ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog #62 May 10th 2018

We moved on for our second show to a place in Québec called, L'Assomption an off-island suburb of Montreal on the L'Assomption River

Between 1640 and 1700, a settlement formed inside a large horseshoe-shaped meander of the L'Assomption River. Amerindians had already been visiting this site since ancient times and called it Outaragasipi meaning widening river, in reference to the river's course. They would drag their canoes across the peninsula as a short-cut for the meander, and therefore the settlement was first called Le Portage.

 L’Assomption, Québec.    I awakened to a very raspy and hoarse voice this morning, having just recovered from a bad chest cold last week. I decided therefore I would not do a soundcheck today and save what I have for the show itself. The guys in our crew had rooms at a local motel whereas we the band did not. Instead we are heading back to Montreal after the show. I temporarily commandeered one of the crew rooms and used it as a day room to chill and work on my voice. I walked to a local market and got some fresh ginger and lemon and drank that while in a hot shower.   My voice is just one of those voices that has huge strength and staying power and as long as phlegm doesn’t coat my vocal cords, I can usually pile on through the worst of circumstances. I took careful time to drink the hot lemon and gently do some vocal exercises in the hot steam of the shower. 

L’Assomption, Québec.  

I awakened to a very raspy and hoarse voice this morning, having just recovered from a bad chest cold last week. I decided therefore I would not do a soundcheck today and save what I have for the show itself. The guys in our crew had rooms at a local motel whereas we the band did not. Instead we are heading back to Montreal after the show. I temporarily commandeered one of the crew rooms and used it as a day room to chill and work on my voice. I walked to a local market and got some fresh ginger and lemon and drank that while in a hot shower. 

My voice is just one of those voices that has huge strength and staying power and as long as phlegm doesn’t coat my vocal cords, I can usually pile on through the worst of circumstances. I took careful time to drink the hot lemon and gently do some vocal exercises in the hot steam of the shower. 

 I know...I know!! I look soooo different with the moustache.    My pickup was 6:30pm to take me over to the venue. Once again you have come through for us Québec as tonight’s show is all but sold out. It’s great, if every town in this province had or has small theatres like these last two, then Glass Tiger could do a ton of dates up here!!    It was in Québec that I first met my pal, Julian Lennon. He too, was incredibly popular in 1986-87 here in Québec and we did two or three concerts together with him, playing to sold-out audiences and frenzied fans. Perhaps Dear Canada, you were one of those fans. 🤗   

I know...I know!! I look soooo different with the moustache.  

My pickup was 6:30pm to take me over to the venue. Once again you have come through for us Québec as tonight’s show is all but sold out. It’s great, if every town in this province had or has small theatres like these last two, then Glass Tiger could do a ton of dates up here!!  

It was in Québec that I first met my pal, Julian Lennon. He too, was incredibly popular in 1986-87 here in Québec and we did two or three concerts together with him, playing to sold-out audiences and frenzied fans. Perhaps Dear Canada, you were one of those fans. 🤗

 

 Julian Lennon circa 1986-87

Julian Lennon circa 1986-87

Later, during the 90’s, when GT was recording in L.A. and again, when I recorded HOLD ON, (my first solo endeavour), we always stayed in touch, going out for the occasional drink or bite to eat together. Julian is an incredibly personable and caring human being. He engages life head-on and he cares about this world and our relationship with nature and all things planet earth. His devoted philanthropic and charitable contributions to help make the world just a little bit of a better place than it was when he found it is exemplary. Most notably the White Feather Foundation and the Whale Dreamers Organization. These organisations promote the co-existence of all species and the health and well-being of the Earth. The name White Feather Foundation came from a beautiful conversation Julian once had with his father. "Dad once said to me that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be OK – that we were all going to be OK – the message would come to me in the form of a white feather. ... the white feather has always represented peace to me.”

 Julian and his dad. 

Julian and his dad. 

  “Sting” photograph by Julian Lennon. 

 “Sting” photograph by Julian Lennon. 

One cool thing you may not know about Julian is just how much of a gifted and fabulous photgrapher he is. He opened his first exhibition of 35 photographs called "Timeless: The Photography of Julian Lennon" at the Morrison Hotel with his photographs including shots of his brother Sean and U2 frontman Bono and his "Horizons" series featured at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, in New York City. I saw some of Julian’s work from a shoot he did in Montreal at a Leonard Cohen tribute event including shots of, Elvis Costello, Sting & Lana Del Ray and I follow his work on Instagram under the title, “JulesPicturePalace” whereby he turns his travels into beautiful works of art. I highly recommend you check that out. It is my goal to have him shoot Glass Tiger one day.....I’ll have to work on that.😉

A funny story. When he consented to duet with me on the new GT Album “31” Sam and I flew to L.A. and we all met up in the evening for a glass of wine and a nibble. We set the time for the recording the next evening and we popped over to pick him up. Julian was totally prepared and ready to go but I can understand how intimidating it must be not only to interpret “someone else’s” songand not just “any” song, a classic song, 31 years old and beloved by millions, PLUS you have the guy there with you who wrote and sang it and he has been singing loads and is in great shape while you haven’t sung in a while. Phew! Nerve-wracking or what? So here we are, we have all been together, broken bread together, had a drink, caught up on old times, big hugs and kisses and Julian goes into the vocal booth gets on the microphone prepares himself and then says lovingly, “Alan?”

 The lads. 

The lads. 

“Yes Jules. What’s up?”  “Fuck off!” “Come again?” I replied. “Fuck off!” says Mr Lennon. The lads behind the console laugh. “What does he mean?” I ask them innocently. “He wants ya out of here, says Sam. He wants to spend some focussed time without you listening in!” And so the penny dropped. I got it right away. And so, fuck off I did. For about an hour or so I hung out in the lobby lol. Julian however, is a true artist. It took him no time at all to blow out the cobwebs, get into his groove, and put his “mark” indelibly on the new version of “THIN RED LINE.” And for that, he let me back in!😂

The end result is simple, stark and hauntingly beautiful. Thanks pal ❌⭕️

The show ended up being wonderful. Very much like the night before, the audience was fantastic. My voice came storming back and never let me down. Afterwards we did a VIP meet and greet then went out to the foyer to meet fans who had waited patiently for us to come out to say hello and offer autographs etc.  

We did the hour drive later back to Montreal. Upon arrival everyone headed straight to their rooms and bed. And so I bid you, Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~Alan.