In 2000, KISS announced that it would tour one last time and then retire. The band proved as good as its word – until 2002, when it went on the road again.
Even the legendary Led Zeppelin, which has long insisted the band died with its drummer John Bonham in 1980, have made occasional one-off appearances – including a high-profile gig at London’s O2 Arena in 2007.
The truth is, an act that has enjoyed some measure of success – be it fiscal, artistic or both – will always feel some pull, some temptation, to try and resurrect past projects and rekindle that flame. Sometimes it’s exciting, other times it’s ill-advised.
I bring this up because this week a local act I was fairly fond of – Mazes and Monsters – have decided to put its break-up on hold, performing with Adam Sams and Patrick Taylor on Friday, Feb. 21, at Sky City. I’ve not heard if this is a one-and-done show or if, like so many before, Mazes and Monsters have discovered that breaking up is, indeed, hard to do.
Of course, the Mazes men are not the first to issue the call to bring the band back together. People Who Must have started playing and recording again, as did Debt of Nature and Deathstar. The Sky City Festivus Festival, held every December, often books bands that haven’t been heard from in years.
That said, not every Augusta-area act has found the time, or inclination, to heat up the amps and play the old songs like they used to.
Here are a few of my favorites that called it a day back in the day and are yet to reemerge.
• Shark DeVilles – Before the White Stripes made Garage Rock trendy, this band of rockabilly rebels with punk rock hearts heated up local stages with shack-shaking music that sounded all the world like Eddie Cochran after a handful of cheap truck stop pep pills. It was killer.
• Great Day In the Morning – A band that boasted some of the Shark players, Great Day was a more polished act, with Big Star hooks and arena rock attitude. When the band’s bass player left town – as young men often do – the band attempted to carry on a long-distance relationship but eventually called it a Day.
• Neato Torpedo – An interesting story this one. Neato Torpedo formed, broke up and then a decade later, formed again. It’s probably been about 10 years since the last Neato show so, according to my watch, we’re about due for the Torpedo to surface again.
• Edison Project – Edison Project was always better at being a band than a business, and that played a big role in this band’s not-too-pretty dissolution. But it has been five years now and the Edison boys are now men. They are husbands and fathers. They have a deeper understanding of what it takes to get along, both musically and personally. Do I see this happening any time soon? No. Am I beginning to see it as a possibility? A little.
• Jugs of Life – A spin-off from the pioneering Augusta act Crawling Pegs, Jugs of Life was authentically rocking while remaining something of a satire of serious rock acts. It was clever. Rumor – and the flyer – has it that the revitalized Jugs played a benefit show last Saturday.
See. There’s always hope.