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"Fruheads, Fruheads Moxy, Moxy Fruheads"

Moxy Fruvous breeds Moxy fervor

"They come from Toronto, and they look innocent enough, but the members of Moxy Fruvous have started something."

by Carol Simmons

Are you a Fruhead? That's what fans of the Canadian-based quartet Moxy Fruvous call themselves, and, if you are--a Fruhead, that is--you'll want to know that the genre-bashing foursome are scheduled to perform Wednesday at Canal Street Tavern. But then again, if you're a true Fruhead and refer to yourself as such, you probably already know about the Canal Street show.

Fruheads keep track of such things.

With the intense devotion that reminds us that the term "fan" is a derivative of the pejorative "fanatic," Fruheads are consistent in their fervor.

Of course, they know all the lyrics to all the previously performed songs--the English version, the French version, the never-recorded version sung on a an obscure Canadian radio program in the early '90s.

And of course they have a Web is amazingly detailed in its obsession with the "Frulads," as the Toronto-born musicians are affectionately called. The site includes intimate bios of the guys: David Matheson plays guitar and accordion; Mike Ford handles guitar and percussion; Jian Ghomeshi plays the drums, percussion and flute; and Murray Foster plays bass.

There's even a campaign to get the group more exposure in the United States by bombarding the David Letterman, Conan O'Brien and Rosie O'Donnell shows with letters and e-mails. (This only after much debate about whether Fruheads actually want to share their guys with the rest of the world.)

But the real test of one's Fruhead affinity is exhibiting the willingness to travel many miles to see the whimisical, witty quartet in action. In recognition of this phenomenon, the band last spring implemented a frequent flier-type program that rewards the group's most dedicated followers with "Frumiles" for each show seen. Earning points at every show, with bonus points thrown in for "degree of difficulty" involved in attending, Fruheads can earn prizes ranging from key chains to a Fruvous songbook to bowling with the band.

So what brings the Fruheads back again and again? Partly it's lyrics like this--from a Moxy Fruvous song called "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors," written in honor of a writer's convention:

I like to go out dancing
My baby loves a bunch of authors
Lately we've had some friction
'cause my baby's hooked on short works of fiction
So we split and went to a party,
some friends my girl said she knew
But what a sight 'cause it's authors night and the place looks like a who's
Now I'm pounding the ouzo
with Mario Puzo
Who's a funny fella?
W.P. Kinsella
Who brought the cat?
Would Margaret Atwood?
Who needs a shave?
He's Robertson Davies!
Ongaatje started a food fight, salmon mouse all over the scene
Spilled some dressing on Doris Lessing, these writer types are a scream!

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