A musical reunion

Aaron Stuckel
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The five members of Headline stand in front of what is now the Mae Wilson Theatre in Moose Jaw during the summer of 1978. From left to right, Dave Sergeant (Bass), Nelson Bennett (drums), Dan O'Connell (voice), Sandy Lawson (guitar), and Graham young (guitar). When asked whether their return to Moose Jaw meant a return to Seventies classic rock fashion, Young replied:

Graham Young is owner of Grycom, a business communications agency in Ottawa. He has a commerce degree from Carleton University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Ottawa. He consults businesses on how to convey the benefits of their products, and sometimes holds workshops that “help organizations communicate more effectively,” according to the company’s website where he is pictured wearing a white collared shirt and a tie.

But what the website doesn’t say is that Young was at one time a guitar player for the classic rock band Headline that played in and around Moose Jaw in the 1970’s. And, exactly 34 years after playing their last show in the city, the band is holding a reunion performance at Chillers Brew Pub.

Playing classic rock covers from bands like Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, the band played in just about every small town in a 200 kilometre radius of Moose Jaw in the mid-1970’s. On August 24th, 1978, they played their last show at the Moose Jaw Union Centre to celebrate their first Canadian tour.

 “We held this cabaret and it was sort of a going away party of sorts because it preceded our first-ever venture onto the road,” said Young, recalling his most recent gig in Moose Jaw over three decades ago. “Up until that point we had been playing solely on weekends in and around the Moose Jaw area.”

But, as it often does, the road proved hard for the five young men, and the band went through a series of new singers before finally giving up their dreams. Drummer Nelson Bennett went on to become a reporter at the Times-Herald and later moved to British Columbia. Others went on to become visual artists or video editors. Only lead guitar player Sandy Lawson stayed in the music industry, finding success with the hard rock band Sentinal who would reach the peak of their careers opening for KISS during their Animalize tour.

“For whatever reason, the momentum wasn’t there to sustain the band and each of the guys went their own way,” said Young.

But the passion for classic rock never died in any of the members and in 2005 they played their first gig together again for the Harley Owners Group of Vancouver Island. They’ve been planning a return to Moose Jaw ever since, but the distance between each member has made things difficult.

For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: Carleton University, University of Ottawa, Times-Herald Rolling Stones Moose Jaw Union Centre Harley Owners Group of Vancouver Island

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Ottawa, British Columbia

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