Proudly Canadian: Glass Tiger

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Discovered in the summer of 1984 when a band from Newmarket, Ontario called Tokyo spent two evenings performing before capacity crowds at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens opening for Boy George and Culture Club. Their dynamic original sound captured the moment, and the race to sign them was on. Tokyo, which had become a major force in suburban high schools and the Ontario club circuit, officially became Glass Tiger early the following year when a record deal was finally signed with Capitol Records.

With Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams; Aerosmith; Ozzy Osbourne) behind the boards Glass Tiger was immediately introduced to the recording studio to work on their first album. The Thin Red Line set a record for being the fastest selling debut recording in Canadian history, going gold within weeks of its release. To date, this album has received four Platinum records in Canada and went Gold in the United States. One of Glass Tiger’s many hit singles “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” yielded a #2 spot on Billboard that was followed by “Someday” which reached #5. Both songs also made Canadian history when Glass Tiger won successive Juno’s a year apart for Single of the Year from the same album.

Glass Tiger won three Juno Awards in 1986 and two more in 1987. With five Juno awards and a Grammy nomination under their belt, Glass Tiger was invited as the “Special Guests” for Tina Turner’s 1987 European tour. They were also nominated that year for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In 1993, after their third album Simple Mission and a brief Canadian tour, the band went on hiatus.  Lead singer Alan Frew released two solo albums before the band reformed and began touring again in 2003.

The members of Glass Tiger are all still active in their own right.

Al Connelly has had the opportunity of working with world class songwriters, producers and engineers and has maintained his dedication to his craft. When not playing with the band, Al has taken his music and experience to producing/writing and performing live. He has released a debut solo CD “In Another Life”. Al’s approach was to blend Latin/Island rhythms from these areas of the world and interpret them into melodic, pop structure.

Wayne Parker, when not performing as the bassist in GT, Wayne spends much of his time pursuing his other passion – astronomy. His love of astronomy led to the creation of SkyShed Observatories, a observatory company that designs and builds telescope observatories for astronomers. Since launching the company in 2003, Wayne’s SkyShed designs have become popular all over the world, and featured in international astronomy magazines and on TV. NASA even uses SkyShed products, and MIT, Harvard-Smithsonian, etc.

Glass Tiger ThenGlass Tiger ThenSam Reid besides performing as Glass Tiger’s keyboardist, has been involved as a songwriter and producer for the band’s recordings. In 1994 with a shift in musical focus and direction, he founded his production company Willow Music, and soon after, the first of the Sanctuary™ series, A Day Remembered, was released. Sam has continued to release titles in this series with a number of releases reaching Gold sales status in Canada. Reid has also been a director and resource leader for the Songwriters Association of Canada, teaching the craft of songwriting through educational programs and workshops for songwriters across Canada, and co-writing and producing other artists.

Chris McNeill has earned the kind of reputation and respect that all musicians aspire to. For the past 20 years he has been one of the most sought-out drummers in Toronto.His sound, style and feel is distinctive and matched by few. Now the talent and musicianship that brought him to that level has crossed over into production. It was this relationship with Juno Award winner Glass Tiger and working with other great char topping artists that has paved the road for the exceptionally powerful productions that are now being pumped out of his studio.

Alan Frew has written numerous top ten hits with several of them having the distinction of reaching the chart topping #1 position. Someday, So Blind, I’m Still Searching and Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone), have all reached this plateau. Alan is the recipient of four Canadian Classic Awards for songs each being played in excess of 100,000 airplays on Canadian radio.Alan remains one of the most recognized Canadian celebrities to this day and still one of the hardest working artists in the business. Alan is the recipient of a 20 year Humanitarian Award for his work with the children of Easter Seals and he is constantly working on behalf of the children of this world trying to bring a little peace, hope, love and safety into their precious lives. During the hiatus of GLASS TIGER, he teamed up with producer John Jones, musical legends Mick Fleetwood and Mickey Dolenz and released his first solo effort entitled, Hold On which produced such hits as So Blind and Healing Hands. His next project Wonderland was released in the Fall of 2000 to rave reviews and has yielded the single Lipstick and his most recent single All I Ever Wanted. Constantly working, Alan has traveled overseas to perform in Bosnia and the Middle East for the Canadian Armed Forces and their allies and in connection with outside projects, Alan wrote the anthem for CBC’s World Cup 2002 telecast and the anthem for the 2001 World Hockey Championships in Germany where he performed the song live at the opening ceremonies. He spawned a fabulous “off the cuff” television show called Road Stories with Alan Frew, an insightful, caring, thought-provoking musical journey into the minds, lives and songs of some of music’s most interesting performers; told by musicians to a musician, as only they can. Alan Frew remains one of Canada’s favourite entertainers and most recognized celebrities.

In 2005 Glass Tiger marked 20 years of making music together. In celebration of this achievement, EMI Music released a retrospective DVD containing all of the original hit videos the band released in the 1980's and 90's along with 2 new videos and songs recorded especially for the DVD compilation.

In March 2009, Glass Tiger and members of the NHL alumni visited Canadian Forces stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The visit included live performances and footage was shown on an episode of Entertainment Tonight Canada.

Now in 2015 Glass Tiger continues to play select dates, only when all members of the band are available to perform. This makes every performance a special one. Alan's vocals are stronger than ever, and the band is tight and rockin'.

Over 25 years together it seems Glass Tiger has no plans to stop touring anytime soon.

Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone
(Canadian Version)

(US Version)