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... 

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.  

 

Dear Canada Blog #61 May 9th 2018

Well here we go again back on the road. Not a long jaunt, just three shows. Two in the French Canadian province of Quebec and one, a private, corporate show, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. 

Hello Monréal, we meet again. 

Hello Monréal, we meet again. 

We spent May 8th in Montreal having the opportunity to chill a little as a band without having to gig that evening. I got a chance to walk around for a bit and do a little shopping, although I didn’t see much that I fancied and only picked up a shirt. We then had a drink and a meal together before shutting it down. (At least I did lol, right Sam and Al? 😉)  

Lobby call was noon for the drive to St. Hyacinthe, about 40 mins outside of Montreal. We are staying there tonight though as opposed to driving back late to Montreal.  

St.Hyacinthe, Québec.

St.Hyacinthe, Québec.

St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, is a city in southwestern region on the Yamaska River, population around 55,000. At the time of its establishment in 1678, the village of Saint-Hyacinthe had a population of 67. A year later it was made a town, and in 1857 it was made a city. It’s so-named for Saint Hyacinth the Confessor Of Poland and it’s St. Hyacinth’s Cathedral is the seat of the Latin Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe, which was erected in 1852 and has the same patron saint. 

Tonight’s show is the launch of a new setup. We are attempting to do basically what the new Glass Tiger album “31” is all about. Rootsy, acoustically-driven, renditions, with new arrangements of our reimagined, classic songs. It’s vital that I participate in sound-check which I wouldn’t normally do, preferring to save my voice for the actual performance but we are all a little nerve-wracked about it since we haven’t had much time to rehearse it. 

Russell in a quiet moment pre-show.  

Russell in a quiet moment pre-show.  

This band configuration is as follows. We have Chris McNeill on drums, Tom Lewis on bass (Wayne still requires some time off) Carmela Long on BG vocals, Sam of course on keys and Al on guitar. We opted to add, from my band, Russell Gray on guitars due to the fact that he is brilliant and I really don’t want to play guitar live anymore, preferring just to sing and perform unincumbered by having to play guitar at all. I like playing the instrument but more as a writing tool than a performance one. 

The Centre des Arts Theatre here in St. Hyacinthe is a pretty little room and we are told it’s pretty much sold out. Thanks guys!!

Ahhh, the good old days. The hair, the eyeliner, the earrings and the Le Chateau pants.....what could possibly have been “manlier?” 🤔😂

Ahhh, the good old days. The hair, the eyeliner, the earrings and the Le Chateau pants.....what could possibly have been “manlier?” 🤔😂

Glass Tiger has had a long-standing relationship with Québec. Since the days of Musique Plus, when our videos were nothing short of ubiquitous. We were adored by huge numbers of fans and now is the time to reacquaint with them by coming back here as often as we can. 

A lovely story for you. It was 1987 and Glass Tiger was asked to play at a very special event called Rendezvous ‘87,  an international ice hockey series of games between the Soviet Union of old, and a team of All-Stars from the National Hockey League, held in Québec City. Glass Tiger had exploded and by 1987 it was pretty impossible to move around without bedlam ensuing. 

When we arrived at the airport hundreds of teenage girls were there and it took us forever to make our way through them as we stopped for autographs and photo’s. By the time we got to the hotel we were easily a couple of hours behind schedule and of course when we arrived there, yet again, hundreds of fans in the lower lobby awaiting us, and so once more it took forever just to make it over to the escalator to head up to a closed-off area where we could catch our breath and have a cold drink. When I finally made it to the escalator and jumped on, I raised my head up to find, standing there at the top, awaiting me, none-other-than, David Foster. You know, the Canadian musician, record producer, composer, songwriter and arranger guy. You know, the winner of 16 Grammy Awards (with 47, nominations, for producing the likes of; Chaka Khan, Alice Cooper, Christina Aguilera, Andrea Bocelli, Toni Braxton, Michael Bublé, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Kenny G, Josh Groban, Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Kenny Rogers, Seal, Rod Stewart, Charice, Donna Summer, Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Cheryl Lynn and Barbra Streisand. YEAH! THAT GUY! Well there he was standing there looking completely frazzled and dishevelled, with one small kid in one hand and one in the other, just being “a dad“ with his two kids finding it hard to contain themselves as their favourite band of the day was making an appearance and of course “dad” must have spent HOURS saying, “ I promise you they are coming! I promise you that you’ll meet them. It’s okay! I PROMISE you they are.... “The look on his face spoke volumes. It’s was sooooooo funny. When he got close to me he whispered in my ear,  “Thank fuck! What the hell took you so long!” Sorry David, but it WAS funny. I had first met David at the Juno awards the year prior when he was the presenter of “Single Of The Year,” which we won. 

Music legend, David Foster.  

Music legend, David Foster.  

We hit the stage, right on the nose at 8:00pm The show was two sets of 45mins each. I said to the audience, “Okay, so this is the very FIRST TIME we have ever done this show, in this format. That can be a GOOD thing, or, that can be a BAD thing! So please, if I happen to screw it up and anytime during the proceedings, just look over my shoulder and pick any of these guys you want.......and blame them!” We all laughed and we then went on to have a brilliant evening together. Not flawless by any means but the rawness and newness of it actually added to the charm of it all. For it being a “first” it was great and can only get better from here on in.  

In the “sandbox” once again.  

In the “sandbox” once again.  

A standing ovation at the end prompted us to give them an encore of, “Don’t Forget Me (when i’m gone).  

Thank you St. Hyacinthe you were an amazing audience. Last night proved once again that music is THE true “international language” which reminds us of everything we have in common, rather than what differences we may have. 

 

Afterward we met some VIP fans then headed out to the foyer to sign autographs and take photo’s with fans who were patient enough to wait for us.  

Back at hotel by around midnight we gathered as a complete unit and had a drink or two together. After everyone had gone to bed I sat with Sam, just the two of us, chatting about the future. I have spent most of my life with this guy and STILL we can sit and talk and plan and laugh like it’s just the beginning, which when you think of it, it still is.

For you see, it’s the beginning of “now.”  

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Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~Alan  

 

 

Dear Canada Blog #60!!! April 24th 2018; THE FINAL SHOW!!

 Wow! SIXTY blogs!! Can you believe it? I didn’t miss one day. Not one. I am filled with all kinds emotions. So happy that it’s about to be over and yet a little sad because of the very same thing. Wondering if it was all worth it, yet knowing that is HAS INDEED been worth it. It’s just a jumble-sale of emotions. I have been here however, in this place, countless times before in my career. It’s the same when recording an album, you bond with the team. You become a family who gets into a family routine and when the routine ends, you feel a little sense of loss. So now it ends. Just like that. We now all go our separate ways. But of course that’s a good thing too, because now we get to see if performing in front of an audience that really didn’t know us, to begin with, an audience who would never have normally ventured out to see us, will come to see a full Glass Tiger show, when we are in their neck-of-the-woods.

 

We are fam-i-ly!! 

We are fam-i-ly!! 

Now if ever I needed a little preview of how they felt about us, breakfast this morning certainly gave me a little taste of perhaps what lies ahead. The restaurant this morning was “jammed” with Johnny fans. All ladies. Perhaps one “token husband.” Now for the record, an interesting phenomenon is that even although Johnny himself is about 17 or so years younger than me, his demographic, his core audience, is about 17 years and UP, older than a normal GT audience is. The core age of our audience is about 46, or thereabouts and up. And of course because so many young people love retro we also get tons of fans still in their twenties and thirties. These ladies who love and come out for Johnny however begin around my age and go much older than even me, so conversations with them in some cases, is like talking with my own mum!! More than often like chatting with my sister and her pals (who also love Johnny AND OF COURSE her wee brother’s band😉). These women are so funny and delightful and they don’t hold back for a second!! They dive right in and tell you what they want, “Come on! Yer taking a photo with us!” But it’s so easy for me to relate to them, for you see, they are not only Johnny’s “people,” they are MY people too! They are everyone I grew up around as a boy. They are like my aunts  and uncles, my mum and dad. They are the neighbours I grew up beside, that would “cuff” my ear for being a cheeky wee bugger.

“C’mere ya cheeky wee bugger!” 

“C’mere ya cheeky wee bugger!” 

They are the hard-working, salt-of-the-earth folk that carry nations on their shoulders. To sit and “blether” with them is second-nature to me. I spent most of breakfast going from table to table, saying hello, taking pictures, chatting up a storm. They get a hold of me and cuddle-in as the photo is being taken. It’s adorable. So how did they feel about GT? Well they ALL said the magic words, “We loved you guys so much, when are ya coming back? Cuz we’ll be there, when ya do!” And THAT’S why we did this tour. Glass Tiger of course has it’s own loyal and faithful audience. We have been bonded for 31 years with you guys. but these folks are seeing us for the VERY FIRST TIME!! It’s wild. We will all of course, welcome them.❤️

 

We flew back to St. John’s and re-checked into the Delta Hotel, which was a little weird considering we were just here two nights ago. Routine was as always, except for the fact that I went over about 5 mins before Johnny went on. The reason being, I wanted to take a moment with him alone, to shake his hand and say, “Well pal, this is it! Here we go!”

“Well pal...here we go!”

“Well pal...here we go!”

There was a sense of anticipation among his band and crew, certainly a feeling that things here were rapidly coming to an end. We hit the stage, usual time, and the crowd were fantastic. When Johnny and I did our duet together and it came to the middle-section where we do a “toast” to the crowd and sing Flower of Scotland, I stopped and said a few important words to him, that I truly felt he needed to hear and that his audience needed to hear. My thanking him, for all he has done for Glass Tiger. He is a humble man, who will speak MORE of what he received from this journey with us than what he gave. A journey that began on that “wee wall” on a golf course in Cape Breton, eventually leading to our recording a brilliant album in Nashville, with him at the “helm.”  

At the  helm,  Johnny Reid.

At the helm, Johnny Reid.

A journey which led us to this AMAZING tour. I remember sitting with him and Sam in Nashville and him saying, “I have an idea! We’ll tour together.” And that’s before the album was even finished! What an experience. He opened his studio, he opened his home and he opened his heart to a band that I like to think, is a part or the very fabric of Canadian Music. I KNOW he believes that.

Thank you Johnny❤️

 “I have an idea!”

 “I have an idea!”

After the show we took a bottle of champagne to his dressing room and shared it with him and his wife and a few key players on his team. A hug and another handshake and ........that was it.

Yet another chapter in the book of all of our lives is written and published. There are now new chapters to come. 

And so there you have it Dear Canada. Thanks for tuning in, it’s been a blast writing to you these past sixty days. Many of you have told me not to stop. Told me that you have loved my blogs. Please know, that my doing them, has made me feel more connected to all of you and I realize too that although my blog is called, DEAR CANADA, that some of you have been reading these from afar, in corners of the globe. Thanks for travelling with me every step of the way ❤️

Please know, I don’t plan on stopping. I will continue to write to you when I am on the road. It’s ingrained now. I sort of “have to” do it now. They will now be called officially; ROADSTORIES with Alan Frew, and when on the road, I will write to you daily. When not, I will drop in once a week or so. Thank you so much for being there for my words, my thoughts and my feelings. Stay tuned. 

I am flying tomorrow to Montreal with Sam, to do a TV performance in English and French with Veronic DiCaire and so I would say that constitutes being on the road......wouldn’t you? 😉


TAKE A BOW BOYS!!!

TAKE A BOW BOYS!!!

Goodnight Dear Canada, until that time.......~Alan.

Dear Canada Blog #59 April 23rd 2018.

Up at 8:30 a.m. for a 10:00 a.m. lobby call. Able to catch a quick breakfast with Sam. We discussed upcoming rehearsals and preparations for the Glass Tiger shows we have this spring, summer & fall. Headed by cab, to the airport. It’s always cute when people recognize me but for whatever reason they don’t want to mention it, then just after I move away from them, I hear them singing or in this case, whistling, “Don’t Forget Me (when I’m gone). Funny😂Stuff. 

