ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

THERE’S A MOLE IN MY BUCKET, DEAR LISA, DEAR LISA.

 Well you know your not in Kansas anymore when you wake up to this face staring at you in bed.

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Dad! You up? Dad! Dad! Dad! You up? You up? You up dad?  

Home for one night in my own bed then ready by 9am to hit the trail again for a show in Sarnia, Ontario. Sarnia is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, and had a 2016 population of 71,594. It is the largest city on Lake Huron and in Lambton County. Sarnia is located on the eastern bank of the junction between the Upper and Lower Great Lakes where Lake Huron flows into the St. Clair River, which forms the Canada–United States border, directly across from Port Huron, Michigan. 

First Nations peoples have lived, hunted, and travelled across the area for at least 10,000 years, as shown by archaeological evidence on Walpole Island. 10,000 years guys. Think about that. We truly are, ALL OF US, just immigrants, regardless how far you think your North American generations go back.

 As it is...... 

As it is...... 

About A.D. 796, these peoples emerged from an amalgamation of Ojibwa, Odawa, and Potowatami clans, and formed the Three Fires Confederacy, also called the Council of Three Fires. They were all speakers of Algonquian languages and also had connections through common elements of cultures. They developed a self-sufficient society where tasks and responsibilities were equally shared among all members.

 As it was....... 

As it was....... 

 Miss Long says, “No pictures! No pictures! SECURITY!!”  

Miss Long says, “No pictures! No pictures! SECURITY!!”  

Since we are all travelling from our own homes to this gig, it’s easier for us all to make our own way there, in our own vehicles. I picked Carmela, (our BG singer) up and she and I made the drive together. It’s was a three hour drive and as we chatted tons during which we reminisced a lot about the days of playing Sarnia and the surrounding area, when there was an abundance of bars, all with “live” entertainment, where patrons could see great bands week in and week out by just going to their local “watering-hole.” Carm spoke of the days of her own band, “The Carmela Long Band,” whereby, she would often be out this way, slogging it out, night after night in the bars. Our respective bands never crossed paths back in the day but I will tell you two things about Carm. She is one of THE most respected vocalists that the city of Toronto has ever produced AND I have NEVER known a vocalist who knows as many musicians as she does. It’s crazy! So many of them have played for her in her years of performing and they love and respect her so much that it’s like “old-home-week” every time we run into one of them. Airports, bus stops, bars, gigs, funerals, “Hey Carm, Hey Bob,” anyway, back to the bar days. Let’s be honest, they weren’t the most “glamorous” of places and as for the rooms that went along with them? Holy shit! Half the time you were afraid to undress to get into the beds.

 Circa 1977 .....the rooms weren’t the most glamorous .....and who is THAT guy?     Sometimes you had to hope that the rodents would get the hint and move out. If they didn’t, you were apt to get an under-the-pillow-surprise during the night. One time Wayne and I had to share the same bed in a shithole up in Temagami, Ontario. At one point I felt movement under the pillow but what the fuck, I was too tired to care. In the morning Wayne and I awakened to find a dead “mole” under the pillow.     

Circa 1977 .....the rooms weren’t the most glamorous .....and who is THAT guy?  

Sometimes you had to hope that the rodents would get the hint and move out. If they didn’t, you were apt to get an under-the-pillow-surprise during the night. One time Wayne and I had to share the same bed in a shithole up in Temagami, Ontario. At one point I felt movement under the pillow but what the fuck, I was too tired to care. In the morning Wayne and I awakened to find a dead “mole” under the pillow. 

 

 “Hey lads, can you move over? I am having trouble breathing!”  

“Hey lads, can you move over? I am having trouble breathing!”  

These were the days of doing 3 x 45min sets of covers (bar owners wanted NOTHING to do with originals) and in the province of Quebec, you had to do FIVE x 45mins sets, AND it was SEVEN nights a week not six. A famous haunt that my first band ONYX used to play, was a huge club called The Electric Circle. We had already played the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday ...count that at 5x45min sets, holy shit, that’s THIRTY SETS @ 45 mins per = 22.5 hrs if my math is correct AND we still had five sets to do on the Sunday, PLUS the fact, our next gig was the very next evening, Monday, in Newmarket, Ontario, a good 10hrs in those days in our old beat up van. First song, first set, of this last Sunday show and I hear Wayne yell, “ALAN!!!” As I turn around, the side of my face gets CLOBBERED with a huge lighting rack that our lighting tech had failed to secure properly. I get thumped and fall to the floor. Crowd cheers!!! (they think this is part of the show.) I get back up and attempt to sing, “ ARRRBY FRACKELTY ....FUCK!!” and I stagger and fall. I end up in a French hospital being told in broken English, “You stay! Must stay! Dangereux!!” Basically they were saying, “Your face is fucked and we need to keep you here for observation. If you leave, you’re on your own bud and it could be dangerous if your brain bleeds.”

I had been taught a few chords on guitar around 1974 by a guy called a Martin Ridgely. We then went on to duet together at parties and weddings etc Then I was approached by a scruffy bunch of characters in a band called ONYX. They had heard about my voice and wanted to know if I would audition for them. From that audition I was now officially a starving musician, playing the shittiest of shitholes, getting knocked out on stage, in 1970’s Quebec......bliss! 

 

 

 One of the earliest known shots of me singing for ONYX.

One of the earliest known shots of me singing for ONYX.

Needless to say, “the show must go on” and all that jazz and I went back to the club. The last set had been a disaster. The band knew but one song without me, ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ and they had tried doing an extended 48 min version of that until the drugs wore off the audience and they got booed off the stage! Ahhhhh, Rock’n’Roll, ya gotta luv it! We got our gear packed up, our arses in the van, and we made it to Newmarket and did our show as scheduled the next evening, me with a face like a balloon wearing dark glasses. 

Got to Sarnia about an hour before needed for soundcheck. Carm and I had a fairly horrible lunch (eating of the road is such a crapshoot) before heading over to the theatre. During soundcheck an old friend of mine couldn’t believe that he had come home from Jamaica and was visiting friends in Sarnia, only to find out his old pal Alan and Glass Tiger were playing in town.

 The Imperial Theatre, Sarnia. 

The Imperial Theatre, Sarnia. 

We couldn’t believe our luck, not having seen each other in years. I hit him up with tickets and passes and headed back to hotel for my ritual warm soak or steaming shower to relax but also warm up the voice. 

When it comes to men’s cologne I take great pride in smelling. 😂 I mean smell me, am I smelly? 😂 Seriously, it’s so funny that the single most consistent compliment I EVER get from people, is, “You smell good!” I mean it’s so constant it’s hilarious. My band mates are all used to it by now and I am forever getting hit up by others to divulge what I am wearing. Male or female, they compliment, then ask what I am wearing. I of course don’t divulge it which drives them crazy. Just the other day my pal Tanika Charles, a fabulous singer sent me this ; 

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Basically she is saying, “Hey bud! What’s your stink?”

Many of them know that I am a Tom Ford guy. Have been for years, and now you know. But it’s the combo’s that do it 😉 the subtle fragrances that blend together are perfect and I just don’t spray and tell. HOWEVER, I am willing to divulge the newest one I received as part of my fab birthday prezzies when I returned home ..... this cologne is FUCKING FABULOUS!!! It’s brand new from T.F. And I love it....your guy will too ladies and gents. It’s “earthy and woody” it’s very musky and masculine, and I highly recommend it. Christmas Prezzie,,🎄 gang!! 

 I shit you not.......that is the name of it.  

I shit you not.......that is the name of it.  

 Killer guitarist, Russell Gray. 

Killer guitarist, Russell Gray. 

We hit the stage around 8pm and tonight was the rock show format, not the acoustic show. It felt good just to get up there and rock out for 90 straight minutes as opposed to 2x45’s. Al Connelly was under the weather for this one and unable to perform, but our “BIG RUSS” (Russell Gray) filled in admirably. We missed you Al, get better for Saturday please! 

The Sarnia crowd was great and we all had a blast together. They gave us a wonderful encore and of course we obliged.  

Some warm pizza and a cold beer in the dressing room, then out to meet some guests and those amazing folk who signed up to support CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.) THANK YOU GUYS! Take the “I” out of illness and insert “We” .....

 Man it’s been a long time..... 

Man it’s been a long time..... 

Back to hotel and joined the band for a chat and a nightcap. Lobby call is 8:30a.m. for the drive home to Toronto.

Highgate, Ontario, you’re next.....goodnight all, until that time.  

LEST WE FORGET...

 Snuneymuxw First Nations  

Snuneymuxw First Nations  

 Nanaimo, (2016 Census population 90,504) is a city on the east coast of Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia. It is known as "The Harbour City". The Indigenous peoples of the area that is now known as Nanaimo are the Snuneymuxw. An anglicised spelling and pronunciation of that word gave the city its current name.

The first Europeans to find Nanaimo Bay were those of the 1791 Spanish voyage of Juan Carrasco, under the command of Francisco de Eliza. They gave it the name Bocas de Winthuysen.

 “Hello again Nanaimo.”

“Hello again Nanaimo.”

Nanaimo began as a trading post in the early 19th century. In 1849, the Snuneymuxw chief Ki-et-sa-kun ("Coal Tyee") informed the Hudson’s Bay Company of coal in the area. Exploration proved there was plenty of it in the area and Nanaimo became chiefly known for the export of coal. As I walked around the town it came flooding back to me that earlier this year, while we were out on tour with Johnny Reid, I blogged on Nanaimo on March 1st, so no wonder I feel like a know the place!! I feel like I was just here yesterday!

Yet another lovely spot in this beautiful province of British Columbia, it’s much chillier today, but nothing like what goes on at this time of year elsewhere in Canada. I could handle this weather for winter anytime.

We had a solid show in Nanaimo with quite a few personal guests and friends coming out. Quiet drink together back at hotel with a civilized lobby call for our drive tomorrow to the ferry for our return to the mainland. Tomorrow’s show in North Vancouver marks the last one of this western run. 

 Just one more to go..... 

Just one more to go..... 


Nov 11th .....Remembrance Day/Armistice Day/ Veteran’s Day

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All aboard “The Queen of Cowichan” Ferry by 10:00a.m. and immediately headed to breakfast together. Everyone on board took part in something special thanks to our Captain.....

At precisely 11:00a.m. he brought the ferry to a halt and all on board observed two minutes of perfect silence to honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the War of 1914-1918, for today is Remembrance Day.

Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in the Commonwealth of Nations to honour those heroes. Traditionally too, it has grown informally to honour ALL veterans who have served their nation(s) proudly in times of conflict. I know that I reflect just as much on soldiers who have died in more recent times, in say, Afghanistan, as I do those of my grandfather’s era who perished in the GREAT WAR of 1914-18. They are ALL heroes, bonded together in honour and in sacrifice and many of the privileges of freedom we take for granted today have come at the price of that sacrifice. They and their families, forever altered, forever pained. Broken but proud.

 

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Remembrance Day is observed on November 11th, for it was on that date in 1918 that the hostilities of Wold War One formally ended "at the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. ("At the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

 

Our military brothers and sisters are near and dear to Glass Tiger’s heart and we have been honoured and privileged to go overseas to be with with them on numerous occasions. I personally have gone to at least 14 or so locations to be with them, beginning with Bosnia back in the 90’s and I have travelled to far-off places like Kuwait, Greenland, Oman, Alert, and Afghanistan four times. I have also been with them in the Golan Heights of Israel and in Egypt. In the USA, November 11th is known as Veterans Day, to honour those who have served in the U.S. Military. I have met many U.S. marines on bases shared with Canadians and other allies and they have always been kind, gracious and welcoming to us. Performing for them is an honour and a pleasure, but my favourite thing is to join them for breakfasts and lunches and dinners where we get to know them as people. Finding out where they are from, their high school, who their sweetheart is at home or hearing about their families and friends. It’s my favourite part of being over there. Of course so many of them are just too young to ever know who Glass Tiger is but two things always happens. One, the older guys and gals MAKE SURE THEY KNOW who Glass Tiger is 😂 and two, just like civilian audiences with young people attending, if we get up there and “kill it” then we win them over and they forever know who we are. 

 

 

 Glass Tiger Afghanistan tour.  

Glass Tiger Afghanistan tour.  

They are some of the most selfless people I have ever known and I love visiting with them. I have actually been in Afghanistan when that selflessness culminates in them sacrificing their lives to save others. Glass Tiger was present on one occasion when three of our lads were killed and the experience of having to take the stage to perform for them, followed by a “ramp ceremony” to repatriate the three dead back to Canada, is something I will never forget. It was my job up on stage prior to the ceremony to remind the living, that we must continue to celebrate life and keep on living and laughing and loving, for if we don’t, then the bad guys win. And so thousands of us sang and danced under the sky of Kandahār, only to then transfer ourselves to the tarmac of the airstrip and solemnly stand silent as the caskets of the three boys passed by us and were boarded on to the C17 for the journey home to Canada.

 Ramp Ceremony. The “ultimate sacrifice.” 

Ramp Ceremony. The “ultimate sacrifice.” 


When we ourselves were just kids, we tended to look up to persons of authority and see them as strong, mature,grown ups. They were, “men & women”. Then of course when you, yourself, mature and hit, say, 40 and up, you realize that in actual fact, so many of the military are just kids. Seriously, at 18, 19 and early 20’s, so young, with so much to live for. Fun story. Sam and I were on a very private, very secure base, plonked right in the middle of Kandahār and on this base were heavy duty troops. Kandahār or Qandahār is the second-largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 557,118. Formerly called Alexandria Arachosia, the city is named after Alexander the Great, who founded it in 329 BC around an ancient Arachosian town. So here we are amongst elite forces of the highest order both Canadian and American. Sam has a tiny little keyboard and I, only a crappy little microphone that plugged into the keyboard and my voice was projected through the damn thing along with his piano playing. Now in among the Canadian elites were two women who had cracked the team. Two women who had completed any test both physically and mentally that any man had completed. These women were tough gals. Serious shit. But I had been told ahead of time of their love for Glass Tiger and how they had just been “screaming little girls” back in 1986 when they first saw us. At the assigned moment I had two chairs brought up to me and just before we played, ‘SOMEDAY’ I called out thier names and asked them to come sit in the chairs. Well let me tell you, these two, elite, highly skilled, highly trained, “killing machines” became those two little girls again as I serenaded them as if no others were there. It was a sight to behold and one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed as an entertainer who has done thousands upon thousands of shows. Precious moments that one never forgets. 

 Precious moments one never forgets. 

Precious moments one never forgets. 

These days, during a typical Glass Tiger performance, I always take the time to recognize the men and women in uniform and always will. I also encourage those who may be so inclined, that if they see a man or woman in uniform at an airport or a bus stop or train station, to take a moment out of their lives to approach them and give them a handshake or a thank you, maybe even a hug, for their service. Remembering too, that it’s equally as important to honour and respect them when their days of service are over and they are no longer in uniform. I had the honour not too long ago, of being on the cover of the military families magazine where the topic of our “homeless veterans” was front and centre. It is so important for our governments to do all they can to assist these returning heroes after their service is over. All too often the mental scars are far greater then any visible ones. Surely providing food, shelter, pensions, jobs, health care etc is but the very least we can do for them? Goodness knows they have more than earned it. THANK YOU TO ALL who have helped us enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today. THANK YOU ALSO TO YOUR FAMILIES....for the love and support and dedication they give to you in order for you to be able to serve your countries.

LEST WE FORGET.❤️

The red Remembrance Day poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem, “In Flanders Fields” written by Canadian physician, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

 

 Lest We Forget. 

Lest We Forget. 

Tough to say, but I am old enough to remember wearing a “real poppy” before they all seemed to vanish and be replaced by the plastic ones that we know and wear today. It’s the poppy of course that is the source of the crude drug opium which contains powerful medicinal alkaloids such as morphine and has been used since ancient times as an analgesic and narcotic medicinal and recreational drug, causing it to be outlawed in many parts of the world.

Meanwhile, back in my immediate world we had one last show to do.

