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.

Cities are in Crisis

March 7, 2024

Anastasia Mourogova Millin, March 5, 2024 Earth’s urban population will grow by 2.5 billion people over the next 30 years. Over the same time period, urban land expansion put at risk the survival of 855 different species and will threaten the homes of over 30,000 animal and plant species. Add in the impact of climate […]

The Co-working Concept, Issue 80

January 22, 2024

Co-working space came to mean the notorious We Work model. When I had been asked to opine on co-working I tried to steer the conversation away from the Adam Neumann / Softbank  flimflam growth model. Instead, I suggested that property owners look at usage and users. While I doubted We Work’s ability to survive I […]

The Affordable Housing Conundrum

October 3, 2023

Before I fall completely into the trap of opposition politics, I have decided to take a break from never-ending criticism and to start suggesting solutions to the affordable housing conundrum. Do I have a plan? No, more a collection of ideas To start with, I think there are three key issues: Home ownership is not […]

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]