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.

Lisbon – A City on the Rise?

March 7, 2023

Lisbon’s seven hills and waterfront make it visually spectacular. The second oldest capital in Europe, the city has energy. Busy streets and squares, full restaurants, and vibrant night life – the city pulsates. And, the population seems young. All signs of a city on the rise? Earthquake A 1755 earthquake destroyed 85% of the city […]

Cities and Towns, The Affordable Housing Problem

February 8, 2023

People living on the street have come to symbolize the global housing crisis but they are only the tip of the iceberg. While the examples of Finland and Houston demonstrate a focussed plan pursued diligently can resolve the housing situation for the chronically homeless, addressing the affordable housing problem is much more complex.  Defining Affordability […]

I Love to Dance

January 29, 2023

I love to dance. This is not something new for me. I can’t remember when I didn’t like to move to the music. My first memories of watching others dance come from my childhood in Cape Breton where I would watch the adults square dance. Then, there were the step dancers who would often accompany […]

Cities and Towns 8, A City is About People

January 19, 2023

Kings Cross, once a thriving industrial and transport centre in London, was effectively closed  off  to the public by the end of the 20th century.   Then in 1996, the decision was made to move the British terminus for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link from Waterloo to St-Pancras. The landowner saw a re-development opportunity for […]

NEOM - the Wall

Cities and Towns 7, Cities and Towns Evolve

January 8, 2023

I have postulated that cities and towns evolve. That towns and villages first grow in areas where the basics to support life were plentiful. Typically, that means good agricultural land and good access to water. Other valuable considerations include safety, and resilience. The bonus – access to trade routes.  Walt Disney and the Fully Formed […]

Christmas Poem 2022

December 22, 2022

A Visit from Saint Nicholas A Poem by Jonathan Potter – December 2022 ‘Twas the first mask-free Christmas, when all through the stores  The vaccinated children were spewing their spores;The shoppers were eagerly starting to riotAs the introverts longed for some quarantine quiet. The public healthcare workers were tracing the pathOf the flu and RSV, […]