I know the guy who wrote that!!

I know the guy who wrote that!!

The flight to Corner Brook was on a little 16 or so, seater plane, very noisy, very bumpy, and I had no window, which years ago would have caused me big problems. I am truly amazed at how far I have come these past 8 years or so with my fear of flying. If I had to have made a flight like that say, ten years ago, my “Tourette’s” type behaviour would have been rampant, and I would have been cursing like a trooper and fidgeting and driving people crazy.

Yay!!! The plane’s here!! 

Yay!!! The plane’s here!! 

Here’s one for the books.....

As many of you may know, I am an atheist. That said, I respect everyone’s right to believe, just as much as my own not to. I don’t mention it out loud anymore unless I am asked or unless someone is forcing their beliefs onto me, or of course if your knocking on my front door, ready to “minister” and “save” me. I tell you this because an absolutely hilarious thing happened to me back in my fear of flying days, that will live with me forever. The guys in GT were all used to me and with every bump of the plane I truly could not help myself and it would usually go something like this; Here we are, all flying, flying, flying, smoothly, smoothly and everything is fine then .....bump..oh!......bump..bump...oh no! ....bump....bump...bump...oh please no! bump...bump......fuck!...fuck! bump.... shit!   ......bump....thud...bump.....fuck!.....damn!...shit!..shit! and this would go on for the entire amount of time the turbulence lasted...but as I mentioned, the band were all used to it, and we got through it as best we could, with as little fuss as possible. If however, I had to sit next to a stranger, I would always explain to them my dilemma and apologies ahead of time, just in case, profanity-laced epithets came hurtling out of my mouth. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes the odd, Jesus!!! or Jesus Christ!!! Would still pop out of me, just by age-old habit. It still happens. And back then, I would think that saying, Jesus, would be a little softer and easier to digest for a wee lady to hear, than a big, FUCK!! And so I would attempt to do that, unless it was unbearable and I couldn’t help myself.

It’s okay, Jesus has this... 

It’s okay, Jesus has this... 

So here we go......it was a flight back, if memory serves, from Vancouver home to Toronto and we had all the members of Glass Tiger, plus our crew, making the trip home. When we got through security and headed to the gate, there was an enormous delegation of Christians gathered there, all happy and singing, all with flowers and smiles as big as Vancouver itself. I remember thinking to myself, how much they reminded me of the “hippie flower-children” from say, Woodstock or the likes. Some of them danced a little, while all the time, “praising their Lord.” It was harmless enough, although a little overboard. Soon we all boarded and Glass Tiger and crew were scattered all over the place. I ended up in the middle!! of bunch of my new Christian companions, who made me aware that the Pope was coming to Toronto and that they were all on their way (with 2 million others) to receive his holy blessing. “Oh, that’s nice,” I replied. Thinking, “Please don’t ask me if i’m going!” So we took off and everything was going along swimmingly; happy, happy, praise the lord, “Would you like a flower?” “No thanks. Well okay.” (if it means you’ll leave me alone) when suddenly ......bump....hmmm what was that?....bump......no!.....bump...bump...please.....no!....Now I must have begun with my fidgeting, my sighing and squirming, because the lady to my right says, “Don’t worry, never fear, we are in God’s hands, he will keep us safe.” Hmmmm, really? Ya think? Now here it comes Dear Canada. You have to know this build up inside me is tremendous and I am trying so hard to fight it. I don’t want to force my profanity on these people. These sweet, lambs of God, all on their way to see, papa, their leader, their chosen vessel of God, their Pope. Suddenly, and without warning, the entire plane takes one almighty and enormous LUNGE, making it feel like she is about to nosedive back to earth and there is one GIGANTIC THUD!!! Instaneouly my brain is on fire and the words are scrambling at light speed to leap from my lips. My brain’s left-hemisphere is screaming to let it go....The Christians are all chanting, and holding hands, and praising their divine one when suddenly ......I have to get it out ....but what is coming out? Surely not a huge profanity? What if I soften it up a bit.....and so instaneously part of my brain wants to say, “Jesus!” while another part wants to let out a good old “fuck!” but it’s all happening too fast isn’t it? And so just as the plane lurches massively forward and the huge thud comes, yours truly let’s out, at the top of his lungs, as loud as Pavaroti, “FUCK JESUS!” And the entire plane goes 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

What? Who said that? Really? Who? Me? Well of course, now the plane decides to settle immediately, it only lurched the once, and then it smoothed out immediately and of course it went  DEATHLY QUIET!! To say this was one of the most awkward moments in the history of aviation would be an understatement. Cringe-worthy? Oh yeah. And of course the awkwardness and cringe-worthiness didn’t end there because as I looked around me and saw all these little Christian faces agog staring at me like I had just bitten the head off of their kitten, I had no way of explaining without getting deeper and deeper in. “Yeah, sorry about that, you see I really wanted to let out one almighty FUCK! but to make it easier on you, part of my brain wanted to let out a great big, “JESUS CHRIST!” So I had to just keep my mouth shut, although a little pip-squeak, “sorry ‘bout that.” oozed out. The only audible sound was that of one of our road crew, Greg, who guffawed with laughter. The singing stopped. The flowers went down. The smiles vanished and I now felt like Satan’s Scottish cousin, Hamish MacLuicifer. When I think back on it they all looked like little lambs. The remaining journey was wounded to say the least. I felt like saying, “Bartender! Scotch all round!” I hesitate to say the word “cured” but I am now as close as one could get, and my fear of flying is nothing like it used to be. Thank you Jesus!😉

Another day, another plane, no train but yes, an automobile. 

Another day, another plane, no train but yes, an automobile. 


Corner Brook is a city located on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The area was surveyed by Captain James Cook, in 1767.

Captian James Cook, embalmed, bronzed, and permanently in Corner Brook!!!

Captian James Cook, embalmed, bronzed, and permanently in Corner Brook!!!

The Captain James Cook Historic Site stands on Crow Hill overlooking the city. By the middle of the 19th century the population of Corner Brook was still less than 100, and the inhabitants were engaged in fishing and lumber work. The area was originally four distinct communities, each with unique commercial activities: Curling, with its fishery; Corner Brook West (also known as Humber West or Westside) with its retail businesses; Corner Brook East (also known as Humbermouth and the Heights) with its railway and industrial operations; and Townsite (known as Corner Brook), home to the employees of the pulp and paper mill. In 1956, these four communities were amalgamated to form the present-day City of Corner Brook.

Colourful Corner Brook.

Colourful Corner Brook.

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We pulled into the Inn at about 2:15 p.m. and we landed “slap-dab” right into the middle of a TEAM of ladies, all of them, obviously Johnny Reid fans. It didn’t take long for one of them to “clock” me and figure out who I was and it was game on! Photo, after, photo, and listening to all their “patter” they were a delight. They are so excited to see Johnny tonight. They just love him. I texted him immediately afterwards and said, “So funny, we pull into the wee Quality Inn, and the hotel lobby is mobbed with your fans and one of them clocks me and I am now part of the ladies Corner Brook division of your Tartan Army.” 😂 

The Show for me tonight, was deeply emotional. The tragic event that happened today in Toronto has hit me hard. I live in North York. It’s my home, my community. I could walk to where that incident happened, in 15 mins. I could drive it, in 3 or 4. Of course, I have seen all the tragedy and similar incidents to this one that have happened all around the world. Of course I care and my heart breaks for all involved. It’s gut wrenching and brutally painful. But as with any tragedy, when it happens to you, or to your family or to your neighbourhood, it’s only natural that it stings that much harder. I thought of cancelling this blog and perhaps just posting a 😢. But then my fingers went onto twitter and I typed this, almost subconsciously; Torontonians don’t stop #smiling don’t stop #laughing don’t stop #loving don’t stop #living if you do, then they win. #torontostrong

MY CITY. MY TEAM, MOURNS😢

MY CITY. MY TEAM, MOURNS😢

I believed that when I wrote it and I believe it now. We MUST stay true to who we are. To love and laugh and live life to its fullest, in kindness and fellowship, and caring and together as one. If we stop doing that, we lose, they win. That’s why I posted my blog tonight on this night of horror and sadness for all of us who care. That’s why I stayed true to who I am, knowing that you will stay true to who you are by reading it, hopefully still smiling, when you should smile, laughing, when you should laugh, and yes, shedding a wee tear along the way, just as you have, with all the others. Our hearts’ break tonight for those lost. Breaks, and we mourn them deeply. But we go on. Their loved ones are broken but the rest of us will gather around them, family, friends, neighbours, community and city and we will go forward business as usual. Wounded, of course, but we will go on. Love & Kindness remain the light. Always have been, always shall be. 

We love you Toronto.

We love you Toronto.

And so with a heavy heart, I watched our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs grind out a hard-fought victory, and take us to game 7. And I cheered as I always would. Just as the crowd at the game did. Just as the thousands gathered outside the stadium did and I have NEVER been prouder to be a fan, than I was tonight.  

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As I headed back to my room I could hear lots of noise coming from the room next door. Ladies laughing and sharing a fun time and it was obvious to me that they were all Johnny Reid fans, who had travelled here for the show. Their door was slightly ajar and so I shouted in,“Hey! You Johnny Reid fans! keep the bloody noise down!” When I pushed the door open they let out a collective yell! They were so sweet. The salt of the earth. Proud Newfoundlanders and die-hard Johnny fans. I chatted with them and took some photo’s. As I said goodnight, they told me collectively that they would come see us if we come back here for our own show. THAT’S why we did this. And so it’s off to St.John’s for our final show tomorrow. 

And so Dear Canada, Goodnight to you, until tomorrow ~ Alan.  

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  

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 

Dear Canada Blog #56 April 20th 2018.

Sam has done a magnificent job of coordinating all of our travel and hotels. It’s a massive undertaking to move us from Sydney BC in February to St.John’s NFLD. On April 24th and so flawlessly at that, Cheers Sam!

For our visit here, he chose something a little different than a Delta, or a Sheraton or the likes. For here, he chose, The Dundee Arms, a 1903, Queen Anne style house and annex. It reminds me of a hotel in Glasgow, Scotland, called The Sherbrooke Castle Hotel. You feel like you have been invited into someone’s home as opposed to rooming within the sterility of a standard hotel. 

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“Come on in, make yourself at home.” 

Had a bite of breakfast with Sam and Sean before getting the chance to go.....”SWIMMING!!” As you probably know by now, swimming means so much to me. I cherish the opportunity to do it, and here on the grounds of the university, they have an aqua centre. I was  happy lad. 

Joined Sam afterwards as we were asked to co-host the afternoon show over at Ocean Radio. We hung in for the entire hour spinning tunes and chatting. 

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 "Hello, Canada, and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland"

Headed back to hotel for a bite to eat with the lads. Before heading up to my room for a long soak in the tub, which by now you know is one of my favourite pastimes. 

Started to weed out a lot of the photos I don’t need anymore from my phone. Here for fun are 10 that I am keeping but haven’t seen in ages.

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1) Performing David Bowie’s, Space Oddity, with Canadian astronaut, Commander, Chris Hadfield. 

2) With Sam and my father Hughie.     

2) With Sam and my father Hughie. 

 

3) My all-time favourite photo of  Norma Jeane Mortenson. 

3) My all-time favourite photo of Norma Jeane Mortenson. 

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4) With my dear friend Terry Lawson from Manhattan Records. I once, while having dinner with him and his wife, knocked a candle over, setting a small fire on the dinner table. I said, Sorry pal, I just spoiled the moment.” To which he replied, No you didn’t, you just created another one!” 

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 5) Recording a song I co-wrote with my pal Roch Voisine, for his album at the time. 

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 6) Upon finding out, that although he was the “first” concert at Toronto’s SkyDome, (now Rogers Centre) but not the first to sing there “live,” Rod plonked this on my lap and insisted I keep it.

