So I was saddened yesterday to hear about Steven Page taking his leave from the Barenaked Ladies (BnL) after nearly 20 years together as a group. This is major news in Canada for a number of reasons: BnL have attained international success and charted a number of hits in the late 90's, and into the new century. They have also been unabashedly Canadian the whole way - and very positive ambassadors for the country. Even when things hit a sour note last year with Page's suspended sentence for drug possession in the US, they were classy about the situation and did the right thing by each other.
Now there's lots of speculation about why Page has left, which ranges from the band being pissed about the drug offense and all that cost them last year in cancelled shows and lessened opportunities to Page following his muse.
The way I look at it - everything changes. We all grow up. Our needs and our interests change. Why should musicians be any different? Page shows all the evidence of a man reaching midlife and questioning what he's going to do with the time he has left. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
Did I love BnL? Completely! Heck, I'm even in one of their music videos! Will I still follow them as they reconstitute? You bet. I want them all to succeed and go on and be happy and fulfilled in however they choose, as a band and as individuals.
As John Lennon said after the Beatles broke up, "It's just natural, it's not a great disaster. People keep talking about it like it's The End of The Earth. It's only a rock group that split up, it's nothing important. You know, you have all the old records there if you want to reminisce."
Here, from the very beginning of time, BnL perform at Toronto's "Speaker's Corner" - a coin operated video booth run by CityTV that allowed users to express their opinions on anything and everything. BnL used it for promotion!
Thanks Ladies, that was fun!
The official BnL website
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