AskDefine | Define haywire

Dictionary Definition

haywire adj
1 informal or slang terms for mentally irregular; "it used to drive my husband balmy" [syn: balmy, barmy, bats, batty, bonkers, buggy, cracked, crackers, daft, dotty, fruity, kooky, kookie, loco, loony, loopy, nuts, nutty, round the bend, around the bend, wacky, whacky]
2 not functioning properly; "something is amiss"; "has gone completely haywire"; "something is wrong with the engine" [syn: amiss(p), awry(p), wrong(p)] n : wire for tying up bales of hay

User Contributed Dictionary



From hay + wire.


  • /'heɪwaɪə/


  1. Wire used to bind bales of hay.



  1. Roughly-made, unsophisticated, decrepit (from the use of haywire for temporary repairs; Possibly originated because of frayed wires sitting near hay in a hot barn, which caused an explosion (The barn ceased to exist, and it was referred to as having gone "haywire"), or from tendency of slap-dash repairs done with scraps of bailing wire to fail catastrophically at times of mechanical stress.
  2. Behaving erratically or in an uncontrollable manner, especially of a machine or mechanical process.
    Everything was working fine until it suddenly went haywire and wouldn't stop printing blank sheets.

Extensive Definition


Haywire formed in Charlottetown, PEI in 1982 by Dave Rashed, Paul MacAusland, Marvin Birt, [Scott Roberts] and Ronnie Switzer. While all the members of the band have been solid from the start, drummer Sean Kilbride was actually the fourth drummer in the group's short history. Ron "Bumble" LeBlanc had replaced the original Haywire drummer Scott Roberts in 1984. He remained with the band through their demo stages, EP, and can be heard playing on two cuts of the bands first record with Attic. LeBlanc was replaced by Mac Cole when he decided to move on from the group and pursue a formal education. Cole only played two months with the band when Haywire's long-time friend Kilbride became available for the job. In the summer of 1986 the group jumped quickly and signed up Kilbride and successfully pursued a record contract with Attic.
Their first full-length album, Bad Boys, went platinum in Canada, while the title track became a top-40 hit. The following year, they released Don't Just Stand There, which also went platinum and contained their biggest ever hit, the hard-driving "Dance Desire". Throughout the late 80's, Haywire toured with other popular Canadian rockers such as Helix, Honeymoon Suite and Kim Mitchell. They also represented Canada in the World Popular Song Festival in Japan, where "Dance Desire" won the award for best song. Despite their success in Canada, and interest stateside from Doc McGee (Management for Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, etc.), Q-Prime (management for Metallica, Shania Twain, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.) & Chrysalis Records (to name one prominent record company), they were unable to secure a US record deal; rumoured due to totally unrealistic demands from Attic.
The follow-up album, Nuthouse, was recorded in Norway with Bjorn Nessjo at the production helm; one of Europe's most sought-after producers at the time. Unsatisfied with the results, Haywire fired Nessjo, remixed the album themselves and released it in 1990. It was guitar-driven, had a much harder edge and was considered to be the style of music the band wanted to pursue, rather than the pop pap their record label thought was necessary. Though it went gold (eventually hitting platinum sales), it didn't generate as much interest as their previous albums (and received the least amount of support from the record label). They produced one more album, 1992's Get Off, which was critically well-received, but still didn't fuel the support from the record company (financial and otherwise) that they needed. After contractual struggles, the group refused to re-sign with their label Attic, and was unable to secure a new contract Stateside. To fulfil their contractual obligations with Haywire, Attic released a greatest hits CD in 1993 entitled Wired - Best of without any input from the band (even with offered input including rare & unreleased material from David Rashed). The fan band eventually broke up in the mid-1990s.
Continual radio play in Canada has brought the band together in recent years for smaller scale tours with other acts from the Eighties. The band has recently had their albums re-issued on CD through Unidisc Music Inc.. In November of 2006, Haywire were awarded the Music Prince Edward Island Lifetime Achievement Award
For videos -

Original members

Additional members




  • "Bad Bad Boy" (1986) #40 CAN
  • "Standin' in Line" (1986)
  • "Shot in the Dark" (1986 - no video)
  • "Dance Desire" (1987) #21 CAN
  • "Black and Blue" (1987)
  • "Fire" (1988)
  • "Thinkin' About the Years" (1988 - no video) #38 CAN
  • "Operator Central" (1989)
  • "Short End of a Wishbone" (1990)
  • "Taken the Pain" (1991 - no video)
  • "Get Back" (1992)
  • "Wanna Be the One" (1992)
  • "Buzz" (1992 - no video)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

amiss, askew, awry, balmy, bananas, barmy, bats, batty, beany, bonkers, broken, buggy, bughouse, bugs, cockeyed, convulsed, crackers, cuckoo, daffy, deranged, dippy, disarranged, discomfited, discomposed, disconcerted, dislocated, disordered, disorderly, disorganized, disturbed, dotty, flaky, flipped, freaked-out, fruitcakey, fruity, gaga, goofy, in disorder, in disrepair, inoperative, just plain nuts, kooky, loony, loopy, misplaced, nuts, nutty, off the hinges, off the track, off the wall, on the blink, on the fritz, out of commission, out of condition, out of gear, out of joint, out of kelter, out of kilter, out of order, out of place, out of repair, out of tune, out of whack, perturbed, potty, roily, round the bend, screwball, screwballs, screwy, shuffled, slaphappy, turbid, turbulent, unsettled, upset, wacky
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