Rock of Fame Succeeds In A Blaze Of Glory
The Rock of Fame cast on stage Sept. 28 at Massey Hall.
By External Source
Canada’s Rock of Fame celebration, alongside official partners Anthem Entertainment and Live Nation, was held at Toronto’s majestic Massey Hall on September 28th and, by all accounts, was an epic night of great musical performances, tributes and stories that ushered in a new chapter in how Canada honours its musical legacy. Thirteen of Canada’s best-loved rock bands and artists of the 1970s and ‘80s were inducted into Canada’s esteemed Walk of Fame as part of the organization’s 25th-anniversary celebrations.
Members past and present of April Wine, Chilliwack, Glass Tiger, Lee Aaron, Lighthouse, Loverboy, Max Webster, Michel Pagliaro, The Parachute Club, Platinum Blonde, Prism, Trooper and Rough Trade were honoured for their contributions to Canada’s musical heritage and their national and global success in an event that exceeded all expectations. It was such a hot ticket that it sold out within minutes of being put on sale months in advance.
The 4-hour event was co-hosted by Terry David Mulligan and Jeanne Beker, with inductions and interviews of individual artists by 15 of Canada’s most influential DJs and VJs, who actually played pivotal roles in promoting and breaking their careers on radio and television in the day and who told interesting related stories and anecdotes from their personal perspectives. Michael Williams, Alan Cross, Steve Anthony, Stu Jefferies, David Marsden, Terry Dimonte, Liz Janik, John Donabie, Erica Ehm, Maie Pauts, Ingrid Schumacher, Roger Ashby, Marilyn Denis, Christopher Ward, and Monica Deol were all on hand, together with a surprise appearance, via video link, by former MUCH Music VJ, J.D. (John) Roberts.
Randell Adjei – Ontario’s poet laureate - opened the show with a bespoke poem, incorporating the titles of 13 songs from the bands into an anthemic, respectful and brilliant land acknowledgement.
Artist performances were backed by a top-tier ensemble of exceptional musicians and vocalists who seamlessly transitioned between musical styles, deftly led by the amazing and versatile Lou Pomanti.
Colin and John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews kicked off the show with a high-energy rendition of Trooper’s smash hit Raise a Little Hell. Loverboy’s frontman Mike Reno and guitarist Paul Dean performed their iconic anthem, Working for the Weekend. Rough Trade’s Carole Pope and Kevan Staples delivered a show-stopping performance of High School Confidential, joined by renowned drag entertainer Brooke Lynn Hytes.
Young emerging musician Charlie Edward gave a stellar performance of Prism’s Spaceship Superstar. Michel Pagliaro flawlessly delivered his hit What the Hell I Got, and Chilliwack’s lead singer and guitarist, Bill Henderson had fans singing along to a memorable Fly at Night performance. Glass Tiger performed their classic hit Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone to another enthusiastic standing ovation.
Following a brief intermission, Lighthouse kicked off the second half of the celebration with One Fine Morning. Vocal powerhouses Lee Aaron and Fefe Dobson delivered an electrifying Whatcha Do to My Body duet. Platinum Blonde’s Mark Holmes and Sergio Galli delivered a high-energy performance of their hit Crying Over You. Charlie Edward returned to the stage to perform Max Webster’s classic Battle Scar with Gordie Johnson, and April Wine was celebrated with a fitting tribute performance of You Could Have Been a Lady by Crown Lands.
Rocket Norton of Prism, who is suffering from stage four prostate cancer and the organizer of a major fundraiser concert to take place in Vancouver’s The Centre for The Performing Arts on October 21st, led the Massey Hall audience in a rousing ‘F**K Cancer’ chant that brought everyone to their feet.
The evening culminated in a rousing finale with The Parachute Club's Lorraine Segato joined on stage by a 14-person gospel choir. The audience passionately chanted along to their anthem, Rise Up. The audience absolutely loved it. Throughout the evening, each artist received well-deserved standing ovations from the appreciative audience, a heartfelt thank you for the joy they have brought over the years.
The concept for the Rock of Fame was the brainchild of Canada’s Walk of Fame’s Director of Operations, Jody Shivdasani and championed by CEO Jeffrey Latimer, board member Randy Lennox and Gil Moore of Triumph. The event was produced by Jocelyn Flanagan and Reid Hubick of e=mc² Productions and Latimer and Lennox, in teamwork with Canada's Walk Of Fame Griffin Sokal, Abena Morgan and Adrienne Kakoullis of Rise PR, who did a remarkable job in complete coverage and photos of the event.
Sponsors and partners for this auspicious occasion included Anthem Entertainment, Live Nation, The Government of Ontario, The Slaight Family Foundation, Massey Hall and Forty Creek, along with Bell Media, RBC, Air Canada, Scotiabank, Cineplex, Sanofi, TPH, NBC Universal, and Next.
Given the resounding success of this year’s Rock of Fame celebration, perhaps there should be more to come in the future.
Other video footage from the night can be viewed on Shaky Shorty's YouTube page.