ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog #57 April 21st 2018.

  Glass Tiger with comedian Ron James. 

Glass Tiger with comedian Ron James. 

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.

  For f*#% sake Leafs get the f*#%ing finger out!! 

For f*#% sake Leafs get the f*#%ing finger out!! 

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.

  “See you ya bastard! Aye you!”   One of the absolute BEST moments of Glasgow  gallus  came from a guy called John Smeaton back in 2007 when two half-witted  terrorists took it upon themselves to carry out an attack at Glasgow airport. Their first mistake? Choosing Glasgow, lol. So they drive the bomb-laden vehicle into the doors of the Glasgow Airport only to get it wedged and stuck at the doors. The car explodes into a fireball. One of them then gets out and decides while he is on fire he will run into the depths of the airport and terrorize whomever he can before the “end” comes for him. John Smeaton, an airport employee, is on a smoke break. He turns to his colleague and says, “Hang on a minute! I’m not having THAT! And he calmly walks over and kicks the burning terrorist in the balls, wallops him over the “heid” Lol and calmly puts him down without any major fuss. In the tv interview that followed as John was about to become a “national hero,” lol the interviewer asks what message he has for the terrorists out there. John says, “DON’T  COME TO GLASGOW! AND IF YOU DO.... WE’LL SET ABOUT YOU!” ( Basically meaning, it’s a kick in the balls you’ll get!)........Now THAT’S GALLUS!!     We landed in Sydney Nova Scotia or is it Sydney Cape Breton?.....Lol Well I quickly found out from a wee local lady that it’s both ....but she wishes they could ...... “ separate!” 😂 You see Sydney IS in Nova Scotia but it’s on the island of Cape Breton within the province and they are fiercely proud of their “Breton” heritage.        Cape Breton Island is at the eastern end of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Its Cabot Trail is a roadway encircling the island, passing forests and rugged coastline. The drive skirts Cape Breton Highlands National Park, whose Skyline Trail footpath overlooks the Gulf of St. Lawrence, known for migratory whales.            

 “See you ya bastard! Aye you!”

One of the absolute BEST moments of Glasgow gallus came from a guy called John Smeaton back in 2007 when two half-witted  terrorists took it upon themselves to carry out an attack at Glasgow airport. Their first mistake? Choosing Glasgow, lol. So they drive the bomb-laden vehicle into the doors of the Glasgow Airport only to get it wedged and stuck at the doors. The car explodes into a fireball. One of them then gets out and decides while he is on fire he will run into the depths of the airport and terrorize whomever he can before the “end” comes for him. John Smeaton, an airport employee, is on a smoke break. He turns to his colleague and says, “Hang on a minute! I’m not having THAT! And he calmly walks over and kicks the burning terrorist in the balls, wallops him over the “heid” Lol and calmly puts him down without any major fuss. In the tv interview that followed as John was about to become a “national hero,” lol the interviewer asks what message he has for the terrorists out there. John says, “DON’T  COME TO GLASGOW! AND IF YOU DO.... WE’LL SET ABOUT YOU!” ( Basically meaning, it’s a kick in the balls you’ll get!)........Now THAT’S GALLUS!! 

We landed in Sydney Nova Scotia or is it Sydney Cape Breton?.....Lol Well I quickly found out from a wee local lady that it’s both ....but she wishes they could ...... “ separate!” 😂 You see Sydney IS in Nova Scotia but it’s on the island of Cape Breton within the province and they are fiercely proud of their “Breton” heritage. 


Cape Breton Island is at the eastern end of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Its Cabot Trail is a roadway encircling the island, passing forests and rugged coastline. The drive skirts Cape Breton Highlands National Park, whose Skyline Trail footpath overlooks the Gulf of St. Lawrence, known for migratory whales.  

 

  

 An islander’s view.  

An islander’s view.  

 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!”

   “Craig! Craig! Stop counting the money! You’re on the stage!!”

 “Craig! Craig! Stop counting the money! You’re on the stage!!”

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.

  Johnny & Alan’s golf concert.

Johnny & Alan’s golf concert.

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?!”

 

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Ready to call it a night Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~ Alan