So I’m a little late in blogging about this, but you’ll have to forgive me. I’m in mourning.
But now that I’m out of my state of shocked denial and have moved on to a slight melancholy, I am finally able to talk about it.
Steven Page left Barenaked Ladies.
What I think finally got me out of denial was seeing the band’s Facebook photo as of last Wednesday. Steve was noticeably absent and all references to him and his powerful lead vocals were gone.
The feeling I’m left with is like when you lose touch with a good friend. You know they’re out there, but you just don’t communicate any more, and that makes you kind of sad.
I think I took for granted that Steve would always be around. I had this impression that Barenaked Ladies were like death and taxes: one of the certain things in life.
After much speculation with the online rumor mills buzzing — and watching/reading several news stories online — I finally came to the personal conclusion that this was inevitable. No, it wasn’t Steve’s 2008 drug bust, and it wasn’t some sort of Yoko Ono love affair. The reason is simply this: Steve had been growing apart from the band for a while.
Don’t get me wrong, the man loved performing with the rest of the Ladies, but I don’t think he ever really felt like he “fit in.” What always seemed like rudeness to some belied a shyness that many fans found endearing. But the more times I encountered him in person, the more I was convinced that he wanted to be doing his own thing.
I still love the Ladies, and will proudly be at their first concert in 20 years without its vocally talented front man on March 7 (I’ll let you know how that goes). I just can’t help but think the band will never be the same. The sound of Steve’s voice will always give me chills. To me in many ways, his voice was Barenaked Ladies; nothing can replace that. Yet, he wasn’t the only member of the band. There were four other guys who made every concert the best experience of my life. So, life will go on.
But to quote Steve with his own words: “What did you think I was going to do, curl up and die just because of you? I’m not that weak, you know…. My heart will be fine.”
If you’re now belting out the next lyric, then you know how I feel.
As Ed (and the rest of the band) would say, “Thanks, that was fun. Don’t forget, no regrets.”