ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog #58 April 22nd 2018.

 Didn’t have to rush out this morning. We had a civilized lobby call of 12:15p.m. Also we are not lugging our big suitcases, as we have sent them ahead with Johnny’s crew and their buses.

I managed to squeeze in a quick breakfast as I finished off the previous blog.

We headed to the airport for the first of two flights; one to Halifax, then on to St.John’s. We expected to have had the time to hit the lounge at the Halifax airport but due to a fairly long delay with our first flight we had all of 7 minutes to change planes. That’s always special, isn’t it?

  The only time when we are ALL Olympic athletes.  

The only time when we are ALL Olympic athletes.  

We landed on “The Rock,” at 5:48p.m. 🤗 There is no show tonight.🤗🤗

St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the large Canadian island, Newfoundland. The city is North America's easternmost city,

  Colourful St.John’s. 

Colourful St.John’s. 

Its name has been attributed to the Nativity of John the Baptist, when John Cabot was believed to have sailed into the harbour in 1497 and to a Basque fishing town with the same name. Existing on maps as early as 1519, it is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. It was officially incorporated as a city in 1888. The city has a rich history, having played a role in the French and Indian War, the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Italian inventor Marconi, received the first transatlantic wireless signal in St. John's. Its history and culture have made it into an important tourist destination. And for the record. They LOVE their music, their pubs and their friends!!!

I LOVE St. John’s.

  Open Contemplation; a Toronto lad in St. John’s.

Open Contemplation; a Toronto lad in St. John’s.

 I have been coming here on and off for years, both with Glass Tiger and as a solo performer and public speaker. The weather can be brutal but when it’s nice, the countryside and coastline of Newfoundland is as beautiful as anywhere in the world.

We met in the lobby for 7p.m. And went for Sushi, after which Al & Sam went pub hunting, while Sean and I made our way back to the hotel to shut it down.

I continue to clear out old photo’s from my phone. Since I don’t have a show tonight and I am just chillin’ I will post some older ones that mean something to me and see if they conjure up a story; here goes....

 

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1) A dear old pal, Dougie “Killer” Gilmour. This shot was taken at a Socan Awards Show. I had brilliant times with Dougie back in the day. Many people think he was nicknamed “killer” as a sort of “spoof” on the fact, that even though he was of small stature he played tough. Only partly true. He was nicknamed “killer” by a St.Louis Blues teammate, Brian Sutter in reference to both his "mean" style of play and an apparent resemblance to the serial killer, Charles Manson!! The nickname stuck with him his entire career. 

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2) Behind My Eyes; This shot was taken about one week after suffering a stroke. I had been moved out of the stroke floor and transferred to a rehab centre, where I had to undergo trivial and demeaning tests and tasks that at the time, seemed insurmountable. Like trying to roll plasticine, or lift coins off of a table and put them into a slot. I was still trying to come to terms with what had happened to me. I can see it in my eyes. 

  3) With “t his guy ” again. Here we are sharing a Tim Hortons tea. So what’s the big deal with that? Well for starters this Tim Hortons was in Kandahār, the second-largest city in Afghanistan with a population of about 557,118.   Formerly called Alexandria Arachosia, the city is named after Alexander the Great (think about that) who founded it in 329 BC. I have been in Afghanistan 5 times visiting and performing for the men and women of our armed forces and our allies. Something I treasure and consider and honour and a privilege. 

3) With “this guy” again. Here we are sharing a Tim Hortons tea. So what’s the big deal with that? Well for starters this Tim Hortons was in Kandahār, the second-largest city in Afghanistan with a population of about 557,118. Formerly called Alexandria Arachosia, the city is named after Alexander the Great (think about that) who founded it in 329 BC. I have been in Afghanistan 5 times visiting and performing for the men and women of our armed forces and our allies. Something I treasure and consider and honour and a privilege. 

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 4) Sharing a conversation with Huey Lewis; I was saddened to hear of Huey’s plight with Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can cause episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, a feeling of pressure in the ear and fluctuating hearing loss, causing him to cancel his touring life. I too suffer from tinnitus. I NEVER hear silence. I hear a ringing, constantly, especially in my right ear. I have even gone to the dentist numerous times, complaining of toothache, only to discover it’s actually pain radiating from my inner ear. It comes with the territory. Forty years of rock’n’roll will do that. 

Huey is a helluva nice, down -to-earth- guy. I have done two shows with him, once with Glass Tiger and once solo. 

  5) The Toronto Sun, Nov 11th, 1986. We had released our debut album, The Thin Red Line, earlier that year to major accolades. We were then selected to be the opening act for American Supergroup,  Journey.  During the tour we were notified that we had been nominated for three Juno Awards; Best New Group, Album of the Year & Single of the Year. Journey were kind enough to give us a couple of days off to head north and attend and perform on the awards. I think everyone knew that we were a “shoo-in” for Best New Group but for Album and Single of the Year we were up against; Rush, Bryan Adams, Corey Hart and an unbelievably successful album from Platinum Blonde. The “Tigers Roared” that night however, lifting them all. We then headed straight back to America to pick up where we left off with Journey, who were thrilled for us.     

5) The Toronto Sun, Nov 11th, 1986. We had released our debut album, The Thin Red Line, earlier that year to major accolades. We were then selected to be the opening act for American Supergroup, Journey. During the tour we were notified that we had been nominated for three Juno Awards; Best New Group, Album of the Year & Single of the Year. Journey were kind enough to give us a couple of days off to head north and attend and perform on the awards. I think everyone knew that we were a “shoo-in” for Best New Group but for Album and Single of the Year we were up against; Rush, Bryan Adams, Corey Hart and an unbelievably successful album from Platinum Blonde. The “Tigers Roared” that night however, lifting them all. We then headed straight back to America to pick up where we left off with Journey, who were thrilled for us. 

 

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6) This remains one of my favourite shots to have been a part of ......EVER! It’s a shot taken by photographer, Allan Zilkowsky at a show we did in Sackville, New Brunswick (I think). I love it because of the “classic” nature of it. The shot of course is NOT about me. It’s about you. I represent, the “artist” but since my back is to you the viewer, that performer could be any one of THOUSANDS of performers. Zoom in though and the story truly begins to take form. The looks on those faces. So in tune with what is happening. I love this shot because it reminds me of my youth,

Looking at “live” pictures of say, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, or big Rod, I was ALWAYS more captivated with the crowd. How transfixed they were on the performer. It was mesmerizing. Still is. 

  With this album......and......

With this album......and......

   .......with this guy.......I rest my case. Great rock’n’roll shots are as much, if not more, about you, than us.

 .......with this guy.......I rest my case. Great rock’n’roll shots are as much, if not more, about you, than us.

And so at 11 p.m. I am ready to shut it down. Two more shows to go, or as Johnny calls them, The Semi-Final and The Final. Tomorrow we fly to Corner Brook. 

And so Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow. 

                                      ~Alan