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7) On the first time that I ever met Michael Buble, I literally “bumped” into him. Extending my hand to intro myself, I said, “Michael, I am....” He cut me off immediately, “ Motherfucker! Are you going to try and introduce yourself to me? I grew up on you! Come meet my mum.....muuuuum! look who I found!” 😂

8) rest my case. This is SkyDome opening, June 3rd, 1989......sorry Rod! 😉       

8) rest my case. This is SkyDome opening, June 3rd, 1989......sorry Rod! 😉

 

 

9) During my very first concert upon rehabbing from my stroke. Nelly Furtado joined me onstage for, Don’t Forget Me ( when i’m gone).    

9) During my very first concert upon rehabbing from my stroke. Nelly Furtado joined me onstage for, Don’t Forget Me ( when i’m gone).

 

10) Roadsigns near Johnny Reid’s home in Franklin, Tennessee, as we were recording a new album celebrating the fact that it had been 31 years since our first album. “Hmmmmm, what should we call it?”  

10) Roadsigns near Johnny Reid’s home in Franklin, Tennessee, as we were recording a new album celebrating the fact that it had been 31 years since our first album. “Hmmmmm, what should we call it?”  

 Hit the stage in Charlottetown at our usual time. The audience was cranked up for this one. It’s always fun when I haven’t seen Johnny all day and the first time I do is when he comes back out to perform our duet together. We can really sense that it’s coming to an end very soon. Especially when talking with everyone backstage. They, like us, cannot believe we have come this far and that it is almost over. 

Went to The Old Triangle, number THREE! (It seems it is a franchise after all, and we hear that there is a number FOUR in Sydney, where we head to tomorrow 😂) and had a beer with the lads. 

Headed back to hotel around midnight and set alarm for a 7:15 a.m. rise. We fly tomorrow to Sydney, Nova Scotia. Which is really cool considering our first show of this tour was in, Sydney, BC. 

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow~ Alan.  

 

Dear Canada Blog #55 April 19th 2018.

We set off around noon for our drive from Moncton to Charlottetown, stopping briefly at a record and memorabilia store. My daughter has now decided that “vinyl is it!” And so I grabbed her what she asked for: Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and AC/DC.......she’s THIRTEEN! How amazing is that? More and more and MORE kids are into classic, killer, music. It’s soooooo refreshing. She could be listening to fabricated, bubblegum, but no, it’s Queen, Zeppelin, The Beatles, AC/DC, Bee Gees, etc;  I get such a kick out of hearing; We Will Rock You, or Black Dog or even St.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, come blasting out of her room. How amazing, how UNBELIEVABLY amazing, that it came blasting out of mine, FIFTY ONE YEARS AGO!! That is astonishing and mind-boggling, all in one. Now THAT’S music withstanding the test of time.

One of THE albums of my life.......I trust it will be one of hers. 

One of THE albums of my life.......I trust it will be one of hers. 

Reached Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, around 4pm. Weather, a little chilly, a little rainy, but no snow!

Charlottetown is the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island. Named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen consort of King George lll, of the United Kingdom, Charlottetown is also the capital of Prince Edward Island, and it’s on the southern coast of the province. The Province House National Historic Site hosted the Charlottetown Conference, which was held for representatives from the colonies of British North America to discuss Canadian Confederstion. The conference took place between September 1 through 9, 1864. 

Delegates of the Charlottetown Conference on the steps of Government House.     And so being allowed a complete evening off here I decided to go to the gym over at the university and have a work out. I would have had a swim but it was too busy at that time and I will swim tomorrow.     Had a bite to eat with the lads then headed back to my hotel to watch the LEAFS v Bruins. The lads just don’t have the depth, the strength nor do they have the experience that the Bruins have and I fear this is the end of the road for them, for this season. Never say never though, and if they come flying out of the gate in game five, they could steal one in Boston and it’s still game on but I wouldn’t be putting money on it.     That was really it. That was my day. It was an easy, relaxed one, and so in honour of game 5, here are FIVE random thoughts shooting through my head with no rhyme or reason.     1)   Global warming is real. Please take care of the planet. We have to think about what kind of world we are going to leave behind for Keith Richards.    2)  If I was ever captured by the Taliban or ISIS, they wouldn’t have to resort to torture to get information out of me. They would only have to lock me in a room with speakers and blast, Bette Midler’s  “The Wind Beneath My Wings”  over and over and I would tell them any fucking thing they’d want to know.   3)    The last   time I played Charlottetown, PEI, was New Year’s Eve 2016, and it was -30 degrees and our show was OUTDOORS. Lucky for me I carry my “ball & pee” warmer with me for emergencies. I KNEW those knitting classes would come in handy and finally pay off!!     

Delegates of the Charlottetown Conference on the steps of Government House. 

And so being allowed a complete evening off here I decided to go to the gym over at the university and have a work out. I would have had a swim but it was too busy at that time and I will swim tomorrow. 

Had a bite to eat with the lads then headed back to my hotel to watch the LEAFS v Bruins. The lads just don’t have the depth, the strength nor do they have the experience that the Bruins have and I fear this is the end of the road for them, for this season. Never say never though, and if they come flying out of the gate in game five, they could steal one in Boston and it’s still game on but I wouldn’t be putting money on it.

That was really it. That was my day. It was an easy, relaxed one, and so in honour of game 5, here are FIVE random thoughts shooting through my head with no rhyme or reason.

1) Global warming is real. Please take care of the planet. We have to think about what kind of world we are going to leave behind for Keith Richards.

2) If I was ever captured by the Taliban or ISIS, they wouldn’t have to resort to torture to get information out of me. They would only have to lock me in a room with speakers and blast, Bette Midler’s “The Wind Beneath My Wings” over and over and I would tell them any fucking thing they’d want to know.

3)   The last time I played Charlottetown, PEI, was New Year’s Eve 2016, and it was -30 degrees and our show was OUTDOORS. Lucky for me I carry my “ball & pee” warmer with me for emergencies. I KNEW those knitting classes would come in handy and finally pay off!! 

 

“Knit one, purl two, no wait!....purl for three.”    4) Saddened to learn of the death of young superstar DJ, Avicii. Even in his young life, he has been very public with the fact that he suffered from “excessive partying and drinking” which actually led to his having acute pancreatitis in 2016. As a band when we hear of such a thing, we look at each other and you can see the bells going off in your fellow band mate’s head, knowing full-well that he’s thinking, “been there, done that.” We dodged our own bullets. We were young, popular, making money, travelling the world and the environment was constantly “on.” At one point there never, ever, was any “off button.”  That’s why these days I would offer advice if warranted or asked but I would never point fingers and say “How could you?” I know all too well how he could. I am so sad this kid is gone at the top of his game and so unbelievably, way too soon. Shit happens and THIS? At 28? This is the shittiest of shit. Condolences to his family, friends and fans 😢    5) Just when you take great time, great care and great pains to plan and execute your next new look, someone comes along and steals it right from under your nose!!     

“Knit one, purl two, no wait!....purl for three.”

4) Saddened to learn of the death of young superstar DJ, Avicii. Even in his young life, he has been very public with the fact that he suffered from “excessive partying and drinking” which actually led to his having acute pancreatitis in 2016. As a band when we hear of such a thing, we look at each other and you can see the bells going off in your fellow band mate’s head, knowing full-well that he’s thinking, “been there, done that.” We dodged our own bullets. We were young, popular, making money, travelling the world and the environment was constantly “on.” At one point there never, ever, was any “off button.”  That’s why these days I would offer advice if warranted or asked but I would never point fingers and say “How could you?” I know all too well how he could. I am so sad this kid is gone at the top of his game and so unbelievably, way too soon. Shit happens and THIS? At 28? This is the shittiest of shit. Condolences to his family, friends and fans 😢

5) Just when you take great time, great care and great pains to plan and execute your next new look, someone comes along and steals it right from under your nose!! 

 

“Fuck you Sean! “

“Fuck you Sean! “

And so goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow 

                             ~Alan  

 

Dear Canada Blog # 54 April 18th 2018.

Up around 10a.m and hit the treadmill, followed by a bit of breakfast. I have admitted to you Dear Canada, that at times, I am, shall we say, “A bit scattered.” That is to say, I lose things. I could lose a shoe in mid-step and not notice ‘til I lost the other one and realized I am in my bare feet. But I have come to terms with it as part of my life. 

It hasn’t dawned on me yet...wait for it... 

It hasn’t dawned on me yet...wait for it... 


 So far however, generally speaking, I have landed lucky. That is to say, lots of times, things have turned out in my favour. Like for instance the time I had a large sum of cash in an envelope, on my way to the bank, and I stopped at my local golf course to see a pal. On the way back to my car I decided to hit a few balls on the driving range, but still had the envelope in my hand ( why? Fuck only knows) and so I sit the envelope with the wad of cash on a fence ( yes......A FENCE!!) and I proceed to hit balls. Yes Dear Canada, of course I then get in my car and drive away, leaving the envelope on the fence and I proceed to drive for a good 15 or 20 minutes only to FREAK, turn the car around, race to the golf course, run back to the range, and there it was, STILL sitting on the fence. Or how about more recently, receiving a Bottega wallet for my birthday, stopping by a pet store for cat and dog food, loading it from the shopping cart into my car, then driving all the way home only to realize my wallet with everything in it, including cash is still in the cart. I drive all the way back to the parking lot and there is the shopping cart still sitting all alone, untouched, with my wallet STILL in it. This particular tale however, gets better, for not long after that incident, I go to Nashville with Sam to record 31 with Johnny.

During a break for me, I say, “I’ll run out to pick up some supplies” and I drive to the nearest large grocery store, KROEGER’S, to pick up supplies, load them into the rental car, drive back to studio, work for at least an hour or two, before I write and sing new lyrics for Someday like this;

“SOMEDAY, YOU’LL BE SHEDDING YOUR TEARS TO CRY OVER ME

SOMEDAY, FUCK, MY WALLET!!!” 

And so there I am zooming back in my car to yet another parking lot, going through yet more shopping carts, for the same wallet, this time however, to no avail. So I go inside and there are a bunch of young staff milling around chatting; 

Me: “Excuse me, I have done something really dumb. I was wondering if....”  

Young woman; “Here’s your wallet.”  

Johnny had made a comment as I was dashing out of the studio. He said, “Well if it’s any consolation, you couldn’t have lost your wallet in a more honest part of Nashville.” He was so right. I offered the young girl a reward but she said it was a customer who had found it and brought it in. It certainly restores one’s faith in humanity when things like that happen. Travelling as much as I have over the years and still do, I have had the opportunity to return wallets and phones and cash and golf clubs etc to other “losers” ( my people 😂) and it gives me great joy to see that look on their faces of great relief, knowing they don’t have to start cancelling cards, replacing driver’s licences and shit..... 

“I just lost my pants! Cheers!”  

“I just lost my pants! Cheers!”  

I have  hundreds of stories like that and for those of you who may think it’s an age thing, think again, for this has been the story of my life since boyhood.

 “It seems that not only is my short term memory horrible, but my short term memory is horrible.”

The reason I am telling you this is because just prior to heading to the treadmill, I heard housekeeping outside my door. I decided I didn’t want service, just a few towels and check me off as done. So, I put the dead-bolt out on my door and stepped outside my room ( the dead-bolt of course preventing the door from closing, so as not to lock me out.) She gave me the towels and I headed back in, put them in bathroom and set off for the gym. I work out, then go eat. I had a leisurely, slow, lunch, then up to my room and.......you guessed it.......my door is STILL DEAD-BOLTED AND OPEN!!

“Hello, you need some cash? Go ahead, take mine, on the desk over there, see it? Yes, there. Oh! It’s a silver bracelet you are after, grab that one beside those credit cards. Passport? Take that leather knapsack, it’s in there!” 

