Musings, Nits, and Praises: 9:30 on a Tuesday Night - The End of an Era

Musings, Nits, and Praises

A farrago of all things deemed blog-worthy by a music-loving, poetry-writing, humor-seeking English teacher

9:30 on a Tuesday Night - The End of an Era

Well, it wasn't 9:30 exactly, but it was Tuesday night that Barenaked Ladies announced Steven Page was leaving the band after forming the band twenty years ago with Ed Robertson. For ardent BNL lovers like myself, the news comes as a major disappointment. Based on multiple interviews, his departure seems devoid of acrimony. According to Page, his goals were no longer in line with the rest of the band's. He's working on a new solo record, has recorded an album with a side project band, and plans to continue his work with theatre music, including scoring for the Stratford Festival and working on writing his own musical.

Naturally, fans have speculated that his drug arrest from the summer contributed to the split, but Page says it had no direct bearing on the decision. He did admit, though, that the arrest caused him to reevaluate what he wanted to do with his life. Playing armchair psychologist, I think his divorce, new girlfriend, drug arrest, and parting with the band all speak to a discontent, a searching for a spark and direction.

As far as his leaving the band goes, if he finds greater fulfillment in pursuing solo projects, then good for him. You can't fault anyone for taking a new career route when the one he's been on has gotten stale. Nonetheless, I fear the split will diminish the band's work as well as his own--at least as far as his pop/rock writing goes. I know soon enough, I guess. The remaining four "Ladies" are set to record a new album in April, and Page will likely release something this year. As the band's co-founders, Page and Robertson have been the driving force of the band not only as the primary songwriters (usually writing together) but as the tone setters for their energetic live shows. Robertson says the band doesn't intend to look for a replacement. I think that's wise as any replacement would seem like a lesser imitation. Still, though I'm sure they'll perform some of the songs Steve sang, no one in the band has the pipes he has, and showstoppers like "Break Your Heart" and "What a Good Boy" probably won't be heard again. For readers unfamiliar with BNL, let me direct you to exhibits A and B:

"Break Your Heart"

"What a Good Boy"

On the plus side, "When I Fall," arguably their best song, should get played more regularly:

"When I Fall" from the Bathroom Sessions

3 Responses to “9:30 on a Tuesday Night - The End of an Era”

  1. # Blogger Steve

    Twenty years is a long time for a band to be together. A lot happens. People change. Still its sad. I've been meaning to go to YouTube and give them a listen. Oh, and my son put me onto Pandora too.  

  2. # Anonymous shaun

    I'm sorry to see Steven go. I hope that he finds what he needs.

    I haven't kept up with BNL as much as you in recent years, but it seemed to me that Ed was doing a good bit more of the heavy lifting lately in terms of writing and lead vocals. Is that right?  

  3. # Blogger Jason

    Ed sang more of the singles after Stunt, but he and Steve split vocal duties pretty evenly and continued co-writing most of the band's songs.  

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