Celebrity: Glass Tiger rocker at ease as motivational speaker and best-selling author
By JAMES REANEY THE LONDON FREE PRESS
Canadian rocker Alan Frew gave an inspirational speech and performed for 80 people at a reception sponsored by Pacific & Western Bank of Canada at London Club in London. (SUE REEVE/THE LONDON FREE PRESS)
Alan Frew 2.0 or 3.0 worked the mic for a private audience at the London Club on Thursday.
The multi-Juno-winning Canadian rocker continues to reinvent himself as a motivational speaker and best-selling author. Speaking for more than a hour, Frew covered the plan for success outlined in his book The Action Sandwich.
These days, Frew is about 50 nights a year taking “my wee Action Sandwich” — or “re-action Sandwich” as it sounded until a listener in the crowd decoded Frew’s still-strong Glaswegian — and its message across the country.
“My book talks about success on our own terms,” Frew said. “We never talk about the dollars and cents of success. We talk about control of our own lives. From that standpoint, I’ve been a success pretty much all my life.”
The book is billed as a six-step recipe for success by doing what you’re already doing. In Frew’s case, that does seem to work over and over again.
Thursday’s talk was being filmed by a team for use in Frew’s promotional package. He made the deal in exchange for writing a song for their film about Scott Cannata, a young Peterborough man who starts to run across Canada in a tribute to Terry Fox next month.
As for success finding Frew, there he was, one of the country’s top football (soccer) fans and a man who knows how to enjoy the game in a pub. Unprovoked, a sports TV empire calls offering him the job of crossing Canada pub by pub, mic in hand, chatting with fans.
As a dream job goes, it works.
The real inspiration in his talk came from the details of his life. It’s tough to top the image of the teenaged Frew making a career decision after seeing a feather- boa’d Rod Stewart in control with Maggie May on a hit British show.
“I thought to myself, ‘There’s a job. I want that job,’ ” Frew said Thursday.
Eventually, he got that job as frontman for Newmarket ’80s’s rockers Glass Tiger — and became good enough that Stewart later joined Frew on My Town. It was one of the three Frew/Glass Tiger classics he sang in a strong and lovely unplugged style after the talk was over.
He also sang the new Toronto Maple Leafs theme Free to Be (Canada’s Song) before finishing with Glass Tiger’s Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone). That song is marking its 25th anniversary.
It is not forgotten — but it has been replaced as Frew’s signature song with the public by I Believe, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games anthem co-written with pianist and UWO Don Wright music faculty grad Stephan Moccio. The combination of Moccio’s melody and Frew’s words still has the golden touch.
Frew chuckled about the “grammar police” objecting to his lyrics about “the power of you and I.”
Frew knows how to answer them. “Have you seen the royalty cheques?” he asked the crowd to laughter. “I’m OK with ‘the power of you and I.’ ”