Everything was STILL there, untouched, except of course for my pride, as once again, I felt like a complete “diddy.” But hey! genius has its price right? 😉😂

I headed over to Johnny’s hotel with Sean, to do our podcast. As I mentioned, these podcasts will be nothing more than you, the viewer, just sitting in on what would normally be a private conversation. No format. No structure. Just following where the conversation leads us. What an amazing character Johnny Reid is. I hesitate to say that anyone completely “makes it all on their own,” but Johnny Reid is a close as you’ll ever get to that. I know you will enjoy this podcast as the man reveals how he has managed to turn his life completely into his passion and his passion COMPLETELY into his life. The similarities Johnny and I share are uncanny, other than the fact that I am some 17 years his senior, our stories are like bookends.

Johnny being Johnny.

Johnny being Johnny.

The show tonight was a mirror image of last night, except for one beautiful moment, when during, “Wae Yer Family/Flower of Scotland,” a young girl, who is completely blind, wanted to be taken to Johnny because she could “feel” the music and was so moved by it, she couldn’t help herself. Johnny wrapped his arms around her and held her as we sang. He then motioned to me to come over and sit with them. I LOVE spontaneous moments on stage and so I did, although vocally our moment was coming rapidly to an end. Never fear, I broke into the second verse of Flower of Scotland and “Bob’s Yer Uncle” we ended beautifully and finished as we normally do.

My pal Jeff Liberty was at the show and I met with him and his pal Brent for a bite after the show. We then walked over to the Old Triangle for a pint. My head hit the pillow around midnight. You’re next Charlottetown. 

 

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~ Alan 

Dear Canada Blog #53 April 17th 2018

Woke up at 7:15 a.m. for an 8:15 lobby call as Sam and I headed out to do CTV morning television live, followed by a taped interview to run at supper time.  

My laminate was sitting on the desk in my room and although I don’t wear it, I still treasure what it stands for and I cannot help but be taken aback when I see the dates on it. Take a sec and slowly let your eye run from Feb 26 all the way to today and imagine yourself doing that. Pretty heavy huh?  

Warning*** Don’t try this at home kids. I am a trained professional. 😂 Plus, please remember MONCTON IS NOT IN NOVA SCOTIA!! 

Warning*** Don’t try this at home kids. I am a trained professional. 😂 Plus, please remember MONCTON IS NOT IN NOVA SCOTIA!! 

 I have nothing but total respect for my pal Johnny Reid for doing this; remember he is doing FULL shows each night and killing it. I KNOW what that takes, night after night, day after day, and it ain’t easy boys and girls. 😉👍

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Sam and I headed to CTV studios and did an interview with Kelly, followed by another interview with Maria Panopalis, for the dinner time broadcast. It was really sweet that Maria was a BIG fan from back in the day and had to let it out at the end of the interview. 🤗

John, our Warner rep, dropped us back off at hotel and we then had a breakfast together, Sam, Sean and I, before heading upstairs to get packed and move on. We were in for a surprise though, as our truck rental was dead. Battery had “baffed” it. We called CAA, who came and got us up and running but they suggested we go to Moncton via the airport again and pick up a new vehicle which we did. It set us back a few hours but they gave us a monster SUV which came in handy because of the torrential rain we had to endure all the way to Moncton, New Brunswick. We arrived there around 4pm.

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Moncton is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick and it lies at the geographic centre of the Maritime Provinces. The city has earned the nickname "Hub City" due to its central inland location in the region and its history as a railway and land transportation hub for the Maritimes. The French culture here in Moncton remains “loud and proud” and it gives Moncton a unique feel. 

Acadian Settlers. 

Acadian Settlers. 

Acadians, (French colonists), settled here in the 1670’s, gradually extending inland and reaching the site of present-day Moncton in 1733. The first Acadian settlers in the Moncton area established a marshland farming community and chose to name their settlement Le Coude (The Elbow). Moncton was not incorporated until 1855. Ironically it is named after a British officer, Lt. Col. Robert Monckton who had captured a nearby Fort Beauséjour, a century earlier.

Had a bite to eat with the lads prior to “putting money in the water meter in order to have a bath” 😂 Sorry I couldn’t resist.  

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Texted back and forth with Johnny Reid, who has agreed to do my podcast, FREW the Looking Glass with Alan Frew, sometime tomorrow. Those of you who have followed me faithfully on here, already know that I am logging podcasts that I will release starting in the fall. It is my intention to sit down with amazingly interesting and talented people, not to “interview” them in the classic sense, but to chat with them in the casual and unrestricted and uncensored sense. I have begun with the obvious, GLASS TIGER, and I hope to find out as much about them as you will (even though I am in it lol) and that can only come with capturing some of the amazing conversations we already have when no microphones or cameras are around. I am thrilled Johnny has agreed to do it. 

Headed over to the Moncton Casino for 8pm. Johnny was already on. Sometimes casino crowds can be somewhat laid back but this one was as lively a casino crowd as I have ever I have witnessed. Well done Moncton.

Brendan Behan 

Brendan Behan 

Headed with lads to a wee pub ironically named The Old Triangle (same as one in Halifax yet it’s not a franchise.) “The Auld Triangle" is a song, which was first performed publicly as a part of the play The Quare Fellow, by Irish Brendan Behan. The song was later made famous by Irish band, The Dubliners. The song is used to introduce the play, a story about the occurrences in a prison (in real life Mount Joy Prison, where Behan had once been lodged) on the day a convict is set to be executed. The triangle in the title refers to the large metal triangle which was beaten daily in Mountjoy Prison to waken the inmates ("The Auld Triangle goes Jingle Jangle").

Don Felder. 

Don Felder. 

Just before bed I recieved notice of an incoming summer concert we are doing near Edmonton. I noticed that Don Felder, of The Eagles, fame is headlining. I met Don on a solo performance I did as part of Music Under The Stars, at Casa Loma, in Toronto, in benefit of Canada’s Walk Of Fame. I sat with Don for a good couple of hours chatting, getting to know him and he is a lovely man. I watched his performance later that night of Hotel California and it was flawless. THAT SOLO!! Huh?  

Long Live Rock and Roll. 

Long Live Rock and Roll. 

Hit the pillow around 2am and it hit me back and knocked me out around 3.  

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~Alan  

 

 

 

 

Dear Canada Blog #52 April 16th 2018

What miserable weather. Damn!

Anyway, onward we went and unbelievably we experienced smooth flying the whole way, not a single glitch with our flight. We heard stories of flights being cancelled all over the place, yet AIR CANADA, came through for us big time. We even had enough time to relax in the lounge and take enjoy our regular scheduled flight at noon, getting us into Halifax Nova Scotia, bang on time at 3:30pm local time. 

Halifax, Nova Scotia.  

Halifax, Nova Scotia.  

Halifax is located within the traditional ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaq indigenous peoples,  known as Mi’kma’ki. The Mi'kmaq have resided in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island since prior to European landings in North America in the 1400s and 1500s to set up fisheries. The Mi'kmaq name for Halifax is K'jipuktuk, pronounced "che-book-took". The first permanent European settlement in the region was on the Halifax Peninsula. The establishment of theTown of Halifax, was named after the 2nd Earl of Halifax, in 1749.

One might think that people from Halifax would be known as, Halifaxens or Halifaxians but they are not, they are known as Haligonians. Something that still resonates to this day among Haligonians, is the pain they feel when they discuss a disaster that took place in the harbour here, back in December of 1917. The SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship carrying munitions, collided with the Belgian Relief vessel SS Imo, in "The Narrows" between upper Halifax Harbour and Bedford Basin. The resulting explosion, the Halifax Explosion, devastated the Richmond District of Halifax, killing approximately 2,000 people and injuring nearly 9,000 others. One can only imagine the scope of such an explosion for it to cause such devastation. The blast was the largest, man-made explosion, prior to the development of nuclear weapons, releasing the equivalent energy of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT.

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 The Halifax Explosion remains ingrained in the memories of Haligonians. 

We checked into the Lord Nelson Hotel and went downstairs to the restaurant for an early dinner with the guys, joined by our manager, Andrew Turner, who is out here for his dad’s birthday. Andrew is indeed a Haligonian, born and raised out here and he is bringing his parents to the show. We chatted GT business, before heading back up to my room for, yes you guessed it, a warm soak in the tub and it was in the tub that I got to thinking,“Why is it I like being in the tub so much?” Well now, of course I enjoy the warm, relaxing, feeling, but I am convinced there is another reason at play. That reason Dear Canada, is .....Money.

Oh, I can hear you saying,“Wha..? Come again? Money?” Yes, money. Now, of course we all pay our hydro bills, as part of our everyday consumption of water, and we do the same with the likes of our electricity and gas etc. When I was a boy however, it didn’t work that way. I was born in 16, Kirkshaws Ave, Coatbridge, a wee tin-can of a home not much bigger than what you would see in trailer parks. It had no heating in the winter and no air conditioning in the summer. They were called, Pre-Fabs, short for Prefabricated homes.

A prefabricated tin can. 

A prefabricated tin can. 

One had to depend on coal and blankets in the former and an electric fan, (if you could afford one) or a wee breeze coming through the window, in the latter. Here’s the killer though, your electricity and your hot water were........COIN OPERATED! Seriously, I shit you not.

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If you wanted a bath, you had to put coins in the meter to warm up the water in what we called the “immerser.” That however, was only the water heater, look out, if the telly was on and we were watching a big football match, when the electricity went off and left you powerless in the pitch black, for my father would go ape-shit.

“SIMMITS & DRAWERS,” he would yell. (Find yourself a Scot, Dear Canada, to translate that one for you;) As my dad searched for a match to light, in order to see if there were coins on the mantle above the fireplace, (which I might add, was the routine to keep a little stack on the shelf) he would grow progressively more agitated. The problem of course, was that forgetfulness or poverty would cause the pile to be consumed and not replaced and THAT would send him beyond ape-shit. Right about this time, I would know that I was about to get “the call.”

“JEEZUZ CHRIST, THERE’S NAE BLOODY COINS! AAAALLLLLAAAANNN! Yes, this was my call to action Dear Canada, for you see my dad knew that every now and again, a coin would slip out of a hand as it was in the process of being deposited into the meter. Coins would fall into the black hole of the little cubbie where the meter sat. Dad also knew his arm wasn’t long enough to reach down into that black hole to retrieve a coin. More importantly however, was the fact that he knew that if you HELD A SMALL BOY, BY HIS FEET AND LOWERED HIM DOWN THE HOLE, WHILE HAVING HIM HOLD A LIGHTED MATCH OR A LIGHTER, then coins could be readily retrieved. The hope of course was, that (a), you didn’t drop him and (b), he didn’t set fire to his hair or face while hanging upside down in a black hole with a flame in his hand. I always thought of it as a sort of “secret mission” which he knew excited me and my imagination and which he encouraged way more than the idea of me keeping a coin if by chance I found more than one, 😂

And now Dear Canada you know why I don’t take a warm tub of water for granted 😂 

The gig was pretty spectacular. Johnny is so beloved out here and these gigs have been sold-out for months. 5,000 people having a superb time. Our duet, and our rendition of Flower Of Scotland, had them on their feet. 

Afterwards we went for a beer to The Old Triangle Pub, where we got to meet our manager’s parents, Lynda and Howard, the sweetest couple, who reminded me so much of my own parents.

I received this cartoon in an email and decided to post it, but just as I was watching the last period, the lads did exactly as it instructs...

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The boys pulled off the victory. Win the next one and it’s game on. 

Headed back to hotel around midnight and my head was down by 1 a.m. I have television tomorrow morning with a lobby call for 8:15 a.m.  

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~ Alan.  

Dear Canada Blog #51 April 15th 2018

Really not much to tell you today Dear Canada as it was a day off and a travel home day. For the record I might add, a travel day, in the depths of winter hell😱😳😱  and yet, the calendar says that it’s April. This is just another testament to the fact that the weather has been insane all around the globe. 

“Today’s weather will be shitty with a good chance of more shitty later in the day.”

“Today’s weather will be shitty with a good chance of more shitty later in the day.”

