Tommy Sexton would be “thrilled” with new video starring Critch, sister Mary Sexton says
Mark Critch says he could never fill Tommy Sexton’s shoes — but it was a dream come true borrowing his sneakers.
Critch and the Wonderful Grand Band, with Amelia Curran and The Once’s Geraldine Hollett, have released a remake of icon WGB tube ‘Babylon Mall,’ in celebration of the Avalon Mall’s 50th anniversary.
The original “Babylon Mall” was released in 1981 and featured Sexton on lead vocals. It became one of WGB’s most popular tunes.
“When I was a kid watching WGB and I saw Tommy sing ‘Babylon Mall,’ I remember watching and thinking, I want to be Tommy Sexton when I grow up,” Critch told The Telegram Thursday morning. “I became a comedian because of that song, so getting to perform with the Wonderful Grand Band was a thrill.”
Sexton, a celebrated local comedian and member of CODCO and the Wonderful Grand Band who did the original “Babylon Mall” vocals, died Dec. 13, 1993, of complications of AIDS. He was 36.
Sexton's sister, film producer Mary Sexton, said Tommy would have been thrilled for Critch to take on his role in the “Babylon Mall” tune and video.
“It's a huge voice and dance shoes to fill, but I truly believe that Mark will nail it,” Sexton said, noting the 24th anniversary of her brother’s passing is next week.
“He is still loved and in the hearts of all who loved him,” she said.
The song and parts of the video were recorded a couple months ago at local musician Jason Whelan’s home studio. Other parts — featuring Greg Malone reprising his CODCO role as Mr. Budgell — were shot at the Avalon Mall.
Accompanied by Glenn Simmons, Boomer Stamp, Sandy Morris, Paul Kinsman and Billy Sutton, Critch is the main vocalist on the track, while Curran and Hollett provide additional vocals — including the famous “but you pays to pee at the mall” line.
All the proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the Tommy Sexton Centre, which provides accommodations to people over 16 in need of emergency shelter, with priority given to those living with HIV and AIDS. The centre is run by the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador.
You can purchase the new “Babylon Mall” tune by visiting www.babylonmall.ca .