Dear Canada Blog #57 April 21st 2018.
7a.m. came pretty quickly as I headed out by 7:30 to join the guys for the ride to the airport. Our flight today went via a 2hr layover in Halifax. The airport has an Air Canada lounge and so we headed there for a tea and a snack. We ran into comedian, Ron James. Such a nice guy, Ron hails from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, although his family later moved to Halifax during his youth. I always enjoy running into Ron and today we were both sporting our Toronto Maple Leafs gear and of course tonight’s game was a hot topic. I was of the opinion the lads just had to come flying out of the gate and go at them with nothing to lose. Ron showed us the sweetest photo of his dad, whom he lost last year. I don’t think he would mind me showing it to you here. I just love it.
I think if not mistaken he used to curse like a trooper when immersed in the hockey game and this photo of him just speaks volumes. I adore “characters” and THAT ladies and gentlemen, is a character. Scotland, in particular, Glasgow, is full of “characters.” The pubs and the streets are jammed with them and they love to hold court and for the record, it’s not a male dominated role either, for there are just as many women who are “lightening fast” with their wit and sarcasm, they would leave you in their dust. A word I love that sums up a typical quick-witted and sarcastic Glaswegian is “Gallus” which simply means, persona, a statement, a character. It’s a type of incorrigible swag that you either have or you don’t. When you stroll into that room with a gallus strut, you know all eyes are upon you but it can possess both negative and positive connotations.
In chatting with two of the girls working in the hotel restaurant, Tara & Taylor, they made sure that I knew they are are “BRETONERS” ... Islanders, while THEY, (meaning the rest of Nova Scotians) are “MAINLANDERS!”
Cape Breton is in a way directly responsible for Glass Tiger’s being on this tour, as a matter of fact, it’s directly responsible for the very existence of our new album, 31. You see after my stroke, I spent as you know, months rehabbing, from the August of 2015 onwards. When spring came I was beginning to turn the corner. My leg was working well and my right arm, though a little behind, was starting to function better each day. I received a call from my pal Johnny Reid who told me of a golf trip he was going to take part in, in Cape Breton, at Cabot Links Golf Course. He could hear the fear and trepidation in my voice but pushed me, telling me how wonderful it would be for my brain having just gone through the trauma of stroke. He told me the trip was actually being put on by his, friend and colleague Craig MacAdam who is a Cape Bretoner, now living in Toronto. Craig is a fantastic lad. His mind for business and numbers (he is the tour accountant on this one) is second-to-none, but he remains “one of the lads!” Enjoys a pint and a good “yarn” I enjoy his company immensely. Craig organized the golf like the Ryder Cup. Two teams. Team Reid vs Team Frew, and what a brilliant time we had. It will remain a highlight of my life forever. And it was sitting on a wee wall by the clubhouse that Johnny and I gave a little spontaneous concert. I sang SOMEDAY and we became like the “Pied Piper” because everyone from far and wide on the course gathered around us. And THAT is when Johnny sparked the very first idea that has now become a massive 45 shows Canadian coast-to-coast tour and this brilliant new album 31.
The Cape Bretoners’ didn’t let anyone down. The show was fantastic. Their enthusiasm was infectious and we all “Rocked The Casbah!” I headed back immediately to hotel to watch the LEAFS do exactly what I said they must do, when chatting back in the Air Canada lounge with Ron ....except they didn’t do it in the last period and it became a nail-biter!!!! The lads hung on though for a 4-3 victory and lived to play hockey another day. We have two flights tomorrow from Sydney to Halifax to St.John’s. We have now taken enough flights that John Alexander Douglas McCurdy himself would say, “What the fuck lads?!”
Ready to call it a night Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~ Alan