The Blue and the Green.

The Blue and the Green.

I woke up at 9 a.m. to watch football (soccer) live from Scotland. Rangers vs Celtic, in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup. The pre-game hype of it, perhaps being a “contest,” was simply that, hype. Celtic soundly thrashed Rangers and maintained their hold on Scottish Football, period. It felt like boys against men and Celtic could easily have racked up more than the four goal margin of their victory. My Celtic pals have had a field day with it all, and of course, I would do exactly the same thing.😉

 

And then......the drive began. 

Kingston, Ontario is a city on the eastern end of Lake Ontario at the beginning of the St. Lawrence River. The city is midway between Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Kingston, was named the first capital of the United Province of Canada in 1841, although this was short-lived, ending in 1844. A normal journey from Kingston, Ontario to Toronto should take you about 2 hrs 20 mins or so, give or take what time normal traffic costs you. But “Not today Joséphine.” Today is going to take way longer.

This spring, (winter), storm is a monster and it’s wreaking havoc. Hey, I just realized that I  took writer’s privilege and “doctored” the old quip about Joséphine. The phrase is of course,“Not tonight Joséphine.” Are you familiar with it? If so, do you ever use it? It’s probably more of an older U.K. type, euphemism. I used to hear it a lot when I was young.

“Not tonight Jo, I have a splitting headache.” 

“Not tonight Jo, I have a splitting headache.” 

This phrase is the supposed response by Napoleon Bonaparte when declining sex with Empress Joséphine, but there is no evidence whatsoever that Napoleon ever uttered these words. There's certainly no printed record of them in any language in his lifetime. The earliest reference seems to be a 1911 recording of a song with that name, composed by Seymour Furth and sung by Ada Jones and Billy Murray.

Suffice to say my dear, “Joséphine,” that it was a “white knuckler” all the way, that required some serious road attention to avoid those who seem oblivious to the howling winds, the snow, the ice pellets freezing instantly to the windshields, and the treacherous, slippy, icy, conditions. There’s a name for those kind of drivers again, oh, what is it? Hmm, it’s on the tip of my tongue. Oh yeah, that’s it, of course, how could I forget? ASSHOLES! That’s what they’re called, they’re known as assholes. 

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“Look at me, I can do 200 in the snow!” 

“Look at me, I can do 200 in the snow!” 

What is it with some people? They go gunning past you at 120, 140 kms/hr or even more, as if it’s the July 1st/4th weekend and they cause all kinds of mayhem and havoc, which usually never ends well for some poor bastard. They are a nightmare. I can’t tell you how many cars we saw in ditches and I have no pity for them, but the problem is the poor buggers in the ditches are usually NOT them!! Or if it is them, they have some poor innocent with them, perhaps a spouse or worse yet kids. But it’s all too often some innocent driver that gets nailed by their stupidity, causing them to spin out of control and off the highway. Sean was driving our vehicle and did a great job. Well done Sean!

I started daydreaming about about a long hot soak in the tub. As you know from previous blogs it’s one of my favourite pastimes, which by the way, speaking of Napoleon, happened to be a not-so-guilty-pleasure of his also. His private secretary once wrote; His partiality for the bath he mistook for a necessity. He would usually remain in the bath two hours, during which time I used to read to him extracts from the journals and pamphlets of the day, for he was anxious to hear and know all that was going on. While in the bath, he was continually turning on the warm water, to raise the temperature, so that I was sometimes enveloped in such a dense vapour that I could not see to read, and was obliged to open the door.

Napoleon’s bath (I’m at the other side but the camera didn’t catch me.) 

Napoleon’s bath (I’m at the other side but the camera didn’t catch me.) 

 It wouldn’t be the first time I have nodded off in the tub only to be awakened by the fact that my balls are up around my spleen trying to find warmth from the cold water enveloping me....

“ALAN!!! HIT THE HOT DUDE!!” 

“ALAN!!! HIT THE HOT DUDE!!” 

Good news for us was that when we stopped at Sean’s parents house to pick up his car, his father insisted that we instead, take his big 4-wheel drive truck, making the remainder of our journey just that much safer and considerably less stressful.

Got home around 5pm and immediately headed for that warm soak. As I lay back in the warm water I had to once again get a handle on that fact that I was in my own tub, in my own washroom, in my own home and yet, this tour is ongoing. It’s kinda like a “pit-stop” in a car race.

Dinner, laundry and a repacking of my suitcase yet again, although this is the last time for this particular journey. Seven more shows to go. Glass Tiger doesn’t stop at the end of this however, not even close. We go into rehearsals to come out and see you guys for summer shows.

We will be back out there again soon. 

We will be back out there again soon. 

Got a text from Johnny telling me that he was going to stay out by the Toronto airport due to the fact that all the airlines are heavily affected by this storm. His flight is scheduled to go out about 3hrs prior to ours, so if he gets out, we’ll get out. And that was my day guys. I am all set and ready to head to Halifax.

And so goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow~Alan. 

Dear Canada Blog NUMBER 50!!! April 14th 2018

Well they weren’t kidding about the storm!! Do I really have to show this again?? Is this THREE blogs it has now appeared in? 

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Come on “Old Man Winter,” give us a friggin break. 

Yesterday it was plus 11 degrees in Ottawa, now it has plummeted and the storm looms.  

A THEN & NOW cake. 

A THEN & NOW cake. 

We walked from hotel around the corner to a pub-restaurant called Darcy McGee’s to attend a VIP brunch that a fan had purchased. Stella and her friend Kirsten had the prefect opportunity to get some uninterrupted Glass Tiger time in, over a quiet bite and some tea. She told a tale of how she rediscovered GT. As a young girl, she was a fan, but as years passed she drifted away, but of course always loved the classic songs. Then one day, just over a year ago, she suffered a stroke. Luckily it was not one that affected her profoundly but enough to make her aware of her mortality. During her time around the Heart & Stroke world, she saw me on the cover of their magazine and she read the article inside and was empowered by my story. This caused her to reaquaint with what we have been up to recently and now she is back “full throttle” as a fan, attending our last sold-out show in Montreal and planning to attend Massey Hall June 23rd.

Stella (beside me) and her friend Kirsten. 

Stella (beside me) and her friend Kirsten. 

After brunch we took photos and she presented us with a pretty heavy duty cake, symbolizing THEN & NOW. We took photographs together then said our goodbyes and set off.

 “Oh come on already!”

 “Oh come on already!”

The ice rain began not long after we left Ottawa. We moved permanently into the far right lane, slowed down, and limped all the way to Kingston

I managed to get an hour on the treadmill. Weather outside BRUTAL but the show went ahead and despite the awful weather the arena was jammed and audience was fantastic. 

In honour of this being the FIFTIETH BLOG! here are 50 things shooting into my head with no rhyme or reason;

1) Saddened by the death of Milos Forman director of two of my most favourites; AMADEUS & ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’s NEST.

2) My parents and uncles and aunts used to name pets after alcoholic beverages. (Seriously) If my dad shouted “Whiskey!!!” The dog would come running AND my mum would appear with a drink in her hand. 

3) I have worn a kilt only twice in my life. First time at my brother’s wedding when I was 9 years old, second time was in the, THIN RED LINE video.

4) The new version of MY SONG is a duet with GREAT BIG SEA’S, Alan Doyle.

5) I once tried the tequila diet. I lost five days, my house keys and a guitar.  

6) When you are older parents, naming the baby is a nightmare, due to the fact that you both keep coming up with names of people the other one hates. Happily though we solved it, we compromised and my daughter, Nefertiti is thriving.

7) I found your missing teeth. 

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 8) I still think Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would have been more relatable if one of the dwarfs had been named, “Boozy”

9) I secretly had a crush on Betty Rubble. 

10)  I once upon a time paid a scalper for a ticket to see Steve Martin at Maple Leaf Gardens.

11) Banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories per hour.

12) If you leave everything to the last minute, it will only take a minute.

13) I’ll take the Canadian for $500 please Alex 

   I rest my case. 

 I rest my case. 

14) I once did a fellow orderly up as a corpse on its way to the morgue and awaited a regular call from the girls on West 4 in our building. When we were all gathered nearby the “dead guy” I gave a code word and the corpse sat up! One spontaneous urination, four runaways and two slaps later....it was STILL funny. 

15) I attended two high schools; COATBRIDGE HIGH and HURON HEIGHTS HIGH.

16) Him; “Red wine?” Her; “Yes please.” Her; “Oh I love you!” Him; “Is that the wine talking?” Her; “I was talking TO the wine!” 

17) Do you know the warning signs of Stroke; F.A.S.T. Face drooping. Arm weakness. Slurred speech. Time to call 9-1-1. 

18) A gypsy, tea-leaves-reader, once told my mother when I was just five, that I would be a doctor. She sure came close.  

19) When my daughter was little I watched Toy Story 57 times. I even watched it twice with her.  

20) I am typing this in a warm tub with a cold Heineken. I fail to see the problem. 

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21) I have a pair of Joe Biden’s cuff-links.

22) Glass Tiger’s first tour bus was called, “Paradise”

23)  I once went to Afghanistan just to get away from family fighting!! 

24) Why isn’t Hiccup spelled Hic-cup? 

25) On the night before I won my first three Juno Awards, my mum said, “When are you going to get a real job?”

26) We used to tell people that our band was called, TOKYO because we heard there was a band from Japan called, “NEWMARKET.” 

27) Where the fuck is WALDO? No, seriously, where the fuck is he?  

28) Me meditating; “ Ohmmm, Ohmmmm, Ohmmmmz, Ohmmmmmzzz, Ohzzzz, Ozzzz, Zzzzzzzz, 

29) I once found a quarter in my son’s diaper. It came in handy when I had my next Bubbalicious craving. (yes, yes, I washed it!) 

30) DIAMOND SUN’S original title was African Sun.  

31) My middle name is Graham. Named after the neighbour across the street who took my sister in while I was being born at home.  

32) I once actually “yodelled” on a Swiss Alp. 

34) Just before scoring on me Mario Lemieux once yelled out, “NICE EYES!”

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35) On my solo album, HOLD ON the song YOU’RE THE ONE is the earliest song ever written by me to be recorded and published. 

36) I love Maltesers. 

37) Yes I have tasted dog biscuits. Who hasn’t?

38) Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. W.C. 

39) The tattoo on my neck says, “Know Thyself.”  

 

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40)  Coatbridge, my town of birth, was nicknamed, “Little Ireland.” 

41) I once ordered TWO Heineken’s in a bar in Monaco. My pal and I clinked our bottles and I was in mid-sip just as the barman said, “That will be $84.00 Monsieur.” 

42) My favourite Rod Stewart song is, EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY. 

43) Sausages.  

44) Nicknames I have had and to some “still” have; Frewzy, Chelsea, Bob, George, & Jerry. 

45) If I could be anything other than a musician it would be an actor.  

46) “Years are only days, holding the Seconds of each passing Hour.” A.F.

47) I wrote a book called; THE ACTION SANDWICH (a six-step recipe to success doing what you’re already doing.) 

48) I have NEVER eaten a deep fried Mars Bar. 

49) My wages for opening up for Boy George and Cuture Club back in 1984 was $20.00 but that was U.S. I might add! 😂

50) You’re next HALIFAX!  

Goodnight Dear Canada until tomorrow ~Alan  

Dear Canada Blog #49 April 13th 2018.

Holy shit, 5 a.m. comes fast when you begin your sleep at 1 a.m. I am super-tired. 

Gate number “Holy shit, how far?”

Gate number “Holy shit, how far?”

