Toronto Rocks out with Slash, Cummings & Hook

It’s been a busy week with guitarist Slash of Guns N Roses fame and frontman Burton Cummings from the classic rock outfit The Guess Who  in the city. Slash was in town to attend a premiere of his horror flick Nothing Left to Fear at the Yonge & Dundas theatres on Thursday night, while legendary Canadian rocker Cummings arrived to perform his sold out show at Massey Hall in support of Canada’s Walk of Fame the same evening.  Slash began his promotional tour visiting with Q’s Jian Ghomeshi at the CBC building on Front Street, and then to various other radio interviews at the Corus building on Queens Quay, ending with a live to air interview with Q107′s Kim Mitchell.  His last stop was a TV interview back the CBC building to pre-tape a television interview for the Strombo show.  As Slash entered the CBC building he told the few fans waiting to meet him that he would sign autographs on his way out, and true to his word Slash was very gracious, stopping to sign and even commenting to those waiting “you guys are awesome” seemingly impressed by the organized and civil line formed by the fans.

Slash with autographed guitar

Slash with autographed guitar

 

Immediately after a great signing with Slash on a Les Paul style guitar, I made my way to Toronto’s Yorkville area hoping to catch Burton Cummings to autograph a few Guess Who albums that had already been signed by the the bands original American Woman lineup which included Randy Bachman, Gary Peterson and the rarely seen Jim Kale.  Amazingly, I was only in Yorkville a few minutes before, and with absolute perfect timing, Burton walked right into my path as he made his way onto the Village Arcade, a small retail mall. I made my way up to him, introduced myself and told him that I was in the area hoping to see him and have him sign the albums I had with me. Burton was more than obliging, setting down the albums on a desk at a local print shop and taking his time autographing each album cover with his elegant signature. While Burton was signing I told him that he still sang like he did when he was twenty-one and asking how he does it? His reply was as classic as his songs, “I stopped smoking cigarettes two years ago, but I still smoke a bit of grass here and there.”  We talked for several minutes about how relevant his music still is today and he expressed his feeling that that classic rock radio had been very good to him.  Burton Cummings remains a class act both as a person and as an artist who has a timeless catalogue of hits.

Burton Cummings with TSL

Burton Cummings with TSL

Burton Cummings autographs Guess Who vinyl

Burton Cummings autographs Guess Who vinyl

On Thursday evening the original bassist of Joy Division and New Order Peter Hook played a very rare set at The Hoxton night club, a local Toronto hot spot.  Hooky (as he’s referred to) was a major contributor to the success of both hugely successful and musically influential bands; and  judging by his sold out show at The Hoxton, his fans have not forgotten that.  I caught up with Hooky backstage before his performance and was lucky enough to obtain his autograph on several classic Joy Division and New Order albums.  Hooky was could not have been more accommodating and cool.

TSL backstage with Peter Hook

TSL backstage with Peter Hook

Hooky autographs Joy Division vinyl

Hooky autographs Joy Division vinyl

Being able to meet these legendary musicians is one thing. But I’m always worried these world famous musicians we idolize might not live up to their name once I meet them in person. Nothing is worse than being disappointed by someone you’d previously admired. It’s such a great feeling when you meet guys like these who can still be down to earth, cool and appreciate their fans.