Monday, October 23, 2006

The End of an Era

We're here for a good time,
Not a long time.
So have a good time -
The sun can't shine everyday.

It was a date I'd had circled on my calendar for a while now - a night that I was both looking forward to and dreading all the same.

The last night of Steve Agnew & Branded at Gavan's.

The last night of Steve Agnew & Branded ever.

I've had "Steve Agnew weekends" circled on my calendar for about four years now. We just happened to be at Gav's one night when they were playing one fateful winter night, and a group of us went up and starting talking to the guys during one of their breaks. They were so funny and friendly that they won me over right on the spot.

Okay, so I had a little crush on the bass player at the start. Who didn't? Chris was buff and hot. I got over it, though (after discovering he had a wife, and a's a long complicated story). After moving past the little schoolgirl crush that I had, it didn't take long to start thinking of all the guys - Steve, Rob, Chris, and Quentin - as friends. Maybe not friends I saw very often. And I only spoke to them basically at Gavan's. But they all had warm personalities that made me feel as though they actually were glad to see us and that they really did want to know what we'd all been up to here in the little town of Quyon.

For awhile, we "chased" the band - we went to McCann's Pub in Arnprior, Finnegan's in Renfrew, and even to some anniversary weekend in Campbell's Bay to see the guys. We weren't groupies - just fans who had a great time listening to them play and dancing up a storm. The "chasing" ended quite a while back, but we still made sure to head out to Gav's when the guys were in town. The past four years have held many memories and great times. A lot of things have happened in the past four years. We've all seen big changes in our lives. Somehow, though, the band was always one of the "highlights".

I still can't believe Saturday night was the last time we'll ever see them all together on stage again.

There were a few special moments from Saturday night. I missed seeing the "last clap" - in the Alabama medley, when the guys put their hands over their heads and clap to the beat - because I was deleting pictures off my camera. But I didn't miss hearing Rob singing the back up parts of "Here for a Good Time". (He pretended at first that he had to fix his mic, but he eventually pulled through and belted 'er out). It was also funny to watch all the wives and girlfriends take the stage as the guys challenged them to play a song. (Quentin's wife did a little drumroll, but the other ladies just hung those guitars around their necks and looked lost.) I got in a few good pushes on Rob's pedals. Then Sara took one last picture of me sitting on the stage. Sara and I even danced like Meg & Roxanne from American Dreams - just like the old days.

For me, a part of the night I'll always remember was during their last set when Steve invited me on-stage to sing with them. I've often grabbed the mic and shouted into it on the dance floor, but never got up on-stage. When I made Chris hand me down the mic this time, Steve asked me to get up with them, and I jumped at the chance. (Yes, I've got that little part of me that still wants to be a star. Fueled by the rye and having lost all judgment, I didn't hesitate. Someone really should have stopped me!) After a botched attempt at singing "Picture" where I completely blanked on the words, I then gave a really pathetic performance of "Free Fallin". There was no applause, there were no raucous shouts of Encore! The only shout I heard was Woermke yelling, "Jill, you can't sing!"

But it didn't matter to me. I got to be up there with Steve Agnew & Branded on their last night at Gavan's. Their last night ever. I had a blast.

When the last notes of "You Shook Me All Night Long" finally faded away, and the lights came on, we said our good-byes to Chris & his girlfriend Jodie, and asked them to say bye to the rest of the guys (who had disappeared outside or into the bathroom or something), and that was it. It was all over.

So many fun nights. All the dancing and drinking and hooting and hollering and letting loose and having fun. All of the jokes and singing and carrying on with the guys. All the times we helped to tear down (Sara wrapping chords with Chris while I had to lug around big amps or something with Steve). All the laughter and the memories.

Forgive me if I sound a bit melodramatic, but it really is the end of an era.

I really am going to miss those Branded Monkeys.


Anonymous said...

I don't know who Steve Agnew and the Branded are. Are they like the Ramones?
My favourite Elvis pose is the front lean in Tupelo Mississippi. though after repeated views of the 68 Comeback Special I have to admit I enjoy the pose he assumes at the end of Can't Help Falling in Love. The leather suit is good too. Elvis rules.