North Vancouver is known for hiking and skiing trails in the forested North Shore Mountains, including Grouse Mountain, whose Skyride cable car offers sweeping city views. High suspension bridges straddle popular Capilano Canyon and tranquil Lynn Canyon.

 Capilano Canyon. 

Capilano Canyon. 

Moodyville (at the south end of Moody Avenue, now Moodyville Park), is the oldest settlement on Burrard Inlet, predating Vancouver: only New Westminster is the older non-native settlement in the region. Logging came to the virgin forests of Douglas Fir in North Vancouver, as sailing ships called in to load. A water-powered sawmill was set up in the 1860s at Moodyville, by Sewell Moody. Subsequently, post offices, schools and a village sprang up. In time, the municipality of North Vancouver (which encompassed the entire North Shore from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay) was incorporated in 1891. In the 1880s, Arthur Haywood-Lonsdale and a relation James Pemberton Fell, made substantial investments through their company, Lonsdale Estates, and in 1882 he financed the Moodyville investments. Several locations in the North Vancouver area are named after Lonsdale and his family.

Tonight’s show was not only our last show here in British Colombia, it was also our last show with Jessica Michell opening for us. THANK YOU JESSICA you are a fabulous talent and we really were honoured to have you with us. See you again soon. Let’s write!! 

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THANKS JESSICA.....tell JENNIFER I said hello! 😂

 So there ya have it. Our little western haunt is over until the next time. Thanks to ALL OF YOU for coming out to see us. I trust by the fun time we had that we ALL enjoyed ourselves. As I write these last few words I am sitting in a warm tub IN MY OWN HOME with my OWN BED AWAITING ME!! I am back at it on Wednesday live in Sarnia, Ontario and I will blog you from there. Until that time....Goodnight all..... ❤️

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He remembers .... 

2 BLOGS FOR THE PRICE OF 1.

5:45 a.m. came quickly but I was in one of those moods whereby I end up waking before my alarm no matter how early it is.

 The morning sky reflected ..... 

The morning sky reflected ..... 

What should have been a simple hour and a half early morning drive to the Horseshoe Bay Terminal to catch the ferry was actually a nail-biter time wise. Sam does an amazing job of planning all of our travel, times, routes, flights and hotels etc but even he couldn’t have predicted what the morning traffic was going to be like. Holy shit, I thought I was back in Toronto. Even as far as 90mins away from Vancouver, the commuting traffic was a shit-show. In order to have made it with ease we would have needed to leave around 4am, for an 8:30am ferry. We made it however and boarded on time.


A hearty breakfast for all followed before popping up to the bridge to visit with the Captain and his staff. We always enjoy going up there and the staff are always generous and welcoming.

 “Gotta get the pineapples to Hawaii!!!!’ 

“Gotta get the pineapples to Hawaii!!!!’ 

Ferry landed in Nanaimo and off we went for a 2hr drive to Campbell River.

Campbell River BC, or Wiwea̱m is a coastal city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, at the south end of Discovery Passage. Campbell River boasts a population (2016 census) of 35,138 and has long been touted as "the Salmon Capital of the World".

 Captain George Vancouver was a British officer of the Royal Navy, best known for his 1791–95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon.

Captain George Vancouver was a British officer of the Royal Navy, best known for his 1791–95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon.

Captain George Vancouver reached Campbell River in 1792 aboard the ships HMS Discovery and HMS Chatham. The channel between Quadra Island and Campbell River is named Discovery Passage after HMS Discoery. The captain and his botanist, Mr Archibald Menzies discovered a small tribe of 350 natives who spoke the Salish language.

Numerous movies have been shot in beautiful Campbell River including ; Trapped, Seven Years in Tibet, The Scarlet Letter, Funal Destination 2 and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.

 

 “I’m tired man...move over!”  

“I’m tired man...move over!”  

I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t tired, for I am indeed,..... tired. It’s inevitable that this will happen on tour, and so all I can do is rest when able, get some exercise in when I can, and dig deep when showtime comes. That, my friends, is what I do. There is something about the lights going down, the audience cheering and that walk out onto the stage that demands that you can “only” be at your best.....period. I decided to skip any kind of workout and opted for a pre-show nap before heading over to the Tidemark Theatre for around 7:30p.m. The theatre is an art deco, 467 seat performing arts venue, and it is notably one the most prominent buildings downtown due to it’s bright pink exterior. We have played here before but for the life of me I cannot remember when.

 You can love it or you can hate it....but you won’t miss it! IT’S PINK!! 

You can love it or you can hate it....but you won’t miss it! IT’S PINK!! 


The show was a little difficult for us again, due to behind-the-scenes problems with our in-ear monitors. Frustrating as it is though, it doesn’t affect what’s coming off of the stage or what’s coming out of the house system and Joe our tech is doing a stellar job. Crowd loved it and it was standing ovation all round. THANK YOU GUYS!!

After the show we met various folk who had VIP Passes for being radio station contest winners, then several people who had signed on to support CAMH (Centre for Addiction & Mental Health) THANKS GUYS!!

Prior to all of that however, there was an incredibly moving moment between myself and one very brave woman indeed. Thanks to some good “Samaritans” helping with transportation issues, Charlotte was able to make her final musical wish come true. You see Charlotte is terminally ill and Glass Tiger is one of her all-time favourite bands. Her wish? To see us one last time on stage and after the show. I had received several direct messages on my FB page from Charlotte’s loving family, asking if this could happen. OF COURSE THIS CAN HAPPEN ❤️ They brought her backstage in her wheelchair and she and I spent several wonderful minutes together having a little quiet chat and a whisper in each other’s ear.

 Brave Charlotte. I am a better man for knowing you. ❤️ 

Brave Charlotte. I am a better man for knowing you. ❤️ 

What we said to each other will remain with me as private but suffice to say that this beautiful soul isn’t afraid of what she is about to face and is reconciled to the fact that she is going through a life experience just a little ahead of the rest us. She also hasn’t lost any of her charm because after our last hug, just as we were separating she said, “Mmmm, you smell good!” Charlotte were you flirting? 😂😘

 Charlotte with one of her all-time favourite bands.  

Charlotte with one of her all-time favourite bands.  

We posed as a group with her and now I wish you love and strength Charlotte on your journey ahead. I know you are not afraid and for that I am happy. I received a lovely thank you this morning from your family and all I can say is love and strength to you all, and as for thanking me? You are most welcome xo


We moved on at a leisurely pace next day to Cowichan Bay, located on the east coast of southern Vancouver Island, near Duncan, in British Columbia.

 This bowl reads; “We were here, loooooooooong before you.”    ~ all our love, First Nations.  

This bowl reads; “We were here, loooooooooong before you.”  

~ all our love, First Nations.  

For many thousands of years Cowichan Bay was home to First Nations people who harvested the wealth of salmon and shellfish found in its many coves, tidal flats and swiftly flowing rivers. A rare steatite anthropomorphic bowl was discovered on Cowichan Bay in the late nineteenth century. One of only about 50 so far found and estimated to originate from the Marpole Culture (400 BC-400 AD), it is now in the British Museum’s collection. This is one of the reasons I have a very tough time with the idea of Canada Day being Canada’s birthday somehow. Our First Nation’s people have been hunting, fishing, living, working, loving and honouring this land for thousands upon thousands of years. Canada Day is absolutely a worthy celebration of Confederation but my goodness what our native sons and daughters can teach us about this beautiful land remains so untapped.

When we arrived at our hotel in Cowichan Bay we noticed a sign on the front desk. It was a photograph of a large Sea Lion and it read, “Hello we are BACK!” Then the lady offered us earplugs for it turns out that the dock out back of the hotel gets frequented at this time of year by these amazing creatures and it also turns out that they get rather “horny” between 3 and 5am. Now if you don’t think they are loud enough to begin with, just wait until 3 to 5am!!!

 

 “Don’t mind me, but I am going to be making, Little Seals from the hours of 3am to 5am ~ thanks in advance.”

“Don’t mind me, but I am going to be making, Little Seals from the hours of 3am to 5am ~ thanks in advance.”

The Cowichan Performing Arts Centre is a 731-seat proscenium arch theatre located in the Island Savings Centre, Duncan, BC. It has the largest stage/backstage area on Vancouver Island and one of the largest in the province. We have played here before but again, don’t ask me when. The audience was fabulous and the support for CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) was outstanding once again. THANK YOU GUYS!

We headed back to hotel and I ended up just sitting and chatting with Sam over a cold beer before heading back to my room and letting my head hit the pillow.

 We’ve been doing this for a wee while now.  

We’ve been doing this for a wee while now.  

Tomorrow is a welcomed day off and ironically it is my birthday. My plans are to chill in the morning and watch my favourite football (soccer) team, Glasgow Rangers, play a game live from Moscow. Then we drive through to beautiful Victoria, and go for a birthday dinner together as a group.


Goodnight all.....until that time ❤️

YOUR MISSION MR FREW, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT.....

As I write this blog I have already spent the night in Mission, BC, having travelled 9 hours (including an hour stop) through the beautiful mountains of stunning, British Columbia, Canada.

 The morning sky. 

The morning sky. 

 How’s that for a backdrop. Joe, Alan, Carmela, Sam & Al.  

How’s that for a backdrop. Joe, Alan, Carmela, Sam & Al.  

Yes the journey was long and “stiffening,” and yes, it was a very “Long & Winding Road”, but what beauty. My goodness Canada, you are a sight to behold. Within the space of 8 hrs of driving we felt like we had passed through, Switzerland, Wyoming, Arizona and the highlands of Scotland. No camera seems to be able to capture the beauty that your eyes behold on a journey such as that. Yes we took photo’s but nah, it just doesn’t grab the majesty and glory of it all.

 Coming into Osoyoos.  

Coming into Osoyoos.  

Coming down from one of the mountains, nestled near the border of Washington State, we looked down on the town of Osoyoos, the southern-most town in the Okanagan Valley. The origin of the name Osoyoos, was the word sẁiẁs (pronounced "soo-yoos") meaning "narrowing of the waters" in the local Okanagan language,(Syilx'tsn). The "O-" prefix is not indigenous in origin and was attached by settler-promoters wanting to harmonize the name with other place names beginning with O in the region.

 Meet me at the corner of Main & Ponderosa Hoss. 

Meet me at the corner of Main & Ponderosa Hoss. 

What a lovely spot this is. Tucked down in the basin, surrounded by glorious mountains it felt like we were coming down into a Tuscan valley in Italy, as opposed to a Canadian one in BC.

 Sam couldn’t make his mind up...eat fish & chips or.......sing. 

Sam couldn’t make his mind up...eat fish & chips or.......sing. 

We found and stopped for lunch at the The Owl Pub. Sam, like I, is not a big fan of eating and drinking outside, so we sat inside while the others took to the patio. The weather is Spring-like and lovely and we spent about an hour there before moving on. We arrived in Mission around 6pm just in time for me to catch the last part of the Patriots victory over the Packers. Then bed.


Mission is a district municipality incorporated in 1892, in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

 

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With a 2016 census population of just under 40,000, Mission began its history as a land promotion. The town's core commercial properties and residential streets were auctioned off at the "Great Land Sale" of 1891, then quickly populated primarily with Europeans and anglicized French-Canadians alongside the usual English-Scottish Canadian mix typical of much of the Fraser Valley.

 Today......I did NOT do soundcheck, yay!!, and hopefully won’t need to for the rest of the tour, for we are pretty much dialed in now. My not going was a break for Carmela, because she also got reprieved. Just getting those few extra hours to yourself not having to use the voice is a big deal and I decided to work on yesterday’s blog before taking to the little fitness room for a workout.

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The Clarke Foundation Theatre, was opened in 1996 and since that time it has been the cultural hub of the community of Mission with hundreds of presentations highlighting the enormous wealth of local, as well as Canadian and international talent. The theatre is owned by the School District, which I kinda guessed right away when I saw certain wording on a few of the backstage doors. Let’s just say that wording on the doors suggests one of two things. Either the message is tantric in nature or some kid is running about with a razor blade in hand turning all the G’s in Gum to C’s.........you decide.😂😂😂

 No food......No drinks.....No wonder.... 

No food......No drinks.....No wonder.... 

Our crowd was perhaps the smallest one so far but that didn’t deter them from being loud and enthusiastic and better yet, they lead the way in “signups” for CAMH (Centre for Addiction & Mental Health) THANK YOU GUYS! Afterwards when we met the folks who signed up for CAMH one chap waited until the very end quite deliberately. When it was just him, he spoke to Sam and I saying, “I am 11 years sober and I have awaited for this moment to speak with you for quite some time. Back in the day, I was very active in soliciting drugs for your crew. Also I embezzled money from you, by padding my expenses. Now that I have got this off my chest and come clean with you, what can I do to make it up to you?”

 Sometimes a hug is all it takes  

Sometimes a hug is all it takes  

How brave of him. How painful it must have been for him to get that out to us personally.

It’s part of the “Twelve Steps” of recovery, whereby one makes a searching and fearless moral inventory of oneself and in doing so, makes a list of persons they feel they have harmed, and becomes willing to be truthful and make amends to them all.

“So what can I do to make amends, “he asked humbly.

“This” said I as I opened my arms to him and we gave each other the longest, warmest, hug that both of us could muster. He got a little emotional before telling me thank you.....  “No, thank YOU!” said I. What a lovely moment that was.

CAMH is making a difference not only in the lives of those addicted but also in mine. I love meeting these wonderful people who are all fighting the good fight.

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Tomorrow is a 5:45am lobby call. 2 hr drive, 2 hr ferry ride, 2hr drive again. Gonna make for a long day methinks.


Head hit the pillow around midnight but it was 1 a.m. before I nodded off. I had CNN on in the background. Tomorrow is a major day in the life of American politics as the people go to the polls for mid-term elections. I would never use my blog to “punt” my political views, especially those of a country that I am not a citizen of, HOWEVER, all of my adult life I have considered myself a friend and fan of the “good ol’ USA” and it saddens me deeply to see her so divided, so ripped apart, so violent and angry and I can only trust that one day, hopefully sooner than later, the people will “get it.” They will truly realize that only through love & kindness, caring & sharing, can we survive. Thankfully as in all the countries I have ever visited, thankfully the majority of people ALWAYS march to that drum and it is always a minority that wishes to tear it apart. Goodnight all. 

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THE CHOCOLATE THIEF

We hit Trail, BC after a 5 hr drive, stopping along the way for lunch in Grand Forks, population 4,049. Choices of establishments were not many and we settled on ‘Clyde’s Pub’. We have all heard or used the saying, “ looks can be deceiving and Clyde’s certainly fell into that category. On the surface it just looks like a little shabby sports bar and you may think you should be wary of what comes out of the kitchen. Never fear. I had one of the best homemade Shepherd’s Pies ever! Fresh and tasty with a touch of HP Sauce .... mmmmmm! Also my garden salad was fresh as could be and I chose a dressing I never have any other time than on the road, ‘French Dressing’. It reminds me of my young teenage years back in high school when lunch was Burger, Fries, tiny salad with French dressing, all for $1.99! The bar section also reminded me of the tv show CHEERS with all the locals gathered around in what looked like “their” seats. 

 Where everyone knows your name.... 

Where everyone knows your name.... 

Woke up in Trail this morning and went downstairs around 7am for tea before heading to the little fitness room. Treadmill & Weights done, I went to one of the local establishments for a bite to eat. Funny when you come from the bigger cities like Toronto or New York, Chicago or Vancouver, you tend to carry a bit of the “high & mighty” with you. You want it when you want it and that’s always now. Coming to these small towns however, slows the world down. Everything isn’t high tech and in your face. Places seem grittier and grubbier but there is a character and charm about life in these towns that is unmistakeable. People are simpler, not of mind, but of needs and requirements. The clock seems to have slowed down, dare I say, turned back.

 I have all my original parts.......(mostly) 

I have all my original parts.......(mostly) 

 The 65 cent Big Mac.  

The 65 cent Big Mac.  

Every place reminds me of the town I lived in and grew up in, and where Glass Tiger hailed from, Newmarket, Ontario. But these towns remind me of the Newmarket of 1972!! But it works if you don’t fight it. Just accept it for what it is and it all makes sense and one forgets about the “hustle & bustle” of the big city and the shit-fest that can come with that. Don’t get me wrong, I need to be near the big cities, it’s in my DNA and it’s an absolute requirement for my career but I can assimilate into these little “mountain towns” quite readily.


