Night Drive-Travels With My Brother.  Garnet Rogers recalls the decade spent with now legendary folk singer Stan Rogers...a more politically incorrect tale of tirals and tribulations, dives, fights, alcohol and above all great songs.

Night Drive-Travels With My Brother. Garnet Rogers recalls the decade spent with now legendary folk singer Stan Rogers...a rough and tumble, politically incorrect tale of trials and tribulations, dives, fights, alcohol and above all great songs.

Garnet Rogers: “Night Drive”- the story of Stan Rogers and the rock and roll struggles of a folk trio

It has to be true because you just couldn’t make this stuff up.

Garnet Rogers is a singer-songwriter. He was the long-time band mate and brother of the late Stan Rogers who is now a legendary folk singer in Canada.

But that was far from the case during his lifetime.

Garnet has written a long book about the trials and tribulations of trying to make it as folk singers doing original material in the 1970’s.

It’s called Night Drive.

Listen
Singer songwriter Garnet Rogers
Singer songwriter Garnet Rogers © Bruce Dienes)

Imagine something like a combination of the Blues Brothers meet Spinal Tap: crazy situations, unimaginably inappropriate gigs, rotten promoters,  wild bar fights, copious lashings of alcohol, no money…and imagine that as a folk trio bent on performing their own original songs.

In the years since Stan Rogers untimely death in a jetliner fire at the Cincinatti airport in 1983, a sort of mythological legend has been built around him, as the music became more and more popular; sanitized so-to-speak, to be better able to “market” him

Garnet said he wanted to set the record straight, or at least as he remembered it.

Stan Rogers performing *The Mary Ellen Carter*, from the feature documentary *One Warm Line: The Legacy of Stan Rogers*
Stan Rogers performing *The Mary Ellen Carter*, from the feature documentary *One Warm Line: The Legacy of Stan Rogers* © Kensington Communications via YouTube

That story almost always leaves out the fact that Stan was not alone, but was part of a band with Garnet and that he was a complex character who didn’t suffer fools gladly. In fact he narrowly avoided a charge of attempted murder.

Night Drive is a hilarious (now)  superbly written look at their crazy struggles to make it in the music business as a folk band performing original material..which at the time, almost no-one wanted to hear.  Most struggling bands will readily identify with horrible dive gigs, rotten promoters, and so on.

Politically correct? Not a chance!

Garnet (left) and Stan Rogers with David Alan Eadie on bass at a Calgary Alberta folk event.
Garnet (left) and Stan Rogers with David Alan Eadie on bass at a Calgary Alberta folk event. © stanrogers.net

Everyone will appreciate the gritty writing and the seemingly unbelievably crazy stories.

There were dangerous gigs in rural villages and northern mining towns, in horrible pissy-smelling tap rooms with the “Ladies and Escorts” signs over the door. Safe as long as you were a country act, had a pedal steel and knew the words to the “Green, Green Grass of Home,” and were able to diplomatically turn down the drunken girl who had stood in front of the bandstand and ripped open her pearl buttoned cowgirl shirt as a prelude to courtship and do so without offending her large and surly boyfriend.

 “You sayin’ you don’t think my girlfriend is purty enough for you?”

There was no good answer to that question.

If you said “Yes,” you got savagely stomped into cat meat.  If you said “No,” you got savagely stomped into cat meat.

circa 1970s: Garnet Rogers (left) and brother Stan who was six years older.
circa 1970s: Garnet Rogers (left) and brother Stan who was six years older. © stanrogers.net

 

Then there’s the story of one typical gig in a very dodgy part of an American city.

Stan said, “We’re screwed. There is no gig. She told me that there was no point in renting a hall or doing publicity, because no one knows us anyway.”  Jesus.   We were almost completely broke, and many miles from home, and what was to be our major “anchor gig” had turned to shit. The small  troll -like person was hovering outside the van, shifting her weight from  one foot to the other, wringing her hands and waiting.

 “Who’s your friend?” I asked.

 “That is our promoter.” Stan said.

And later after a bizarre performance in her dingy apartment to her two drunk and farting friends…..

“You’ll never work in this town again!”

I fled down the steps, taking them four at a time squealing “RUN AWAY! “ like the Knights of the Round Table in the Monty Python movie.  I vaulted the iron gate at the bottom of the steps with the whisky bottle in one hand, and leapt out on to the street. The van was already moving with the side door slid open.

It’s a big book, about 700 pages, and it’s available from Garnet’s website (below). If you love the music of Stan Rogers, you’ll want to buy it. If you love Garnet’s own music, you’ll want to buy it. If you are in an unappreciated struggling band, you’ll want to..well borrow it from someone who did buy it. And, if you love a roaring good tale with no politically correct holds barred, you’ll want to buy it

Garnet Rogers website

Stan Rogers site

YOUTUBE- GARNET ROGERS- NIGHT DRIVE

Posted in Arts and Entertainment

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

One comment on “Garnet Rogers: “Night Drive”- the story of Stan Rogers and the rock and roll struggles of a folk trio
  1. Lovely review! I’ve shared it to my timeline on Facebook, and thought I should drop a note to say thank you. Just came across an old B&W photo, taken by Caryl p. Weiss (RIP), of Garnet & Stan aboard the Gazela Primer in Philly, ‘way back.

    Here’s to absent friends — John.