Anonymous said...

and I am only annonymous cause I lost my password and I don't want to assume an identity like Kat83 or some shit like that. anyway I can't believe I am the first to post! Twice!

Sharon said...

Well Jill, sounds like QUITE the night at Gavan's! You know it's quite sad, but to this day I have never seen Steve Agnew at Gavan's... And I guess I never will. But I have been there when there have been some AWFUL bands... perhaps that's why I dislike it so much, I haven't really experienced the real rockin' Gavans yet... oh well maybe some day... Probably not though.

Last night was 7th Heaven. They still haven't revealed the secret that I have already found out *that Rev. Camden is going to die* but they are coming close... maybe next show... I hope so, I don't like being left in the dark. But it was kind of a boring show. Lucy and Kevin were trying to figure out what Eric was hiding (dying and homeschooling the boys) he finally caved and told them about homeschooling Sam and David but that he didn't want Annie to know. He wanted to tell her face to face when she got back. That flirty teacher Miss Margo went to his house and started to beg him to have an affair with her. She's nuts. He finally told her to bugger off and she left. And Kevin snooped some more because he's knows there's more wrong with Eric than he's letting on.

So that's the recap for those of you who watch it.

Tonight is Hockey! I will be watching until 9:00 unless I get too tired then I will go to bed earlier... but hopefully they put on a good show. There has been a lot of hype for tonights and Thursday games against TO... GO SENS GO!

Stacy said...

Good Morning

Very nice tribute to Steve Agnew band Jill. We did have a good time listening to them and well going to Gavans every weekend, you enjoyed a "good band" when you heard one. They will be missed. However, Quentin and Chris will be playing in another band, Foundation, I believe is what Steve called it. I believe they are playing at the River View Club this weekend in Portage. This weekend is the Halloween Party at Gavans and we really don't know if we're going to go or not. Anyways thats all for now, i'll check in later!

Stacy said...

Jill - i heard this on the news this morning when i woke up. Keith Urban has checked himself into rehab for alcholism. He won't be performing at the CMA Awards November 6, 2006. Also, i noticed on the Y101 website, the concert listings, it has one for Keith Urban in Toronto but further details will be provided because the concert is postponed. Hmmm....

Sharon said...

Just to add to Stacey's comment on Keith Urban, it was said on Josie and the City as well. Here is her post: Nicole Kidman and her new husband will be separated for a while; with the support of his wife, family, and friends Keith Urban has checked himself into rehab for alcohol abuse. Nicole was at Keith’s side when he went to the undisclosed treatment centre Thursday October 19th. In a statement released Friday Keith said he “deeply” regretted “the hurt this has caused Nicole and the ones that love and support” him. Keith has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and has been open about his past efforts to kick his habits. Cocaine was his drug of choice in the late 90’s, but he’s been clean for years before this lapse, which his publicist says is alcohol, not drug-related.

Jill said...

Interesting news on Keith. I knew he'd been an addict of both drugs and alcohol in the past - but I'd heard that he'd been clean for years. A few of his songs from the last couple of albums - "You're Not My God" and "Nobody Drinks Alone" especially - seem to be about his past struggles with addiction. You'd think now that he's with Nicole he'd be over all that. I guess it's a real battle for some people. I hope he gets himself back on track soon.
Sharon: Loving the 7th Heaven Updates! I don't watch the show anymore, but I like keeping up with what's been happening anyways. And I can't believe you've never been to Gavan's for a Steve Agnew weekend - you really might have liked them, ya know! Oh well - when the new band that Chris and Quentin are in come to town (and Nick has promised me he's going to book them in the new year to test them out) - you'll have to come and see them. Apparently the new band is going to be more "rock" than country. (Rob described them as 70% rock & 30% country, and Quentin says they're going to be doing some Nickelback, Default, Theory of a Deadman, 3 Doors Down type stuff.)
Kathleen: No, you wouldn't know Branded - they're a small-town bar kind of band here in the Valley. And no, I don't think they're like the Ramones. But in Quyon, where decent bands are few & far between, they were almost like royalty. As for Elvis - I don't have a favourite "pose" as you call it, but I do have a favourite picture of him - one with his mom & dad and Priscilla when he was in the army. He's wearing his uniform, his skin is really tanned, and his hair is almost blonde. I really should watch Blue Hawaii sometime soon.