We performed an almost sold-out show at the Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail, which is a vital cultural asset for Trail and surrounding communities. The population of the town is just  under 8000, and it is named after The Dewdney Trail, a 720 km (450 mi) trail in British Columbia, that served as a major thoroughfare in the mid-19th century.

 The Charles Bailey Theatre  

The Charles Bailey Theatre  

Show went flawlessly and the audience was very much into it and gave us a lovely standing ovation at the end of it and again at the end of our encore. As mentioned earlier, we are supporting CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and I must say, of ALL the charities and organizations I worked on behalf of, this one seems to resonate with EVERYONE. You guys who know me, know I have been proud to put efforts into helping dozens upon dozens of worthy causes and I won’t stop any time soon. But the contact I am receiving from those affected by addiction and mental health issues goes right to the core of everyday people from all walks of life, regardless of social status, gender or race.

 

 

 Choose to be brave......we need you here❤️ 

Choose to be brave......we need you here❤️ 

I have shared numerous hugs after the show from men and woman who unabashedly and openly share their stories with me. Mental health issues, addiction and the stigma attached to them is so prevalent in today’s society that in any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or addiction problem and by the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have—or have had—a mental illness. Surprising to some is that the number who die from suicide is more than double that of homicide at a global level. In fact, the number of deaths from suicides is higher than the number of deaths from all forms of violence – including homicide, terrorism, conflict, and executions – globally and across many countries across the world. Suicide is a major cause of premature and preventable death. It is estimated, that in 2009 alone, there were about 100,000 years of potential life lost to Canadians under the age of 75 as a result of suicides.

Thank you to all of you who are supporting CAMH. ❤️❤️


 The “Stash” 

The “Stash” 

Finally, we have a thief among us. Contained within our backstage “rider” are various snacks and chocolate bars. Now there are only 5 of us on the road at this time and yet when I got to the gig our chocolate supply was decimated and I was at a loss as to why. Then I came across a guitar case and something just didn’t seem right about it’s contents. I investigated further and found the following. I did some heavy investigative work and finally on hidden camera I captured this shot.

                                 WANTED:   Male, late 50’s, approach with caution. He’s probably “wired” and dangerous.    

                                WANTED:

Male, late 50’s, approach with caution. He’s probably “wired” and dangerous. 

 

Anyone having any information on who this carpetbagger please contact me through my socials.


Tomorrow on we go to Mission.

THE BOSTON PIZZA TOUR?

 Vernon is a city in the Okanagan region of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. It is 440 km (270 mi) northeast of Vancouver, British Columbia. Vernon is the largest city in the North Okanagan Regional District and a resident of Vernon is called a "Vernonite".

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The site of the city was discovered by the Okanagan people, a tribe of the Interior Salish people, who initially named the community Nintle Moos Chin, meaning "jumping over place where the creek narrows". This name refers to a section of the Swan Lake that passes through Downtown Vernon, the community's central business district.

Goodness me, Canada is beautiful. I never tire of witnessing her beauty. Travelling as we do, is of course tiring in and of itself, but there is always a payoff that brightens the spirit and empowers me to lift myself up and keep moving.

 “How many of these “dots” have I been to?” 

“How many of these “dots” have I been to?” 

We all had a chuckle this morning because we congregated downstairs together for breakfast, ALL having the same story of being awake since around 4:30-5:00am. After breakfast I threw a few pieces of laundry in and then went to the little fitness room nearby. These small towns don’t offer large chain hotels but they have all been just fine and when they have little washer and dryers available I jump at the chance because I hate lugging dirty laundry, no matter how little I have. I did an hour on the treadmill, and lifted some weights before grabbing my laundry and heading back up to my room. Gave myself a little pat-on-the- back for finishing the National Post crossword puzzle from scratch without having to look anything up or soliciting help.

 Oh crossword how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.  

Oh crossword how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.  

Crossword puzzles are said to be the most popular and widespread word game in the world, yet have a short history. The first known published crossword puzzle was created by a journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool, and he is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. 

It’s funny how sometimes you can stare at a crossword and get nothing, then at other times it just flows out almost effortlessly. My dad “loved” doing crossword puzzles and I picked it up from him. I love keeping my brain engaged with the likes of puzzles and chess and scrabble etc. I never tire of the challenge and would like to think I will keep that up until my twilight years ....  yes, I have become my dad!

 Darby Mills. 

Darby Mills. 

Headed for a bit of lunch and was joined briefly by our backup vocalist Carmela Long who was meeting a friend of hers, Canadian singer, Darby Mills, formerly of the iconic band, ‘The Headpins.’ who were originall founded as a side project in the late 1970s by then Chilliwack members Ab Bryant and Brian Macleod. Darby, a “Vernonite” joined the band in 1981. They released their album Turn It Loud in 1982 which quickly went platinum and topped the charts for six weeks, with the hit single "Don't It Make Ya Feel". Their second release, Line of Fire, was another multi-platinum success, and included the hits "Just One More Time" and "Feel It (Feel My Body)", resulting in the band touring Europe with Whitesnake at the beginning of 1984. Mills received much attention and won accolades with fans polls voting her best singer. In 1985, the Headpins toured with many acts such as Kiss, Eddie Money and ZZ Top.

 Check! Check! Cheque please!  

Check! Check! Cheque please!  

The ladies headed off together and I headed back to my room to chill and write a bit. It wasn’t long however before I had to attend the dreaded “soundcheck.” The theatre in Vernon, though nice, doesn’t quite have the acoustic temperament of the little theatre in Medicine Hat and there is quite a lot of “slapback” that comes at you from the back wall. Which wouldn’t be so bad if I kept both in-ear monitors in my ears but I prefer to perform with one in and one out. So for the record my brain was hearing; the band instantaneously in my open ear, the band micro seconds later in my monitored ear, the band coming out of the house system and the band slapping back at me from the back wall......oh bliss! The good news is that when audiences fill the room the bodies attend to soak up and absorb sound diminishing the slapback considerably.

 Check out Jessica on Spotify.  

Check out Jessica on Spotify.  

When we toured earlier this year with Johnny Reid, his opening act was a girl called Jessica Mitchell. Jessica is a huge talent and we are honoured to have her here now with us on these dates. Lauded as ‘country’s Adele’ and likened to Sheryl Crow, and much like them, her genre-bending vocals and tone are universally appealing. She is, at heart, a storyteller – an open book, inspired by the raw honesty and storytelling nature of the genre. Mitchell’s much anticipated debut album Heart of Glass, was released May 11, 2018. She has spent the last decade travelling between Toronto and Nashville, collaborating with top-notch songwriters, focusing on writing new music and crafting her richly unique sound. The record embodies powerful and soulful melodies and lyrical brilliance, while showcasing Mitchell’s vocal talent in the purest of forms – and the result is utterly and heartbreakingly beautiful. I encourage you all to go see her in concert and for the record, if we get time out here, I would love to pen a tune with her.

Audience was fantastic, thank you Vernon. For our encore we did an acoustic version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ along with ‘Don’t Forget Me (when i’m Gone).

The guys are having a real chuckle at my expense. You see, I don’t think I have ever been in a Boston Pizza before, certainly not that I can ever remember. I “think” I was in one once because Chris and I wanted to see a boxing match live and the local Boston Pizza was the way to go.

 “Show me your backstage pass please!!....Okay, you can go back.” 

“Show me your backstage pass please!!....Okay, you can go back.” 

Anyway, the other night after the show in Medicine Hat, the ONLY place open where one could get a beer and a nibble was said establishment, Boston Pizza. So off we toddled and in we went and I was very wary about big, mushy, thick-crusted pizza, HOWEVER.....they have really upped their game and I had a delicious thin-crusted pizza, that I have to admit was pretty darned scrumptious. Cut to the next night in Vernon and Frew is now asking, “Hey man, is there a Boston Pizza in town?” which there was AND it was just across the way from the theatre. So this may just become; GLASS TIGER -THE BOSTON PIZZA TOUR 2018! Ok Canada, I will say goodnight to y’all and see you next in Trail, BC. Nighty night.

FIRST ONE DOWN...

Show day.

We all had problems sleeping last night, due it seems, from jumping time zone to time zone. I didn’t fall asleep until 12:30a.m. yet was wide awake by 4:00a.m.

 “Me? Tired? Nah, don’t be silly.” 

“Me? Tired? Nah, don’t be silly.” 

When I headed down to an early breakfast, everyone of us had the same complaint of not being able to sleep, which makes for a very looooonnng day ahead especially when we have soundcheck and then the actual show on this day.

 “Art is the most intense form of individualism the world has ever known.” ~ Oscar Wilde. 

“Art is the most intense form of individualism the world has ever known.” ~ Oscar Wilde. 

Headed back up to my room after breakfast and spent the next several hours writing my blog, as well as working with my friend and partner in L.A. via text, on something pretty darn cool that I hope comes to fruition and you all get to witness and enjoy. That’s the strange thing about the business of “art”, you work on a 100 things to get just 1 to the finish line. How many songs of mine or of Glass Tiger’s have you heard? Doesn’t really matter what the answer is because the “How many have I/we written”, dwarfs the answer. Anyway, this project is incredibly cool and we will give it our “all”, to bring it to you.

Since this acoustic performance format is new and tonight is the first one, it was imperative that we had a good soundcheck and so I attended it (even although I don’t like ‘em 😩). As I have mentioned many times, I like to rest my voice for the actual show but when it’s absolutely necessary, then I do soundcheck........this one was necessary. Once we get into a groove and get our levels set, I will back off and skip them.

 “Oh soundcheck, how I hate thee.........” 

“Oh soundcheck, how I hate thee.........” 

So to soundcheck it was and basically we DID THE WHOLE FUCKING SHOW!!! 😂😂 Man, singing it at 4pm only to sing it again at 8??? What’s THAT all about? The band love to tease me ‘cuz they know I hate it, but I take it all in stride (sssssh don’t tell them 🤫;)

The $32-million, Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre in Medicine Hat, Alberta opened in October 2005. It consists of a museum, a 150-seat studio theatre and the 700-seat main auditorium. beautiful little theatre. The acoustic sound within its walks is superb. One could sing “A capella” so easily in there. Well done guys, I love it! 

 What a lovely little theatre can do for the voice.  

What a lovely little theatre can do for the voice.  

There was not a lot of time between the end of soundcheck and having to be back ready to go for the first set. We had about an hour and a half. I was ready in no time and actually sat on my phone in my room looking at some socials when I came across a review of our show in Nottingham, England, at the Rockingham Festival. Now you have to remember that this festival is one that celebrates HEAVY rock with bands like WARRANT and NELSON on the bill. I mentioned in an earlier blog written while in the UK, how strongly I felt about our performance and that I was proud of Glass Tiger for “knocking it out of the park!” Here for you is the review of the show from writer Andy Nathan;

The curveball in the original Rockingham line up announcement, that few could have predicted, was Glass Tiger. On paper they were one of the biggest names on the bill – joining only Nelson and Warrant as holders of a top 2 USA singles hit back in the day.

However the Canadians had not played the UK since 1991, and more seriously against the Rockingham strapline of ‘melodic hard rock’ they failed the second definition and arguably were on the fringes of the third. They played a masterstroke for anyone who feared they might be too poppy, opening with ‘Animal Heart’ whose strong choruses allied to some suitably AOR keyboards from Sam Reid was one of their rockier songs.

The likes of ‘Someday’ and ‘I Will Be There’ may have lacked crashing powerchords, but were agreeable songs expertly delivered and on top of that Alan Frew, recovered from serious illness and with a Scottish accent betraying barely a hint of his adult life in Canada, was both a pitch perfect vocalist and a frontman with an almost comic sense of timing- indeed it was no surprise to learn that he makes a living outside the nostalgia circuit from public speaking.

Worlds Crumble’- was a duet between Alan and curly haired backing singer Carmela Long, while highlights that broke the Rockingham mould included a drinking song they wrote with the Chieftains, ‘My Song’ when a bouncing Nottingham students union was turned for four minutes into a convivial rural bar in rural Ireland, and the equally celtic flavoured ‘My Town’, preceded by some hilarious remarks by Alan about how the song had given an ungrateful Rod Stewart his big career break.

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Rhythm of Your Love’ got into a great groove, people picked up on the ‘love gives life’ chorus of ‘Diamond Sun’  and ‘The Thin Red Line was another with a celtic, almost Big Country-ish flavour. Despite joking earlier that it wouldn’t be in the set, Alan ended with ‘Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone’, whose melodies had the crowd bouncing and he led a protracted but very entertaining audience participation section.

These seasoned pros knew exactly how to deliver a set and I marked them as band of the weekend, allied to a sense of shame that back in the eighties I returned a couple of their albums to the Record and Tape Exchange as they hadn’t been rock enough.

Not too shabby at all, if I say so myself. Things could have been a lot different for a band of our genre being inserted into another genre much “louder” than our own. Well done GT!!

Our show here in Medicine Hat, our first of about 17 or so, was a smashing success. Although for us on stage, it wasn’t without a few little “hairy” moments. Mainly with timing and coordinating that timing with what we were hearing in our in-ear monitors. Nothing though, that an audience would really pick up on and it’s all part-and-parcel of working out the cobwebs from the rock format to learning the new feel of the acoustic one. The audience was fabulous and the band received a very warm and enthusiastic encore.

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On this tour Glass Tiger is proud and honoured to support CAMH (Centre For Addiction and Mental Health) in their efforts to raise money and awareness to not only be able to keep moving forward with state-of-the-art research and hopefully a cure but also in helping break down the stigma attached to being an addict and of suffering from mental health disorder. Of course many times both addiction and mental health disorder walk hand-in-hand. It was my honour therefore, to speak from the stage just prior to intermission asking the people of Medicine Hat to sign up in support of CAMH. I explained how in the spirit of community they would be helping “their own.” Yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbour, this is what CAMH is about. Cutting edge research and treatment.

Five people signed up and we were delighted to invite them back stage to thank them, take photos with them, and give them a little gift of a signed Glass Tiger 31 CD.

After the show we went for a cold refreshment and a bite to eat. We then returned to the hotel and it was my intention to have a last-call beer with Sam in his room. We opened the beer......I sat down on the sofa......and we turned on Jimmy Kimmel Live and zzzzzZzzzZzZZZZZZZZZ!! ”HEY ALAN!......BEDTIME!!” Night, Night Guys 

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Remember. 

YOU AGAIN CANADA?

Well it’s that time again it seems. The time where I take my ass and my suitcase and head to the airport.

Back on the road yet again. A dance that I have danced countless times. This time we begin in Medicine Hat, via Calgary.

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Medicine Hat is a city in southeast Alberta, Canada, located along the South Saskatchewan River, within Cypress County. As of 2016 , Medicine Hat has a population of 63,230. 

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Founded in 1883, the name "Medicine Hat" is the English translation of Saamis (SA-MUS) – the Blackfoot word for the eagle tail feather headdress worn by medicine men. Several legends are associated with the name of a mythical mer-man river serpent named Soy-yee-daa-bee – the Creator – who appeared to a hunter and instructed him to sacrifice his wife to get mystical powers which were manifest in a special hat. Another legend tells of a battle long ago between the Blackfoot and the Cree in which a retreating Cree "Medicine Man" lost his headdress in the South Saskatchewan River.

Radiocarbon dates indicate the Saamis occupied about AD 1500 and again around AD 1750", well before most European contact.

We have played Medicine Hat numerous times in our 31 years since The Thin Red Line was first released and we have always found the people friendly and the crowds great, so we are looking forward to this one.

Since I am gone for quite a bit of time I left my car at home and used UBER to get me to the airport. My driver, Ahmed, was a cool dude and he got us there in no time flat.

This acoustic trip only has five of us travelling. Four onstage ; Sam, Al, Carmela and yours truly. Plus we have our trusty sound tech and road manager Joe.

 Here we go...yet again. 

Here we go...yet again. 

