Part of our Ongoing Series of Argonotes Grey Cup Memories.
Wait, what? Argonotes at the 2017 Grey Cup?
Didn’t the band fold in 2017?
Well, yeah, it kind of did, the band packed it in after 22 years just before the start of the 2017 season (and reunited for one reunion performance in July) but that’s a topic for a much longer post. Or if you subscribe to The Athletic, you can read about it here…
However, Argonotes did actually perform on Grey Cup Weekend. Sort of! So it gets its own entry in the archives.
the eastern final
So I guess the Curse of Argonotes that we applied to the team didn’t work, because they won the Eastern Final and made it to the Grey Cup against Calgary.
I was delighted to take my dad (and brother (and one son)) to the Eastern final at BMO Field, and the Argos beat Saskatchewan.
should I stay or should I go
Yours truly was kind of moping around that week, debating whether to go to Ottawa for the game.
I’d talked myself into Not Going. I can’t go. Not without my band.
But after some intense lobbying by basically everybody I’d ever met in my entire life, all saying “What, are you nuts? Go!”, and especially after an invitation to connect with the Saskatchewan Roughrider Pep Band (who were making their 4,000th straight Grey Cup trip), I found a ticket and headed to Ottawa for the weekend.
hanging out with musical friends
The Roughrider band even let us hang around and play and possibly even conduct.
It was a fantastic experience, and I owe a lot to the Rider band for the invitation, and to my Argonotes colleague Jenn “Piccolo” “Or Bass Drum” Annis, because I think we both agreed that two people is, legally, a band.
two people are legally a band
And we found ourselves at the Argo bash. I had this informal plan to have the entire Riders band show up and I was going to give them Argos shirts if they’d just play Go Argos Go and pretend to be Argonotes, but that kind of fell apart when they said “Sure, we’ll do it, but wearing green”, which wouldn’t have been nearly subversive enough.
So, what the heck, whaddya gonna do, there’s a stage and a rowdy group of Argo fans and there’s beer and we had a trombone and a bass drum, what more do you need, and without further ado, here is a performance of “Go Argos Go” by Argonotes, the Until Recently Toronto Argonauts Band, at the Argos Ottawa party the night before the Grey Cup, and I promise you, there are much better recordings of this song!
— Spitzka (@Spitzka) November 26, 2017
My thanks to Spitzka for the video and all his support over the years.
Was it a great weekend?
Absolutely! Inspired, no doubt, by our performance, the Argos beat Calgary in an epic snow globe of a game, with some wild plays, an incredible finish, a great halftime show by Shania Twain (who arrived on a dogsled) and I had a great 2nd row seat surrounded by Ottawa REDBLACKS fans who couldn’t have been more gracious after the victory.
Was this our greatest Argonotes performance ever?
Probably not. Other than the part where it inspired the Argos to victory the following day.
Was it our final Argonotes performance ever?
Hey, you never know.