We thought we were in plenty of time entering the airport one hour pre-flight, no carry-on luggage and already armed with boarding passes on our phones. Wrong!! The airport was a zoo, with everything taking three times as long as it should, and so by the time we reached the security section of the lineup we had 15 mins to make our flight. I took a deep breath and said, “Ah, no problem Al, we have fifteen minutes yet.” Famous last words. And so by the time we cleared the x-ray machines, we had about 4mins and counting. Off we set, at a brisk pace and looking at our boarding passes, we both commented on how unusual the lettering and number of our gate seemed. GATE B1C. Not gate B1. Not Gate 1C but gate B1C. Noting that we had never heard of such a thing, we were sadly about to find out why. For Dear Canada, what actually happens when you are given a ticket for Gate B1C is.....you get your ticket, you line up, you go through security and then....you walk one third of the way from Toronto to Ottawa and I guess they pick you up in a plane when it swoops down to the side of the road to nab you. I mean HOLY SHIT West Jet what is that? We walked and walked and walked, took an escalator, followed by an escalator, then walked, then jumped on a moving walkway, an escalator, then walked, walked, stopped, caught a breath, escalator, walked and finally there it is ......another moving walkway, an escalator, a walk and then... .. RUN!!!

Al Connelly in full stride.... 

Al Connelly in full stride.... 

We’re now at -5 minutes and counting. So race and fast walk, a quick jog, a stop, a walk slow, a quick sprint, and escalator and finally, GATE B1C appears before us like an oasis to a wee bloke with a Glasgow thirst. And so, panting and puffing we made it to the desk where it’s obvious the attendants at the desk had recognized my name and were expecting me, (does this mean we didn’t have to kill ourselves getting there?) anyway, she gives me a welcoming smile and says, “How are you feeling?” and I know she means from the stroke I suffered, (I get that every now and again from airline staff who recognize my name on the list and who may be fans of GT.)  So I jokingly said to her, “Hang on, I might be having another one here at your desk after that walk!” Seriously West Jet that should be a shuttle ride, you have got to fix that.😱

Morning television. 

Morning television. 

Al and I arrived in Ottawa and were met by our Warner Music representive called Mary and we immediately went to the CTV studios to do an interview on breakfast tv. We had a full day of promo with more radio interviews which didn’t end until a final CBC one which ended at 2:30 p.m.

Ottawa, Canada’s Capital city. 

Ottawa, Canada’s Capital city. 

Got back to hotel and tried to nap but as I am sure you guys know, sometimes you are just so tired you cannot nap. Your brain just won’t let you and after a futile attempt to nod off, I gave up and decided to read a bit and write a little. 

I stumbled across the news, and was deeply saddened by the recent death of former World Champion Darts player, Eric Bristow. Eric was ranked World No.1 by the World Darts Federation a record six times and he was a five-time World Champion. Bristow died on 5 April 2018, after suffering a massive heart attack. Years ago when Eric was World Champion, he came over to Canada on a very well-paid, promotional tour and one of the stops on that tour, was Newmarket, the old home town of Glass Tiger. Now I have loved darts since childhood. Sam also took the game up years ago and, just for the record, he still plays regularly on a local team. I haven’t played since my stroke because my right arm is still a bit wonky but plan on trying it again soon. Anyway, back in the day, Eric Bristow’s sponsors got wind of GT hailing from Newmarket and so they invited us to play an exhibition match against Eric. Now if you fancy yourself as a golfer, just imagine having to play one on one with Rory McIlroy;  if you fancy yourself as a hockey player,  imaging going up against Conner McDavid. You get the picture right? To say we “played” against Eric is stretching it, he PLAYED, we sort of “participated.” He destroyed us both in mere minutes and although I don’t remember exactly how Eric finished off the game between him and Sam, I certainly DO remember my demise.

The “Champ.”

The “Champ.”

 

He showboated, to the delight of the crowd. He left himself needing 40 by which to win the game, and if you know darts, this simply means, he would normally just go for, and almost certainly hit, a DOUBLE 20 and it’s game over, but noooooooo. Eric gets down on his knees and finishes off our match by hitting DOUBLE 10 and again DOUBLE 10.  “Oh come on man!! Really?” I said. Of course the place erupted, as did I, Eric was just a delight to watch play the game but now sadly he is gone too soon.

Stop the action. Yup, treble 20. Ok, as you were.  

Stop the action. Yup, treble 20. Ok, as you were.  

Trivia note; in the video for I’M STILL SEARCHING our director, Don Allan, wanted a scene whereby a dart is thrown at a board hitting the “treble 20.” He explained he needed it to happen fast because he wanted it in the video in slow-motion and so in order to achieve this, he had to run the film (yup! these are the days of film) super-fast, and very costly. He asked me if I thought I could nail it. “Of course,” I said, cockily. Sure enough I took a dart first-time and nailed it.😱😂 You Don’t see me throw it in the video, but now you know.😉

Show was great. The theatre area in the arena was small and the audience felt like they were right there with you, close and loud. Our friend Davey Lawlor and his family attended the show, Davey is a co-writer on WAE YER FAMILY and so I dedicated the song to him. Johnny and I killed it and I got a lovely thank you from Davey later when we visited and had a beer together. 

Two “laddies” sharing a song. 

Two “laddies” sharing a song. 

We have been told there is a massive ice and snow storm bearing down on this region. We have a VIP brunch coming up with a woman who purchased it from our website VIP packages and so we will join her around noon tomorrow for a bite before heading along the highway to Kingston.  

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow ~Alan  

Dear Canada Blog #48 April 12th 2018

Woke up in my own bed. A little strange again I must admit, my brain trying to figure out why I am home, yet still on the road. As you can see my blogs are getting a little behind simply due to the fact I am getting tired. My next blog may just be a shot of me snoozing, standing up, (which wouldn’t be the first time.) Its okay though that I am a bit behind because I can tell that many of you read my blogs at your leisure and not in any sequence which is the way I intended it to be knowing that there will be close to 60 of them by the time I am done. 

Okay so here we go. 

Here I am, coming in tied for 3rd place in my high school championships. 

Here I am, coming in tied for 3rd place in my high school championships. 

Quick bite then went for a swim. My place of thought and solace. Human swimming has been recorded since prehistoric times, and the earliest records of swimming date back to Stone Age cave paintings, from around 7,000 years ago. It has been a saviour for me, especially in my ability to recover from my stroke. I love it......oh yes, and at times I hate it.......but mostly.....I need it. 

Late lunch after sorting out my suitcase and I was off again, driving alone in my own car, I headed to Oshawa. Those of you who are following each blog will know that I just played Oshawa two nights ago, solo, with my own band. Tonight though, the Johnny Reid, REVIVAL TOUR, hits the Oshawa Community Centre and we are all back at it with show #36!! Incredible to think this began all the way back on February 24th, in Sydney, BC. Road-life is not for the faint of heart but we are so used to it now that it’s just second-nature to us and our patterns, whether alone or around each other reflect this. The stamina required is huge, the willingness to get along with others, mandatory. The ability to handle the solitude of hotel room after hotel room is a must. And just for good measure, it helps to have a sense of humour😂. 

The road can “mess with your head.” I wish I had a sense of humour. 

The road can “mess with your head.” I wish I had a sense of humour. 

Traffic along the infamous 401 highway, was as usual, brutal, though not surprising since I was hitting it at rush-hour. When I arrived at the arena, the lads were already there and without any further ado we readied ourselves to attend our last meet and greet with the Investors Group. My buddy, Stephen Butchard, for whom I performed a solo gig the other night, was in charge of this one. It was a double-whammy for he required us to meet about 30 people in a lounge area, followed by popping up to a private box to meet a smaller group of about a dozen. Meet and greets and VIP packages are such a common part of artist/fan relations now, that it has become the norm. Johnny, for example, does a meet & greet prior to every performance for about 100 fans. Some bands even allow huge VIP packages that have fans sitting side-stage. There was an hilarious incident recenty in Las Vegas with Elton John. Did you see it? Elton, (who desperately needs the money I am told, 😉😂) had a setup whereby a group of fans, for a price, could gather around him at his piano onstage as he played a song. It has gone viral and ya can see it online. Here’s Elton, banging away on the piano singing SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR FIGHTING and a fan who is close enough to touch him, keeps trying......TO TOUCH HIM! lol And so Elton’s singing his lyrics while telling the fan to “fuck off” in the middle of the words; “Oh, don't give us none of your aggravation, fuck off, We had it with your fuck off discipline. Oh, fuck off, Saturday night's for fuck off fighting Get a little fuck off in.”

Elton caught here finishing the word “off” from the sentence, “FUCK OFF!” live from Fuckoffville in nineteen eighty fuckoff six. 

Elton caught here finishing the word “off” from the sentence, “FUCK OFF!” live from Fuckoffville in nineteen eighty fuckoff six. 

Then he storms off stage, seething and cursing. Here for me though, comes the BEST part. He returns to the stage and berates the audience with a, “YOU FUCKED IT UP.......but then gets back behind the piano and plays, DISNEY’S............THE CIRCLE OF LIFE😂😂😂 Man you gotta love show business. That’s classic. 

After our VIP, Meet & Greet we headed back to dressing room. My niece and her husband were in attendance and visited with us back stage. Also backstage, our agent from The Feldman Agency, Tom Kemp and his boss (and our original, first agent) Vinnie Cinqemanni dropped by to say hello and wish us well. 

The shows seem to truly be ramping up as we head into this last “home stretch” of 9 shows. We can see the finish line which brings with it, a sense of euphoria, (although, as always, when you work and travel as an ensemble and as close and intensely as this has been, I know there will also be a sense of sadness when it ends.) 

After the show Sam and Al followed me home to leave my car back in my own driveway. I then jumped in with them and Sam dropped the two of us off at an airport hotel in order for us to catch a very early morning flight to our nation’s capital, Ottawa. I am going to do television and radio with Al tomorrow all day, beginning with breakfast television on CTV.

We sat in lobby bar and had a nibble and a cold beer. Hit the pillow 1 a.m.  

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow~Alan  

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Dear Canada Blog #47 April 11th 2018.

Had trouble sleeping. Didn’t shut it down until 4a.m. but once again the eyes opened about four hours later.😳

Checked out and headed in my own vehicle alone to Peterborough, Ontario. The home of the infamous “incident” 😂 wait for it, it’s coming. 

Peterborough is known as the gateway to the Kawarthas, "cottage country", a large recreational region of the province. It is named in honour of Peter Robinson, an early Canadian politician who oversaw the first major immigration to the area. 

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Peterborough at dusk. 

Pre-European’s, First Nations groups probably entered into the area across Bering Sea, through Alaska, millennia ago (exact dates unknown). Woodland Natives inhabited the area followed by Iroquois and Mississaugas. 

Peterborough was incorporated as a town in 1850, with a population of 2,191, and as a city in 1905, with a population of about 14,300. The nickname, “The Electric City" was bestowed upon Peterborough, due to the fact it was the first town in Canada to use electric streetlights.

I hit town around 2:30 p.m. and grabbed myself some lunch, before heading to venue and hanging out backstage. I was alone since the lads had gone to their homes last night and didn’t need to check out of a hotel at all today. 

Approaching this arena I had a flashback to when Glass Tiger did it’s first major headline tour and it was insane. Thousands of teenage, girls just losin’ it. Agents and managers and our record company, setting up this & that at magazines and radio. Meet this guy and shake hands with THAT woman, for she runs the radio station and.... “We’re gonna make ya stars boys!” and.........as I pull into the parking lot, my mind can smell the smells and taste the tastes of when we first played there many, many, years ago.

“The album that launched a million teenage tears.” 

“The album that launched a million teenage tears.” 

Arenas may all look the same, but eventually each one’s individual identity shows up and comes back to you and you just “know” you’ve played it before. How many times? Now that I can never tell you, but I know when I have been there at least once. Of course I also remember being in Peterborough when we had ....the “incident.” 😳 It’s coming! It’s coming. 

First rule of “chillin,” learn to sleep anywhere. Is THAT Stanley Cup still just a dream? lol 

First rule of “chillin,” learn to sleep anywhere. Is THAT Stanley Cup still just a dream? lol 

Chilled in dressing room until guys arrived and we readied ourselves for the meet and greet and by now Dear Canada, you totally know the routine as well as I do. Welcome everyone, line up, click click click, sign, sign, small talk, and .....we’re done.  

