How do they choose what music to play, and when, during Maple Leafs games?
How do they choose what music to play, and when, during Maple Leafs games?—Murray Kibler
The tunes that inspire the Leafs come courtesy of one Jimmy Holmstrom, who has manned the organ booth since 1988 (and hasn’t missed a game yet). When he isn’t pounding out standards on the organ, he’s acting as DJ. Drawing from a selection of about 700 pre-approved tracks—chosen for their go-Leafs-go spirit—he pretty much has free rein, as long as he doesn’t play while the puck is moving. (It’s a different story with the Raptors, where hip hop and rock, deejayed by a live crew at court level, are blasted right through the game.) Holmstrom adheres to certain traditions: he plays “Eye of the Tiger” whenever someone gets hauled off the ice after a fight, and an air horn, followed by the song “Kernkraft 400” by Zombie Nation after a Leafs goal. Torontonians can’t claim it as their own, though: the electronica hit has been adopted by sports teams around the world, including the New Jersey Devils and the Atlanta Thrashers. But not to worry; we have plenty of our own zombies on the ice.