Dear Canada Blog #33 March 28th 2018
I like these mornings when I wake up in the same town or city where I am playing that night. Thunder Bay is case in point. I played here last night, number one, of two nights. That always means I get the day to myself as long as we don’t have radio or tv to do. WE DON’T HAVE RADIO OR TV TO DO!!!!!
I was so tired I fell asleep with my hat still on. Woke up beside it at around 9am. Thought there was a hockey player in there somewhere but thank f^#k there wasn’t 😂😂
Took a breakfast meeting with Johnny’s accountant and friend Craig, regarding Glass Tiger’s new album, “31.” There are three companies involved in the recording and distribution of the disc, mainly Johnny’s company, HALO Entertainment Group, my own, FrewSongs Inc, and Warner Music Canada. The CD is doing very well at these gigs, even although this is Johnny’s Show, and we are guests. To those of you who have picked up a copy, either physically, or via the internet, we thank you.❤️The Glass Tiger team, couldn’t be treated any better and the crowds are loving it and showing us 👏👏, each and every night. Now of course the plan will be for us to return and do a full GT show for them in the not-to-distant-future.
FINALLY! I GOT TO SWIM!!! MY first since leaving home a month ago. Right beside the venue here in Thunder Bay, is a large, fitness complex, with a great 25 metre pool. It felt so good to get back into the water, even although this right shoulder remains stiff and painful from my rotator cuff surgery last November. I must admit, I am surprised it’s still as stiff and sore as it is, I will get it looked at again when this is over.
Here’s a question. What does my swimming and Guns’n’Roses have in common? Well nothing really, other than the following little tale of, what will now, always be, six-degrees of separation;
On the lead up to my surgery, I had several visits with my surgeon, Dr. Theodoropoulos or “Doc Theo” as he is affectionately called, down at his office, at Mount Sinai Hospital, in Toronto. On one specific occasion it was exceptionally busy and I had to sit out in a waiting area situated near the little examination rooms. I was sitting there, minding my own business, head down, buried in my phone, not wishing to engage with anyone who might recognize me at that particular moment, when suddenly, someone passing by me stopped right in front of me. He began speaking, ”Okay, well I will tell him now that we are going to go ahead.” I lifted my head to see that he was addressing one, rather large, human being, who had the distinct look of a bodyguard. The guy doing the talking? Well it was none-other-than, Slash, of Guns’n’Roses Fame. Our eyes now met. “Hey man, how’s it going?” It felt really strange due to our surroundings but, “Good,” says l. How’s it going with you?” “Good,” says he, then he heads over to one of the examination rooms and I overhear him say to someone that he and Mr Bodyguard dude are going to go ahead without him and that he will see him at the venue. The other voice says, “Okay.” And Slash passes by me one more time saying, “Later.” I nod yes, and off he goes.
A few minutes later I am called into the Dr’s office area by his secretary, a great girl called, Christine, and just as she is running me through some paperwork that I am to leave with, in comes Duff McKagan, bass guitarist for GNR. “Hey,” he says. “Hey,” I say, as I am now having one of the strangest musician to musician encounters I have ever had. Meanwhile, Christine gets involved on the phone, Duff takes a seat and I remain standing. “You gigging tonight?” I ask him. “Yeah, two nights here in Toronto,” he replies. He gives me that look, whereby a musician just kind of knows another musician, even although they have never met before. “Knee?” he asks. “Pardon?” I reply. “ You here for your knee?” he asks again. I explain to him my shoulder problem and how I am about to have surgery. “Fuck, that sucks,” he says. I then ask him the obvious, “ What brings you here?” “Our knees, he replies. Slash and I have to get injections in our knees every so often or we ain’t getting on that stage.” At this point Christine gets off the phone and tells Duff how much his bill is, after which he pulls out his credit card and pays. “Well good luck with the shoulder man,” he says. “Thanks, I reply. Good luck with the knees!” He then heads off out of the hospital. Christine looks at me and says,” Well isn’t this wacky? Guns’n’Roses and Glass Tiger in one day, at the same time!” “Isn’t it though?” I replied, while having visions of all of us, performing on stage, in hospital beds! 😂 “Here’s a little something I wrote......it’s our brand new single, and it’s called, “Between Injections,” ......and the crowd goes wild!!
A couple of weeks later, I went back to get my sutures removed and I took some gifts down with me; hats, a book, t-shirts etc and I also took a beautiful bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape for the Doc. As he was removing my stitches I mentioned how crazy it was that he had GNR & GT back-to-back. “Ya man, he said. Pretty crazy day that was.” Then suddenly he said,” Oh by the way, thanks for the swag,AND that beautiful bottle of wine. You shouldn’t have.” I couldn’t help wondering what exotic gift, the lads from GNR had given him, as he dug into my shoulder to get that last suture he said with a chuckle, “ I preferred your gift.” “Oh really? What did they give you?” He nabbed that very last, painful, suture and said, “A pick.......a guitar pick.” We burst into a bit of laughter, as I said, “Hmmmm, ya mean I could have got away with just......a guitar pick!!!?” 😂😂
And so now when I swim Dear Canada, and that painful shoulder turns over and I twinge in pain, I look down and there’s Slash, on the bottom of the pool, doing a blitzing, ripping guitar solo.
Oh, and just to add a bit of intrigue to this tale, as if it hasn’t enough, there is a song I co-wrote, which is now part of a documentary and part of an anti-violence, anti-bullying campaign called, #nojoke ( please check it out) and who does a blitzing, ripping solo on that song? Yup,......him........‘nuff said.
After my swim I only had a short turn around to get ready for my gig, so I took our rented truck and went straight for a bite to eat, then quickly back to hotel and got ready for our 8pm lobby call.
Gig was fantastic. Johnny was top-shelf, singing so well and my voice was flying. Our “Flower Of Scotland” rendition was the best one yet. Met two great fans after the show who wanted a photo with us, Amy & Erin, the best of best friends and huge GT fans. It was funny to see them up top in the highest balcony, wearing their Glass Tiger shirts at a Johnny Reid show, dancing away, having a ball.
They said to me afterwards, “You will never know just how big a part you have played in our lives!” Thanks Amy, thanks Erin, you, the fans, play a big part in ours lives too!
Went for a glass of wine with the lads afterward and hit the pillow around 1 a.m.
Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow.