Dear Canada Blog #48 April 12th 2018
Woke up in my own bed. A little strange again I must admit, my brain trying to figure out why I am home, yet still on the road. As you can see my blogs are getting a little behind simply due to the fact I am getting tired. My next blog may just be a shot of me snoozing, standing up, (which wouldn’t be the first time.) Its okay though that I am a bit behind because I can tell that many of you read my blogs at your leisure and not in any sequence which is the way I intended it to be knowing that there will be close to 60 of them by the time I am done.
Okay so here we go.
Quick bite then went for a swim. My place of thought and solace. Human swimming has been recorded since prehistoric times, and the earliest records of swimming date back to Stone Age cave paintings, from around 7,000 years ago. It has been a saviour for me, especially in my ability to recover from my stroke. I love it......oh yes, and at times I hate it.......but mostly.....I need it.
Late lunch after sorting out my suitcase and I was off again, driving alone in my own car, I headed to Oshawa. Those of you who are following each blog will know that I just played Oshawa two nights ago, solo, with my own band. Tonight though, the Johnny Reid, REVIVAL TOUR, hits the Oshawa Community Centre and we are all back at it with show #36!! Incredible to think this began all the way back on February 24th, in Sydney, BC. Road-life is not for the faint of heart but we are so used to it now that it’s just second-nature to us and our patterns, whether alone or around each other reflect this. The stamina required is huge, the willingness to get along with others, mandatory. The ability to handle the solitude of hotel room after hotel room is a must. And just for good measure, it helps to have a sense of humour😂.
Traffic along the infamous 401 highway, was as usual, brutal, though not surprising since I was hitting it at rush-hour. When I arrived at the arena, the lads were already there and without any further ado we readied ourselves to attend our last meet and greet with the Investors Group. My buddy, Stephen Butchard, for whom I performed a solo gig the other night, was in charge of this one. It was a double-whammy for he required us to meet about 30 people in a lounge area, followed by popping up to a private box to meet a smaller group of about a dozen. Meet and greets and VIP packages are such a common part of artist/fan relations now, that it has become the norm. Johnny, for example, does a meet & greet prior to every performance for about 100 fans. Some bands even allow huge VIP packages that have fans sitting side-stage. There was an hilarious incident recenty in Las Vegas with Elton John. Did you see it? Elton, (who desperately needs the money I am told, 😉😂) had a setup whereby a group of fans, for a price, could gather around him at his piano onstage as he played a song. It has gone viral and ya can see it online. Here’s Elton, banging away on the piano singing SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR FIGHTING and a fan who is close enough to touch him, keeps trying......TO TOUCH HIM! lol And so Elton’s singing his lyrics while telling the fan to “fuck off” in the middle of the words; “Oh, don't give us none of your aggravation, fuck off, We had it with your fuck off discipline. Oh, fuck off, Saturday night's for fuck off fighting Get a little fuck off in.”
Then he storms off stage, seething and cursing. Here for me though, comes the BEST part. He returns to the stage and berates the audience with a, “YOU FUCKED IT UP.......but then gets back behind the piano and plays, DISNEY’S............THE CIRCLE OF LIFE😂😂😂 Man you gotta love show business. That’s classic.
After our VIP, Meet & Greet we headed back to dressing room. My niece and her husband were in attendance and visited with us back stage. Also backstage, our agent from The Feldman Agency, Tom Kemp and his boss (and our original, first agent) Vinnie Cinqemanni dropped by to say hello and wish us well.
The shows seem to truly be ramping up as we head into this last “home stretch” of 9 shows. We can see the finish line which brings with it, a sense of euphoria, (although, as always, when you work and travel as an ensemble and as close and intensely as this has been, I know there will also be a sense of sadness when it ends.)
After the show Sam and Al followed me home to leave my car back in my own driveway. I then jumped in with them and Sam dropped the two of us off at an airport hotel in order for us to catch a very early morning flight to our nation’s capital, Ottawa. I am going to do television and radio with Al tomorrow all day, beginning with breakfast television on CTV.
We sat in lobby bar and had a nibble and a cold beer. Hit the pillow 1 a.m.
Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow~Alan