at any of the venues I play is probably some kind of boxed wine, which she frowns upon.

Arthur: 39 year-old professional adult movie Actress Lisa Ann recently said in an interview that she would be retiring at 40, unless the “MILF” phenomenon continues to grow. Do you foresee a cut-off age for your musical presentations? Are you hopeful for a BA flavoured “MILF phenomenon”?

B.A.: I would assume that my career could go past 40 unlike Lisa Ann’s, because no one gives a shit about how I look. Which is why I wouldn’t do well in the porn industry. As long as people come to the shows, and seem to have a good time, and my knees hold out I’d like to keep doing what I do. As long as it stays fun you know.

Arthur: In your composition “Hobo 4 Life”, you write “My philosophy degree, not what it’s cracked up to be, oh these walls keep closing in. Trent University, should have a money back guarantee, oh these walls keep closing in.” Though the words speak otherwise, you are a relatively successful liberal arts graduate from our prestigious institution, full of entrepreneurial spirit. Please share the secrets to your success with this generation of Trent “hobos for life”.

B.A.:  I’m not sure if Trent really helped me much in any career way. I wasn’t a great student, I didn’t pay much attention and was too interested in following the cheap draft around town to do any actual work. I did go to school with a bunch of dudes who seem successful. You know, “live in Toronto, drive a hybrid” kind of success. That being said, none of them took philosophy.  My secrets of success are never change, try and wash your costume, and you can never go wrong with a captain’s hat.

B.A. Johnston playing “Peterborough Love” live at the now defunct Trasheteria