AUGUST 08 2018

DYLAN McCULLOGH – KELOWNA NOW

Tom Cochrane will have a lot to say and even more songs to play when he hits the stage with his band Red Rider at Rock the Lake this Saturday, Aug. 10.

“The only drawback of festivals is you can’t play as long as you please, but we break the rules most of the time,” joked Cochrane over the phone.

“Our set has about 12 songs that I call ‘nonnegotiables’ and they’re like snapshots in people’s lives, those songs bring memories alive and that means a lot to me.”

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While Cochrane still considers himself a rockstar after all these years, he also believes that’s just one aspect of his extraordinary life.

“Honestly, I consider myself a Canadian first and foremost and I’m not shy to wave that flag,” explained the 66-year-old.

“The rockstar thing is a label I walk with and something I’m proud of, but truthfully, I’m just a singer-songwriter at the core.”

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With such a lengthy career, the native of Lynn Lake, Manitoba has seen several levels of success from his early days with Red Rider to the smash hit Mad Mad World, but these days he stays focused on simply appreciating the journey.

“Early on with the band, we were driving from Winnipeg to Toronto after a night sleeping in the car and you kind of get to thinking ‘wow’ there must be a better way to make a living,” recalled Cochrane.

“But later that afternoon, this guy running on the side of the road appeared on the horizon with some vehicles behind him. It was Terry Fox on the last day he ran. I’ll never forget the look of determination on his face, it really made an impression on me.”

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Admittedly, Cochrane believes he’s closer to the end of the journey than the beginning, however, that has only helped increase his on-stage energy.

“Playing live is such a highlight for me, it’s such an incredible joy to see the crowd sing those songs at the top of their lungs, really makes you feel alive.”

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider and set to headline Rock the Lake this Saturday at 8:30 pm.