ALAN FREW

Musician. Author. Speaker.

Dear Canada Blog #63 June 27th 2018

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Better late than never this blog has been sitting unfinished due to my being very busy then a little lazy.

 

Having missed our last gig in Saskatoon due to a health issue, I am back at it, as Glass Tiger travels to beautiful Whistler B.C. for a private gig at the Fairmont Hotel.  I haven’t been in Whistler since February of 2010 when I co-wrote the Vancouver Olympic song, “I BELIEVE,” performed by, Nikki Yanofsky.

A massively successful song that went on to make Nikki a household-name and a multi-platinum artist, I BELIEVE entered into the very fabric of the games themselves with athletes being quoted as saying, how beautifully inspiring it was, and everyday Canadians saying, how patriotic it made them feel. Canadians are normally very staid about flaunting their patriotism but in this particular case they waved their flags proudly declaring, I am Canadian!”

 I BELIEVE reached number one on the Canadian Hot 100 issue dated February 27, 2010, and it was the first song by a Canadian singer to top the Canadian Hot 100.

 The power of you and I ? Me and you? I and me? 😂😂

The power of you and I ? Me and you? I and me? 😂😂

Two funny things that arose for me during the song’s time on the national front were these. 1) How some people complained about hearing the song day in and day out and 2) how some within the “Grammer Police” complained about the line, “I believe in the power of you and I,” which they claimed, of course, should read as,  “you and ME,” for the lyrics to be considered as being  “grammatically correct.” Here was my take on both;  

1) A song doesn’t become a hit song because everyone likes it, but rather, it becomes a hit song because “enough” people like it to make it so. I jokingly said, “Yeah, I remember when our hit, Don’t Forget Me ( when I’m gone) was so ubiquitous, playing almost to the point of ad nauseum, a guy once said to me, “If I have to listen to that song one more time, I am going to jump off of a bridge!” I said to him, “Dad! Please! Stop talking like that!”

 “What? CALL THE GRAMMER POLICE!” 

“What? CALL THE GRAMMER POLICE!” 

As for what I said regarding number 2? I said, “Oh get a life!” Lol, actually I reminded them of what we call, “poetic licence” simply meaning, we as artists, take liberties with words and images for the betterment of our art and for the audience’s pleasure. I did also read up on why, if one chose to fight the system, “I believe in the power of you and I” is absolutely, grammatically fine, but I didn’t have the energy for the argument, so mostly I just told everyone who asked, “ I wrote YOU AND I, because, simply put, I needed a word to rhyme with FLY.”😂 

 I BELIEVE was a huge success for everyone involved and it remains one of the proudest moments of my song-writing career.

 Beautiful Whistler B.C.  

Beautiful Whistler B.C.  

Whistler (Squamish language: Sḵwiḵw) is a Canadian resort town in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the province of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 125 km (78 mi) north of Vancouver and 36 km (22 mi) south of the town of Pemberton. Incorporated as the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), it has a permanent population of approximately 9,965, plus a larger but rotating population of seasonal workers, typically younger people from beyond British Columbia, notably from Australia and Europe. The first British survey by the Royal Navy took place in the 1860s.These surveyors named the mountain London Mountain because of the heavy fog and cloud typically gathering around the mountain, but the area informally acquired the name "Whistler" due to the call of the hoary marmot

  “Alan! Alan! ....Alan! Alan!.....that’s not Alan. Steve! Steve! Steve!”   The flight to Vancouver was comfortable and uneventful BUT THE DRIVE TO WHISTLER? Holy shit! It was raining and very slick conditions and our driver happened to be the son of Mario Andretti ( ok, i’m kidding) but wow! he was fast and the winding roads, relentless. I truly thought I was gonna upchuck. I made a conscious decision that if I am ever asked to play here again that they better get the helicopter primed and readied! 😉   When you get here however, it’s beautiful. It’s one of  the  perfect spots to show off the beauty and the majesty of this great nation of Canada.    We gathered as a band in the beautiful lounge area of the bar, by the fireplace, and enjoyed a refreshment and a bite to eat. This is the thing about GT that surprises so many other bands; WE STILL ALL ENJOY EACH OTHER’S COMPANY! We post on our group text “ let’s go for dinner, or lunch or breakkies” and within reason we ALL show up, whereas lots of other bands only want to see each other on stage, ( and sometimes not even then!! 😂.)   Most of us headed up to our rooms shortly thereafter due to the fact that the time change had us very tired.    Up the next morning bright and early and went down to breakfast joining Joe and Carmela. The food was excellent and I highly recommend the Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel if you are planning a visit there anytime in the future. After eating I went for a walk into the town centre visiting various shops, looking for nothing in particular. My favourite store however was a bookstore called,  Armchair Books,  a delightful and charming little spot that would remind anyone, over the age of say, 40, of what a bookstore used to look and feel like. Little stores where you can pull up a comfy chair, sit in the corner, minding your own business, and read for as long as you want. I used to love coming into bookstores on cold winter’s nights, getting cozy, and skimming through a ton of books. 

