The Story Of "Live Between Us"


Before Paul Langlois joined the band, the boys played with Davis Manning. Davis was an older, more experienced musician and served as The Hip's saxophone player. As The Tragically Hip began to seriously pursue a career in music, running demo tapes to record execs in Toronto and expanding touring beyond their Queen's University fan base, Davis Manning was faced with a decision. Manning, being more mature and settled than his band mates, had a girlfriend and an established life in Kingston. Manning had to choose either the girl and the comfortable life playing music in his home town, or the rocky and risky road to rock and roll success.

As legend would have it, late one evening before Davis made his decision known, he walked to the corner of King and Princess Streets in downtown Kingston. There, in an alley that now stands beside a tattoo parlour, he painted a huge mural featuring a weeping eye and a shooting star. He painted "The Hip Live Between Us" in large letters across the wall, in apparent reference to he and his lover.

In the end, Davis chose the girl, left the band, and continued to be an active musician until he passed away in 2023. His mural stood until the summer of 2005 when it was painted over by local business owners. His artwork was used as the CD art for the Hip's 1997 live release. The disc, in a clever turn of phrase, was called "Live Between Us."

Photo courtesy of Patrick Bales