Old favourites reunited by Facebook

Karla Hayward
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Newfoundland bands reconnect to reminisce, organize reunion shows

We've all heard the stories of long-lost friends reuniting thanks to Facebook. Local musician Dave Caines has taken that idea to the next level with his Facebook group, "History of Newfoundland Bands Old & New." The name explains all, Caines is compiling information on local musicians and groups, connecting those people with one another, and is even producing a series of shows featuring reunited bands.

"I guess initially I was just interested in the bands - in the musical history of Newfoundland. I've been in a number of bands, and I've known many bands, and there's no real documentation of them."

From right Rich Haigh, Shawn Basha, Jim Kieley, Dave Caines and Marc Reccord are members of Mean Streak, one of several Newfoundland bands which are reuniting thanks to Facebook. - Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

We've all heard the stories of long-lost friends reuniting thanks to Facebook. Local musician Dave Caines has taken that idea to the next level with his Facebook group, "History of Newfoundland Bands Old & New." The name explains all, Caines is compiling information on local musicians and groups, connecting those people with one another, and is even producing a series of shows featuring reunited bands.

"I guess initially I was just interested in the bands - in the musical history of Newfoundland. I've been in a number of bands, and I've known many bands, and there's no real documentation of them."

After seeing photos and references to bands past and present on his Facebook friends' profiles, he thought, "Wouldn't it be great to have it all in one spot?" And thus the group was born.

From there, Caines says the group "took on a life of its own." One of the requests he put forward via the site was for people to list the names of the bands they remembered. "I think that's what got people really excited," he says. Hundreds of e-mails followed and about 1,200 band names now fill the list. He's also collecting and posting photos, having gathered more than 700 to date, and videos, of which there are 50 at time of writing.

All of this garners great feedback from group members, says Caines. "People are checking it everyday. As soon as a picture goes up, I'll get a comment on it."

But perhaps the most exciting developments to come out of the group is a series of reunion shows planned to begin later this month. The first, happening at The Rock House Friday, will bring Mean Streak back together. A second show featuring Crisis (who later went on to become the Young Saints) is booked for Sept. 26 at the Rock House and Sept. 27 at My Rec Room in Clarenville. Several more reunion shows are in the works, but Caines is keeping mum on those until they're finalized.

Mean Streak

Made up of Caines, Shawn Basha, Jim Kieley, Rich Haigh and Mark Reccord, Mean Streak last performed together in March 1993.

As for playing together again after more than 15 years, Caines excitedly says, "I don't think I could put it into words, what it's like. It's great because we're all still good friends. We're all much better musicians than we used to be; our playing is 100 times better than it used to be. It's like part of your mind remembers that you're hitting those notes, and another part is going 'I can't believe you're hitting those notes.' It's like a big dÉjÀ vu the whole time."

Mean Streak will be joined by Caines' other band, The Tequila Rockingbirds, and current club favourites, Queens Maid. This melding of old and new will be a constant in all upcoming reunion shows, says Caines, adding "Queens Maid seemed to be a perfect fit for this show. Mean Streak had a certain style of music that is not dissimilar from what Queens Maid are trying to do."

In order to handle the details and logistics of the reunion shows, Caines has partnered up with Rockingbirds band-mate Percy McDonald to form Tequila Rockingbird Productions. Together, they'll ensure smooth running for the shows and will also co-ordinate the professional videotaping of them for posterity.

Many other bands not slated for a reunion show have also reconnected through Caines' Facebook group.

"I'm hearing a lot of that from a lot of people. The common thread from everyone seems to be, even if they don't play together again, it's great just to be able to reconnect. Everyone is so close. Bands are like families. And when a band breaks up and everyone has to go on with their lives, it's like a family splitting up."

Caines is also compiling a stock of information gathered from group members on who actually made up each band, where they played, when they played, etc. "I can certainly see how it could be made into a book," he says.

"I'd love to have a picture of every band, with all the members listed, something like that."

Anyone with photos or videos or memories of Newfoundland bands is encouraged to contact Caines directly at dave@thetequilarocking-birds.com, or by joining the Facebook group. Old band-mates who'd like to perform a reunion show are also encouraged to touch base.

Tickets for the Mean Streak shows are $10 and can be purchased at the door, or at Whalen's Pub and Grill or Doc's Guitar Repair. For more information on upcoming reunion shows, go to www.tequilarockingbirdproductions.com.

Organizations: Tequila Rockingbird Productions

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Perry K.
    November 07, 2012 - 08:40

    Thanks Jeannine! This is AWESOME news! Knew "da b'ys" quite well back in the day ... am anxiously awaiting a St. John's show in 2013 as it is unlikely I'll be able to make it to Long Harbour on Boxing Night. If you are in contact with the band, tell 'em Perry K said hello ... they'll know who I am! Thanks again!

  • Jeannine
    October 03, 2012 - 14:02

    Well it is official Dead Reckoning is back and performing on Boxing night , Dec 26, 2012 in Long Harbour at the Parish Hall , in addition to this they will be performing a benefit show and all proceeds will go to a charity of their choice, this will take place late Jan or early Feb 2013, check them out on FB or twitter.

  • Jamie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    To this day, I personally believe Dead Reckoning is one, if not the best bands I've ever seen. And I've seen most of my favourite legendary acts.

    But true, raw talent you never forget. Their shows were awesome. I simply can't describe it any other way.

    There's alot of talent born and bred in NF. And Long Harbour can certainly brag about having the best band if you ask me. Hand's down.

  • Greg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Dead Reckoning would be pretty cool, but a Thomas Trio & The Red Albino reunion would be killer!

  • Perry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Great stuff! Now all we have to do is get Dead Reckoning back together for a reunion gig! That'd be awesome!

  • Jamie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    To this day, I personally believe Dead Reckoning is one, if not the best bands I've ever seen. And I've seen most of my favourite legendary acts.

    But true, raw talent you never forget. Their shows were awesome. I simply can't describe it any other way.

    There's alot of talent born and bred in NF. And Long Harbour can certainly brag about having the best band if you ask me. Hand's down.

  • Greg
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Dead Reckoning would be pretty cool, but a Thomas Trio & The Red Albino reunion would be killer!

  • Perry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Great stuff! Now all we have to do is get Dead Reckoning back together for a reunion gig! That'd be awesome!

    • jeannine
      October 09, 2012 - 13:45

      HI Perry: Just thought you would like to know that Dead Reckoning have reunited and are playing Boxing night at the Parish hall in Long Harbour, check them out on Facebook and twitter or email at deadreckoning228@gmail.com