Show was flawless. Johnny knocked it out of the park as, I might add, did we. A wee woman kept waving a Glasgow Rangers scarf at me and like Pavlov’s dog, I just had to have it on me and so she brought it to me and I put it around my neck.

In a jiffy it was over and it was, “Thank you Peterborough....thank you....Peter......borough? Can’t be can it? Weren’t you told you’d never play that town again? You know? Because of the ....incident?

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It was a warm summer’s evening and Glass Tiger hit the stage as headliners at a Peterborough festival outdoors. The woman in charge of the event, the one responsible for paying us, had already been a bit of a pain in the arse early on, just flaunting her self-importance whenever she could. At one point we had a meet and greet for a radio station and contest winners but she decided that she and her friends were much more important and she just butted in, jumping the queue, moving people aside because, “she was someone important” instead of being a gracious host to all and making sure those contest winners were the ones of importance. She then clashed with our manager at the time, Rod and refused to pay him prior to us setting foot on the stage which is normal procedure. A client usually pays a band a deposit, then hands a balance over just prior to going on. So now she and the manager are at loggerheads. She then wanted to “intro” us by getting on the microphone but we didn’t want that opting instead to go on unannounced and let our taped intro do the job. Now her nose is out of joint.

NOW....comes the good part. I knew it was a family show. I see kids and as a dad, I remind myself, “Kids in audience, no sweary words!” and that’s usually it. HOWEVER, on this particular night it was hot, and sweaty, and loud, and happening, and I was totally into my performance and ........truth be told, it was well past 11pm, and my brain was in complete auto-pilot, and during my having fun with the audience in the encore as they try to copy what I sing to them (I deliberately make it harder and harder) I lost my train of thought, saying to the audience, “Whatever you do, Don’t give up your fucking day jobs!” They howled but .....it dawned on me that I had cursed and so I paused for a moment then came out with, “Oops! Sorry everyone, that just slipped out.” But, Dear Canada, I am from Scotland, and we have a biting sense of humour. And sweary words don’t scare us. We use curse words affectionately 😂 and so I said, “Sorry Guys,  I know there are kids here...(pause) ....ach, whit the hell, they should be in their fuckin’ beds anyway!”

Sweary words don’t scare us..we’re Scottish! A Glasgow parking ticket.😂

Sweary words don’t scare us..we’re Scottish! A Glasgow parking ticket.😂

Now trust me, I had sureveyed that audience, and knew that most little ones were indeed gone or conked out on blankets. And the audience totally got the humour in it....all except, Miss Puff ‘n’ Stuff side-stage with the cheque in her hand. What a scene when we came off. You would have thought I had murdered the kids instead of saying a curse word in front of them. She was a NIGHTMARE! All hell broke loose. She refused to pay us. She ordered our bus off the grounds. Simply put, she was an asshole. Next day she gives an interview to the local paper and tells the story of the incident, embellishing our behaviour, saying how uncooperative we were all day, and she lies her friggin’ head off then goes on the record as saying, “Mark my words. THEY will never work in this town again!” Ooooooooh, missus, really? I think Peterborough is a bit bigger than that my dear. I got my back up and I called their local radio stations and gave interviews rebutting her lies, making sure the people of Peterborough knew exactly what had happened.

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So thank you Peterborough for having us back! I think we all got over that massive front-page shock of me dropping the F-bomb. And listen. I am done swearing. Seriously. I am cured.  It’ll never, EVER, happen again. Trust me. It will.... not....ever..... happen......again...just as sure as there’s shit in a fucking goat!  

Drove back to my own house and after a warm cup of tea, it’s bed by 1 a.m. Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow.       ~Alan

 

Dear Canada Blog #46 April 10th 2018

So let’s see.....today was a day off. Today was not a day off. How so? Well on the Johnny Reid-Glass Tiger calendar, today was indeed, a day off. For me however, I had a Frew gig. (No rest for the wicked.)

Woke up around 9am and readied myself for my drive. I decided to downsize my suitcase as I am now in the “home stretch” of this tour and don’t need the huge case that I have been travelling with since February. 

We are into the “Home Stretch.”  

We are into the “Home Stretch.”  

My gig tonight is in a place called Oshawa, Ontario, a small town, population 159,458, Lake Ontario shoreline, approximately 60 kilometres east of Toronto. The name Oshawa originates from the Ojibwa term, aazhaway, meaning "the crossing place.” Oshawa’s modern roots are tied to the automobile industry, specifically the Canadian division of General Motors known as General Motors Canada. 

Oshawa.  

Oshawa.  

Oshawa is one of those areas that I have frequented as a musician since back in my bar days of the late 70’s. There was such a vibrant music scene in those days and Oshawa had no shortage of great talent come through its doors.  

I was in a band called Onyx and this is one of the only photo’s I have from that time in my life. This shot was was taken not far from Oshawa, in Cobourg, on the beach. The head in the bottom right corner, is the drummer for ONYX, and if not mistaken, Wayne Parker, took this photo. 

“When I was a boy, All piss ‘n’ vinegar. Life spoke of simple things.”  

“When I was a boy, All piss ‘n’ vinegar. Life spoke of simple things.”  

To say it was a great band would be stretching it somewhat. Talent of course was there, but that particular line-up would never have made the leap required to enter the big leagues. That said, it was all a necessary part of growing up, it’s how I “cut my teeth” on the live scene. It was like an apprenticeship. It helped me hone my skills certainly as a singer and frontman and “somewhat” as a songwriter, and it got me on the road to my 10,000 hour rule which I probably completed some 30 years ago!! I probably have 200,000 hrs and counting under my belt by now. In case some of you are wondering what I am going on about, there is a theory, closely linked with writer Malcolm Gladwell that it takes about 10,000 hours of "deliberate practice" to become world-class in any field. So about 6-10 years to get great at something, I am sure there is some merit to this theory but I think it would certainly vary from person to person, depending on their internal skills and of course a wide array of other factors. Regardless I had my 10,000 hrs in many moons ago.

How many hours?  

How many hours?  

“Pay up buddy!” 

“Pay up buddy!” 

It’s interesting how I always had my eye on “young” Al Connelly as a guitar player. I brought him into ONYX at the latter part of our existence and then when we broke up and the band that was to go on to become GLASS TIGER formed, I brought him into that also. (You can pay me later Al. 😂) 

Got to The Regent Theatre in Ottawa for a 4pm soundcheck. Then took my band to dinner at an Italian restaurant called AVANTI. Food was great, staff were courteous and my troops were a cheap date tonight because none of us wanted any alcohol lol.

My gig was primarily a speaking engagement first and foremost with music as a bonus. It was an event organized by someone who is becoming a pal. Stephen Butchard, from the Investor’s Group, is a fellow Brit, (a “scouser”) Do you need a translation?  Scouse is an accent and dialect of English found primarily in the Metropolitan county of Merseyside, and closely associated with the city of Liverpool. The word is derived from the dish lobscouse, which is basically lamb stew that was popular among sailors at the seaports of Liverpool. Inhabitants of Liverpool are more often described by the colloquialism Scousers. The word 'scouse' is often used an adjective meaning related to Liverpool. Hence, The Beatles, were scousers. 

Four “scousers.”

Four “scousers.”

So Stephen put on this event for around 400 guests and my job was to give them an evening of storytelling and music. Done!  

It’s funny to me to know that public speaking ranks right up there as a number one human fear and in many cases, DEATH, ranks number two!! As Jerry Seinfeld says, “This means that there are actually people out there who would rather be in the casket, than giving the eulogy”.😂 Strange, but obviously true.  

I decided since there were lots of entrepreneurs in the audience to focus on the notion of BELIEF in self and in NEVER GIVING UP ....EVER. I told two stories that basically span my lifetime; one from my childhood, regarding my belief that I would go to Canada, even although it was never in my parents volcabulary that we were going to Canada. The other, is the story of my involvement in the writing of the song, I BELIEVE, for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the end result of which, was a massive, glorious, hit song, that captured a nation, while in fact the journey to get there, was nothing short of a professional nightmare requiring every ounce of “never give up.....ever,” that I could muster.

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Stephen also allowed me, “free reign” to have a laugh with them, which I would never turn down, so I also had them howling in their seats. It’s been scientifically proven that laughter is good for your health & well being. Releases stress, lowers blood pressure, enhances brain function, helps you sleep and so much more. Who doesn’t love a good laugh? 

The evening was a monstrous home run. We also raised $3800 for the Heart & Stroke foundation by auctioning off a guitar, upon which I wrote the lyrics to I BELIEVE. All in all, a brilliant night all around.  

I headed to a nearby hotel and slumped into bed.  

I bid you adieu. Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow.           ~Alan  

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“Button it! And get to sleep!”  

Dear Canada Blog # 45 April 9th 2018.

Check out was noon but hotel staff were kind enough to store our bags while we went for lunch at WALDO’S in the “Market District”of London. The food was excellent and I have no hesitation in recommending it.  

The drive to Hamilton was a painless 1hr 40mins and since we had no hotel requirements ( we are driving home after show ) we went straight to the venue and hung out in our dressing room backstage.  

Hamilton, Ontario. 

Hamilton, Ontario. 

Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. An industrialized city, nicknamed, “Steeltown” it has a population of 536,917, and a metropolitan population of 747,545. During the War of 1812, British regulars and Canadian militia defeated invading American troops at the Battle of Stoney Creek, fought in what is now a park in eastern Hamilton. 

As a musician, I have a long history with Hamilton. Back in my early days it had some of the toughest bars, filled with the toughest humans, any band could have thrust upon them as their audience. If I said there were many nights of absolute bedlam and mayhem I would be lying, due to the fact that EVERY NIGHT was absolute bedlam and mayhem. Hells Angels, drunken steelworkers, gangs of musclemen dudes, The “Parkdale Boys,” you name it, it was sheer terror.

“Let’s play Highway To Hell....next set!!” 

“Let’s play Highway To Hell....next set!!” 

 “Let’s just say it’s not the fastest game in the world.”

 “Let’s just say it’s not the fastest game in the world.”

Now this is the 70’s, and there were no fancy high tech video games as of yet. Pac Man wasn’t even invented for goodness sake and in fact, Pong ( google THAT one kids, lol ) was considered THE high tech video game of the day 😂 and it was only a simple two- dimensional paddle game created by a man called Allan Alcorn for the Atari company. Remember what it felt like to play it? How long it took after you played your shot for it to reach your opponents paddle and come back to you? It was like “ping” ....take a bite of your club sandwich, down a coke and...”pong”.....get a dime out, call home, speak to your mum....”ping”...go for a pee, wash your hands, fix your hair and...”pong”...yes kids welcome to the world of the 70’s!!! 

“See that guy over there? says the giant grizzly-bear-man on the pinball machine. It was obvious he wasn’t talking to anyone else but me. “What guy,” I answered. Without taking his hands off the paddle-buttons on each side of the machine he motioned with his head,“THAT guy!” I looked over to see what was basically a giant head, attached to giant shoulders, no neck, and a chest the size of my little Corvair car, sitting holding court with a bunch of men that looked like “alien grave robbers.” His face was covered in gouges and scars that criss-crossed along his cheeks and chin and forehead. “Yeah, that guy, said the pinball monster. That guy is THE TOUGHEST GUY IN ALL OF HAMILTON.” Admiration is not what was tickling my sphincter at that precise moment. “Really?,” i mustered up ( should I have said,“That’s nice?) “Yeah, he just got out of jail this morning. He bit a guy’s ear, clean off, right here in this bar.” “That’s nice,” WHAT? Now I say it?? “Yeah he did 3 months but you know what else he did?” Oh, bliss, I can’t wait to hear what else the giant creature from the Black Lagoon did, to the man who’s ear he removed with his teeth!  “What?” I mustered............  “HE KEPT IT!” “Kept what?” I asked. “He kept the dude’s ear.....Still has it!” Well now...isn’t that special? 😳😳

 “Ok, so I bit a guy’s ear off, so what?”

