Okay, let's get this straight right from the get-go. Devotion was most definitely not a Christian rock band. True, it was a band, but with some of the things we up to, most of us are probably going straight to the bad place when we shuck this mortal coil.

Devotion was only in existence for 2+ years from 1973 to 1975 but we cut a mean swath through the music scene in eastern and central Canada. Since that time, the band has become the Legendary Devotion, spoken of in hushed tones. We never thought for a moment that we would ever become "legendary". What we actually wanted was to become Rock Stars and make obscene amounts of money. Anyway, it was quite a group of musicians and we did come this close to making the big time...

In 2001, we decided to do a reunion and play a gig, after all we weren't getting any younger and everyone was still around and able to play. Some of the logistics arranging this extravaganza were a nightmare, one member had returned to Montreal and another to Halifax, we had to borrow all sorts of equipment, find a venue where we could perform, etc., etc. Steve Lang, our bass player, has a beautiful place in Muskoka, north of Toronto, so we went up there for a week of intense rehearsing and even more intense reminising! The date was September 9, 2001. We rehearsed for several hours that evening and most of the next day, and things were going very well indeed. Everyone was playing better than ever. Then, on Tuesday morning, we had our eyes glued to Steve's big screen TV watching the horrible events of that day unfold. At that point, we almost pulled the plug, but decided since we'd come that far, it was silly to turn back. Music became a balm of sorts for us.

Devotion was what is now called a prog band. We played very complex music and our original tunes were the worst of them. Could we rise to the high standard we'd set in the early '70s? When it finally got to "the night", everyone was edgy, not sure if we could pull of two long sets with the panache we had in the past. Despite the pre-gig jitters, I was expecially eager to see the audience's (many old fans who'd heard about the gig) reaction to my fully restored mellotron of which I was making liberal use and playing it far more than I had in the past.

In the end, the band sounded fantastic (except for a burp at the end of Yes' "Siberian Khatru" in the first set). I don't think any of us were satisfied with the vocals (although Terry Hatty was better than ever), but that was due to not enough rehearsal time. After all, this was a band that used to have just vocal rehearsals and worked with 5-part, very complex arrangements -- while playing! Special thanks to Scott Vale, our lighting man, who came all the way from Edmonton, to hang out, help horse the gear, cook, clean, you name it. It was great to see you again, buddy, and wouldn't have been the same without you! And next time, I promise there'll be lights!

Here are a few photos of that 2001 gig. Will there be more? Who knows. There's also a partially done album that's still pretty damn impressive over 25 years later.

ABOVE: Rick Edgett, guitar & vocals; Terry Hatty, vocals, guitar & percussion; Paul DeLong, batterie; Steve Lang, bass & vocals; Simon Stone, woodwinds, keyboards & vocals; Rick, keyboards & vocals. RIGHT: Lorne Nehring (Devotion’s original drummer) played the first set. BELOW: Terry decides to announce that dinner is being served – right in the middle of an alto flute solo by Simon! The audience seems stunned by this inexcusable faux pas. Standing in the doorway in back of Edgett is my son Jan who was the official bouncer for the night. He did well. He's big and likes to fight...

Devotion’s first performance in 26 years took place at the College St. Bar in Toronto on September 17, 2001. The band played two sets: one containing some of our favourite "covers" (other bands' material) and the other primarily featured original material. Some of us hadn’t seen each other since the break-up of the band in 1975. It felt really great to play together again and the pieces (especially our original material roared as strongly as ever.

The one down note to actually playing again? Moving all that equipment! Two 400-pound keyboards are no joke to horse in and out of a truck, especially one without a power lift. Overheard more than once from band members: “I’m getting too old for this shit.”

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