A few weeks ago, a band called Blue Coupe, came through town. One thing that distinguishes Blue Coupe from a lot of other bands is their musical pedigree. The members of the group include folks who played with Alice Cooper and Blue Öyster Cult (note the correct placement of the umlaut – and I know that there is no umlaut on oyster when referring to the bivalve mollusk but here I’m talking about Öyster the proto metal band where there is unquestionably an umlaut). Not only did these guys play in those bands – because over the years a lot of people have played in those bands – but played in their original and best incarnations.
When they were interviewed, they were asked about the audience that was coming to see them. This is the de rigeur question of any band that has older musicians – whether the band is one that hasn’t stopped touring since the 60s, or a band that has been rediscovered after 50 years of obscurity, or, like Blue Coupe, a combination of musicians from bands from an earlier time when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
And there is only one right answer that older musicians can give to the question of who is your audience these days? The answer is (with some slight variations but only very slight) “Obviously there are a lot of people our age who come to see us, but we’re really gratified that they’re bringing their kids and even their grandkids and their kids and grandkids are bringing their friends. And what’s really cool is that everyone knows the words to all the songs and they sing along – even to the new tunes.”
You rarely see a band of 20 year olds being asked about their audience and, if they are asked, they never say “Yeah, we get a lot of people our age to the gigs but what’s really cool is that people are bringing their parents and their grandparents and their parents and their grandparents are bringing their friends – and everyone knows the words to our songs.”
This then, inevitably, brings me to Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room, the band I remain immensely proud to be a part of. It is fair to say that the age of the band members tends to skew older – not Mick Jagger (79) or Keith Richards (78) older – but older nonetheless.
For those of you have never seen us live, you may be wondering, as would any lazy journalist, what kind of audience comes to see us. I think the best way I can answer that question is to say “Obviously there are a lot of people our age who come to see us, but we’re really gratified that they’re bringing their kids and even their grandkids and their kids and grandkids are bringing their friends. And what’s really cool is that everyone knows the words to all the songs and they sing along – even to the new tunes”
If you doubt the veracity of my perspective, please feel free (and I do mean free) to come out to our next gig at the Free Times Café (on College west of Spadina) on Sunday August 21st. The show starts at 8 pm and we will be playing our usual wildly eclectic mix of music from all genres and all eras (although I don’t think we’ll be doing Alice’s hit “I’m 18” but who knows). There will also be good food and lots to drink. If you happen to be older, bring your kids or your grandkids and you can all sing along together. And to celebrate the summer there’s no cover charge.
Hope to see you there.
P.S. And keep in mind that nothing binds generations of music lovers together than cowering in fear at the sound of the bagpipes – and there will be bagpipes.
|August 21st Set List:
Arms of Mary
Coast of California
Someone I Used to Know
Sucks To Be Me
A Summer Song
|Meeting Across the Waters
Take Me Back
Put Your Hand
3 Doors to Heaven
People Are Crazy
Hanging ‘Round the House
What the Hell I Got
Keep the Customer Satisfied