ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog # 13 March 8th 2018

Managed to get through the night without coughing. Still have it a little but I do think it’s beginning to turn the corner.

Very rainy today in Vancouver which on days like today, very much reminds me of Scotland’s daily forecast ;

 Glasgow rain. 

Glasgow rain. 

“Well Hello! Big Wullie Muldoon here with today’s forecast. Morning rain will give way to a 99% chance of more afternoon rain, tapering off to a complete downpour, followed by some light rain, then......heavy rain, then some light, heavy, light heavy, light,heavy, heavy, light, rain and then I am happy to report, some evening drizzle, which of course is really....rain.” 

 Vancouver rain.

Vancouver rain.

I have spent a lot of time in my life here, in Vancouver. Firstly, EMI had us coming out here to write with Jim Vallance, which worked out not too shabby since we wrote SOMEDAY “AND” DON’T FORGET ME (when I’m gone) on the very first day of working with him. Two songs that would both go on to be huge world successes, both penned on that very first day, here, in beautiful Vancouver.

Both songs set records in their day but the one I am most proud of, is that both songs won a Juno for “SINGLE OF THE YEAR” back-to-back from the SAME ALBUM!! Think about that. 1986, Don’t Forget me wins the Juno. The album then remains in the charts, selling, and spawning 5 singles, culminating a full year later, 1987, Someday also wins Single of the Year! Not too bad at all 👍.

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When we were recording “The Thin Red Line,” Vallance said,”Let’s see how we do, trying the vocals in Toronto. After all we are here.” And so, I got in the vocal booth and we started.

Me,” The hands of time have spoken for .....”

Vallance,” Hey man!”

Me,” Yes, whazzup?”

Vallance,” Let’s go to Vancouver.”

And so we did, creating what would become my love affair with always singing my vocals in small intimate settings. Jim was incredibly intuitive and he heard something in my voice that day in the big room that just sounded different somehow. Who knows what that is, because it’s the same voice, singing the same song. This however has become about comfort and intimacy versus the lack thereof in my surroundings. I need to feel the coziness of the space I am in when I record. On both Thin Red Line & Diamond Sun, I sang all of my vocals in a “closet” out in the hallway of Jim’s studio. On my solo album, Hold On, even although I had rented the famous A&M studios in Los Angeles, I did all of my vocals in the basement of my little house in Hollywood that I had at the time. I stood behind two large “duvet covers” that were nailed to the ceiling. It has always been this way, my never doing vocals in large studios and I dare say it’s a bit late to change now. Add up all of the writing and recording and touring I have done over the past 31 years and breakdown how much of that has been spent in Vancouver and you begin to understand how and why I know it so well.

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The flight to Prince George was about an hour. I gotta admit I am tired today. One of the things you learn to do very early on in a career on the road, is sleep anywhere you can.

 Luxury......zzzzzzzzzzzzzz! 

Luxury......zzzzzzzzzzzzzz! 

I am very lucky that way. I can sleep anywhere, even standing up if I have to ( and believe me, I have, but that’s a story for another time 😉).

 

Lots and lots of snow here still in Prince George. We were picked up by a driver called Lori, a local woman who moved here from Vancouver Island due to the fact that her hubby got a job offer here that they couldn’t turn down. I asked her how long that job was to take.

She described it thusly; 

“Two years,” he said.

”Two years?” I said.

“Yes, two years,” he said.

“Okay,” I said.

Then as we neared the hotel I asked her.

“How long ya lived here Lori?” 

“TWENTY two years,” she said. 😂

“What?” I said. 

“Yup, ........shit!” she said.

Arrived at the hotel around 2:30pm. 

First line of business was a radio interview by phone with Darren Coogan of 99.3 The Drive. We chatted at length about the new album, life on the road, recovery from my stroke and then we ended with Darren saying, “ Hey Alan, in your next Dear Canada blog, will you please tell Canada that I say hello?”

Well Darren....ya just did😉

Had a bite to eat and was joined by Al Connelly. We chatted shop. 

Lobby call for tonight’s show was 7:30pm. Headed over with Lori once again as our driver.

The show was fantastic. Audience were great.

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Thank you Prince George. We will see you again.

Tomorrow is a bit of a grind. We play Grand Prairie,  Alberta, and there is no direct flights, Prince George/Grand Prairie. 😱 I love you Dear Canada, but this is when it all seems a little backwards. I have been here before with you. I know however that it’s just the way it is with you and not to fight it. Soooooo, it’s Prince George to Vancouver to Calgary to Grand Prairie. First flight is 10:05 a.m. but don’t get to Grand Prairie until 5:20 p.m.  Okay then. 

 

Goodnight Dear Canada.... see u tomorrow.

                           ~Alan