Flight to Calgary was smooth and uneventful. I spent most of the time perusing a script I am involved in, while also answering emails etc thanks to the fact that most flights now have internet available ( at a cost of course lol)

Weather outside my window looks lovely, bright and sunny and of course that earth pattern of “the prairies” is always interesting without a mountain, hill or mound of dirt in sight.

 “Hello Mr Frew, you are in seat 2D and welcome to E. coli airlines.” 

“Hello Mr Frew, you are in seat 2D and welcome to E. coli airlines.” 

So I am a bit of a germaphobe. Not as bad as some but certainly way more than most. I carry little individual alcohol wipes with me, the kind one would use if administering an injection to someone and disinfecting the skin just prior. I have been mocked ( many times) in the past by my fellow band mates and musicians and some of my friends. Now get this, we are sitting in the Air Canada Lounge when Sam tells us he has just watched a CBC segment on “how dirty are our airlines” aka “germs found on aircrafts” that can go from annoying, to getting us sick to downright killing us. Sam then asked us to name the areas on the planes that we may think are the stinkiest and dirtiest with germs. Do you think you could pinpoint the area the experts say is the “ultimate haven” for mountains of icky germs? We all guessed, the washrooms, the tray table, the seatbelt, the button for your seat, the screen of the tv....but we missed two hotbeds of shit. One is the pouch on the back of the seat in front of you. Apparently staff find things like “used” diapers, condoms...yes used condoms..and the crème de la crème....used tampons!!! Jesus Murphy people, COME ON!!! Finally the other one we missed that apparently the experts say is the major culprit.... can you guess? It is the “headrest.” And I must admit, in all of my sanitizing through the years, I never thought to do that. But today I did😉 And always will.

 Welcome to Canada people....our beautiful prairies. 

Welcome to Canada people....our beautiful prairies. 

So we landed safely and picked up our vehicles for the three hour drive to Medicine Hat. Man when the weather is great and the skies are clear and the sun is out ... the prairies are a sight to behold. We had a lovely drive into town and within 30mins of our arrival we had a band dinner together.

Headed back up to my room to catch the end of the Patriots v Bills with a happy ending as my favourites chalked up another victory.

Since my day was rather simple with no major news for you, I will leave you with five random thoughts that have no rhyme of reason for entering my head, other than the fact that they did.

1.Batman’s alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, is named after Scottish hero Robert the Bruce and American Revolutionary hero Mad Anthony Wayne.

 “Shuffle Beat, Shuffle Beat, Shuffle Beat, Shuffle.” 

“Shuffle Beat, Shuffle Beat, Shuffle Beat, Shuffle.” 

2. 9/10ths of the battle of life, is just “showing up.”

3. Don’t Forget Me ( when I’m gone ) was inspired by the “shuffle beat” of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World, by Tears For Fears.

4. Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” ~ Oscar Wilde

5. Pittsburgh ...#strongerthan hate

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    OH CANADA OUR HOME AND.......

     Time has no master. 

    Time has no master. 

    So that’s it London. Our, all-to-brief-affair is over for the time being. As always, time has no master and it stops for no one. We are heading back home...... to Canada.

    You are unique London, of that, there is no doubt. I am now too set in my ways, living as I have, in Canada and spending the bulk of my life, working and travelling in North America. I do however, enjoy immensely, coming back to the UK and I can only trust that we will do this dance again very soon.

    This morning I headed downstairs and instead of sausage and mushrooms and potatoes and beans...... it was a cuppa tea .....and a ....banana!! 😂....the cleanse has begun. I need to go home .....swim....eat salads .....swim....eat salads....repeat.

     

     Swim, Salad,Swim, Salad, Swim, ok one Guinness, Swim, Salad..... 

    Swim, Salad,Swim, Salad, Swim, ok one Guinness, Swim, Salad..... 

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the pubs. The atmosphere, the surroundings, everything about them. I grew up around them with my dad and my grandad and my uncles and all of the families I knew so well back then. Pubs were places not just to drink in but to congregate, to debate in, to express caring in and of course to have the odd family feud in or worse yet a right good punch up! But they are special. 

    When I was a boy, my grandmother’s living room floor was the ceiling of the pub down below. At various times my grandmother, my mother and my aunt were ALL barmaids in that pub downstairs and to say it was my grandfather’s local? Well.......😂😂😂

     “I see they hid Alan’s, grandad’s clothes again Mary!” 

    “I see they hid Alan’s, grandad’s clothes again Mary!” 

    One time he was in there in the afternoon and had a bit too much. My granny set my mum on him to a), find out where he got the money to pay for drinks and b), get him out of there and upstairs to bed ( removing any cash he may have left in his pocket) ....oh, and the standing order, “Hide his clothes!” to prevent him from coming back down.

    Later, undeterred, he did what any respectable gentleman of the times would do...he came down in his pyjamas and my brother’s jacket!!

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    I LOVE characters. I always have and HE was the “King of Characters,” This country is full of them. The UK will always hold a special place in my heart forever.


    So yesterday was a quiet day. I stayed in my room extra-long just reading and writing before going for a walk back down to my beloved, St. Pancras station, to the Marks & Spencer’s shop to pick up some particular candies for my daughter.

    There is a piano that sits permanently in the station for any and all to play and I watched a very talented young man entertain us with his skill.

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    Took my time walking around, then as I meandered back, i decided I wanted to just sit alone in the nearest “real” pub that I could find and of course here, that’s not difficult at all. I settled on THE BOOT a small, rather quaint, establishment and ordered myself a Guinness and for the next hour, I just people-watched and read my book.

    Headed back to the hotel but couldn’t resist going into the betting shop and “punting” a few horses. It’s one of my favourite things to do in the UK. You go into a pub, order a pint, walk around the corner, put on a bet, go back to the pub, finish yer pint as you watch the race on the telly, then you rip up your betting slip cuz yer horse had three legs, order a pint, and repeat lol

     Next time.....count their legs! 

    Next time.....count their legs! 

    Went back to hotel and had a quick soak in the tub before meeting Carm and Joe who are excited to have fish & chips the “real way” that is, in the paper, tons of salt & malt vinegar and walking in the street as you eat with you fingers, “ OooH Ahhh, yikes! Hot! Hot!” But ohhhhhh so delicious.

    Afterwards we had a “Farewell To England” drink then shut it down for the night.

    FullSizeRender.jpg

    As I now write this, I am over the ocean on the flight home. I will be sleeping in my own bed tonight and I have tomorrow off to relax, swim, chill etc Then on Thursday Glass Tiger has an acoustic rehearsal to prepare for our upcoming acoustic tour from West to East coast in Canada. We are out there for most of November and look forward to seeing some of you along the way. As I mentioned on my socials, some of you have asked why the Hamilton show was cancelled and as I explained, bands don’t book shows; buyers, promoters, agents & managers do, and for whatever reason, between that combo, Hamilton was cancelled. I can only hope we get a chance to come play for you soon guys. We are just as bummed as you are that it’s cancelled, perhaps even more, because we had family and friends coming, and it was close enough that we could go home afterwards. 

     See You Soon. 

    See You Soon. 


     “I wanna  thing my thong , take me home ......where the fuck are my teef?” 

    “I wanna thing my thong, take me home ......where the fuck are my teef?” 

    So there you have it. We have now dipped our toe, albeit just a tiny bit of the “baby” toe, into the waters of America & UK and we and our audiences had a blast. Trying to re-establish the band in these markets one club at a time however, would be a tough one, not to mention, that I’d be 105 yrs old and my voice would be a little shaky lol So we will also look to see if any festivals or suitable 80’s tours could be made available to us, in order to get us out again in front of huge crowds like we do here in Canada in the summers.

    Reacquainting with fans in America, and in UK and of course with those who travelled to UK from Spain, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland and France was just so heart-warming. We love you guys and we are honoured that you still love the band after all of these years. And of course to you newcomers, welcome!!

    I will blog for you on this upcoming Canadian tour next months okay?

     ....sing my song for you.........for everyone.  

    ....sing my song for you.........for everyone.  

     


    Cheers guys

    Alan

    SO WHERE’S ROBIN HOOD THEN?

    Finally got a decent sleep, and although still a little groggy, I was up at 7am and ready to go. My train was a 10am out of London to Nottingham, and so I had plenty of time to go down and join my friends for breakfast.

     I LIKE A NICE CUP OF TEA, WITH MY TEA. 

    I LIKE A NICE CUP OF TEA, WITH MY TEA. 

    Tea cures everything doesn’t it? And THIS.... is BRITAIN, where they know how to provide you with GREAT TEA!!

    I like mine strong and my water hotter than hot and I struggle so badly in North America trying to get a proper cup of tea when travelling. It’s always a nightmare of shitty teabags and lukewarm water....ugh!

    But this is England, where men are MEN, women are WOMEN and more importantly TEA IS TEA!!!


     Where else do you get a three egg omelette, with chips, salad AND HP Sauce 😉 please don’t tell my doctor, I promise it’s only an England thing.  

    Where else do you get a three egg omelette, with chips, salad AND HP Sauce 😉 please don’t tell my doctor, I promise it’s only an England thing.  

    Ok here comes a disclaimer. I am hopeless at times. Ok, maybe not hopeless but let’s say... scattered. Nah, let’s go back to hopeless, especially when travelling.

     Don’t get too comfortable. I’ll have you lost in no time.

    Don’t get too comfortable. I’ll have you lost in no time.


    I lose things. Lots of things. Clothes, cash, glasses, I.D, credit cards, headphones, power cords, shoes, passports and my most favourite it seems .......wallets, and, just for the record, it’s usually wallets, WITH most of the above in them.


    My best pal from Scotland, Bryce, who is here with me for this weekend, has always said that for years, he came to Canada just to help me find or to not lose my wallet, although the bugger is a master of helping me “empty” my wallet once I do find it, but that’s another story for another time 😂

    So it will come to you as no surprise (nor to Bryce) that in the short time it took me to go down to breakfast, then back up to my room, then back down to the lobby again to leave for Nottingham, I lost and had to replace, three room keys.

    Yesterday, as a wee example, on my day off, Bryce and I went to see a football match. I ordered a driver to take us to the stadium, wait for us during the game, then bring us back to our hotel. The car was on time and we jumped in. Luckily, I verbalized loudly my little checklist just as the car was pulling away from the hotel.

    “Okay let’s see. I have my glasses, my phone, my cash and credit card. Cool, let’s do this!”

    FullSizeRender.jpg

    “Whit aboot the tickets furr the game,” says my very Glaswegian pal.

    “Fuck! I forgot them!” And we had to stop the car, let me out, head back into hotel get them, only to realize that when I got to the room door, I couldn’t find my key! Yes, it’s a nightmare. Yes I am hopeless. Let’s move on shall we?

    So back to my Nottingham trip. We have breakfast and my friends say they will wait for me in the lobby. I tell them “Two minutes!” due to the fact that my main luggage has travelled ahead already to Nottingham with the band and I only have a few things to shove in my back pack and I am done.

    Two mins later, I am ready to go when I suddenly have an epiphany. “Where the fuck is my train ticket!!???” I search around. I am convinced it should be sitting right here on the desk. Now .....a little panic is setting in and I search a bit more, knowing that without a doubt, it was on THIS desk! Ok, I have no choice, I need help; I send the following text to my pal;

    FullSizeRender.jpg

    I know that by this time Bryce is just shaking his head, saying to his wife, “Whit a bampot he is.” (For those of you who need a translation on bampot, it basically means; great guy, really organized and together 🤥😂) 

    Next text....

    FullSizeRender.jpg

    Okay, okay, it wasn’t on the desk. It seems that I had shoved it inside my wallet, obviously thinking, “Take it off of the desk, put it inside your wallet for safety and you’ll remember where it is.”

    Once I got back down to the lobby, I did my vocal checklist, remember those? And just as I am thinking of what could possibly go wrong now, I have everything. “Okay, there’s my phone, my wallet, my cash, my medication, AND.....my TRAIN TICKET, I think it’s safe to say that I am ready to go.”


    “You got yer passport?” says Bryce.

    “I don’t need it, it’s a friggin’ train,” says I.

    “I know that, but DO you have it? Is it safe?”

    “Yes it’s in this part of my ba.....WHERE THE FUCK IS MY PASSPORT?”

     A photograph of Bryce’s wife, who’s meeting me for the first time on this trip.

    A photograph of Bryce’s wife, who’s meeting me for the first time on this trip.

    And so now there I am, emptying my backpack for all to see, on a bench, in the lobby, while Bryce just buries his head in his hands.

     After every single object is removed and scattered around me I go, “Oh, there it is!” And all is well again, at least for a wee while. I say cheerio to my pal, his lovely wife and his adorable daughter and as my taxi is pulling away I swear I saw his little daughter mouth, “Holy shit! I thought you said he was a bit scattered dad. He’s fucking hopeless!” 😂😂

     

     That wee bastard just shit on my hat.  

    That wee bastard just shit on my hat.  

    St. Pancras is now officially, my favourite train station in the world. Ok I admit, I am not in many train stations but until I am in one that tops this one, this is it!!

     

    IMAGE.JPG

    A leisurely, civilized, 3 hr train ride through the meadows of England and I arrived safely in Nottingham. 

    I called ahead and Joe told me that he and Sam and Carmela were at a little local pub that is a “must-see” here in Nottingham.

    Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem claims to have been established in 1189; however, there is no documentation to verify this date. The building rests against Castle Rock, upon which Nottingham Castle is built, and is attached to several caves, carved out of the soft sandstone. These were originally used as a brewhouse for the castle, and appear to date from around the time of the construction of the castle in 1068.

    IMAGE.JPG

    The oldest parts of the current building were constructed between 1650 and 1660, though a map by John Speed shows a previous building in existence in 1610. By 1751 the building was being used as an inn with the name The Pilgrim, and was shortly after that date purchased by William Standford.[1] The first record of the use of the name Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem dates from 1799.

    I don’t know if it is “the” oldest pub in England as they claim, but it is one of the quaintest wee pubs I have ever been in and if you ever are in Nottingham ya have to go see it....or better yet, taste it!! Besides, where else will you leave a pub, walk around the corner, and bump into Robin Hood!!!?

     I mean seriously?        Lobby call to head over to the Rockingham festival was 4:10pm,   with Glass Tiger due to hit the stage at 5:10pm and so we headed back to hotel to get showered and dressed.   The guys sort of prepared me a little for what to expect due to the fact that they had spent last night here in Nottingham. The festival runs Friday, Saturday & Sunday and so last night in the bar, the bands and the fans of the bands jammed the place and Carm described it as one would describe say, “Comic-Con” where all the fans of comic books and superheroes gather to honour their love of such things, only “this” she said is like “Metal-Con” where all the fans of iconic power-rock bands come to hear their favourites play. The likes of VIXEN, PINK CREAM 69, AMMUNITION, BIG FOOT, Have I named your favourite yet? No? Okay how about, WARRANT, WHITE WIDOW, or who can forget TOKYO MOTOR FIST?     

    I mean seriously? 

     

     Lobby call to head over to the Rockingham festival was 4:10pm, with Glass Tiger due to hit the stage at 5:10pm and so we headed back to hotel to get showered and dressed. The guys sort of prepared me a little for what to expect due to the fact that they had spent last night here in Nottingham. The festival runs Friday, Saturday & Sunday and so last night in the bar, the bands and the fans of the bands jammed the place and Carm described it as one would describe say, “Comic-Con” where all the fans of comic books and superheroes gather to honour their love of such things, only “this” she said is like “Metal-Con” where all the fans of iconic power-rock bands come to hear their favourites play. The likes of VIXEN, PINK CREAM 69, AMMUNITION, BIG FOOT, Have I named your favourite yet? No? Okay how about, WARRANT, WHITE WIDOW, or who can forget TOKYO MOTOR FIST?

     

    IMG_4931.JPG

     It’s like time has stood still. Unmoved and unchanged. More hair and mascara than if you melted Dolly Parton and Tammy Faye Baker together. So now you get the picture. The scene is set as to why we had no idea what to expect. What would the fans of these bands think of Canada’s own 80’s “pop” stars, Glass Tiger? Would they find us too soft and give us the heave-ho? Would someone nail me with a tube of eye-liner right on the forehead? Well we were about to find out.

