Sunday, May 31, 2009

Unscheduled Departure

It's a habit left over from back when I used to wander into record stores on Tuesday afternoons, knowing that it was the day that the new releases would hit the bins. After a cursory look at the racks on the wall, I would move on over to the real workout. Starting at the "A's" and working my way through the alphabet, just in case anyone form AC/DC to Warren Zevon managed to sneak in a new album while I wasn't looking. Then there would be a few more minutes inspecting the cut-outs, again on the off chance that something good might have fallen through the cracks. Now I don't go to record stores anymore, but I do check the new releases on Amazon and iTunes on a weekly basis: just in case.
It was on one of these cyber-searches that I discovered that there was a new Barenaked Ladies album coming out. A live album, which isn't necessarily a curiosity for them, but what caught my eye was customer review: "This was BNL's first show without founding member Steve Page." I went back and looked at the artwork. No lie. There were just four of them. The lead singer was gone. I left the virtual record store and headed out to the virtual newsstand where I received confirmation that yes, Steven Page had quit the band back in February to pursue solo projects, "including theatrical opportunities." Or he was fired. It was an amicable parting of the ways after more than twenty years. Or he got the boot because his new "drugs and younger women" persona didn't fit in well with the new kids' album the band was trying to promote. Whatever the case may be, is no longer a member of the band.
I thought about how I dealt with the disintegration of other groups that struck my fancy. I was able to cope with a variety of different bassists in Cheap Trick, and though I know that Alan Myers has been replaced on drums he is still DEVO's drummer. But this Steven Page thing was more like a David Lee Roth kind of thing. Bombastic as any Canadian could be, Steven was the voice of the band. Sammy Hagar just won't do.
And so I grieved for a while. About a week. Then I did the only thing that made sense to me: I started pinning my hopes on a reunion tour. And the commemorative live album. I'll be checking back next Tuesday, and once weekly thereafter. Just in case.
Drove downtown in the rain
nine-thirty on a Tuesday night,
just to check out the late-night record shop.
Call it impulsive call it compulsive, call it insane;
but when I'm surrounded I just can't stop. - "Brian Wilson" Barenaked Ladies

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe Page can sing for Van Halen, and Diamond Dave can join the Barenaked Ladies? Solve both problems handily.