Yesterday on the Online Kitchen Party Facebook group, it was reported that greatbigsea.com has gone down, and so have the GBS-related Facebook and Twitter accounts.
This is what you see now if you try to go to the greatbigsea.com site:
(For my visually impaired followers, it’s a screencap that has a giant 404, followed by ‘The site you were looking for couldn’t be found. This domain is successfully pointed at WP Engine, but is not configured for an account on our platform.’ And a couple suggested courses of action in case you’re the person who just put up the site and haven’t fully configured it yet and um, yeah.)
Bob Hallett showed up on the Facebook thread (which should be publicly readable, the OKP group is public), essentially saying “there is a plan, but, Sean”. By which I think it’s safe to conclude that the shutdown of the site and of the social media accounts is part of the whole “for his own health and well-being, Sean needs Great Big Sea to be done” problem.
I think it’s also safe to conclude at this point that no matter how much the long-term loyal fandom might wish otherwise, the Great Big Sea we’ve all known and loved is dead.
And, well, I mean, I knew that already. A lot of us in the fandom had pretty much decided that when Sean announced his withdrawal from the band after the XX tour. It had certainly also seemed pretty obvious when Alan was quoted last November as saying that the band was essentially retired.
But a lot of us had been holding out at least a crumb of hope that if the band still had an online presence, maybe eventually all involved parties would reach an accord and make music together again someday.
Now? Not so much. And I have to admit, seeing the site gone, a corner of the Net I’ve loved for sixteen years now, made me tear up today. This makes it feel a lot more final.
I stand by my post from November; every word I said there still applies. I’m still very grateful for all the joy Great Big Sea has given me. I’m sad that Sean feels like he has to separate himself from that part of his life, while at the same time, I’m happy that he seems to be finding some peace and happiness of his own. If Alan or Sean comes to Seattle, I’ll certainly go see them. Their solo acts aren’t quite enough to get me to cross the border–but if they happen to have shows in Canada going on while I’m up there anyway, then I’ll absolutely go see them there, too.
And I’ll keep playing their songs, for values of “playing” meaning both “in iTunes” and “on my instruments”.
I’m thinking there needs to be one last Three Good Measures jam. Because Great Big Sea needs a proper wake.
And, y’know, I do know “Paddy Murphy”. Tonight, though, I’m kinda thinkin’ “General Taylor” is called for. Here’s superfan Lynda Elstad’s vid of same, from the Torbay concert in Newfoundland 2012 that Dara and I went to.
Sing with me, people. SING.
33 Replies to “Raise a jar to greatbigsea.com”
Holy shit, that thread sure deteriorated in a hurry … :( *sigh* too many judgemental people with pitchforks.
I saw a bit too many pitchforks in there for my comfort, yeah.
I don’t get why they needed to erase themselves from the world, still.
I could theorize, but it would be pure speculation on my part. Mostly along the lines of “they might have had to from a legal/contractual perspective, if Sean was resisting letting the band continue to exist as an entity.”
o/~ Walk him along, Séan, walk him along… o/~
Not in the OKP group anymore, but wow, Bob and the fans didn’t hold back there!
Yeah, that whole thread got a bit too spiky for my comfort.
^I like that word!
f I squint hard and hold my head at a ridiculous angle, I can *almost* vaguely see the point of those with the pitchforks. But dearest Gods and Goddesses, we’re talking about a _fellow human being_ who, quite frankly, doesn’t owe those overly-entitled folks a fucking thing. He gave them 20 years, nine albums, 2 DVD’s, and hundreds of nights on the road away from his sons. Apparently that’s not good enough. Grrrrrrr.
debating about editing that last comment so _I_ don’t come off as a hypocrite for being judgemental of _them_, and posting it. OTOH, the flames are starting to die down, I guess I don’t need to shoot propane into the embers.
apparently I have no genuine sense of self-preservation.
The very short form: the website going down is, I suspect (based on Bob’s commentary on the group), part of the whole “Sean needs Great Big Sea to be completely done for his own health and sanity” issue. Alan and Bob have been Not Done, and they’ve apparently been at loggerheads with Sean about the fate of the band.
After I posted, I googled GBS. Wikipedia, therefore it must be true😉, said Sean quit and Alan and Bob agreed to retire. I always thought Sean had a attitude, just the way he comes across (arrogant, imo) and if he has a legal attachment to the name GBS, I can see him being a dick about it.
