I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think fictional series should typically be laid to rest alongside their creators. But on the other hand, I’ll often break that rule when it comes to bands. I’ve seen Yes a number of times with several different lineups, Blue Öyster Cult with revolving rhythm sections, and a version of the Kingston Trio that had no original members. To be fair, at least one of the guys playing in the Trio had been in the band longer than anyone apart from Bob Shane, but it was still odd when they talked onstage about having learned “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” from Mary Travers in Greenwich Village. “How do you know?” I asked myself. “None of you three were even there!” One of the more surreal moments of my concert-going career.

But now I have a problem. Longtime readers know about my passion for the music of The Call. I’ve listened to their music for more than 30 years, seen several of their live shows, and hung out in the parking lot with the guys in the band. One of the highlights of my music journo days was an interview I did with the group’s singer/songwriter, the late Michael Been. When Michael died a couple of years back, I was saddened not just by the loss of an artist, but by the loss of a genuinely friendly acquaintance.

Well, the surviving members have reunited, with Michael’s son Robert taking over his late father’s bass/guitar and vocal duties. Robert is no slouch in these matters, having fronted critical darlings Black Rebel Motorcycle Club for years himself. The band is raising money for a live CD and DVD of shows they did in April. A potential box set has been mentioned.

I’m intrigued, but minus Michael, I’m not sure how I feel about this. As a friend noted last night, it’s kind of like seeing Thin Lizzy without Phil Lynott. At worst, it could be like that “21st-century Doors” thing from a few years back.

Here’s a soundcheck clip from the current Call while I try to decide.

Oh, man — I just noticed he’s using his dad’s old Ampeg bass. I understand, but it stings.


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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