Hommage to Good Bar Bands

I really miss good bar bands. I was 16 when I started going to dance-bars in Sept-Iles. It was 1966 and while 20 was the legal drinking age in Québec, I always looked older than I was. I hope that the opposite is true now. I had little interest in the booze. I went to enjoy music and to dance. Of course, I think that the late sixties, early seventies were the golden years for live dance music.

When I was 18

When I was eighteen, I would go dancing six nights a week. The musicians got Sunday nights off. I would be out at midnight, in bed at 4 am, at work at 8:30 am, in bed by 7 pm for a couple of hours, and then out again by 10:30 pm. There were great bands playing the Sept-Iles clubs. Groups famous in Québec such as Les Gants Noirs, Les Gants Blancs, Les Habits Jaunes, Les Eccentriques, and Les Classels performed frequently. And then there were the solo artists such as Jenny Rock, Nanette Workman, and Tony Roman.

I preferred the bar bands over feature acts

However, I preferred the bar bands that would take up residence for two or three weeks at a time. Hotel Les Mouettes, the local hot spot, frequently featured a group with a beautiful blonde organist. Sept-Iles made its own contributions to the Québec bar scene: Les Caravels and Les Bises (above). From left to right in the video are Nancy Gallienne, Leone Bromley, and Dorothée Thériault. Retro Jeunesse gives you an idea of the number of live groups active in Québec at that time. They were playing in neighbourhood clubs across the province. The anglo bands such as The Haunted, JB and the Playboys, and MG and the Triumphs focussed on Montréal.

Why am I writing this now? A recently heard television theme song reminded me of Vonda Shepherd and her group that were featured on Ally McBeal. I thought the television show was terrible but I watched just to listen to Vonda and her group play. It brought back memories of the many great groups that toured Québec and had our generation dancing every night.

I do miss good bar bands.

Sorry for the quality of the videos.

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