“The Consuls” versus “Little Caesar and the Consuls”

On my website “peterderemigis.net” the term “consuls” has for months been at the top of the list of Internet searches listed for my site. I assume that this persistently high position indicates that there are still many online interested in that now ancient Toronto group of rock and roll musicians originally called the “Consuls”. Although the term, consuls, was originally used to denote two leaders of the Roman senate more than 2000 years ago, some time between political rule by the early Roman kings, and the rule of the emperors often called Caesar, I think I recall that our group’s labelling itself “The Consuls” was actually inspired by a British automobile,the Consul.

Obviously I had nothing to do with applying that name to our band, and have always believed that Bruce Morshead had originated it. Some time after Robbie, Gene,and I left the “Consuls” the new group that formed around the two remaining “Consuls” became known as “Little Caesar and the Consuls”. The new name inspiring a kind of imperialist air, surprised me because I rightly or wrongly had always believed that the original name had more mechanical/commercial or even democratic associations than the more recent one evoking the image of the autocratic rulers of the Roman empire.

But what interests me about the change of name from “The Consuls” (whether derived from the Roman Consuls or a British auto) to “Little Caesar and the Consuls” is that it reminds me that in the early days of rock and roll the name “Consuls” seemed to fit an era in which differences between performers and audience were blurred compared to ensuing years of popular rock entertainment when the distance between the deified “rock star” seemed to grow as wide as between the Roman emperor and his subjects in the latter days of the Roman empire.

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