 “Ok, so I bit a guy’s ear off, so what?”

He, as I said, was playing pinball. A game that Wayne and I adored but could not always afford to play. It was a big deal if we had some extra quarters in our pockets to play and it was an even BIGGER DEAL if we managed to rack up some great scores that would give us “free” games. “Hey man, I gotta pee real bad, says King Kong to me. Slide in here and keep my game going for me.” Oh shit, is it not time to back on and play our next set? “Yeah sure, ok,” I said, as I slid in there and the giant removed his hands from the buttons controlling the flappers inside the machine. All I could think was, “ Don’t fuck this up! Don’t lose this ball.” But here’s the killer. When lurch said, “ I gotta pee real bad.” I thought as anyone would, that it meant, “I gotta pee real bad...IN THE TOILET!” But no, Dear Canada, you’d be wrong. He simply whipped out his trump and peed where the back of the machine and the wall met, never skipping a beat, as nonchalant as you’d like, still talking away. “Hey, you’re good at this!” he said cheerfully as he continued urinating for all who cared to witness. He finished his business, and made the motion for me to hand over the paddles once again. “Well I gotta go now, I said. We have another set to do.” “Great, says the monster. You guys fucking rock! All the boys here love you. Let me know if anyone bothers you. We’ll talk to them. They won’t bother you.” Ahhhhhh Hamilton, the memories, Hopefully tonight, everyone will keep their ears on.😂

Meet the toilet. 

Meet the toilet. 

Had a meet and greet with about 30 clients from the Investor’s Group. You guys know the routine by now. Short speech, photo’s, autographs, little mingle time, then back to the dressing room to dress and warm up my voice.  

Beautiful theatre and sold out as usual for Johnny. What a great, loyal, following he has.  

Hit the stage at our usual time and rocked out. Audience LOVED the duet between Johnny and I on “Wae Yer Family,” but they are starting to go crazy when we lead into Flower Of Scotland. Johnny dedicated that moment to a guy called, “Tam” who was his football ( soccer) coach as a lad when he first came over from Scotland. 

Mine of Sam’s brothers and one of Al’s sons visited us backstage to say hello but we got out of there well before the crowd rushed from Johnny’s remaining show and on the highway. I was at my own front door and in my bed by 11:30pm. Tomorrow is a scheduled day off for the tour, BUT....I am doing a private gig of performance and speaking, in Oshawa, Ontario.  

So Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow~Alan  

Surveying my playground.❤️ 

Surveying my playground.❤️ 

 

Dear Canada Blog #44 April 8th 2018.

Didn’t fall asleep until about 4am, yet was awake by 9:30am. Just the way it goes sometimes, yeah? All good. Went downstairs and had breakfast with my E.A. Sean before heading back upstairs to gather up all my stuff and close the suitcase.  

Got an hour to myself to watch the early tee off’s at the Masters, knowing that by the time I get to London, Ontario, I will be able to kick back and watch the finale of it.  

On the road by 12.30pm heading to London.  

BIG London.

BIG London.

Affectionatley known as “Little London” (with BIG LONDON being over in the UK) London, Ontario, and the Thames, were named in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe who proposed the site for the capital of Upper Canada. The first European settlement was between 1801 and 1804 by Peter Hagerman. Although lest we forget, historical findings have shown us, that prior to European contact in the 18th century, the present site of London, was occupied by several Neutral, Ozawa and Ojibwa villages. Archaeological investigations in the region indicate that aboriginal people have resided in the area for at least the past 10,000 years. Now THAT, is amazingly powerful in its history, passion, honour and energy and such a powerful reminder that we, (those of us whose ancestors had to make the journey) are but guests here with you Dear Canada.

“little” LONDON.  

“little” LONDON.  

 Since the village was founded in 1826 and incorporated in 1855, London has grown to be the largest Southwestern Ontario municipality and Canada's 11th largest metropolitan area, having annexed many of the smaller communities that surrounded it. London is close to my heart for numerous reasons; I have been frequenting it since my bar days of the late 70’s and always loved the crowds there, we were always well received. In more recent times, I had my accountant, my business manager and my book publisher residing there, causing me to spend copious amounts of time in London. I no longer have those business connections but London, as a fan base for Glass Tiger remains strong and I feel connected to it. 

I read an interesting comment on my FB page regarding my statement that as soon as this Johnny Reid Tour is over, the “whole” Glass Tiger family will be together again, not just three of us as we are here, on this tour. But in the photo I posted of that GT line-up, it was Tom Lewis and not Wayne who was in the shot, and it’s Tom, who will do all of 2018 with us.

A loyal and faithful GT fan made the comment, that without Wayne in the line-up, it cannot be “whole.” Now that’s an interesting notion, and worth a deeper look. So let’s see......

GLASS TIGER 1981-still going strong. 

GLASS TIGER 1981-still going strong. 

First of all, I respect that comment, all of you are of course welcome to your opinions of what constitutes Glass Tiger for you. And for the record, let’s get it straight from the horse’s mouth, GLASS TIGER to me, IS......Wayne Parker, Sam Reid, Al Connelly and your’s truly. Plain & simple. This of course, is with all due respect to our drummer of some 20 years, Chris McNeill, who is as close to us as anyone can be and who is regarded today as one of us. But the notion of FOUR remains loyal, to the fact that it has been the four of us, who have been together through it all since DAY ONE, through the “thick and thin” and almost, the “trench-warfare,” of dealing with life as a recording, promoting and touring band. The hundreds of thousands of miles travelled. The dealings with, agents and managers and record companies and promoters and publishers ....the leaving behind of our families and friends, especially our children. THAT’S what the four of us have done together NOT for 31 years but closer to 40!! (Longer even than that for Wayne, Al and myself as we were in a band together prior to joining Reid and Hanson.) This is how you build a legacy. 

There are some, who occasionally bring up the strange notion, that without Michael Hanson (the original drummer) Glass Tiger is not “Glass Tiger.” Conversely, in juxtaposition to that view, and equally strange, we have gone through professional situations, whereby a promoter has me contracted to perform solo, fronting my own band, at an event and they feel they have “Glass Tiger” and promote it as such, and nothing I or anyone says can dissuade them from that opinion. It’s a sort of, “We have the voice, so therefore we have tha band,” kind of view. It’s frustrating to say the least. 

So here it is FROM ME, here is my view on how it really sits; and I would trust that my seat on all of this, is......well, it’s front row 😉

THE FREWBAND rocking out on 80290Rewind.

THE FREWBAND rocking out on 80290Rewind.

The reality of Glass Tiger today, is sort of multi-layered for me, even more so than for the other guys, simply by the fact that I have a solo career intertwined in all of this. The reason that this is significant, is due to the fact that three members of my band (The FREWBAND) have also been long serving players for Glass Tiger; Let’s start with drums. Michael was the original drummer and yes he was a key part in that initial success out of the gate but think about this, from the time we clicked in 1986, he drummed for GT, for only 2 years. He was gone amicably by 1988, that’s THIRTY YEARS ago guys,! 3-0! So if that’s the combo of GT you’ve been living with in your “day to day” since 1988 then I’ve got news for you.....,I think ya can let it go now😂😂😂. 

Glass Tiger with drummer Randall Coryell for the filming on the video, ANIMAL HEART.

Glass Tiger with drummer Randall Coryell for the filming on the video, ANIMAL HEART.

Next came two more drummers, Jim Scotland and Randall Coryell, both excellent drummers, but strictly “hired guns.” Then around 20 years ago or so, we landed Chris and never looked back. He is a “maestro” behind the drum kit and I cannot imagine having any other drummer in my life. He has been not only the drummer for Glass Tiger but also for the FREWBAND for almost half of my entire career. 

Family. Wayne, Chris, Sam, Carm, me and Al.

Family. Wayne, Chris, Sam, Carm, me and Al.

Wayne Parker is THE bass player for Glass Tiger, of that there is no doubt. Wayne however has an important business he runs and has felt over the last two years that he wishes to dedicate his efforts to that business. Meanwhile Tom Lewis, who has been in THE FREWBAND some 17 years or so, slots in for Wayne, and for me when I look to my right and see Tommy there, it feels absolutely normal. Carmela, we have known even longer. She was with Glass Tiger as far back as 1989 and rejoined GT and joined THE FREWBAND some 6 years ago. And so, once again, whether on a GT stage or a Frew stage, she is a major part of my musical family. Now, all opinions are valid. If you live in the 1986 version of GT that’s fine. Conversely if you see GT and Wayne is not playing bass causing you to feel it’s not “your idea of GT” that too is fine. To me however, it’s a legacy of years and years of working with these great players and they are ALL family to me. When I bring my own band out to perform the 80290 Rewind Show and I have the aforementioned three, plus my two guitar players, Sean Kelly, Russel Gray & on keys Peter Kadar, it’s a family. It’s a KILLER band and we have such a great time. I am just lucky that I have two performing livelihoods and I comfortably move from one to the other with ease. To sum it up, that’s a long-winded way of me saying that a lifetime spent with GT as four, plus years upon years spent with all my other players is what affords me to say that any combination of me with them is a “whole family.”❤️ Make sense? Ya? Ok, let’s mosey on. 

Had a long soak in a great tub while watching the Masters Golf Tournament, in Augusta, Georgia. Congratulations to new champion Patrick Reed.  

Lobby call was 8:15pm for a short walk over to the venue.  

Together again as Wayne drops by London to see us. 

Together again as Wayne drops by London to see us. 

Now speaking of family, a great surprise was the fact that Wayne Parker came out to visit with us. It was fantastic to see him. There is NEVER a dull moment when Wayne is around. His “patter” as we say in Glasgow, is brilliant, and he has you laughing constantly. A footnote on the story I just relayed to you about a legacy of players, Wayne and I have been together the longest. We have weathered it all, since the early 70’s. He is my brother and a dear friend, and the tales we can tell are nothing short of legendary. 

Brothers. 

Brothers. 

Had a pal Chris come through and he and Wayne hung out by the stage monitor guys for our performance.  

The place was jammed and you ROCKED London! Johnny was as always in top form and our duet together went over big time.  

You rock! Canada. Photo by Mike Peleshok. 

You rock! Canada. Photo by Mike Peleshok. 

After show we intended on going to, what for me at one time, was almost a “local” THE SCOT’S CORNER for a pint of Guinness, but we were thwarted by the fact that it was closed and so we ended up in a pub up the street called THE ALE HOUSE.  Wouldn’t be my first choice but I was damned if I would trudge in the cold anymore.

Three great, and long-time fans and friends of our band and our music 1986, Nancy, Kelly & Jenn., popped by to see us and say hello. We had a good laugh showing old photographs of when they first went mad for GLASS TIGER, in 1986. They told stories of how at 13 & 14 years of age they would HITCHIKE!! or take a bus and just land in Newmarket to try and find us. Nancy told a story of landing outside the wee house I lived in with my parents just before the success really took off and my dad answered the door. Whenever he did that and fans were there, he would INVITE THEM IN lol it was hilarious, No matter how many times I lectured him he would say, “Och, son, they were freezing, or they were hungry, or they came a long way, and so I brought them in for a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit!” Nancy says that on this particular occasion I was home and my dad said, “He’s in the shower. He’ll be out in a few minutes. ALAN!!! hurry up!!” and her 14 year old self lost her mind. 😂 Now today these are women all with their own families and raising their own kids. We laughed, knowing that none of us would EVER dream of letting a 13 year old set off to the mall alone, nevermind getting on a bus or hitching hundreds of kilometers away 😳😱 but it’s so warm and lovely to reminisce on those great and wacky times.  

and so the love affair begins.......

and so the love affair begins.......

Back at hotel by around 1 a.m. and off to the land of nod immediately.  

Goodnight Dear Canada, until tomorrow -Alan