Show Business Giants are a quirky, humor-laden independent Western Canadian rock band with a rotating lineup centered around guitarist, vocalist, and main songwriter Tom Holliston, with most frequent collaborators Scott Henderson (Hissanol) and Ford Pier (D.O.A., Jr. Gone Wild). Contributions have also come from such other well-known Western Canadian musicians as Craig Vishek (Pigment Vehicle), Keith Rose (Hard Rock Miners, Royal Grand Prix), Carolyn Mark, and brothers John and Rob Wright (the Hanson Brothers, Nomeansno).
Show Business Giants recordings typically display energetic top-notch musicianship, bursting with musical in-jokes and obscure pop culture references, covering a wide range of genres, from doo wop and faux folk to heavy metal and punk. Press information, biographies, and photos are always wildly inaccurate and humorous, reflecting Holliston's songwriting bent toward the silly, surreal, and trivial. While of a novelty nature, many of the songs have such intellectual depth and high-quality playing that a minor cult following has been created around his recordings.
Holliston released the debut Show Business Giants recordings Gold Love in 1989 and The Benevolent Horn in 1990 as cassette-only releases. His 1991 release I Thought It Was a Fig included contributor Andy Kerr, then guitarist for Nomeansno, bringing his work to the attention of that band, who subsequently released Maybe It's Just Me on their independent Wrong Records label. When Kerr left Nomeansno in 1993, Holliston was recruited to join that band, which he has remained with since (Holliston is also "Tommy Hanson" in the Nomeansno side project the Hanson Brothers).
In 1995 Essential Noise Records, a short-lived Virgin Records subsidiary, released the album Let's Have a Talk with the Dead and promoted "I've Got a Crush on Wendy Mesley," a humorous ballad about an iconic female CBC television newscaster, for Canadian radio airplay. Subsequent releases Will There Be Corn (1997) and Self-Aggrandizement Keeps Us Going... (2000) were released independently in Canada and Europe. The band has sporadically toured when members can coordinate their schedules, playing in Europe in 1997 and 2000, the U.S.A. at intervals between 1989 and 2001, and Canada on a semi-regular basis. In recent years Holliston has released several solo albums, while leaving the possibility open for future recordings by Show Business Giants. ~ Laurie Mercer