ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog # 19 March 14th 2018

Tired this morning, having to rise, yet again, for on-air radio interviews. I’m not complaining, I’m moaning (there’s a difference 😉).

So Sam and I visited CJME News Talk Radio and the JACK 94.5 Morning Show here in Regina. We have worked together doing radio interviews for so long, we can finish each other’s sentences.

  “He’s going to say, sausages!” 

 “He’s going to say, sausages!” 

After that we went to a diner called, Nicky’s Place. It was recommended to us, as being a place for a good old fashioned, regular, well-cooked breakfast. It didn’t disappoint.

So today was really a recovery day. I have been carrying this sort of constant, grogginess, simply because it’s difficult to get a full night’s sleep. After radio, I came back and plonked down on bed, awaiting the alarm to tell me it was time to do some phone interviews.

Road life is tough. There is no way around it, it’s just tough. Long hours are spent flying, driving, ferrying, rooming, trying to find the right place to eat, trying to find the energy to still go for long walks, work out , or for me, swim. Truth be told I just haven’t had much of a chance to do any of that yet, with this schedule. The amount of time spent on stage is but a mere fraction of the time one spends getting there to do that.

So I caught a few hours sleep after my last phone interview, before forcing myself to get up and get out of the hotel.

 “Hey Wayne! Haven’t we played here before?     

“Hey Wayne! Haven’t we played here before?  

 

Each city truly blends into the other. The time spent in that city, creates a vague sense of, “When was I last here?”

 “Yes!” 

“Yes!” 

For example, when Sam and I were at the radio station, we were asked to sign their wall and just before signing, the DJ showed me my signature from 1994 and another one from 2007 But was that the last time I was here? Or just the last time I visited their radio station? Then another on-air Jock says, ”I saw you guys a year ago at the Casino, you were great!”

“Ahhh, so that’s the last time I was here, methinks.”

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Our new album is called 31, but that’s how long is has been since Glass Tiger, released The Thin Red Line, NOT, how long I have been doing this. I started this stuff around 1975!!

 First road trip ever as GLASS TIGER. We opened for Honeymoon Suite. 

First road trip ever as GLASS TIGER. We opened for Honeymoon Suite. 

Touring in old beat up vans. Performing in bars 6 nights a week, SEVEN, in Quebec. Getting paid $20 on a Monday night, (which I would blow on a good meal and some beer and then have to figure out the rest of the week). Performing for bikers, who like to try and pick you off with a shot glass if they didn’t like the song you were playing OR if they LOVED YOU!! (it was their way of saying,” Hey! Over here! You’re great. We LOVE you!” Missing birthday’s of family, graduations, and funerals. We were in the middle of a tour once, opening for Journey, when my little niece/goddaughter died suddenly. I had to perform that night and the next, while Journey scrambled to find a replacement. I then flew home, joined my family, carried a little casket to the grave (while a car waited for me). I then had to leave my family, fly to Holland, meet the band, do a TV show, fly to UK, do a TV show, leave the band, fly back to Canada, spend a few hours with my family, fly to Florida, meet the band and we were back on stage with the Journey tour that night. I cannot imagine going through such a thing today but such were the pressures of that time.

I did however take the stage on the evening of my father’s death, in 2004, simply because that is what he wanted me to do.

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Life on the road is a world unto itself. They ask us all the time in interviews, “ What is the secret to still doing this after all these years?”

The answer? We love each other. We are friends. We are family. We are the marriage that never divorces. We have learned how each other thinks and functions. We know when to back off and we know when to gather around. We learned “how to fight” years ago. Those of you who are in a long-term marriages, know exactly what that means. Couples who last together, learn the rules of fighting in order that every fight doesn’t end in divorce. That said though, we don’t fight anymore at all. We discuss. We debate. We make ourselves heard. We listen.

 

 Brothers.

Brothers.

The show last night was great. Johnny was on his game, big-time, as was Glass Tiger. Johnny has stopped announcing us, letting us just “hit the stage” as a sort of surprise.

For the first few shows the drum solo would happen, he would leave the stage, and at the appropriate time he would say, “ Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Canada’s own, GLASS TIGER!” But about three shows ago, back stage, he sat his microphone down to take a moment and towel off and someone came along and moved the microphone! Panic set in as he was unable to make the announcement. But mistakes can be a beautiful thing. I had a friend from Atlanta who used to always say, ”No need to apologize, for you didn’t spoil the moment. You just created, another one.”

We hit the stage and the look of surprise on the faces of the crowd was fabulous. Later, in his dressing room, I asked him what had happened and he told me. I then told him I liked being unannounced and Johnny being ever-the- one to do what’s best for the show said, ”Done! I’ll misplace my microphone every night from now on!”

Ahhhhh, show business. Life on the road ....and show business.

What would I be without it?

Where would I be without it?

So long Regina. Until that time when we meet again.

 

Late last night I walked over to the Casino and spent a quiet couple of hours chasing cards.

   “Oh, I wish!”    

 “Oh, I wish!”  

 

Bed around 1am.


Goodnight Dear Canada. See you tomorrow.

                    ~Alan