Thursday 22 March 2012

Eden's End - Club Notes Grand Opening (1986)

This shot glass (7cm tall, 5cm diameter) was given away during the grand opening of Club Notes: Wednesday, January 15 to Saturday, January 18, 1986. The club was located in the old Airliner Inn (4804 Edmonton Trail NE), which became a Travelodge circa ’89 and later (and still?) a Quality Hotel.

Featured bands: Skinny Puppy, NEOA 4 and (from Calgary) the Ripchords and Eden's End. (Shooter is clear, uncoloured glass; for the photo, milk was added to boost contrast on the lettering, although we doubt much milk was consumed at Club Notes.)

In the Friday, January 17, 1986 Calgary Herald, James Muretich (RIP) did a little pulse-taking halfway through Club Notes’ opening, and the local talent earned kinder words than the out-of-town headliners:

Headline act drags down new nightspot's opening
By James Muretich
(Herald staff writer)
Calgary's latest nightspot entry into the rock 'n' roll sweepstakes, Club Notes, opened its doors Wednesday to mixed reviews from first-night patrons.
The negative remarks had little to do with the room itself and dealt mostly with the music.
The headlining act, Vancouver's Skinny Puppy, certainly was a curiosity but its Gothic-rock also was a big bore. Dried ice, black clothing and a singer with a fixation with Joy Division, Bauhaus and Alien Sex Fiend's ghoulish stage presence does not an exciting act make.
Skinny Puppy should've listened to the Bauhaus song: Bela Lugosi is dead. So quit trying to revive him.
Local band Eden's End is a young group that is guitar-oreinted and R.E.M.-influenced. At this point, the band is rough around the edges and its stage personality is nonexistent.
However, Eden's End is very young and at least it's moving in the right direction.
Some critics (isn't everyone a critic?) felt the room was unimpressive, but some of the best clubs in Canadian history (Toronto's El Mocambo, Montreal's Rising Sun) were not architectural wonders.
Club Notes is a good, large room with a spacious dance floor. The decor is typical tavern, but who cares? The bottom line is the music.
And Club Note's ability to draw people to its northeast location will come down to the quality of acts it brings to town. Booking agent Dean Bertsch is on the right track by looking at what is commonly called more alternate rock acts. What Calgary doesn't need is a top-40 bar.
There is talk of John Cale returning and performing at Club Notes as well as Tupelo Chainsex, which was a big hit at the National Hotel last year.
If Club Notes brings in good bands, it will succeed.
Tonight The Rip Chords entertain and NEO-A4 performs Saturday. Next week promises to be a good one with Toronto reggae band The Sattalites at Club Notes Jan. 22-23 and Vancouver's Moev there Jan. 24-25.

Eden's End singer/bassist Jack Goodwin wrote in to share a recording ("A Dream") from that historic evening and a photo of the band taken at the club (from left: Jack, guitarist Byron Norton, drummer Clayton Dickson). Eden's End are still going (Jack's the only original member) although, he notes, "the only room we rock these days is in our guitarist's basement in Sunnyside."

Thanks a million for sharing these gems, Jack!

Get dreamy here.

1 comment:

DVeitch said...

Wow, that story brought back a lot of memories. I was at Club Notes' opening night and remember laughing at Skinny Puppy; they were trying so hard to be goth that their act looked more like parody. Club Notes wasn't a terrible venue but the location sucked and the room didn't have the intimacy of the Westward or the National.

Love your blog; it's a great idea. I was writing music for the Sun at the time and there was never a shortage of local bands to write about. I have only fond memories of those years -- the great gigs, the crazy Muretich antics, the community of musicians and their backers -- the writers, CJSW and Radio Radio DJs, managers, etc.

I do have some of the material you're looking for -- lots of Ohama, a few local comps, some cassette releases (Same Difference, The Quitters). Let me know if I can help.

Good work. I'll keep reading.