Sharon said...

70% Rock and 30% Country sounds like a good mix. Maybe it would spice up life at Gavan's.

Glad you like the 7th Heaven updates. I love that show.

Today is another BLA day here at the College. We are waiting on the manager to get some stuff to us so that we can do our work and as usual she's as slow as ever. Heaven forbid we get anything out on time or even ahead of time. She drives me INSANE!

I have been having some crazy nights lately in the dream department. Sunday night I kept waking up from the ickiest dream and thinking gross and when I would fall back asleep it would pick up where it left off and I would wake up again... Last night I dreamt I was roller blading all over the city really fast. Doing tricks, going up and down stair cases and racing around like a mad person. So I woke up utterly exhausted. I am missing my peaceful nights of sleep. I want them back now! Hopefully the problem will fix itself and I will have a good sleep tonight.

What's with this Elvis Obsession... it's sounds kind of CRAZY!

Stacy said...

Regarding Keith Urban, just 13 days till his new CD comes out!
Ricky and I watched Over the Hedge lastnight and it was pretty good - i dont think it's as good as Open Season though Jill.
Talk to ya's later - going to eat!

Jill said...

It's true, I do love Elvis. It's not an obsession - just one of my "things". It makes mom & dad happy.
Stace: I forgot to answer you yesterday when you asked about the Movie Basket. Sally Cavan bought it for $35. It was a little disappointing, as Kara & I did a tally afterwards and discovered there was about $60-$70 worth of stuff in it. "Over the Hedge" was $20, the gift certificates were $20, then there was Pepsi, pocorn, nachos & cheese sauce, 2 things of popcorn flavouring, a Jiffy-Pop thing, and big bags of Nibs, Jolly Ranchers, M&M's, Smarties, Gummi Bears, & Skittles. I guess it doesn't really matter that it didn't go for it's value, but I thought it would go for more than it did. Oh well!

sara said...

Nice comments on Steve Agnew, It was lots of fun. And I feel sad about it too. they got us through what could have been many boring week-ends at Gavans!
my kids are finally outside today! This is the first time in ages!

Stacy said...

Nice to hear from you
Jill: Who is Sally Cavan? Is she one of the Kennedy sisters? Well the point of it all is its a fundraiser - if i had been there, i would have bid on it. I never even saw the sheets. Oh well.

Jill said...

Yeah, Sally is a Kennedy. And yeah, it doesn't matter how much I spent on it, at least it raised $35 for the church I guess! I don't think they circulated the sheets well enough this year. I don't think they even had them at the restaurant, and that's the big spot to get bids. Anyways - I think next year they might try something different.

Sharon said...

Perhaps an auction website would do the trick! I know that Quyon is old school, but the internet will have to integrate someday!

Jill said...

That's actually a really good idea, Sharon! It might be a little too complex for the church people right now - I mean, my mom still does the church books in a great big ledger by hand - but it's definitely something I'll suggest in the future! It might encourage younger people to bid, and anyone with computer access can check it out...I like it!

Priscilla said...

Jill, I was wondering if I could maybe park my car across from your house on Friday afternoon. I'm not sure yet exactly what the plan is, I will know more tomorrow. We are having an 'office function' at Rideau Carleton Raceway Friday night, and the people Chad and I are going with are only coming back as far as Quyon, they will be turning off the highway and not coming back to Shawville. So we may need a place to park a car to get us back to Shawville with. Or, we may come back with someone else and not need to keep a car in Quyon. Anyways, just wondering if it would be okay before I plan on it.

Jill said...

No problem at all, PK! Go ahead and park there, it's fine!

Anonymous said...

Elvis rules.