Well, after nearly half of my life in the making, GBS XX has been released to the world. Just a day or so ago the 5-disc box set hit the shelves with books and posters and calendars and more cool stuff than the eyes and ears and hands can enjoy in one sitting.
I am not usually one for nostalgia. Myself an Sean and Bob are not often found patting ourselves on the back. Plenty of time for that in years to come I figure. But if you’ll forgive me, I’d like to take a moment to say how proud I am today of the whole GBS cast and crew, including myself. Being in a band is really fun and a pleasure and privilege to do for a living. And in all honesty, doing it for a summer or two when your are in your early 20’s is not a real big chore. A station wagon, 24 beer, 4 subs and two hotel rooms and off you go. What a laugh. But staying in a band and keeping all hands employed and interested over the changes that happen in normal adult lives between the ages of 20 something and 40 something is much more difficult a task. There’s a million reasons why bands don’t stay together.
Some people get sick of airplanes, vans, hotels. Some grow to dislike the music or the other band members. Some others get married and have kids that they choose never to travel away from and bid farewell to the road life forever. Many just can’t make enough money on a consistent basis to support their growing families and most honorably take a day job and pay the bills.
Many bands just simply run out of ideas, musical or otherwise. Most bands just simply lose their audience. For a myriad of reasons they just can’t sustain the interest of the masses for a number of years and after a moment or two in the sun, and gratefully or not, accept that their run is done and fade away to do whatever comes next.
But a few bands remain. A few sustain and whether they meant to or not, wind up proving that they are in it for the long haul; that they are the real deal; a musical and performance entity that though sheer longevity and consistent appeal puts them in rare and fine company. If you don’t mind me being so bold, today I just might allow myself to think that we have become one of these bands.
Congrats to Louis, our life long manager and all the agents and crew who have braved the storms with us. Special thanks to Darrell Power who left the band about a decade ago, but who’s humour and good nature got us through so many long nights, late drives and early mornings. Really special thanks to Kris Macfarlane and Murray Foster who breathed new life into our weary ship right when we needed it the most. The result was Something Beautiful.
And most of all I would like to thank Sean McCann and Bob Hallet, easily the two most influential people in my adult life. I would most likely be a High School Teacher now and hopefully happy enough gigging in some pick up band on the weekends if it were not for the vision of these guys and their confidence my place in it. Just about everything I know about Celtic and Newfoundland Traditional Music I learned from Sean and Bob. They either taught me everything I know about being a performer or had the patience to stand there and suffer through my learning it on the job.
Thanks to those of you who’ve picked up the box set already and thanks in advance to those of you who are about to. I hope you love the various bits in there. Also check out all the tour dates announced at www.greatbigsea.com. Many more will roll out in the coming weeks and months.
Myself and Bob doing a bunch of press stuff and the whole gang gathers in London on Saturday to rehearse the new tunes and play at a Fundraising Event and in Toronto for a concert/CBC Radio taping on Sunday night. Fun stuff.
Next week, I’m doing some more promotions for GBSXX and singing at some Gold Medal Plates fundraisers in Ottawa, Montreal and St John’s.
Hope to do some recording with friends while in La Belle Province. Keep you posted on that one.
Also keep you posted on some book and film news as it gets firmed up.
Off we go and off we go.
Many thanks everyone.