    To say the set up was old-school-Rock’n’Roll would be an understatement. No monitors worth shit, I had to sing in braille. I couldn’t hear a damn thing. Each band had to just use the set up as it was and with very little room to move, I took the head of Tommy’s bass, to the side of my head and “that” ain’t fun. So how did it turn out? After all of that? IT WAS BRILLIANT!!! AND THE CROWD WERE FANTASTIC!! From the opening lick of “Animal Heart” to the closing “gone” of “Don’t Forget Me (when I’m Gone) the audience sang and cheered and loved every minute of us. And I don’t mind telling you, we knocked it out of the friggin’ park!! I have been singing so long that not being able to hear myself over the noise of the band and the non-existence of stage monitors is not something that is going to affect my pitch or tone. Carmela likewise. We’ve just been doing it for so long, it’s second nature. Granted, my ears are fried and it was painful but the audience got me through it and they were simply brilliant.

    IMG_4932.JPG

    After the show I met the buyer and he was ecstatic at our performance and would happily have us back ....to headline. I met some great crew guys, some of whom were from Scotland and they loved it. I know we nailed it. When we stop “nailing it” then I will know my next move but until then, I will put this band on any stage, up against any band, and we will nail it and hold our own with any of them.

    THANK YOU ROCKINGHAM FOR HAVING US. YOU WERE FANTASTIC!!!

     

     The first time around. 

    The first time around. 

    Back at hotel afterward we had dinner together as a band before a “throng” of fans came looking for us to do autographs and photo’s. What is really amazing is that these fans came “for us”; Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Switzerland ...it reminds me of how I first felt when we released THIN RED LINE and people told us when you get to this country or that country you will be amazed to find out they already know and love your music. What a thrill it still is. And so we mingled with fans of old and with fans of new, who came to see their favourite “other” band, not knowing us from a hole-in-the -ground ......but now they do! 😉 and we have some new fans.

    Had a warm soak in tub around midnight and off to bed.


    That’s it England. Our two gigs are over all too soon. Tomorrow back to London for a flight to Canada the next day.


    Cheers and goodnight

     Ye Olde Guinness in Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem, in Nottingham, England.  

    Ye Olde Guinness in Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem, in Nottingham, England.  

    150 YEARS AGO.

    Ok I admit that it hasn’t been THAT long, but it feels like it today, since Glass Tiger last played the U.K.

    It would have been on the Roxette tour of I think....1991.....27 years ago!! Boy’o’Boy where does the time go. That tour was a mixture of the Good, the Bad, and the downright ugly.

    First of all, Roxette were very, very, good and they deserved all the attention they were getting. Selling millions of albums brought them all the trappings that only a major tour can bring you. Crowds of 20,000 or more each and every night. Huge stage set up, multiple tour buses, selling tons of merch etc They had everything going for them and they themselves, were, and still are, cool people. A Swedish pop-rock duo, consisting of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle, they formed in 1986 and their third album, Joyride was a massive success and it was on this tour, we joined them for that ride. “The Look”, Listen To Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love”, and of course “Joyride” were to become “classic” hits and put them on the 80’s Greatest lists forever. 

     Come Join The Joyride.  

    Come Join The Joyride.  

    The bad however came courtesy of their crew. They had Swedish riggers, American sound company & UK truckers who all basically hated each other and we as the “opening act” were constantly caught in the middle of their disdain for each other. It was tough to say the least. 

    On one particular occasion, our Soundman left our truck carrying all of our gear, in the wrong spot. I admit it was a stupid mistake and required action immediately, so as not to hamper their loadout. What they did however was drag our truck away to a far corner of the parking lot (understable...maybe) but then they slashed ALL of our tires and left it stranded. Which meant a total nightmare for us to get that sorted out by morning and still make the next venue in the next city miles away.

    The ugly came in the form of the catering company, who I am sad to say, were Scottish! The were miserly, rude and miserable and treated us like shit. Totally uncalled for and just downright mean and nasty. It made the tour, one tough grind to say the least but we are consummate pro’s and so we just sucked it up, put smiles on our faces and toured for almost 3 months with them. Rock’n’Roll right?

     Back together again in Montreal.  

    Back together again in Montreal.  

    Ironically about ten years ago or so, they were touring again and they only spot on their tour where ticket sales were a little “light”, was Canada. Someone in the promoting world decided it would be cool to match us up once again. This resulted in us doing about 7 or 8 shows with them across the country. Circumstances however, were much different this time as Glass Tiger hit the stages in Montreal and Toronto and Vancouver etc to a tremendous “home” reception and we were treated much differently. We met with them briefly for us all to do photo together and it was nice to see Marie & Per again. Truth be told, they never knew of how poorly we were treated behind the scenes back in ‘91, and of course we never made them aware. We would never do that, and so when we caught up with them on the second tour it was all pleasantries as it should have been. 

     Things were different the second time around with Roxette. 

    Things were different the second time around with Roxette. 


    And so, meanwhile back in London, my best pal from Scotland arrived around 1pm and we met downstairs in the lobby bar. We haven’t seen each other in three years which is the longest gap in the last 30!!! He also had his wife with him and his sweet little daughter, both of whom I was meeting for the first time. They were coming with me to soundcheck and so we all got ready quickly and set off.


    A decision had to be made. The first venue they booked here is around the corner from our hotel ....BUT....the venue was changed on us with short notice and the new one, The Boston Music Room was at least 45 mins away by cab. A grind I didn’t want to face in London heavy traffic. And so....... “to the BAT-tube Robin!” And off we set on the underground (subway) which only took about 20 mins.


    The gig was in a part of North London called Tufnell Park, in the London Boroughs of Islington and Camden, an area of former farmland last owned by a wealthy branch of the Tufnell family before its development. Luckily The Boston Music Room is located just across the street from the Tufnell Tube Station and so we all gathered together in the club.

     Boston pub and The Boston Music Room in Tufnell. 

    Boston pub and The Boston Music Room in Tufnell. 

    As happens, soundcheck is a test of “hurry up and wait.” Normally when we are in the groove of a tour, I don’t do them, preferring to save my voice for the actual concert. But when it’s a new gig and especially a special one like this, I do indeed join in. This one however was still about almost 2hrs away as our amazing sound technician, Joe, worked feverishly to get things together. I decided to go for a hot tea and I was joined by a great friend, and photographer over here called Christopher Bissell and my fabulous background vocalist, Carmella. We were not there long before I was recognized by a man who seemed rather excited to see me. He came over, wearing I might add, a Glass Tiger, London, 2018, t-shirt. Hold on though, we don’t have, Glass Tiger, London, 2018, t-shirts!! It turns out his wife made it for him to commemorate our concert that was about to happen and they were both so jazzed for Glass Tiger that they had travelled all the way from Holland. How special. I of course invited them to soundcheck and they were over the moon happy.

     

     My “second family” from Scotland at soundcheck. The lad, far left, is “Flip” all the way from Holland.  

    My “second family” from Scotland at soundcheck. The lad, far left, is “Flip” all the way from Holland.  

    We killed time having tea before returning to the club only to find Joe still wasn’t quite ready and that the lads, including my Scottish mate, were next door, in the pub, having a pint!! Go figure. Really? I joined them, tea in hand, for a chat, only to find out that a gentleman and his wife had travelled from Bristol to see us, Glass Tiger albums in hand, and he, a huge fan, was in the bar, hoping I would come in. He was so thrilled and........of course I invited them to soundcheck. Lol


    Finally around 5pm soundcheck happened. It went fairly flawlessly but the clock had now become our enemy. It was around 6:15 pm when it finished and we of course were still at least a 45 min car ride away from our hotel and our stage clothes. And so..... “to the BAT-tube Robin!” How crazy! This is certainly a first. We chugged back on the train reaching our hotel around 6:50pm knowing that we had to be back in the club by 8:30pm onstage at 9:10.


    To say getting ready quickly is an understatement is of course, an understatement!! Within about 20 mins we were ready, a world record for our only girl in the band, Carm, and so.... “to the BAT-tube Robin!” and like yo-yo’s we were off again. Holy shit Batman! I can honestly say I have never rushed to my gig on the subway and can honestly say I never will again!! Truth be told though, it was a new experience and now look, I have a memory and a story to tell.

     Carmella, Sam and I deciding what train we have to catch, 

    Carmella, Sam and I deciding what train we have to catch, 

    The club and the crowd were small but that’s never a deterrent for a band that’s eager to play and for a crowd eager to enjoy. From the very first note we were all into it together; opening as we do with ANIMAL HEART right into I’M STILL SEARCHING, we ALL rocked together, band and audience. People often ask me how we can play the same tunes over and over for 30 odd years and STILL enjoy it? Well the answer is simple. The audience. You guys! Without you we are nothing. And without you those songs would quickly grow stale and cumbersome. Each audience is different. Always! And each audience keeps us alive and hopefully fresh. So thanks you LONDON! You were brilliant. From the first note to the loud and raucous encore you have to us I thank you. Thanks to AT THE SUN for taking the stage before us. You ROCKED!


     You ROCKED London!!! Thank you so much.  

    You ROCKED London!!! Thank you so much.  

    After the show I went up to meet some of the fans and take a few photo’s and sign a few autographs. What was truly amazing was we had people who had travelled from Florence, Italy, from just outside of Paris, France and from Munich in Germany. We even had a father, daughter, combo all the way from sunny Glasgow in Scotland! My people!!! 😉 We DO NOT take that lightly. It probably means more to us now at this stage in our career than it did back in the day. Hard-working people, taking their hard-earned money, purchasing plane tickets and hotels to come from the likes of Italy to a wee club in Tufnell, North London, all because they love Glass Tiger and our music. What an honour. Thank you.


    And so it ended. It was time to head back to the hotel. And we all know what that meant right? It was time for the BAT-tu......NO! fuck that Robin, it was time to grab a taxi and travel back in comfort and at our leisure. No madness. No rushing.


    Had a quiet Guinness with the gang and then headed to bed. Tomorrow I have the day off.


    Tickets, as we all know, can be important and meaningful. Train tickets. Plane tickets. Concert tickets, all of them a big deal. I have THIS ticket, which is my train ticket to Nottingham on Sunday. But for now THESE tickets are TOP SHELF!!!!

     Big game tomorrow. 

    Big game tomorrow. 

    Football tomorrow, to see my other favourite “blues”....CHELSEA vs the mighty reds of Manchester. Should be a good’n’.


     “Ssssh, don’t tell him.” 

    “Ssssh, don’t tell him.” 

    Goodnight London.

     

    GOOD MORNING LONDON

     Slept until around 11a.m. London time. Could have slept even longer after my long journey but up I got. Showered and dressed, we all made contact with each other and it was decided that four of us were going to head off together on an excursion. Joe (sound & road managing), Carm (background vocals), Russell (guitars) & yours truly all met in the lobby around noon and off we went.

     This’ll get ya where ya need to go.  

    This’ll get ya where ya need to go.  

    The first line of business was to figure out the subway system, or as they call it here....the tube. It’s all a bit daunting at first but once ya get the hang of it, and get your “Oyster Card” lol, it’s a breeze.


    Simply put, the rapid transit system, “The Underground” in London is enormous. A system which began operation 155 years ago, in 1863!!! Think about THAT train ride!! It’s daily ridership is 5 million, giving it an annual ridership of 1.379 billion! It has 270 stations and 11 different transit lines.

     

     Air Raid Shelter.  

    Air Raid Shelter.  

    During World War ll, many tube stations were used as air-raid shelters. On 3 March 1943, a test of the air-raid warning sirens, together with the firing of a new type of anti-aircraft rocket, resulted in a crush of people attempting to take shelter, in total 173 people, including 62 children, died, making this both the worst civilian disaster of World War II, and the largest loss of life in a single incident on the London Underground network. And that disaster wasn’t even caused by the bad guys!! 😢


    IMG_4759.PNG

    So we headed to Knightsbridge on the tube and went straight to the world famous Harrods, a luxury department store located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge. Regardless of your budget and/or your spending habits, Harrods is a must-do, must-see, at least once in your life. A human-fest of rabid shoppers in this gigantic piece of architecture, actively buying up everything from a £1 candy to a £30,000 bottle of Champagne to a £98,500 hand-signed, Warhol, lithograph.

     Harrods  

    Harrods  

    Funny I had no glasses on when I approached the lithograph, and my eyes saw, £98.50 causing me to think it was just a cool reproduction of a lithograph. The attendant approached me...” “Lovely isn’t it?”

    “Yes indeed,” I replied.

    “Are you a fan of his work then?”

     Amazing what £98,500 will get you.  

    Amazing what £98,500 will get you.  

    “Yes, and also a fan of Elizabeth.”

    “Are you interested in this price sir?”

    “Absolutely, it would be cool in my studio. I am just thinking that....(puts glasses on, see’s signature in bottom right-hand corner is real, and price tag is £98,500)....... thinking that ....I will go for a walk, and give it more thought. Nice weather we’re having, don’t you think?” (Head for the hills Tonto!!!!)

    Anyway, it is must-visit for you if it’s your first time in London.

     These were NOT £98,500.  

    These were NOT £98,500.  


    Had lovely lunch at an Italian restaurant by Harrods then made a purchase back in the store.


    Everyone who knows me knows how much I love new running shoes (or “trainers” as they are called here). It’s an obsession with me so much so that when they get dirty and the slightest bit worn I am always thinking about the next pair. So when over in UK or Europe I always look for ones that I just know you cannot get back in Canada or U.S.

    The deed done, we headed down to St. Pancras train station to see the famous “Kissing Couple” statue, sort out my train ticket for Sunday and to view the famous St Pancras Hotel. What a building!! Even the train station is glorious. The statue of the “Kissing Couple” is wonderful.

     

     “ Kiss me ya big lug!” 

    “ Kiss me ya big lug!” 

    Officially called The Meeting Place it is a 9-metre (30 ft) high, 20-tonne bronze statue that stands at the south end of the upper level of St Pancras railway station. Designed by British artist Paul Day and revealed in 2007, it is intended to evoke the romance of travel through the depiction of a couple locked in an amorous embrace. The statue, which stands in the Eurostar terminal, is reported to have cost £1 million and was installed as the centrepiece of the refurbished station. The work, is modelled on the sculptor and his wife.


    The hotel itself is a sight to behold. Completed in 1876

     “That’s my room. No not that one...THAT one!”

    “That’s my room. No not that one...THAT one!”

    The hotel was expensive, with costly fixtures including a grand staircase, rooms with gold leaf walls and a fireplace in every room. It had many innovative features such as hydraulic lifts, concrete floors, revolving doors and fireproof floor constructions, though none of the rooms had bathrooms, as was the convention of the time. The hotel was taken over by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1922 before closing in 1935, by which time its utilities were outdated and too costly to maintain, such as the armies of servants needed to carry chamber pots, tubs, bowls and spittoons. It’s a must if you ever visit London to go there for tea and biscuits. Very civilized I must say. The only thing missing is the Queen! 

     

     How are those for Guinness taps! 

    How are those for Guinness taps! 

    We then headed to a pub called O’Neill’s for a lovely pint of Guinness, after which I left everyone to walk back to my hotel and prepare to visit some family. On the walk back I passed a “chippy” and could not resist haddock & chips, open-faced, with tons of malt vinegar and salt. Don’t tell my doctor, but....fuck they were delicious. It reminded me so much of my childhood. 


    Did a short family visit before meeting the gang back at the hotel for a wee nightcap and bed. Tomorrow we gig. Can’t wait.


    Goodnight London.

     Nighty night. Xo  

    Nighty night. Xo  

    HELLO LONDON

     Up at 5:45 am to begin the long journey east to my childhood homeland. Well now, technically it’s not, but in a “unified” sense it is.....Great Britain.

     Brittania  

    Brittania  

    Great Britain of course is the name given to the island that compromises England, Wales and the home of my birth, “Bonnie Scotland.”

