Ray Condo's Crazy Mixed Up World

Ray Condos Crazy Mixed Up World

Release date:


Running time:

4 minutes


Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:


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  • Audience level:
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This charming and lively animation by Vancouver artist Deb Dawson pays tribute to the genius of the late Canadian musician commonly known as Ray Condo (1950-2004). Born as Ray Tremblay, he grew up in Ottawa and worked as a visual artist before moving to music, playing with the bands The Hardrock Goners in Montreal and, later, The Ricochets in Vancouver. With a style of music that embraced jazz, roots country and western swing, Ray Condo developed a strong following of fans in North America and Europe.


Artist's statement:
My goal in creating/directing Ray Condo's Crazy Mixed Up World was to honour a friend but also make a cartoon that would have made Ray Condo himself laugh. If you didn't know who Ray Condo was before seeing this film, you'd have a good idea of his personality and talent by the end. He sings the title track, "Everybody Loves Me" penned by Alejandro Escovedo and its a symbolic chose. Everybody DID love Ray.

Ray and his various band incarnations over the years covered early 20th century music–jazz, western swing, rockabilly and other roots style music. Many years ago I asked him why he didn't write his own tunes and he responded, "There is so much great music out there that nobody knows about or has forgotten...why write new tunes?" Good point! I'd never thought about it that way before. We recycle mostly everything else...why not rearrange forgotten songs?

The concept of celbrity theme parks like Dollywood or George Jones' western theme park always made me chuckle so I wanted to build an imaginary one for Ray. Injokes are the operative word – 'Cardiac Cuisine', 'The House of Haunted Hank' (Williams), 'Break A Radio Friendly Record' booth, 'The Betty Page Clinic': all make reference to Ray's eating habits, his heroes, his health afflictions, his distain of the music industry and his love of women respectively.

I had the pleasure of Ray's friendship for 25 years and his intelligent, funny world view was a treat. He was the hub of our social life–all parties, dances, BBQ's revolved around this 'Pied Piper of Fun'. We still celebrate him. Both Ray and I had an enthusiasm for animation in its various forms. Ray would have been thrilled I made a jokey cartoon inspired by him. I hope that I've done justice to his unique legacy.

– Deb Dawson

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