In an everchanging and sometimes fickle music scene it takes a special band to stand the test of time and adapt to it, as both legends, and luminaries. Celebrating 43 years together the iconic Canadian band 54-40 will hit the outdoor stage at Duncan’s Red Arrow Brewing on June 10 from 3 to 9 p.m. to intoxicate fans with their timeless blend of pop, and rock music for their sold out show. The show will go on rain or shine with special guests The Bankes Brothers, and the Porter Brothers and will feature a myriad of Red Arrow adult beverages and food trucks.
54-40’s Neil Osborne and Brad Merritt first met in 1978 at South Delta High School in Tsawwassen, after studying at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
Osborne returned home to form the band with bass player Brad Merrit and former band drummer Ian Franey. They played their first gig on Dec. 8, 1980 in Coquitlam, the night that John Lennon was shot. They made their first recordings for the Mo-Da-Mu label the same year. Since first becoming established more than four decades ago at Vancouver’s famed Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret the band has penned iconic, chart-topping gems, leading them to be nominated for eight Juno awards between 1996 and 2016 and placing them among the top 50 selling bands, and top 150 selling artist in Canada.
“When I started playing, I was an angry young man with a big mission,” chuckles Neil Osborne of their New Year’s Eve start in 1980. “I used to say, if I’m still doing this when I’m 30, I’m going to shoot myself. Then I said, if I’m still doing this when I am 40, someone please shoot me. Now it’s like, if I am still doing this at age 50 and over, wow, eh?!”
Talent and tenacity is what keeps the band with the times, and their single ‘Keep On Walking’, which was released in 2017, is one of the band’s most eclectic hits to date.
“This record already feels like a success to me. The fact that we created it while really enjoying playing together is an accomplishment, and why Brad Merritt and I started the band in the first place,” said Osborne.