 “Alan! Alan! ....Alan! Alan!.....that’s not Alan. Steve! Steve! Steve!” 

The flight to Vancouver was comfortable and uneventful BUT THE DRIVE TO WHISTLER? Holy shit! It was raining and very slick conditions and our driver happened to be the son of Mario Andretti ( ok, i’m kidding) but wow! he was fast and the winding roads, relentless. I truly thought I was gonna upchuck. I made a conscious decision that if I am ever asked to play here again that they better get the helicopter primed and readied! 😉 

When you get here however, it’s beautiful. It’s one of the perfect spots to show off the beauty and the majesty of this great nation of Canada.  

We gathered as a band in the beautiful lounge area of the bar, by the fireplace, and enjoyed a refreshment and a bite to eat. This is the thing about GT that surprises so many other bands; WE STILL ALL ENJOY EACH OTHER’S COMPANY! We post on our group text “ let’s go for dinner, or lunch or breakkies” and within reason we ALL show up, whereas lots of other bands only want to see each other on stage, ( and sometimes not even then!! 😂.) 

Most of us headed up to our rooms shortly thereafter due to the fact that the time change had us very tired.  

Up the next morning bright and early and went down to breakfast joining Joe and Carmela. The food was excellent and I highly recommend the Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel if you are planning a visit there anytime in the future. After eating I went for a walk into the town centre visiting various shops, looking for nothing in particular. My favourite store however was a bookstore called, Armchair Books, a delightful and charming little spot that would remind anyone, over the age of say, 40, of what a bookstore used to look and feel like. Little stores where you can pull up a comfy chair, sit in the corner, minding your own business, and read for as long as you want. I used to love coming into bookstores on cold winter’s nights, getting cozy, and skimming through a ton of books. 

  Armchair Books.

Armchair Books.

On this particular occasion I settled on a book called ; 

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It’s never too late to change the world.  

 Been “doodling” all my life.  

Been “doodling” all my life.  

I also did an interesting thing. I bought a sketch-book and pens. As a young guy I was always into drawing and painting and always managed to do quite well at it. I just don’t do it often enough. My plan is to take my book and pens with me on the road and sketch as often as I feel the urge. I have been sketching my cats here at home over the last few days and it is such a peaceful, pastime.  

I headed back to the hotel for soundcheck which went painlessly. I then headed back to my room to chill. This is going to be a long night for three of us, for Carmela, Al and I are heading back down the winding-hell to Vancouver tonight as we three are on an 8am flight out of here, which means we won’t get into Vancouver airport hotel until about 1am or even later and lobby-call will be at 6:30am 😱. Oh well......Rock’n’Roll right? 

We hit the stage around 9:30pm for a 60 minute set. We gave them all the songs they were looking for and after a loud encore we gave them a few more.  

 “Ok, here come the hits. You ready?” 

“Ok, here come the hits. You ready?” 

We were asked ahead of time to do a meet and greet and take photo’s with which we happily obliged. Although with the long and winding road ahead of us I could have done without it this evening. Got through it fairly quickly and soon the three of us were on our way.

  “Hang on a minute driver.”

 “Hang on a minute driver.”

Our driver had been warned ahead of time not to speed and being the decent guy he was, he obliged by taking it easy. The fact that it began to rain, making the roads extremely “slick” helped him make that decision.  

Checked into my room and hit the bed by 2:15a.m. which fell into the category of, “Just lay on top of the bed, clothes on, alarm set, for a 3 hour sleep.” It makes me feel like I am just “napping” hence making it a little easier to get back up and keep going, whereas if I get undressed and under the covers and go into deep sleep it’s just tougher. Interesting fact though is this; no matter how short my sleep time is and no matter what time I set my alarm for, my eyes open ALWAYS just a few minutes ahead of that time. This happens whether my sleep is 7 hours of 70minutes!!  

Up I got and freshened up. The good news is that the hotel is attached to the terminal and we were checking in and heading to lounge with plenty of time to spare.  

Home now, safely back in Toronto. That’s me until our big gig here in the hometown at what should be a fantastic show, for we play ( for the first time ever) at Toronto’s famous, Massey Hall. 

           -Goodnight Dear Canada, until that time...