ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

HAVE A DRINK ON ME...

 Since today’s gig was in Oshawa (35mins from my home) I decided to forgo soundcheck, opting instead, to spend the day at home. I relaxed as much as I could, and at one point, had a warm soak in the tub.

 Sweet and utter bliss!  

Sweet and utter bliss!  

During my time of writing, reading etc, as I do every day, I came across this message on my Facebook private messenger. This is in reference to Glass Tiger’s show in Trail, BC; 

Alan, It’s a night my wife, sister-in-law and I will always remember. My brother-in-law was with us. It was his first and only night he had gone out in 6 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. We went to dinner and your show. He/We had a wonderful time. He was a career firefighter/first responder. We were supposed to go to the Petty tribute band a couple nights later, but he ended up in emergency (with his tickets still in hand ) And never came out. He passed away this past Wednesday at 58yrs old . So Glass Tiger will always be in our memory of Tim Boutin.

 RIP Tim, and THANK YOU! to ALL “First Responders.” 

RIP Tim, and THANK YOU! to ALL “First Responders.” 

How moving is that?😢 If that doesn’t drive home just how precious our time here and our time together truly is, then I don’t know what will. I was so moved by this contact, I responded asking for permission to share this story with you all. I did indeed get the permission and I was also given this;

It is with the deepest regret and sorrow to report the line-of-duty death of Captain/Training Officer Tim Boutin, Trail Firefighters IAFF Local 941 in Trail B.C.  Brother Boutin passed away on November 14, 2018 at the age of 58, from a short but courageous battle with Cancer.

 You won’t be Tim.  

You won’t be Tim.  

The fact that Glass Tiger was Tim’s last concert, perhaps the last music he heard in his life, is gut-wrenchingly sad. Yet I feel honoured that he was there with us on that evening. Honoured that he left this world with our melodies in his heart. Tim, on behalf of Glass Tiger and I am sure, ALL who served with you and all of those you assisted and saved in your career, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE ❤️ Condolences to all of you who loved Tim, we mourn your loss.

 

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Oshawa (2016 population 159,458; is a city in Ontario, Canada, on the Lake Ontario shoreline. It lies in Southern Ontario, approximately 60 kilometres east of Downtown Toronto. Historians believe that the area that would become Oshawa began as a transfer point for the fur trade. Beaver and other animals trapped for their pelts by local natives were traded with the Coureurs des bois (voyagers). Furs were loaded onto canoes by the Mississauga Indians at the Oshawa harbour and transported to the trading posts located to the west at the mouth of the Credit River. Around 1760, the French constructed a trading post near the harbour location; this was abandoned after a few years, but it’s ruins provided shelter for the first residents of what later became Oshawa. Most notably, one of the fur traders was Moody Farewell, an early resident of the community who was to some extent responsible for its name change. In modern times, once recognized as the sole "Automotive Capital of Canada", Oshawa, today, is an education and health sciences hub. The city is home to three post-secondary institutions; Durham College, Trent University Durham and The University Of Ontario Institute of Technology.

I have played Oshawa many times through the years, especially back in my days of playing the bars. There were some rough ones for sure, lots of biker-gang-watering-holes. With my first band, ONYX, we played these establishments and I remember the following situation vividly. We had a geeky, quirky, nerdy, hippy, guitar player named Rick. He could be a right asshole and a truly annoying bastard, but man he could play guitar. I was going to throttle him on many an occasion but I loved him too (it really is like family isn’t it?) and besides, he didn’t have a violent bone in his body, therefore, throttling him would have been murder because he wouldn’t fight back and he knew this and would taunt me with it. “Go on then, hit me!, he would say. I’ll only fall down!” arrrrrrgh.....

 “Let’s go for a beer and kill a band lads.” 

“Let’s go for a beer and kill a band lads.” 

Really? That’s it? Yup, that’s it. How can you fight against that? On one occasion in one of these Oshawa, biker, havens, a bunch of “Hell’s Angels” were sitting watching and enjoying us. We had played for bikers before, and we could rock with the best of them, so we knew they liked us. Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t kill us on a bad night, but they liked us.😂 The seats on which they sat were literally only two feet away from us and during one particular song something happened at one of the tables and beer went flying towards Rick and it splashed both him and his Les Paul electric guitar. Without any qualms he kept playing on the neck with his left hand, reached for his own pint of beer on his amp with his right hand and without skipping a note, he drowned one of the Hell’s Angels with it. I thought I would swallow my own tongue. The blood drained out of all of our faces. Sphincters tightened. The bikers all sat dumbstruck and silent. The soaked biker looked at Rick intently, indeed, fiercely. Then he looked down at his soaked shirt and vest as beer poured out of his beard. He then turned his gaze back to his fellow bikers who were all still silently staring at him as if to say, “You gonna kill him now, BEFORE we finish our wings, or AFTER?” You could have cut the air with a needle, no knife required. Suddenly the drowned Angel stood up and went...... “BWWAHAHAAAHA!!” and suddenly ALL of the bikers were laughing uproariously. Sphincters relaxed. My voice returned and on we went. The biker actually came forward and shook Rick’s hand saying, “Fucking A man! You rock bro’” Welcome to Oshawa folk!

 Looks like #13’s your lucky number tonight bro’. 

Looks like #13’s your lucky number tonight bro’. 

headed to the Regent Theatre and got there around 7:20p.m. for an 8:00p.m. kick-off. The show was sold out and the audience were up for it. I was tired. No doubt about it. I could feel it with each and every song. But the voice is at peak level right now having done some 14 shows and it just flowed out of me. We had a young lad, Ryan, come out and work on the monitor set up and it was brilliant. I sense he my have a job offer coming for next year.

 THANK YOU OSHAWA!!  

THANK YOU OSHAWA!!  

The evening ended with an encore and a singalong, after which we met those who had signed up for CAMH and a few friends. I was told that since we played the west coast to now, we have had ONE HUNDRED & FOUR signups for CAMH. THATS AMAZING! THANK YOU GUYS!

Of all the charities and organizations that I have worked with throughout these past 30 years or so, I can honestly say that I have never seen one that has affected so many people directly. Of course when raising money and awareness say, for African children requiring food and water and medicine, people are touched by that. Who wouldn’t be?  Same goes for example, for women affected by breast cancer, families by autism, the need for equipment for those physically handicapped, the cry of world disasters, the need to assist the IJM (international justice mission) etc and so many, many, more. Goodness knows, I have worked on behalf of them all and then some and they are ALL worthy causes and thank goodness, certain people get touched by certain ones and step up to help. But THIS one? Mental Health & Addiction? Right across the board I have never seen anything quite like it. It is so common. It lies right at the grass roots level of our society. It has no gender selection, class or social preference. It’s insidious nature creeps it’s way into the fabric of humanity with catastrophic results. Mental illness IS illness. Addiction IS illness, but CAMH likes to focus on the positive that...

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Thank you kindly to all of you who understand this and who are doing their best to help in the struggle against it.

And so now I get a few, welcomed days off before heading to the east coast. I drove back from Oshawa content that I and the band have given it our all these past few weeks. I will go to, Fredericton, Moncton & Halifax, ready to do it again. Then come back home and work on new material to prepare for 2019.

Wow! 2019! Can you believe it? Who hit the speed dial on this journey we call life. It seems like yesterday I was doing this.....

 Mum, Dad and the “wee fluter.”  

Mum, Dad and the “wee fluter.”  

Goodnight all, until that time..,,