OMG dick autocorrected to Dickleburgh. Love it.
Try not to blame Sean for this. This isn’t just a matter of his being a dick–the man IS a recovering alcoholic AND he announced he’s having to face having been sexually abused when he was young. The man has things he needs to deal with and I do not under any circumstances begrudge him that. If he needs GBS to be done for his own health and peace, yes, it’s sad for all of us. But I would much rather have a healthier Sean and no band than the other way around.
(And, given how much happier and at peace Sean was last time I saw him on a stage, at a solo show in Vancouver, I’m confident he’s making the choices he needs to for his life. All of us need the space to be able to do that, and Sean has already given us twenty solid years with GBS.)
That’s fine then I wish him health and happiness, but why can’t he live his life and let others live theirs? If Alan and Bob want to keep the band, there’s no reason why Sean should begrudge them. I am sure they know all about his alcoholism and history, well more than any of us would. It’s seems like a control issue to me. It’s like if he can’t play in the sandbox, no one else can.
Well, that makes even less sense. He’s doing his thing, he’s performing. I thought he quit to get away
Oops, I was under the impression he quit to get away from the stress of touring and performing.
There’s a big difference between touring with a big band who has a huge reputation, draws in big crowds, and puts him in direct proximity to alcohol as well–and touring on your own, doing small, intimate shows, with a lot more control over your touring environment. Sean clearly still needs to make music, but I think it’s _very_ reasonable for him to need to stand away from an environment where he is not at risk of backsliding into alcohol consumption.
And from what I’ve seen out of him, out of Alan, and out of Bob’s statements on the OKP group, all that’s really at loggerheads here is whether the entity “Great Big Sea” can continue. _Specifically_ from what Bob said on the group, it sounds like that by the terms of the contractual agreements they have set up between them, there has to be a consensus on decisions that affect the band as a whole. And they don’t have that consensus.
I seriously doubt that Sean will complain if Alan, Bob, Kris, and Murray decide they’re going to get together without him and make another album or go touring or whatever–though as I just mentioned to Fred further down the thread, if they do that, I’d actually prefer it to NOT be under the name Great Big Sea anyway. I have too many years invested in Sean being part of that name that it just wouldn’t be “Great Big Sea” for me without him. o.O
Mostly at this point I’m almost less sad that the band has ceased to exist and more that Alan, Sean, and Bob are at loggerheads about it. Really, after all the years of joy their music has given me, I just want ’em all to be happy!
I have wonderful memories of GBS!! (As you know!) I agree touring with 1 or 2 original members but keeping the name, is annoying. You know as well as I do a lot of 80s bands tour with the name but most of the original members are gone. I just think Sean is being childish if Alan and Bob still really wanted to use the name GBS. His issues are just that, his. They shouldn’t have to affect everyone.
But, I’ve been out of the GBS loop for a long time and I’m just aggravated mostly based on the perception of my brief interactions with Sean as a fan. (Not impressed)
I’ve got much more recent impressions of Sean, so yeah. He was _very_ outgoing and welcoming to fans at the solo show I went to with Geri. Hell, he even brought fans up onto the stage to sing with him, and then did a long meet and greet after, and took pictures with everybody and everything. He seemed much, much happier and at peace. And as I actually told him to his face, I AM an abuse survivor, and I know too many other abuse survivors to not understand what he’s going through. I VERY strongly suspect that the reason he seemed so cold and off-putting at a lot of GBS shows the last several years is specifically because of the things he’s been fighting to deal with. That will drain a lot out of ANYBODY, never mind someone who’s having to put on a public face at a concert.
well there goes one more shred of hope that GBS will ever get back together.
Yeah pretty much. >_< I have a tiny crumb of hope that maybe Alan, Bob, Kris, and Murray might do something else under a different name. Though if they do, I'd almost prefer that to not have the name Great Big Sea on it. Just because for me, it would not be GBS without Sean.
This calls for a filk – perhaps to the tune of Paddy Murphy: Oh, the night that great-big-sea-dot-com went down is a night we’ll never forget. All of us fans got loaded drunk, and we ain’t been sober yet…
RT @annathepiper: Raise a jar to https://t.co/TO589O0KlY: Yesterday on the Online Kitchen Party Facebook group, it was repo… https://t.co…
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