ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog # 32 March 27th 2018.

Took me forever to fall asleep. Probably a combo of late eating and time-zone changes. I was wide awake at 4 a.m. watching old SEINFELD episodes. The show ran 9 seasons and I own them all, which means I have probably seen these, tens-of-dozens of-times BUT, like lots of you, I am sure, I can watch SEINFELD, over and over AND over, and it never loses it’s magic. Certainly the best, “show about nothing,” ever created, it is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential sitcoms ever made. I have a buddy that calls me Jerry while, and trust me when I say this, “ He is such a George!” It’s how we greet each other on the phone. Mine will ring and I will give the usual, “Hello?” only to hear, “JERRY!” Me,” Georgie Boy, how are ya?” If you knew our personalities you would absolutely agree that we are well-nicknamed. I for sure would be considered “the voice of reason,” while he on the other hand is most definitely, perpetually insecure about his capabilities, seeing himself as somewhat of a loser and at war with the world and everything else surrounding him, “Yada, yada, yada.”

 “What the hell were you thinking?”  

“What the hell were you thinking?”  

Brilliant writing, stellar casting, SEINFELD will outlive us all, as one of the greatest moments in television history.  

Sooooo, I slept until 12:00 noon before gathering up some laundry and taking it downstairs to an in-hotel, washer and dryer that they have here for guests. It’s always the smaller towns with the smaller hotels that offer this great service. I love it. I love doing my laundry without having to lug it all the way to a laundromat. As my clothes were doing their dance, I came back to my room to follow up on an array of Glass Tiger emails that needed attention, while in the background, on television, Sarah Sanders continued to do her “dance” while being bombarded by a phalanx of White House reporters. There’s a job. 🤪

It snowed a bit last night but it looks like it’s not going to stay. I think, and don’t quote me on this, but I think Thunder Bay, is on the verge of Spring taking hold. 

I am now on my 32nd straight day on the road, having performed, 24 shows, albeit that I don’t have to perform a full show, like Johnny has to do. 

 The road, is a world of deep isolation and contemplation. I know you may think that a bit of an oxymoron, considering that I see my band mates everyday and I get up in front of thousands of people almost every evening. That pattern however is irrelevant, when it comes to the long hours spent day after day, alone, in your room, alone in your head. I have always felt that my being a person who constantly lives inside his head, always thinking of the next word, the next melody, the next move, serves me well. It’s my solace. My saving grace. I have known musicians who LOVE performing live but who just HATE being on the road. The isolation gets them. It turns to loneliness and it eventually breaks them. You have to be a certain kind of animal to spend life on the road. You have to be driven in a certain way. As a musician, that drive has to be an absolute necessity. As my pal, Burton Cummings says, “You have to go to where the people are!” Truer words were never spoken. And here’s a thought; you have to like yourself. You have to enjoy your own company, because if you don’t, your dead. You’ll go loopy.🤪 I am reminded of a time when I spent the best part of three months alone in London, England, on a writing trip. The only time I had interaction with another living soul was when I had a writing session, or when I had to interact with those in public service, like cab drivers, waiters, sales-persons,  etc. Other than that, I was alone day and night, inside me own head, with only my own voice to speak to and to trust in. Do you think you’d be cut out for life on the road my Dear Canada? I would feel most women out there would say, “ NO!” immediately thinking of their kids. Yet some women have to do it out of necessity for business, career, and finances. What if you didn’t have kids, would it be easier? Ya think you’d like it? And men? I am sure many of you already travel a lot for business. Has it become a way of life and what you too have to do, for your career? I have, as you know, visited the men and women in our armed forces deployed overseas on numerous occasions and we always tend to think of the man, the soldier, over “there” with his wife and kids, longing for him at home. But let me tell you this. I have met our female soldiers who in many instances, are the ones deployed in the far regions of the world, while DAD and the kids are the longing ones at home. Most times, when the woman is a soldier, she is almost certainly married into a military relationship, whereby, husband and wife are both soldiers, but being away from your kids, including Christmas, while deployed in The Golan Heights, Kandahar, or Kabul? Now THAT’S sacrifice. That’s the road, on steroids. I thank them for their service. The road is long and it’s hard, but it’s magnificent and giving and empowering. The families we leave behind are to be honoured for being the backbone of what we do. Let’s never forget that❤️

   “i’m home baby!”

 “i’m home baby!”

  “Two Bears.”

“Two Bears.”

After my laundry was all dried and folded I hit the treadmill for an hour. I am told there is an Aqua Centre here in town so I am going to join some of Johnny’s lads for a swim tomorrow. Johnny travels with an amazing lad who is not only one of his dearest friends but he is ex-military and functions as security and trainer. His name is Robert, he hails from Scotland and has been a friend of Johnny’s since they were boys back in Scotland. He is a fitness machine and trains everyone on Johnny’s squad HARD. Not only is he one of the nicest guys I have ever met he is also as funny as fuck. And I say it that way simply because there is no other way to put it. He is funny as fuck and his “Scottishness”is as strong, (“ broad” we would call it) today, as if he had just gotten off the boat yesterday. I know people think my accent is still strong but “Rab” ( what we call Robert’s in Scotland) has such a strong accent, I watch people around him look at him the way your dog looks at you when you say,“Who stole those cookies!!? Was it you?” But your dog hears, “ Bwa ba maa kak? Mag bwa ba? 

   “There wiz this wee Budgie Fae Glesga!”     Got to venue early tonight because we had a VIP meet and great with the good folks from I.G. ( The Investors Group) and their clients. I have had a great relationship with the team at I.G. And have done numerous speaking and musical engagements for them in the past.  -Investors Group has raised over $12 million dollars to support Ontario camps and send over 7000 children with cancer to camps, 100% of those dollars going directly to support these children in Ontario. These  camps give them a place where they can have fun, forget about their illness and just be a kid, and that hits a chord, near and dear to my heart. So we met each and every one of them, took photo’s and signed autographs. One lady was so cute because she just reverted to her teenage self and wouldn’t let go, 😂    Johnny was on fire tonight, and by the time we had our duet together crowd just loved it.  

 “There wiz this wee Budgie Fae Glesga!” 

Got to venue early tonight because we had a VIP meet and great with the good folks from I.G. ( The Investors Group) and their clients. I have had a great relationship with the team at I.G. And have done numerous speaking and musical engagements for them in the past.  -Investors Group has raised over $12 million dollars to support Ontario camps and send over 7000 children with cancer to camps, 100% of those dollars going directly to support these children in Ontario. These  camps give them a place where they can have fun, forget about their illness and just be a kid, and that hits a chord, near and dear to my heart. So we met each and every one of them, took photo’s and signed autographs. One lady was so cute because she just reverted to her teenage self and wouldn’t let go, 😂

Johnny was on fire tonight, and by the time we had our duet together crowd just loved it.  

  “ So here’s to you and yours, and my mad mob. For they are mine and all that I have got.” 

“ So here’s to you and yours, and my mad mob. For they are mine and all that I have got.” 

Back to hotel by around 10:30 p.m. and just chilled over a cold beer while finishing up this blog. 

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow. 

                                    ~Alan