Barenaked Ladies' Tyler Stewart

Today is the 31st birthday of Tyler Stewart, drummer for Barenaked Ladies. The

Canadian pop-rock band is enjoying a U.S. top-five album with Stunt and attracting

a great deal of attention with its energetic, humor-laced live shows.

The seeds of Barenaked Ladies were sown in 1988 by lead singers/songwriters Steven

Page and Ed Robertson, while the two childhood friends were attending a summer music

camp. They created the moniker Barenaked Ladies during a boring Bob Dylan concert,

while imagining the perfect name for a band.

The duo played a few shows and recorded a demo in 1989. Brothers -- and fellow

music-camp alumni -- Jim (bass) and Andy Creeggan (keyboards) soon joined the band,

which performed frequently at Canadian music festivals. Stewart saw the Ladies play at

the 1990 Buskers Festival in Waterloo, Ontario, and, impressed by their talent and humor, soon

joined as drummer.

Barenaked Ladies recorded an eponymous five-song cassette, often referred to as

The Yellow Tape, in 1991. It became the first independent cassette to reach

platinum status in Canada and began receiving a great deal of airplay on Canadian

alternative radio. Soon after, they met Sean Lennon at the New Music Seminar in New

York City. Lennon liked the Ladies' song "Be My Yoko Ono," about Lennon's mom, who

later told the band she enjoyed it as well.

Barenaked Ladies issued their first full-length album, Gordon, in 1992. The CD

received many positive reviews and was a smash in Canada. After 1994's Maybe

You Should Drive, Andy Creeggan left. The Ladies were a quartet for Born on a

Pirate Ship (1996), but keyboardist Kevin Hearn joined to tour with them. The live

Rock Spectacle (1996), which included versions of the band's most popular

songs, finally drew attention to the Ladies in the U.S. and the album eventually went

gold.

The Ladies were featured in an episode of "Beverly Hills 90210," championed by the

show's star, fellow Canadian Jason Priestly. In 1998, they participated in an all-star

television tribute to pop legend Burt Bacharach, performing his "Close to You."

Stunt took the U.S. charts by storm later in the year, helped by the funny,

hip-hop-laced single "One Week" (RealAudio excerpt), a big modern-rock hit. The Ladies were suddenly

huge beyond their native country and joined the H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock

Developing Everywhere) tour, on which they frequently upstaged headliners Blues

Traveler.

Barenaked Ladies have recently announced a headlining tour of the U.S. and are

scheduled to play at this year's Bridge School Benefit in Mountain View, Calif.

"We're better at making records. We know how to do it now," Stewart

said earlier this year, explaining the band's success.

During a break with the band a few years ago, Stewart toured with Gordi Johnson of Big

Sugar and Chris Brown of Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, all of whom contributed to

Don't Talk, Dance, an album of '70s covers that benefited Casey House, an AIDS

hospice.

Other birthdays: Don Felder (Eagles), 51; Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor (Motörhead),

44; Corinne Drewery (Swing Out Sister), 39; and Trugoy the Dove (De La Soul), 30.