Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 983: 54-40 in their own words, part 1

Being in a band is hard. Keeping a band together is harder still. And if a band can be kept together for more than a decade, they should get some kind of medal.

Let’s give props to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, still going after their establishment in 1983. Metallica has been with us since 1981. Both New Order and Depeche Mode go back to 1980. The current lineup of U2 has been the same since they adopted that name in March 1978. And as they were doing their thing in Dublin, The Cure was coming together in England.

Here are a few more longevity champions: Blondie (1974), Kiss (1973), The Eagles (1971), The Who (1964), The Rolling Stones (1962), and The Beach Boys (1961).

Let’s now focus on Canada: Sloan (1991), The Tragically Hip (1985-2017), Loverboy (1979), and April Wine (1969). Rush lasted a full 50 years before they broke up (1968-2018). And there’s still a version of The Guess Who out there, maintaining a streak that began in 1965.

(I should point out that all of the above are pikers when compared to the Nanaimo Concert Band. They’ve been going strong since 1873. I’m pretty sure all the original members are gone, though.)

Another name that needs to be added to this list is 54-40. They formed in 1980 and are still going. There have been a couple of changes in personnel, but the core of the band is still intact, still touring, still recordings, and still on the radio.

They outlasted the original wave of punk and New Wave. They outlasted hair metal, grunge, the resurrection of indie rock in the 2000s, the rise of the internet, the demise of music video channels, and–well, you get the idea.

This a good time to sit down with the band to let them talk about their decades in the Canadian music business. It’s 54-40, in their own words, part 1.

Songs heard on this show (all by 54-40)

  • West Coast Band
  • Yank
  • Baby Ran
  • One Day in Your Life
  • Miss You
  • She La
  • Ocean Pearl

Eric Wilhite’s playlist goes like this.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s, and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38159 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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