    We of course use the term, “The United Kingdom” but that name actually refers to the aforementioned countries plus, Northern Ireland, another place near and dear to my heart since I spent several summers there as a boy during my school holidays. Sadly, my last memory of Northern Ireland, was awakening one morning to the fact that there was a soldier in full battle gear, rifle at the ready, outside the front doorway of my auntie’s house whom we were staying with. This was the summer of 1969 and the “troubles” were just about to begin. My grandmother and I left Belfast for home, and I have never seen it since.

     Belfast 1969

    Belfast 1969

    On this trip however, I will not be visiting Scotland nor Belfast and therefore, England ....will just have to do, lol.

    Seriously though, I love London. I enjoy her immensely. The history. The swagger. The pubs! Oh and of course, the “football!” Yes I said football, because as anyone plainly knows, it is performed with the feet. The game we in North America know and love that we call football, should of course be called, “Throwball” but we’ll leave that discussion for another day.

    never take my car to the airport if I am going to be gone more than 4 days and so with the assistance of technology, I texted for an UBER around 6:45am and off I went. My car was indeed “uber-comfy” and we were at the airport in no time.

     Crossword ready to go.  

    Crossword ready to go.  

    Flight was smooth and uneventful.  I spent the time writing, all the while with headphones on and a movie playing in the background. One of my all-time favourites was playing. I have seen it so much I could watch it with no sound and provide you with all of the dialogue myself;


    “Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish maidens.

    Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain.

    For we’ve received orders for to sail back to Boston.

    So never no more shall we see you again.”

    Okay......name the movie.


    Say what you want about Air Canada, it to me, remains one of the top airlines in the world and when everything goes to plan, it’s great.

     That time when I slept with a guy! 😩 

    That time when I slept with a guy! 😩 

    All airlines have their shit-fests and we all know how frustrating that can be but when you travel as much as I have and still do, you tend to roll with the punches and take the shit-fests in stride. After all, what can you do? I tend to hunker down in the lounge and just read and write to pass away the time, or sleep! 

    The movie I wrote of earlier was of course JAWS, starring, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and the amazing Robert Shaw, directed of course by the “one and only,” Steven Spielberg. I had the pleasure of attending a wedding recently that was also attended by Mr Spielberg. As a total movie buff I cannot tell you how surreal it was to be standing at the bar with him, both of us waiting for the young bartender’s attention that we may order our drinks. I was ordering for my wife and our dear friend, Steven on the other hand was only ordering for himself and some guy called “Hanks,” .....but that’s another story altogether.

     Good evening London. 

    Good evening London. 

    Our flight was a good 45 mins ahead of schedule (see it’s not all shit-fests ;) We flew over London in the dark for it was 8:30pm their time. I far prefer taking flights to UK that leave Canada in the morning rather than take the night flights that get you there the following morning. I am always completely dragged out flying through the night and walking off the plane at 6:45am then dragging your ass into the city, checking into hotel by say, 11:30am, and you now decide to try and “stay awake” all through the day and evening in order to go to bed at a proper time. Fuck that! It’s a nightmare. This way you leave in morning and you land in evening as close to normal as you can possibly have while going across the Atlantic.

    Headed to passport  control. I have let my British Passport expire, (just laziness, MUST rectify) and so I entered the country as a Canadian, even although my Scottish accent betrayed me to the passport control officer. It always amazes me how friendly the European & British passport control officers can be and this lady was exceptional. I handed her my passport causing her to say in a strong London accent,” Wot kind of Canadian accent is that then?” I handed her my work permit allowing me to perform here and the process took about 20mins. I was in a fast-track line and got through much quicker than the others so I had to kill an hour or more waiting for them. So what was a lad supposed to do? My first UK pint in years went down a treat.

     First UK pint in years...yes it’s Irish, I know that...! 

    First UK pint in years...yes it’s Irish, I know that...! 

    Got the iPad out and continued writing.

    We grabbed a couple of taxis and headed to hotel. I was reminded just how expensive London is immediately by the fact the cab ride was £89 (for us that’s about $160) then when we sat down to have a cold beer in our hotel, the call for 5 pints was close to £30 ....ahhhh London. Of course two things, you cannot think in dollars, that just drives ya crazy and two, it’s because the Canadian dollar is so weak. The U.S. dollar holds up much stronger to the British Pound.

    So we sat and chatted had a beer or two and headed to bed around 3am UK time.

    IMG_4753.JPG

    Goodnight London....Goodnight boys and girls.....talk to ya tomorrow.

    Dear Canada Blog #63 June 27th 2018

    FullSizeRender.jpg

    Better late than never this blog has been sitting unfinished due to my being very busy then a little lazy.

     

    Having missed our last gig in Saskatoon due to a health issue, I am back at it, as Glass Tiger travels to beautiful Whistler B.C. for a private gig at the Fairmont Hotel.  I haven’t been in Whistler since February of 2010 when I co-wrote the Vancouver Olympic song, “I BELIEVE,” performed by, Nikki Yanofsky.

    A massively successful song that went on to make Nikki a household-name and a multi-platinum artist, I BELIEVE entered into the very fabric of the games themselves with athletes being quoted as saying, how beautifully inspiring it was, and everyday Canadians saying, how patriotic it made them feel. Canadians are normally very staid about flaunting their patriotism but in this particular case they waved their flags proudly declaring, I am Canadian!”

     I BELIEVE reached number one on the Canadian Hot 100 issue dated February 27, 2010, and it was the first song by a Canadian singer to top the Canadian Hot 100.

     The power of you and I ? Me and you? I and me? 😂😂

    The power of you and I ? Me and you? I and me? 😂😂

    Two funny things that arose for me during the song’s time on the national front were these. 1) How some people complained about hearing the song day in and day out and 2) how some within the “Grammer Police” complained about the line, “I believe in the power of you and I,” which they claimed, of course, should read as,  “you and ME,” for the lyrics to be considered as being  “grammatically correct.” Here was my take on both;  

    1) A song doesn’t become a hit song because everyone likes it, but rather, it becomes a hit song because “enough” people like it to make it so. I jokingly said, “Yeah, I remember when our hit, Don’t Forget Me ( when I’m gone) was so ubiquitous, playing almost to the point of ad nauseum, a guy once said to me, “If I have to listen to that song one more time, I am going to jump off of a bridge!” I said to him, “Dad! Please! Stop talking like that!”

     “What? CALL THE GRAMMER POLICE!” 

    “What? CALL THE GRAMMER POLICE!” 

    As for what I said regarding number 2? I said, “Oh get a life!” Lol, actually I reminded them of what we call, “poetic licence” simply meaning, we as artists, take liberties with words and images for the betterment of our art and for the audience’s pleasure. I did also read up on why, if one chose to fight the system, “I believe in the power of you and I” is absolutely, grammatically fine, but I didn’t have the energy for the argument, so mostly I just told everyone who asked, “ I wrote YOU AND I, because, simply put, I needed a word to rhyme with FLY.”😂 

     I BELIEVE was a huge success for everyone involved and it remains one of the proudest moments of my song-writing career.

     Beautiful Whistler B.C.  

    Beautiful Whistler B.C.  

    Whistler (Squamish language: Sḵwiḵw) is a Canadian resort town in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the province of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 125 km (78 mi) north of Vancouver and 36 km (22 mi) south of the town of Pemberton. Incorporated as the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), it has a permanent population of approximately 9,965, plus a larger but rotating population of seasonal workers, typically younger people from beyond British Columbia, notably from Australia and Europe. The first British survey by the Royal Navy took place in the 1860s.These surveyors named the mountain London Mountain because of the heavy fog and cloud typically gathering around the mountain, but the area informally acquired the name "Whistler" due to the call of the hoary marmot

      “Alan! Alan! ....Alan! Alan!.....that’s not Alan. Steve! Steve! Steve!”   The flight to Vancouver was comfortable and uneventful BUT THE DRIVE TO WHISTLER? Holy shit! It was raining and very slick conditions and our driver happened to be the son of Mario Andretti ( ok, i’m kidding) but wow! he was fast and the winding roads, relentless. I truly thought I was gonna upchuck. I made a conscious decision that if I am ever asked to play here again that they better get the helicopter primed and readied! 😉   When you get here however, it’s beautiful. It’s one of  the  perfect spots to show off the beauty and the majesty of this great nation of Canada.    We gathered as a band in the beautiful lounge area of the bar, by the fireplace, and enjoyed a refreshment and a bite to eat. This is the thing about GT that surprises so many other bands; WE STILL ALL ENJOY EACH OTHER’S COMPANY! We post on our group text “ let’s go for dinner, or lunch or breakkies” and within reason we ALL show up, whereas lots of other bands only want to see each other on stage, ( and sometimes not even then!! 😂.)   Most of us headed up to our rooms shortly thereafter due to the fact that the time change had us very tired.    Up the next morning bright and early and went down to breakfast joining Joe and Carmela. The food was excellent and I highly recommend the Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel if you are planning a visit there anytime in the future. After eating I went for a walk into the town centre visiting various shops, looking for nothing in particular. My favourite store however was a bookstore called,  Armchair Books,  a delightful and charming little spot that would remind anyone, over the age of say, 40, of what a bookstore used to look and feel like. Little stores where you can pull up a comfy chair, sit in the corner, minding your own business, and read for as long as you want. I used to love coming into bookstores on cold winter’s nights, getting cozy, and skimming through a ton of books. 

     “Alan! Alan! ....Alan! Alan!.....that’s not Alan. Steve! Steve! Steve!” 

    The flight to Vancouver was comfortable and uneventful BUT THE DRIVE TO WHISTLER? Holy shit! It was raining and very slick conditions and our driver happened to be the son of Mario Andretti ( ok, i’m kidding) but wow! he was fast and the winding roads, relentless. I truly thought I was gonna upchuck. I made a conscious decision that if I am ever asked to play here again that they better get the helicopter primed and readied! 😉 

    When you get here however, it’s beautiful. It’s one of the perfect spots to show off the beauty and the majesty of this great nation of Canada.  

    We gathered as a band in the beautiful lounge area of the bar, by the fireplace, and enjoyed a refreshment and a bite to eat. This is the thing about GT that surprises so many other bands; WE STILL ALL ENJOY EACH OTHER’S COMPANY! We post on our group text “ let’s go for dinner, or lunch or breakkies” and within reason we ALL show up, whereas lots of other bands only want to see each other on stage, ( and sometimes not even then!! 😂.) 

    Most of us headed up to our rooms shortly thereafter due to the fact that the time change had us very tired.  

    Up the next morning bright and early and went down to breakfast joining Joe and Carmela. The food was excellent and I highly recommend the Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel if you are planning a visit there anytime in the future. After eating I went for a walk into the town centre visiting various shops, looking for nothing in particular. My favourite store however was a bookstore called, Armchair Books, a delightful and charming little spot that would remind anyone, over the age of say, 40, of what a bookstore used to look and feel like. Little stores where you can pull up a comfy chair, sit in the corner, minding your own business, and read for as long as you want. I used to love coming into bookstores on cold winter’s nights, getting cozy, and skimming through a ton of books. 

      Armchair Books.

    Armchair Books.

    On this particular occasion I settled on a book called ; 

    IMG_4058.JPG

    It’s never too late to change the world.  

     Been “doodling” all my life.  

    Been “doodling” all my life.  

    I also did an interesting thing. I bought a sketch-book and pens. As a young guy I was always into drawing and painting and always managed to do quite well at it. I just don’t do it often enough. My plan is to take my book and pens with me on the road and sketch as often as I feel the urge. I have been sketching my cats here at home over the last few days and it is such a peaceful, pastime.  

    I headed back to the hotel for soundcheck which went painlessly. I then headed back to my room to chill. This is going to be a long night for three of us, for Carmela, Al and I are heading back down the winding-hell to Vancouver tonight as we three are on an 8am flight out of here, which means we won’t get into Vancouver airport hotel until about 1am or even later and lobby-call will be at 6:30am 😱. Oh well......Rock’n’Roll right? 

    We hit the stage around 9:30pm for a 60 minute set. We gave them all the songs they were looking for and after a loud encore we gave them a few more.  

     “Ok, here come the hits. You ready?” 

    “Ok, here come the hits. You ready?” 

    We were asked ahead of time to do a meet and greet and take photo’s with which we happily obliged. Although with the long and winding road ahead of us I could have done without it this evening. Got through it fairly quickly and soon the three of us were on our way.

      “Hang on a minute driver.”

     “Hang on a minute driver.”

    Our driver had been warned ahead of time not to speed and being the decent guy he was, he obliged by taking it easy. The fact that it began to rain, making the roads extremely “slick” helped him make that decision.  

    Checked into my room and hit the bed by 2:15a.m. which fell into the category of, “Just lay on top of the bed, clothes on, alarm set, for a 3 hour sleep.” It makes me feel like I am just “napping” hence making it a little easier to get back up and keep going, whereas if I get undressed and under the covers and go into deep sleep it’s just tougher. Interesting fact though is this; no matter how short my sleep time is and no matter what time I set my alarm for, my eyes open ALWAYS just a few minutes ahead of that time. This happens whether my sleep is 7 hours of 70minutes!!  

    Up I got and freshened up. The good news is that the hotel is attached to the terminal and we were checking in and heading to lounge with plenty of time to spare.  

    Home now, safely back in Toronto. That’s me until our big gig here in the hometown at what should be a fantastic show, for we play ( for the first time ever) at Toronto’s famous, Massey Hall. 

               -Goodnight Dear Canada, until that time... 

    Dear Canada Blog #62 May 10th 2018

    We moved on for our second show to a place in Québec called, L'Assomption an off-island suburb of Montreal on the L'Assomption River

    Between 1640 and 1700, a settlement formed inside a large horseshoe-shaped meander of the L'Assomption River. Amerindians had already been visiting this site since ancient times and called it Outaragasipi meaning widening river, in reference to the river's course. They would drag their canoes across the peninsula as a short-cut for the meander, and therefore the settlement was first called Le Portage.

     L’Assomption, Québec.    I awakened to a very raspy and hoarse voice this morning, having just recovered from a bad chest cold last week. I decided therefore I would not do a soundcheck today and save what I have for the show itself. The guys in our crew had rooms at a local motel whereas we the band did not. Instead we are heading back to Montreal after the show. I temporarily commandeered one of the crew rooms and used it as a day room to chill and work on my voice. I walked to a local market and got some fresh ginger and lemon and drank that while in a hot shower.   My voice is just one of those voices that has huge strength and staying power and as long as phlegm doesn’t coat my vocal cords, I can usually pile on through the worst of circumstances. I took careful time to drink the hot lemon and gently do some vocal exercises in the hot steam of the shower. 

    L’Assomption, Québec.  

    I awakened to a very raspy and hoarse voice this morning, having just recovered from a bad chest cold last week. I decided therefore I would not do a soundcheck today and save what I have for the show itself. The guys in our crew had rooms at a local motel whereas we the band did not. Instead we are heading back to Montreal after the show. I temporarily commandeered one of the crew rooms and used it as a day room to chill and work on my voice. I walked to a local market and got some fresh ginger and lemon and drank that while in a hot shower. 

    My voice is just one of those voices that has huge strength and staying power and as long as phlegm doesn’t coat my vocal cords, I can usually pile on through the worst of circumstances. I took careful time to drink the hot lemon and gently do some vocal exercises in the hot steam of the shower. 

     I know...I know!! I look soooo different with the moustache.    My pickup was 6:30pm to take me over to the venue. Once again you have come through for us Québec as tonight’s show is all but sold out. It’s great, if every town in this province had or has small theatres like these last two, then Glass Tiger could do a ton of dates up here!!    It was in Québec that I first met my pal, Julian Lennon. He too, was incredibly popular in 1986-87 here in Québec and we did two or three concerts together with him, playing to sold-out audiences and frenzied fans. Perhaps Dear Canada, you were one of those fans. 🤗   

    I know...I know!! I look soooo different with the moustache.  

    My pickup was 6:30pm to take me over to the venue. Once again you have come through for us Québec as tonight’s show is all but sold out. It’s great, if every town in this province had or has small theatres like these last two, then Glass Tiger could do a ton of dates up here!!  

