ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog #38 April 2nd 2018

Well, well, well, wasn’t yeaterday’s blog a “doozy?” I had such fun writing it and by all of your responses, you guys had fun (and a few heart palpitations) reading it.

  “April, friggin’ Fools? Aaaaargh!” 

 “April, friggin’ Fools? Aaaaargh!” 

Had a great sleep in my own bed, although it felt and still feels a little weird that I am home, yet still on the road. I see my family, my home, my dog and cats, eat at my own table, yet I am not REALLY home. Guess you’d have to experience it, to fully understand it. 

Had a quiet morning and headed to my health club for a swim and a steam. Felt great even though again, just a little weird to be there in the middle of all this. Got all of my laundry done here at home which I loved. You know me with lugging dirty laundry of any amount. 😩

I have a gang of friends coming to the show tomorrow, so we chatted tickets today just to make sure everyone is squared away. 

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Weather here in Toronto is beautiful. Looks like Spring is actually getting a hold on things.  

Headed down to the venue early for a 6:30pm meet and greet with the volunteers of “Tour For Kids” sponsored by the Investors Group.

These guys have raised over $12,000,000 and counting, for terminally ill children.  The foundation sends these kids to camps, allowing them and their families to focus on the things that being a kid is all about, as opposed to being focussed on the illness. The fact that 100% of every dollar goes to benefit the kids and their families in hopes of bringing a little joy to their lives as they go through this traumatic process together is wonderful.  We met with all of the volunteers and took photos and signed autographs and I was particularly touched by a couple whose little one passed away 7 years ago. Still they told me of how amazing this charity has been to them and how they now volunteer to give back and to help families who are now facing what they themselves had to go through. My hat is off to them. Such a powerful message of love & kindness.

 When all is said and done, and your time comes to leave this earth, the only thing that will truly matter is.....”Who do you love & Who loves you.”

When all is said and done, and your time comes to leave this earth, the only thing that will truly matter is.....”Who do you love & Who loves you.”

When I say I headed down to the venue, I actually misspoke. For the venue is tiny and there is just no room backstage for anything, mainly because there is no backstage to speak of. Johnny has about 30 people on the road with him and the tour buses are parked immediately outiside and are being used, basically as dressing rooms. So we, Glass Tiger, have no space available at all. After all we are only there for about 15 mins on the stage, therefore we did the smart thing and had our meet and greet at the IRISH PUB NEXT DOOR!! 🤗☘️🍺🍺🍺 and for good measure, we prepared there, to just walk right onto the stage and perform.

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 It really does remind me of the old days. Getting changed in the toilet, going on and rocking out! I wasn’t above it then and I am still not above it now. I actually of course, dressed for stage at home, so that all I needed to do, was change my shoes and put my in-ear monitors in. 

It was in this pub, “Dora Keogh,” on the Danforth, in Toronto, where I first met the great musician and songwriter Alan Doyle. Coming from Newfoundland, Alan is more than at home in an Irish pub like this. We shared an ale or two and Alan told us, (I was with Sam), of how he used to cover a Glass Tiger song or two back in his early days of playing. How wonderful that all these years later he was kind enough to share the microphone with me and duet on the latest, “celtic” version of MY SONG, for the new Glass Tiger Album, “ 31.” 

 A true Celt....Alan Thomas Doyle.

A true Celt....Alan Thomas Doyle.

 The Chieftains. 

The Chieftains. 

The original version was recorded with none-other-than, THE CHIEFTAINS, a traditional Irish band formed in Dublin in 1963, by Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy. Their sound, which is almost entirely instrumental and largely built around uilleann pipes has become synonymous with traditional Irish music and they are regarded as having helped popularise Irish music across the world. When we recorded with them, they were bonafide “rock stars” in Ireland. Seriously, it was like hanging out with calmer versions of Jagger, Bowie or Bono and people would recognize them and come up to them to pay homage and get an autograph or a photo of a camera was handy (no smart phones 😉). After a long day of filming for the video of My Song, director and friend, Don Allan, wanted to get some “B-roll” footage of Glass Tiger together in a pub playing the song. We just of course had to fake playing because the song itself was on “playback” and live instrumentation was not required. We were told by, their people, “Remember now, under no circumstances will the Cheiftains play live in a bar, they haven’t done anything like that in years.” Basically they were saying THEY DON’T DO THAT KIND OF THING NOW, THEY ARE STARS! Of course we totally understood and we were content to just fake the song for the video. Ahhhh, but this is Dublin, land of Guinness and Jaimeson’s, land of the, “What ya having Paddy?” And “You Sean? A wee whiskey is it?” These fellas could drink, Dear Canada. Oh! How they could drink. An’ before you could say, “I’m pissed as a fart!” They started a “Ceilidh”; Caleigh pronounced Kaley. The origin of the name Ceilidh is Scottish. ... A word used to describe an evening with music and dancing in Gaelic. They fired up those magnificent instruments and started playing. People jammed the bar, people danced, and we sang, and we drank (oh yes, i’m afraid so) and we hand the most brilliant evening. “Alan! Me boyo! Is there something wrong with yer hand?” “No paddy, why?” says I. Well he say, “Because it’s empty! Get yerself a drink lad, and while yer at it, I’ll have one too!” 

 A little Frew-Reid-Vallance, “ditty.”

A little Frew-Reid-Vallance, “ditty.”

What a time we had in Dublin. Magical. And now we come full circle and remake the song with one of the true Celtic sons of Canada, Alan Doyle, of Great Big Sea, fame. “Alan & Alan,” says he. Thank you my friend. 

 “Frew in Blue.”  Ready to hit the stage. 

“Frew in Blue.”  Ready to hit the stage. 

We hit the stage at our usual time and the Toronto crowd welcomed us as theirs. They sang every word to all of our classic songs and when Johnny hit the stage for “Wae Yer Family,” it was game over! I screwed everyone up tonight by coming in on the wrong spot, but the band were brilliant, they adjusted without skipping a beat and no one was any the wiser. INCLUDING ME!! Lol For I didn’t even know I had made the mistake until after our performance and was told .....by EVERYONE! LOL Oh, bands LOVE IT, when singers screw up!😂😂

Went back to pub to say hello to some folk, then headed home.  

Cup of tea and my own bed. 

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow. 

                               ~Alan.