Alta States 

'Guitar' Doug Craig - more than just music and mountain fun

"I proudly sport a bumper sticker of the Hairfarmers on my pick-up truck. I just love those guys..."

A female physiotherapist in Whitefish, Montana


He's a Whistler icon. Just look at him. Long, wild hair below his shoulders. A mischievous grin and crinkly smiling eyes. Tall lean body. Big hands. Long fingers. He's like a kid in a grown-up's body. A happy kinetic presence at any party.

In many ways, he's a throwback to another time. A hippie in a post-modern world; a mountain mystic in a bottom-line-at-all-cost environment. Yet people love him to bits. Ask any Whistlerite. "He's the real deal," they'll say. "Our favourite musician in town." And then they'll pause. "Oh, and by the way," they'll add, "he's a real good friend too..."

Doug Craig is many things. Musician, songwriter, storyteller, entertainer, philosopher. He can turn the most blasé crowd into a swinging party scene with a couple of songs. Can transform dull to magic in a few notes. He's a gift to Whistler; a musical outlaw who continues to promote the wilder elements of our little resort community.

And he's totally engaging. I mean, who hasn't caught themselves tapping their feet and happily singing along with Doug and notorious Hairfarmer partner Grateful Greg at some local wingding after a great day of sliding on snow? Who hasn't waxed a little nostalgic at the sight of these two big kids having so much fun entertaining the masses?

I know I have. And don't try to get out of it. I know you have too. But did you know there's a lot more to Doug than meets the eye? Follow me, I'll give you the backstage tour...

More than anything, Guitar Doug is a mountain man. Skiing, hiking, mountaineering - it's all part of his make-up. Strange, eh? You wouldn't think that a guy who spends his nights playing music would have the energy to get up in the morning and hit the slopes. But he does. "Sleep? I'm still waiting for sleep," says Doug semi-sheepishly. And then he laughs. "Sleep and I are aliens. I've never been able to sleep..."

Sleeplessness aside, it's his love of mountains that really sets him apart from most other entertainers. Get him talking on that subject and the words just come pouring out. "I can't live without my mountains, man. They're my healing place. Pure. Unaffected. Wild. Sacred even. It's where my spirit lives..." He stops talking. Looks at me as if he knows exactly what I'm thinking. "Sure," he says, "it sounds hippie-dippy. I know. But until you've tried that falafel you'll never know what crunch and garlic can do to your mouth."

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