    It was in Québec that I first met my pal, Julian Lennon. He too, was incredibly popular in 1986-87 here in Québec and we did two or three concerts together with him, playing to sold-out audiences and frenzied fans. Perhaps Dear Canada, you were one of those fans. 🤗

     

     Julian Lennon circa 1986-87

    Julian Lennon circa 1986-87

    Later, during the 90’s, when GT was recording in L.A. and again, when I recorded HOLD ON, (my first solo endeavour), we always stayed in touch, going out for the occasional drink or bite to eat together. Julian is an incredibly personable and caring human being. He engages life head-on and he cares about this world and our relationship with nature and all things planet earth. His devoted philanthropic and charitable contributions to help make the world just a little bit of a better place than it was when he found it is exemplary. Most notably the White Feather Foundation and the Whale Dreamers Organization. These organisations promote the co-existence of all species and the health and well-being of the Earth. The name White Feather Foundation came from a beautiful conversation Julian once had with his father. "Dad once said to me that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be OK – that we were all going to be OK – the message would come to me in the form of a white feather. ... the white feather has always represented peace to me.”

     Julian and his dad. 

    Julian and his dad. 

      “Sting” photograph by Julian Lennon. 

     “Sting” photograph by Julian Lennon. 

    One cool thing you may not know about Julian is just how much of a gifted and fabulous photgrapher he is. He opened his first exhibition of 35 photographs called "Timeless: The Photography of Julian Lennon" at the Morrison Hotel with his photographs including shots of his brother Sean and U2 frontman Bono and his "Horizons" series featured at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, in New York City. I saw some of Julian’s work from a shoot he did in Montreal at a Leonard Cohen tribute event including shots of, Elvis Costello, Sting & Lana Del Ray and I follow his work on Instagram under the title, “JulesPicturePalace” whereby he turns his travels into beautiful works of art. I highly recommend you check that out. It is my goal to have him shoot Glass Tiger one day.....I’ll have to work on that.😉

    A funny story. When he consented to duet with me on the new GT Album “31” Sam and I flew to L.A. and we all met up in the evening for a glass of wine and a nibble. We set the time for the recording the next evening and we popped over to pick him up. Julian was totally prepared and ready to go but I can understand how intimidating it must be not only to interpret “someone else’s” songand not just “any” song, a classic song, 31 years old and beloved by millions, PLUS you have the guy there with you who wrote and sang it and he has been singing loads and is in great shape while you haven’t sung in a while. Phew! Nerve-wracking or what? So here we are, we have all been together, broken bread together, had a drink, caught up on old times, big hugs and kisses and Julian goes into the vocal booth gets on the microphone prepares himself and then says lovingly, “Alan?”

     The lads. 

    The lads. 

    “Yes Jules. What’s up?”  “Fuck off!” “Come again?” I replied. “Fuck off!” says Mr Lennon. The lads behind the console laugh. “What does he mean?” I ask them innocently. “He wants ya out of here, says Sam. He wants to spend some focussed time without you listening in!” And so the penny dropped. I got it right away. And so, fuck off I did. For about an hour or so I hung out in the lobby lol. Julian however, is a true artist. It took him no time at all to blow out the cobwebs, get into his groove, and put his “mark” indelibly on the new version of “THIN RED LINE.” And for that, he let me back in!😂

    The end result is simple, stark and hauntingly beautiful. Thanks pal ❌⭕️

    The show ended up being wonderful. Very much like the night before, the audience was fantastic. My voice came storming back and never let me down. Afterwards we did a VIP meet and greet then went out to the foyer to meet fans who had waited patiently for us to come out to say hello and offer autographs etc.  

    We did the hour drive later back to Montreal. Upon arrival everyone headed straight to their rooms and bed. And so I bid you, Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~Alan.  

     

    Dear Canada Blog #61 May 9th 2018

    Well here we go again back on the road. Not a long jaunt, just three shows. Two in the French Canadian province of Quebec and one, a private, corporate show, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. 

     Hello Monréal, we meet again. 

    Hello Monréal, we meet again. 

    We spent May 8th in Montreal having the opportunity to chill a little as a band without having to gig that evening. I got a chance to walk around for a bit and do a little shopping, although I didn’t see much that I fancied and only picked up a shirt. We then had a drink and a meal together before shutting it down. (At least I did lol, right Sam and Al? 😉)  

    Lobby call was noon for the drive to St. Hyacinthe, about 40 mins outside of Montreal. We are staying there tonight though as opposed to driving back late to Montreal.  

     St.Hyacinthe, Québec.

    St.Hyacinthe, Québec.

    St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, is a city in southwestern region on the Yamaska River, population around 55,000. At the time of its establishment in 1678, the village of Saint-Hyacinthe had a population of 67. A year later it was made a town, and in 1857 it was made a city. It’s so-named for Saint Hyacinth the Confessor Of Poland and it’s St. Hyacinth’s Cathedral is the seat of the Latin Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe, which was erected in 1852 and has the same patron saint. 

    Tonight’s show is the launch of a new setup. We are attempting to do basically what the new Glass Tiger album “31” is all about. Rootsy, acoustically-driven, renditions, with new arrangements of our reimagined, classic songs. It’s vital that I participate in sound-check which I wouldn’t normally do, preferring to save my voice for the actual performance but we are all a little nerve-wracked about it since we haven’t had much time to rehearse it. 

     Russell in a quiet moment pre-show.  

    Russell in a quiet moment pre-show.  

    This band configuration is as follows. We have Chris McNeill on drums, Tom Lewis on bass (Wayne still requires some time off) Carmela Long on BG vocals, Sam of course on keys and Al on guitar. We opted to add, from my band, Russell Gray on guitars due to the fact that he is brilliant and I really don’t want to play guitar live anymore, preferring just to sing and perform unincumbered by having to play guitar at all. I like playing the instrument but more as a writing tool than a performance one. 

    The Centre des Arts Theatre here in St. Hyacinthe is a pretty little room and we are told it’s pretty much sold out. Thanks guys!!

     Ahhh, the good old days. The hair, the eyeliner, the earrings and the Le Chateau pants.....what could possibly have been “manlier?” 🤔😂

    Ahhh, the good old days. The hair, the eyeliner, the earrings and the Le Chateau pants.....what could possibly have been “manlier?” 🤔😂

    Glass Tiger has had a long-standing relationship with Québec. Since the days of Musique Plus, when our videos were nothing short of ubiquitous. We were adored by huge numbers of fans and now is the time to reacquaint with them by coming back here as often as we can. 

    A lovely story for you. It was 1987 and Glass Tiger was asked to play at a very special event called Rendezvous ‘87,  an international ice hockey series of games between the Soviet Union of old, and a team of All-Stars from the National Hockey League, held in Québec City. Glass Tiger had exploded and by 1987 it was pretty impossible to move around without bedlam ensuing. 

    When we arrived at the airport hundreds of teenage girls were there and it took us forever to make our way through them as we stopped for autographs and photo’s. By the time we got to the hotel we were easily a couple of hours behind schedule and of course when we arrived there, yet again, hundreds of fans in the lower lobby awaiting us, and so once more it took forever just to make it over to the escalator to head up to a closed-off area where we could catch our breath and have a cold drink. When I finally made it to the escalator and jumped on, I raised my head up to find, standing there at the top, awaiting me, none-other-than, David Foster. You know, the Canadian musician, record producer, composer, songwriter and arranger guy. You know, the winner of 16 Grammy Awards (with 47, nominations, for producing the likes of; Chaka Khan, Alice Cooper, Christina Aguilera, Andrea Bocelli, Toni Braxton, Michael Bublé, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Kenny G, Josh Groban, Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Kenny Rogers, Seal, Rod Stewart, Charice, Donna Summer, Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Cheryl Lynn and Barbra Streisand. YEAH! THAT GUY! Well there he was standing there looking completely frazzled and dishevelled, with one small kid in one hand and one in the other, just being “a dad“ with his two kids finding it hard to contain themselves as their favourite band of the day was making an appearance and of course “dad” must have spent HOURS saying, “ I promise you they are coming! I promise you that you’ll meet them. It’s okay! I PROMISE you they are.... “The look on his face spoke volumes. It’s was sooooooo funny. When he got close to me he whispered in my ear,  “Thank fuck! What the hell took you so long!” Sorry David, but it WAS funny. I had first met David at the Juno awards the year prior when he was the presenter of “Single Of The Year,” which we won. 

     Music legend, David Foster.  

    Music legend, David Foster.  

    We hit the stage, right on the nose at 8:00pm The show was two sets of 45mins each. I said to the audience, “Okay, so this is the very FIRST TIME we have ever done this show, in this format. That can be a GOOD thing, or, that can be a BAD thing! So please, if I happen to screw it up and anytime during the proceedings, just look over my shoulder and pick any of these guys you want.......and blame them!” We all laughed and we then went on to have a brilliant evening together. Not flawless by any means but the rawness and newness of it actually added to the charm of it all. For it being a “first” it was great and can only get better from here on in.  

     In the “sandbox” once again.  

    In the “sandbox” once again.  

    A standing ovation at the end prompted us to give them an encore of, “Don’t Forget Me (when i’m gone).  

    Thank you St. Hyacinthe you were an amazing audience. Last night proved once again that music is THE true “international language” which reminds us of everything we have in common, rather than what differences we may have. 

     

    Afterward we met some VIP fans then headed out to the foyer to sign autographs and take photo’s with fans who were patient enough to wait for us.  

    Back at hotel by around midnight we gathered as a complete unit and had a drink or two together. After everyone had gone to bed I sat with Sam, just the two of us, chatting about the future. I have spent most of my life with this guy and STILL we can sit and talk and plan and laugh like it’s just the beginning, which when you think of it, it still is.

    For you see, it’s the beginning of “now.”  

    IMAGE.JPG

    Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~Alan  

     

     

    Dear Canada Blog #60!!! April 24th 2018; THE FINAL SHOW!!

     Wow! SIXTY blogs!! Can you believe it? I didn’t miss one day. Not one. I am filled with all kinds emotions. So happy that it’s about to be over and yet a little sad because of the very same thing. Wondering if it was all worth it, yet knowing that is HAS INDEED been worth it. It’s just a jumble-sale of emotions. I have been here however, in this place, countless times before in my career. It’s the same when recording an album, you bond with the team. You become a family who gets into a family routine and when the routine ends, you feel a little sense of loss. So now it ends. Just like that. We now all go our separate ways. But of course that’s a good thing too, because now we get to see if performing in front of an audience that really didn’t know us, to begin with, an audience who would never have normally ventured out to see us, will come to see a full Glass Tiger show, when we are in their neck-of-the-woods.

     

      We are fam-i-ly!! 

    We are fam-i-ly!! 

    Now if ever I needed a little preview of how they felt about us, breakfast this morning certainly gave me a little taste of perhaps what lies ahead. The restaurant this morning was “jammed” with Johnny fans. All ladies. Perhaps one “token husband.” Now for the record, an interesting phenomenon is that even although Johnny himself is about 17 or so years younger than me, his demographic, his core audience, is about 17 years and UP, older than a normal GT audience is. The core age of our audience is about 46, or thereabouts and up. And of course because so many young people love retro we also get tons of fans still in their twenties and thirties. These ladies who love and come out for Johnny however begin around my age and go much older than even me, so conversations with them in some cases, is like talking with my own mum!! More than often like chatting with my sister and her pals (who also love Johnny AND OF COURSE her wee brother’s band😉). These women are so funny and delightful and they don’t hold back for a second!! They dive right in and tell you what they want, “Come on! Yer taking a photo with us!” But it’s so easy for me to relate to them, for you see, they are not only Johnny’s “people,” they are MY people too! They are everyone I grew up around as a boy. They are like my aunts  and uncles, my mum and dad. They are the neighbours I grew up beside, that would “cuff” my ear for being a cheeky wee bugger.

      “C’mere ya cheeky wee bugger!” 

    “C’mere ya cheeky wee bugger!” 

    They are the hard-working, salt-of-the-earth folk that carry nations on their shoulders. To sit and “blether” with them is second-nature to me. I spent most of breakfast going from table to table, saying hello, taking pictures, chatting up a storm. They get a hold of me and cuddle-in as the photo is being taken. It’s adorable. So how did they feel about GT? Well they ALL said the magic words, “We loved you guys so much, when are ya coming back? Cuz we’ll be there, when ya do!” And THAT’S why we did this tour. Glass Tiger of course has it’s own loyal and faithful audience. We have been bonded for 31 years with you guys. but these folks are seeing us for the VERY FIRST TIME!! It’s wild. We will all of course, welcome them.❤️

     

    We flew back to St. John’s and re-checked into the Delta Hotel, which was a little weird considering we were just here two nights ago. Routine was as always, except for the fact that I went over about 5 mins before Johnny went on. The reason being, I wanted to take a moment with him alone, to shake his hand and say, “Well pal, this is it! Here we go!”

      “Well pal...here we go!”

    “Well pal...here we go!”

    There was a sense of anticipation among his band and crew, certainly a feeling that things here were rapidly coming to an end. We hit the stage, usual time, and the crowd were fantastic. When Johnny and I did our duet together and it came to the middle-section where we do a “toast” to the crowd and sing Flower of Scotland, I stopped and said a few important words to him, that I truly felt he needed to hear and that his audience needed to hear. My thanking him, for all he has done for Glass Tiger. He is a humble man, who will speak MORE of what he received from this journey with us than what he gave. A journey that began on that “wee wall” on a golf course in Cape Breton, eventually leading to our recording a brilliant album in Nashville, with him at the “helm.”  

      At the  helm,  Johnny Reid.

    At the helm, Johnny Reid.

    A journey which led us to this AMAZING tour. I remember sitting with him and Sam in Nashville and him saying, “I have an idea! We’ll tour together.” And that’s before the album was even finished! What an experience. He opened his studio, he opened his home and he opened his heart to a band that I like to think, is a part or the very fabric of Canadian Music. I KNOW he believes that.

    Thank you Johnny❤️

       “I have an idea!”

     “I have an idea!”

    After the show we took a bottle of champagne to his dressing room and shared it with him and his wife and a few key players on his team. A hug and another handshake and ........that was it.

    Yet another chapter in the book of all of our lives is written and published. There are now new chapters to come. 

    And so there you have it Dear Canada. Thanks for tuning in, it’s been a blast writing to you these past sixty days. Many of you have told me not to stop. Told me that you have loved my blogs. Please know, that my doing them, has made me feel more connected to all of you and I realize too that although my blog is called, DEAR CANADA, that some of you have been reading these from afar, in corners of the globe. Thanks for travelling with me every step of the way ❤️

    Please know, I don’t plan on stopping. I will continue to write to you when I am on the road. It’s ingrained now. I sort of “have to” do it now. They will now be called officially; ROADSTORIES with Alan Frew, and when on the road, I will write to you daily. When not, I will drop in once a week or so. Thank you so much for being there for my words, my thoughts and my feelings. Stay tuned. 

    I am flying tomorrow to Montreal with Sam, to do a TV performance in English and French with Veronic DiCaire and so I would say that constitutes being on the road......wouldn’t you? 😉


      TAKE A BOW BOYS!!!

    TAKE A BOW BOYS!!!

    Goodnight Dear Canada, until that time.......~Alan.

    Dear Canada Blog #59 April 23rd 2018.

    Up at 8:30 a.m. for a 10:00 a.m. lobby call. Able to catch a quick breakfast with Sam. We discussed upcoming rehearsals and preparations for the Glass Tiger shows we have this spring, summer & fall. Headed by cab, to the airport. It’s always cute when people recognize me but for whatever reason they don’t want to mention it, then just after I move away from them, I hear them singing or in this case, whistling, “Don’t Forget Me (when I’m gone). Funny😂Stuff. 

      I know the guy who wrote that!!

    I know the guy who wrote that!!

    The flight to Corner Brook was on a little 16 or so, seater plane, very noisy, very bumpy, and I had no window, which years ago would have caused me big problems. I am truly amazed at how far I have come these past 8 years or so with my fear of flying. If I had to have made a flight like that say, ten years ago, my “Tourette’s” type behaviour would have been rampant, and I would have been cursing like a trooper and fidgeting and driving people crazy.

      Yay!!! The plane’s here!! 

