P.E.I. rock group Taquila is playing two reunion gigs on Sept. 29 and 30 at John Brown's Richmond Street Grille in Charlottetown.
Jeff Morris, on lead vocals and guitar, and Russell Kerr, who plays bass, dropped by CBC P.E.I.'s Island Morning to reminisce on the old days and talk about their upcoming shows.
'It really took off in a big way'
The band first started in 1973 and caught a lot of momentum quickly, playing their show-stopping tunes through the 1970s and into the early '80s.
'We built a really loyal fan base [with] a little more of a new-wave flair.' — Jeff Morris
"It was really popular as a dance band in the high schools and everything really right from the start, it really took off in a big way," said Kerr.
Taquila played at high schools across the province and eventually moved on to bars, clubs and cabarets throughout Atlantic Canada.
Morris joins the band
Morris first saw the band when he was in high school and was later asked to be the front man of the up-and-coming band.
"I was at University of King's College playing basketball and partying," Morris said. "I got a call from Ron Huestis, a good friend of mine from high school, where we played in bands together, [who] said 'do you want to join Taquila?'"
Huestis told Morris they'd be playing shows in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland — Morris was all in for the wild ride.
"It sounded like a good summer job initially, then they gave me the set list and said 'this is what you're singing,'" Morris said.
"The momentum from there as we toured various places … lineups and rooms packed every night, we built a really loyal fan base [with] a little more of a new-wave flair."
'Fit together pretty quickly'
Morris and Kerr said their "new-wave" type of music involved playing a bit of Radiohead, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and their own tunes like That's My Girl.
They even opened for Bryan Adams at one point.
"Back in those days, in the '80s, we really jumped on the new-wave sound at that time," Kerr said.
"The university circuit that we played really really liked it, and it translated to the clubs as well."
After all these years, the band is getting back together for a show and it was as simple as "putting on an old pair of shoes again," Kerr said.
"It fit together pretty quickly."
Kerr and Morris are joined by Jimmy Gallant on drums, Ron Huestis on keyboards and Darren Ings on keyboards and vocals.
A reunion is something the band has talked about for years.
"I think it was always up in the air," Kerr explained. "Really the last year or two it started looking like we should do this because time's passing on here."
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