Amy Mantis
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On Being in a Band - Part Three of Many

February 18, 2013

I was just thinking about my first attempt at a band.  My first real attempt.

It was still Canary.  The name has been around since 2009.  I had a very short-lived version where I sang.  We never played a show so I can’t count it as an actual attempt.

It was in 2010 that I decided I needed someone else to sing because I didn’t want to.  And I really couldn’t pull it off well.  So I asked my friend Jackie Berkley if she would like to sing in my band.  This was October of 2010.  She said yes and we were happily on our way.  And I was finally happily on my way to having a band.  I had a drummer (Cole Bingham) and a bassist (Drew Lucas, soon to be Kyle Hovland once again) and now a singer (Jackie Berkley).  Life was great, and I count that as my first real attempt.  We quickly switched bassists, swapping Drew for Kyle, and we were a force to be reckoned with.  Not that Drew was a bad bassist, but we wanted a bassist - not a guitarist that played bass (there’s a difference - I’m a guitarist that plays bass.  Someday I’ll be a real bassist).

I wanted that initial lineup to last forever.  It worked great.  We sounded great, got along great, looked great (we did), and like I said, life was great.  I would have been so happy if that lineup had lasted and if we added Alex Hartley (keys) to it - which we were planning on doing and eventually did with Canary 2.0

But that lineup didn’t last.  Cole left first.  And then eventually Jackie left.  And then Kyle left.  I’m on great terms with all of them, and I look back on that time with such fondness.

It’s funny how things never play out the way you want them to.  Or they so rarely do.  I wanted to be like Led Zeppelin, U2, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, bands that have one lineup and that’s it.  Get it right the first time.  And that’s not to say I didn’t have it right, but some things are not right for some people - which is a different topic all together.

Now Canary is like Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan (that’s for you, Alex), and Pearl Jam.  Everyone has changed except for me and Alex - and Alex wasn’t in the original four-piece lineup but he is our first and only keys player and fellow songwriter (and probably the closest thing to a brother I’ve known).

And I’m not upset about this.  I thought I was going to have a clean and easy Wikipedia page on Canary.

Our Wikipedia page will be anything but clean - and easy.  (Imagine that part being said like Tina Turner at the beginning of Proud Mary.)