    Yay!!! The plane’s here!! 

    Here’s one for the books.....

    As many of you may know, I am an atheist. That said, I respect everyone’s right to believe, just as much as my own not to. I don’t mention it out loud anymore unless I am asked or unless someone is forcing their beliefs onto me, or of course if your knocking on my front door, ready to “minister” and “save” me. I tell you this because an absolutely hilarious thing happened to me back in my fear of flying days, that will live with me forever. The guys in GT were all used to me and with every bump of the plane I truly could not help myself and it would usually go something like this; Here we are, all flying, flying, flying, smoothly, smoothly and everything is fine then .....bump..oh!......bump..bump...oh no! ....bump....bump...bump...oh please no! bump...bump......fuck!...fuck! bump.... shit!   ......bump....thud...bump.....fuck!.....damn!...shit!..shit! and this would go on for the entire amount of time the turbulence lasted...but as I mentioned, the band were all used to it, and we got through it as best we could, with as little fuss as possible. If however, I had to sit next to a stranger, I would always explain to them my dilemma and apologies ahead of time, just in case, profanity-laced epithets came hurtling out of my mouth. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes the odd, Jesus!!! or Jesus Christ!!! Would still pop out of me, just by age-old habit. It still happens. And back then, I would think that saying, Jesus, would be a little softer and easier to digest for a wee lady to hear, than a big, FUCK!! And so I would attempt to do that, unless it was unbearable and I couldn’t help myself.

      It’s okay, Jesus has this... 

    It’s okay, Jesus has this... 

    So here we go......it was a flight back, if memory serves, from Vancouver home to Toronto and we had all the members of Glass Tiger, plus our crew, making the trip home. When we got through security and headed to the gate, there was an enormous delegation of Christians gathered there, all happy and singing, all with flowers and smiles as big as Vancouver itself. I remember thinking to myself, how much they reminded me of the “hippie flower-children” from say, Woodstock or the likes. Some of them danced a little, while all the time, “praising their Lord.” It was harmless enough, although a little overboard. Soon we all boarded and Glass Tiger and crew were scattered all over the place. I ended up in the middle!! of bunch of my new Christian companions, who made me aware that the Pope was coming to Toronto and that they were all on their way (with 2 million others) to receive his holy blessing. “Oh, that’s nice,” I replied. Thinking, “Please don’t ask me if i’m going!” So we took off and everything was going along swimmingly; happy, happy, praise the lord, “Would you like a flower?” “No thanks. Well okay.” (if it means you’ll leave me alone) when suddenly ......bump....hmmm what was that?....bump......no!.....bump...bump...please.....no!....Now I must have begun with my fidgeting, my sighing and squirming, because the lady to my right says, “Don’t worry, never fear, we are in God’s hands, he will keep us safe.” Hmmmm, really? Ya think? Now here it comes Dear Canada. You have to know this build up inside me is tremendous and I am trying so hard to fight it. I don’t want to force my profanity on these people. These sweet, lambs of God, all on their way to see, papa, their leader, their chosen vessel of God, their Pope. Suddenly, and without warning, the entire plane takes one almighty and enormous LUNGE, making it feel like she is about to nosedive back to earth and there is one GIGANTIC THUD!!! Instaneouly my brain is on fire and the words are scrambling at light speed to leap from my lips. My brain’s left-hemisphere is screaming to let it go....The Christians are all chanting, and holding hands, and praising their divine one when suddenly ......I have to get it out ....but what is coming out? Surely not a huge profanity? What if I soften it up a bit.....and so instaneously part of my brain wants to say, “Jesus!” while another part wants to let out a good old “fuck!” but it’s all happening too fast isn’t it? And so just as the plane lurches massively forward and the huge thud comes, yours truly let’s out, at the top of his lungs, as loud as Pavaroti, “FUCK JESUS!” And the entire plane goes 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

    What? Who said that? Really? Who? Me? Well of course, now the plane decides to settle immediately, it only lurched the once, and then it smoothed out immediately and of course it went  DEATHLY QUIET!! To say this was one of the most awkward moments in the history of aviation would be an understatement. Cringe-worthy? Oh yeah. And of course the awkwardness and cringe-worthiness didn’t end there because as I looked around me and saw all these little Christian faces agog staring at me like I had just bitten the head off of their kitten, I had no way of explaining without getting deeper and deeper in. “Yeah, sorry about that, you see I really wanted to let out one almighty FUCK! but to make it easier on you, part of my brain wanted to let out a great big, “JESUS CHRIST!” So I had to just keep my mouth shut, although a little pip-squeak, “sorry ‘bout that.” oozed out. The only audible sound was that of one of our road crew, Greg, who guffawed with laughter. The singing stopped. The flowers went down. The smiles vanished and I now felt like Satan’s Scottish cousin, Hamish MacLuicifer. When I think back on it they all looked like little lambs. The remaining journey was wounded to say the least. I felt like saying, “Bartender! Scotch all round!” I hesitate to say the word “cured” but I am now as close as one could get, and my fear of flying is nothing like it used to be. Thank you Jesus!😉

      Another day, another plane, no train but yes, an automobile. 

    Another day, another plane, no train but yes, an automobile. 


    Corner Brook is a city located on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The area was surveyed by Captain James Cook, in 1767.

      Captian James Cook, embalmed, bronzed, and permanently in Corner Brook!!!

    Captian James Cook, embalmed, bronzed, and permanently in Corner Brook!!!

    The Captain James Cook Historic Site stands on Crow Hill overlooking the city. By the middle of the 19th century the population of Corner Brook was still less than 100, and the inhabitants were engaged in fishing and lumber work. The area was originally four distinct communities, each with unique commercial activities: Curling, with its fishery; Corner Brook West (also known as Humber West or Westside) with its retail businesses; Corner Brook East (also known as Humbermouth and the Heights) with its railway and industrial operations; and Townsite (known as Corner Brook), home to the employees of the pulp and paper mill. In 1956, these four communities were amalgamated to form the present-day City of Corner Brook.

      Colourful Corner Brook.

    Colourful Corner Brook.

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    We pulled into the Inn at about 2:15 p.m. and we landed “slap-dab” right into the middle of a TEAM of ladies, all of them, obviously Johnny Reid fans. It didn’t take long for one of them to “clock” me and figure out who I was and it was game on! Photo, after, photo, and listening to all their “patter” they were a delight. They are so excited to see Johnny tonight. They just love him. I texted him immediately afterwards and said, “So funny, we pull into the wee Quality Inn, and the hotel lobby is mobbed with your fans and one of them clocks me and I am now part of the ladies Corner Brook division of your Tartan Army.” 😂 

    The Show for me tonight, was deeply emotional. The tragic event that happened today in Toronto has hit me hard. I live in North York. It’s my home, my community. I could walk to where that incident happened, in 15 mins. I could drive it, in 3 or 4. Of course, I have seen all the tragedy and similar incidents to this one that have happened all around the world. Of course I care and my heart breaks for all involved. It’s gut wrenching and brutally painful. But as with any tragedy, when it happens to you, or to your family or to your neighbourhood, it’s only natural that it stings that much harder. I thought of cancelling this blog and perhaps just posting a 😢. But then my fingers went onto twitter and I typed this, almost subconsciously; Torontonians don’t stop #smiling don’t stop #laughing don’t stop #loving don’t stop #living if you do, then they win. #torontostrong

      MY CITY. MY TEAM, MOURNS😢

    MY CITY. MY TEAM, MOURNS😢

    I believed that when I wrote it and I believe it now. We MUST stay true to who we are. To love and laugh and live life to its fullest, in kindness and fellowship, and caring and together as one. If we stop doing that, we lose, they win. That’s why I posted my blog tonight on this night of horror and sadness for all of us who care. That’s why I stayed true to who I am, knowing that you will stay true to who you are by reading it, hopefully still smiling, when you should smile, laughing, when you should laugh, and yes, shedding a wee tear along the way, just as you have, with all the others. Our hearts’ break tonight for those lost. Breaks, and we mourn them deeply. But we go on. Their loved ones are broken but the rest of us will gather around them, family, friends, neighbours, community and city and we will go forward business as usual. Wounded, of course, but we will go on. Love & Kindness remain the light. Always have been, always shall be. 

      We love you Toronto.

    We love you Toronto.

    And so with a heavy heart, I watched our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs grind out a hard-fought victory, and take us to game 7. And I cheered as I always would. Just as the crowd at the game did. Just as the thousands gathered outside the stadium did and I have NEVER been prouder to be a fan, than I was tonight.  

    IMG_3550.JPG

    As I headed back to my room I could hear lots of noise coming from the room next door. Ladies laughing and sharing a fun time and it was obvious to me that they were all Johnny Reid fans, who had travelled here for the show. Their door was slightly ajar and so I shouted in,“Hey! You Johnny Reid fans! keep the bloody noise down!” When I pushed the door open they let out a collective yell! They were so sweet. The salt of the earth. Proud Newfoundlanders and die-hard Johnny fans. I chatted with them and took some photo’s. As I said goodnight, they told me collectively that they would come see us if we come back here for our own show. THAT’S why we did this. And so it’s off to St.John’s for our final show tomorrow. 

    And so Dear Canada, Goodnight to you, until tomorrow ~ Alan.  

    Dear Canada Blog #58 April 22nd 2018.

     Didn’t have to rush out this morning. We had a civilized lobby call of 12:15p.m. Also we are not lugging our big suitcases, as we have sent them ahead with Johnny’s crew and their buses.

    I managed to squeeze in a quick breakfast as I finished off the previous blog.

    We headed to the airport for the first of two flights; one to Halifax, then on to St.John’s. We expected to have had the time to hit the lounge at the Halifax airport but due to a fairly long delay with our first flight we had all of 7 minutes to change planes. That’s always special, isn’t it?

      The only time when we are ALL Olympic athletes.  

    The only time when we are ALL Olympic athletes.  

    We landed on “The Rock,” at 5:48p.m. 🤗 There is no show tonight.🤗🤗

    St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the large Canadian island, Newfoundland. The city is North America's easternmost city,

      Colourful St.John’s. 

    Colourful St.John’s. 

    Its name has been attributed to the Nativity of John the Baptist, when John Cabot was believed to have sailed into the harbour in 1497 and to a Basque fishing town with the same name. Existing on maps as early as 1519, it is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. It was officially incorporated as a city in 1888. The city has a rich history, having played a role in the French and Indian War, the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Italian inventor Marconi, received the first transatlantic wireless signal in St. John's. Its history and culture have made it into an important tourist destination. And for the record. They LOVE their music, their pubs and their friends!!!

    I LOVE St. John’s.

      Open Contemplation; a Toronto lad in St. John’s.

    Open Contemplation; a Toronto lad in St. John’s.

     I have been coming here on and off for years, both with Glass Tiger and as a solo performer and public speaker. The weather can be brutal but when it’s nice, the countryside and coastline of Newfoundland is as beautiful as anywhere in the world.

    We met in the lobby for 7p.m. And went for Sushi, after which Al & Sam went pub hunting, while Sean and I made our way back to the hotel to shut it down.

    I continue to clear out old photo’s from my phone. Since I don’t have a show tonight and I am just chillin’ I will post some older ones that mean something to me and see if they conjure up a story; here goes....

     

    FullSizeRender.jpg

    1) A dear old pal, Dougie “Killer” Gilmour. This shot was taken at a Socan Awards Show. I had brilliant times with Dougie back in the day. Many people think he was nicknamed “killer” as a sort of “spoof” on the fact, that even though he was of small stature he played tough. Only partly true. He was nicknamed “killer” by a St.Louis Blues teammate, Brian Sutter in reference to both his "mean" style of play and an apparent resemblance to the serial killer, Charles Manson!! The nickname stuck with him his entire career. 

    0F6142E6-D541-4224-AC6E-6971DFD91F2C.JPG

    2) Behind My Eyes; This shot was taken about one week after suffering a stroke. I had been moved out of the stroke floor and transferred to a rehab centre, where I had to undergo trivial and demeaning tests and tasks that at the time, seemed insurmountable. Like trying to roll plasticine, or lift coins off of a table and put them into a slot. I was still trying to come to terms with what had happened to me. I can see it in my eyes. 

      3) With “t his guy ” again. Here we are sharing a Tim Hortons tea. So what’s the big deal with that? Well for starters this Tim Hortons was in Kandahār, the second-largest city in Afghanistan with a population of about 557,118.   Formerly called Alexandria Arachosia, the city is named after Alexander the Great (think about that) who founded it in 329 BC. I have been in Afghanistan 5 times visiting and performing for the men and women of our armed forces and our allies. Something I treasure and consider and honour and a privilege. 

    3) With “this guy” again. Here we are sharing a Tim Hortons tea. So what’s the big deal with that? Well for starters this Tim Hortons was in Kandahār, the second-largest city in Afghanistan with a population of about 557,118. Formerly called Alexandria Arachosia, the city is named after Alexander the Great (think about that) who founded it in 329 BC. I have been in Afghanistan 5 times visiting and performing for the men and women of our armed forces and our allies. Something I treasure and consider and honour and a privilege. 

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     4) Sharing a conversation with Huey Lewis; I was saddened to hear of Huey’s plight with Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can cause episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, a feeling of pressure in the ear and fluctuating hearing loss, causing him to cancel his touring life. I too suffer from tinnitus. I NEVER hear silence. I hear a ringing, constantly, especially in my right ear. I have even gone to the dentist numerous times, complaining of toothache, only to discover it’s actually pain radiating from my inner ear. It comes with the territory. Forty years of rock’n’roll will do that. 

    Huey is a helluva nice, down -to-earth- guy. I have done two shows with him, once with Glass Tiger and once solo. 

      5) The Toronto Sun, Nov 11th, 1986. We had released our debut album, The Thin Red Line, earlier that year to major accolades. We were then selected to be the opening act for American Supergroup,  Journey.  During the tour we were notified that we had been nominated for three Juno Awards; Best New Group, Album of the Year & Single of the Year. Journey were kind enough to give us a couple of days off to head north and attend and perform on the awards. I think everyone knew that we were a “shoo-in” for Best New Group but for Album and Single of the Year we were up against; Rush, Bryan Adams, Corey Hart and an unbelievably successful album from Platinum Blonde. The “Tigers Roared” that night however, lifting them all. We then headed straight back to America to pick up where we left off with Journey, who were thrilled for us.     

    5) The Toronto Sun, Nov 11th, 1986. We had released our debut album, The Thin Red Line, earlier that year to major accolades. We were then selected to be the opening act for American Supergroup, Journey. During the tour we were notified that we had been nominated for three Juno Awards; Best New Group, Album of the Year & Single of the Year. Journey were kind enough to give us a couple of days off to head north and attend and perform on the awards. I think everyone knew that we were a “shoo-in” for Best New Group but for Album and Single of the Year we were up against; Rush, Bryan Adams, Corey Hart and an unbelievably successful album from Platinum Blonde. The “Tigers Roared” that night however, lifting them all. We then headed straight back to America to pick up where we left off with Journey, who were thrilled for us. 

     

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    6) This remains one of my favourite shots to have been a part of ......EVER! It’s a shot taken by photographer, Allan Zilkowsky at a show we did in Sackville, New Brunswick (I think). I love it because of the “classic” nature of it. The shot of course is NOT about me. It’s about you. I represent, the “artist” but since my back is to you the viewer, that performer could be any one of THOUSANDS of performers. Zoom in though and the story truly begins to take form. The looks on those faces. So in tune with what is happening. I love this shot because it reminds me of my youth,

    Looking at “live” pictures of say, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, or big Rod, I was ALWAYS more captivated with the crowd. How transfixed they were on the performer. It was mesmerizing. Still is. 

      With this album......and......

    With this album......and......

       .......with this guy.......I rest my case. Great rock’n’roll shots are as much, if not more, about you, than us.

     .......with this guy.......I rest my case. Great rock’n’roll shots are as much, if not more, about you, than us.

    And so at 11 p.m. I am ready to shut it down. Two more shows to go, or as Johnny calls them, The Semi-Final and The Final. Tomorrow we fly to Corner Brook. 

    And so Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow. 

                                          ~Alan