ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog #40 April 4th 2018.

Woke up to this in my Instagram mail. It seems we are gonna take a stab at a gig in London, England, this fall.

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It’s been 20 years for us, will anyone remember? Will anyone care? Who knows. What I do know however, for sure, is that if you don’t buy a ticket, you cannot possibly win the lottery and so if we don’t go, then we can rest assured that no one will remember nor care.  On that note, we are also doing a gig in Nottingham, England, that same weekend and we have accepted three shows in Florida USA and “ditto” with one in NYC. So it’s “in for a penny, in for a pound” let’s give it a shot and see what happens.

  GT in NYC, many moons ago. 

GT in NYC, many moons ago. 

I cannot grasp the fact that this is the 40th blog of this tour. That’s unreal. I vividly remember when tickets went on sale back in November, looking ahead and thinking that a.) it wasn’t until February and b.) it was gonna take long time to do 45 shows in 60 days.  Now here we are more than half-way through already. 

I headed out around noon today, driving on my own, to the city of Kitchener, Ontario, due to the fact that Sam and I had radio and tv interviews to do. The weather in Toronto and surrounding areas was brutal. Frigid temperatures, snow flurries and winds up to 100km/hr, it was crazy. Shit was flying across the highway. The only thing missing was “Dorothy, on her way to OZ!” When is this gonna end?  I keep writing that Spring seems to be taking hold, then this keeps coming back time and time again. Therefore I post this once again, in hopes it may be the last time this year. 

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When I was young, my granny used to always say, “It’s those bloody rocket ships going up to the moon that’s causing all this bad weather!” (Maybe you were right Gran.😂) 

 An original voting ballot. Kitchener won.  

An original voting ballot. Kitchener won.  

Here is a great fact of interest about the city of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Located approximately 100 km west of Toronto.

It used to be the Town Of Berlin, from 1854 until 1912 and the City of Berlin from 1912 until 1916. Immigration to the town had increased considerably from 1816 until the 1870s, with many of the newcomers being of German descent, (particularly Lutheran, and Mennonite.) On September 1st, 1916 however, residents voted narrowly, to change the name to Kitchener, in the midst of the First World War, to prove loyalty and stem the backlash against a city with deep German Roots. There was little enthusiasm when the vote was cast but Kitchener it was and is to this day.

I blasted some amazing tunes on the way there in my car. I was asked by Spotify to do a “What Alan’s Listening To On Tour,” list, and so I cranked that to take my mind off the crappy weather and crappy drive. When it comes to new music, I am not your guy. I admit that. Mainly because I am soooo saturated with music in my life that I tend not to listen to music in my spare time. My car is always tuned to Talk Radio shows instead. But when it comes to GREAT music, I know my way around a tune. These are a few of my favourites. This tiny list of course doesn’t come close to what the total would be. No Beatles on here, or Rod Stewart, Annie Lennox, The Stones, The Police, The Who, Zeppelin or a myriad of others. These are simply tunes I have been cranking lately and that I cranked in the car today. 

 Crank....... 

Crank....... 

 

 

 

Some of you may find it interesting that Justin Bieber is on that list. But trust me, the acoustic version ONLY of As Long As You Love Me is as “well written and well delivered” a pop song as you will ever hear.

 ....’em. 

....’em. 

Are any of you familiar with Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young? It’s their second album as a quartet after Canada’s own, Neil Young joined them. The production is just beautiful. Try and emulate that sound today and you just can’t. That goes for most of the brilliant recordings from the late 60’s and early 70’s. Tracks like; Every Picture Tells A Story by Rod Stewart, Space Oddity by David Bowie or Alright Now by Free. The tones and the textures are just so unique unto themselves. Young bands and producers kill themselves trying to capture it today but that time has gone by and now it forever lives in the hearts and minds of those of us old enough to remember. You can come close but as we know close only counts in “Horseshoes & Hand Grenades” That’s not me being cynical. That’s me just being old enough to remember.😳🙄

I headed straight to the venue to rendezvous with Sam and Ken Green, our Warner Music representative. Once together, Ken took us for a local radio interview and over to CTV for television. All went like clockwork and it was suggested afterward that we eat. Now I will take full responsibility for what happened next. I said aloud, “Let’s go Italian!” Famous last words, cuz we did, and yes, it was fantastic but from that moment on, I felt like I had a small Italian growing inside of me!! I could not shake the bloated feeling and it remained with me through the entire show. Ugh! Never again. I know better than that. I am the one who prides himself going on stage feeling light and a little hungry. I thought eating at 4pm would have been fine but this was handmade pasta, and there was lots of it, and at the end of the meal all three of us stared at each other and went “Hummmph.” You know that involuntary noise that leaks out of you after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? 

On the way to our dressing room I ran into legendary record producer, Bob Ezrin, who produced Johnny’s new REVIVAL album. He had come up from Nashville to see Johnny perform it.

  The Legend........Mr. Bob Ezrin. 

The Legend........Mr. Bob Ezrin. 

Bob’s credits, to name but a few, include: Alice Cooper- School’s Out, Billion Dollar Babies AND Welcome To My Nightmare;  Peter Gabriel-Peter Gabriel; KISS-Destroyer; Pink Floyd-The Wall ; Lou Reed-Berlin; Rod Stewart-Every Beat Of My Heart; He has also worked with, U2, Green Day, Taylor Swift and a host of others....this is the stuff of legend. We chatted for a bit before I headed to our dressing room for a tea. Sam mysteriously vanished for about an hour. Little did I know he had found a spot side-stage for a nap!! The bugger.

Hit the stage at our usual time but as mentioned, I felt, bloated and sluggish. I know my voice was on and the crowd enjoyed it but it was my least favourite show so far, again nothing to do with the venue or the crowd, simply my eating like Don Corleone earlier.

   “Paging Mr Frew! This is your 5 min call to stage. Stage in f-i-v-e minutes!”

 “Paging Mr Frew! This is your 5 min call to stage. Stage in f-i-v-e minutes!”

Johnny left it all on the stage tonight and now he and his troops have a welcomed day off in Windsor, our next stop. We on the other hand, headed home and will make the drive to Windsor early Friday morning.

Got in around 11:30pm, cup of tea, shower and bed.

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow. 

                             ~Alan