Red Around Town — April 2011

I had a wonderful time in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday. Over 200,000 people showed up on the best day of the year so far. I was riding in an open convertible with former CKNW talk show host Dave Abbott and Alyn Edwards, columnist for the Vancouver Sun specializing in classic cars. He drove his rare 1968 Shelby Cobra — just over 500 were ever built.  Of course the color of the car was green! I was advertising my trip to Ireland in September (click here for details) and the reaction was wonderful.

Last weekend Meat Loaf appeared at the Red Robinson Show Theatre. It wasn’t easy for the rocker as he had dental surgery and it became infected which meant another dentist was brought in on the Saturday night show to fill his jaw with novocaine. It was touch and go whether he would be able to perform but he went on and gave a great show. Sadly he was in no shape for an interview or a photo.

Congratulations to Vancouver singer/songwriter/instrumentalist and all round good guy Bryan Adams. He has become the 2435th celebrity to have a star planted in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  The guest speaker on Bryan’s behalf for the unveiling of his star was none other than Wayne Gretzky. He was  smiling from ear to ear at the ceremony… and why not? He is a major  figure in the entertainment world.

Took time on the weekend to visit veteran announcer Gene Kern, who spent most of his career at CKWX in Vancouver. He is in Lions Gate Hospital with a breathing problem but he is making good progress.

The Fraser Valley Antique and Collectible Club presents its 18th annual show at Queens Park Arena April 9 and 10. There will be over 200 tables set up for what is considered the largest show of its kind in Western Canada.

Toronto: The Absolute Centre of the Universe. The latest edition of TVWeek Magazine, a west coast publication that I wrote for for 20 years, has an article on the 40th anniversary of the Juno awards. The Toronto-centric column says “Yonge Street, Yorkville and Queen Street — and the performers they spawned — from the Band, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young to Blue Rodeo, the Tragically Hip and Feist — loom large in the world’s musical imagination.”

No mention of the fact that Neil Young got started in Winnipeg and Joni Mitchell in Saskatoon.  No mention of other acts from the West including Bryan Adams, Michael Bublé, Jann Arden, Chilliwack, The Poppy Family, Nickelback, Sarah McLachlan, The Guess Who, Loverboy, BTO, Nelly Furtado, and Hedley… to name but a few.

Wake up, Toronto! The country does not end at Kenora. One thing about Toronto is they are consistently arrogant. A recent television documentary paints the progress of pop music as a Toronto inspired happening with very little consideration for all the talent  across the country.  I love the CHUM Radio book with the subtitle the radio station that invented rock and roll in Canada. Well, if you tell a big enough lie it might catch hold, but there are still some of us alive who know better. I am surprised the ads for the Junos don’t read “The Junos, finally back home where they belong”.

Old friend Dick Drew writes:

“Hello Red… trust you enjoy the feature story… it was a pleasure writing it because it caused me to reflect back to our first series for Expo 86… and all of the wonderful times together over the years…”

Click the Broadcaster logo to read, the article opens in a new window.