What Did the Bear Say?
In 2014 Jimmy Cavanaugh (who had been taking guitar lessons for a couple of years) asked his friend, Rob Smola, to take bass lessons so that maybe someday they could put together a cover band and play in some bars. Rob Blair used to sit in the Cavanaugh garage and listen to those two idiots struggle while they played to various songs thru a Blue Tooth Speaker. These practice sessions were the beginnings of their imaginary cover band, BiPolar Bear.
Between August of 2019 and August of 2023, Jimmy and Rob had the incredible pleasure of actually playing live gigs in backyards, bars and fundraisers with Ron Townsend (drums), Lisa Strzelecki (vocals), Richie LaFaire (vocals), Ellen Backlin (keyboards, harmony vocals), Dave Gonzalez (original lead guitarist), Aldo Kleine (second lead guitarist after replacing Dave) and the amazing Joe Smith (final lead guitarist). These are some incredible players and fun people. I am incredibly indebted to each for lending their time and talent to playing live music with us. Each of them taught us, contributed to an amazing four-year run and made our dreams come true. However, as we all know, change is the only constant. The band members decided to go their separate ways with the final decision being made on Labor Day (09/04/2023). I am sure interested folks will be asking us individually "Why? What happened?" Here is the answer you will get from me, "I truly believe that entities, relationships, work experiences and bands run their course. It seemed that this was the time for this line-up to end." That is the only answer you will get from me. Very few things last forever (does anything?).
Rich is a talented singer who I am sure will be focusing on his DJ business and his health www.facebook.com/ripnrichentertainment/. Joe is a fantastic, awesome guitar player with crazy stage presence and cool – you will be able to catch in his killer band, Hard Wire hardwiremusic4.godaddysites.com/. I am sure that Ron will, at some point, emerge playing guitar or drums with a band, if that is what he chooses to do. He is just a natural musician. Lisa is someone I have known for a long, long time. I know she is a loving grandma, mom and wife, and she has a wedding for her son coming up in the future. I got money that says she sings at the ceremony if she doesn't cry like a baby. I am sure Ellen will continue to come to the garage and practice with Jimmy and me until we can figure out what the next version will be. Ellen probably doesn't even care if she will be in the new band or not, she just likes to play music.
It is sad, because it is the end of something. Jimmy and I find ourselves exactly where we were in 2015 – two old morons who want to play in a cover band. I think it will be scary, terrifying, aggravating, frustrating, wonderful and exciting to try to build BiPolar Bear -- Mach II. That is the plan, we shall see. No one can take away the last four years, which I would not trade for the world. Those people mentioned above I will always be grateful to for helping us realize our dream. I told Jimmy that I want to play till I am 65 and then re-evaluate. I am 56 . . . tick tock, that's less than nine years left. I can not thank all of our families for their encouragement, patience and attendance at the shows. It has been a thrill to play and to make complete boobs of ourselves in front of you, whether it was Jimmy's back yard, at Pub 78, a different bar, or at some park. We hope the hibernation won't last too long!
Rob, The Idiot Bassist