In the grocery store today: “Oh, hey! It was so great to see you guys at the Union Club a couple weeks back. We never make it out these days, wow, how long has it been you guys playin?”

Me: “Fifteen years.”

Him: Wow! So awesome! The three of you, wow, blah blah blah…..

I chose not to say that the show he was at, was my last. It was, in fact, my last Junker show, but heck, his track record? It’ll be three years before he sees another one.


Like any life change, any big break-up… it has been amazing to me to realize how many, many interactions I will have, around and about it.


Today, at work, supervisor asks, innocently, “Got a lot of weddings this year?”

Me: “Well… no…  I um… quit my band…. It’s new news. Like a couple weeks, really…”


Yesterday, ay a BBQ at a friend’s house: “Wait, you look really familiar… Oh, you play in a band? What’s it called? Oh! Cash for Junkers?? I LOVED you guys, use to go see you all the time [when she lived in Missoula 15 years ago, before living in NYC for 10 years, and moving back recently….]


On Waterworks Hill yesterday, an acquaintance, “Still playin?” Me: “Yes, but a bit differently…. ” C4J reminiscences ensue…


To a friend, several weeks ago: “So, I’m pretty preoccupied… I…. quit the band.

Friend: Oh my god! Can you take it back?? Why????

Me: Well, it’s been 15 years… of late nights and knowing what I’m doing a weekend or three a month, 4 – 6 months out…

Friend: Oh, jeez, I always wondered how you could do that…


I’m sad about it!! Hell, it is really a sad and bittersweet thing to move on past an era in yiour life, no matter how sure you are it’s the right call.

And, dangit, I don’t know what it means to be a musician who wants to play music but doesn’t want to be In A Band. I have been In a Band almost the entire time I have lived in Missoula… so, how do I keep my chops, and my community, alive, without a Band?? I dunno yet.

And, above and below all of it, my guys, who I love the hell out of.

I am horrified about the idea that — by not being in the band– I have ripped these guys out of my life. I hope like hell that this is not true, and I know it’s my job to make sure of it, if I can.


6 thoughts on “Ex-Junker

  1. Quitting a band’s never easy. Believe me, I’ve done it dozens of times. But if leaving the band is something that has become a serious consideration for whatever reason, you’re making the right move. You will miss it. They will miss you. I love C4J, but a lot of their character leaves with you, Grace. Grieve it, yeah, but also keep pointed forward. You’re too good of a player (and a person) to be on your own musically for long. Opportunities for collaboration will present themselves when you’re ready.

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