It isn’t easy being the mother of a rock star, but Violet Cochrane wouldn’t have it any other way. Groupies phone at 3 am and kids show up at the door asking for concert tickets and autographs, but she is proud of her son Tom Cochrane.
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There’s a real-life story behind Tom Cochrane’s hit song Big Leagues. “We were touring through Northern Ontario,” he told the Vancouver Sun. “We had finished the sound-check, and this gentleman came up.
The “victory” in Victory Day isn’t really so much one big win, says Tom Cochrane. “The ‘victory’ is almost an afterthought,” says Cochrane who fronts Tom Cochrane and Red Rider. “It’s actually sort of scrawled on the cover of the record.”
The future fame of Tom Cochrane and the possible resuscitation of symphony orchestras across Canada may hinge on Ted Kennedy’s knowing a thing or two about golf. Kennedy, the assistant program director at K-97 FM, is a tenacious music fan who conceived the March 17 and 18 concerts.
It was the secret concert that wasn’t. To prepare for his first full-length tour to support his hot-selling Victory Day album, Tom Cochrane and his band Red Rider have scheduled a few dress-rehearsal shows at selected sites in Ontario.
As a youngster playing hockey in northern Manitoba and rural Ontario, Tom Cochrane never made it to the big leagues – but a song he’s written about the game has. Appropriately titled Big League.
Canadians make good mimics, says Tom Cochrane. “Peter Jennings makes a pretty good AMerican newsman. And a lot of great (Canadian) comedians are impersonators… Rich Little, those SCTV people.”
Folk-rock is coming back. The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion album may be showing the way, and Tracy Chapman walked away with nine Grammy nominations, but other musicians also are daring to mix acoustic instruments in with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude. Take Tom Cochrane and Red Rider and their new ‘Victory Day’ album, for example.
Tom Cochrane has always carried a torch for Canadian culture. Even with his sixth album Victory Day zooming up the American charts, Cochrane remains fiercely Canadian. “There is a Canadian identity,” says Cochrane.
It starts with an eerie persistent beat – Huey Lewis’ heart of rock ‘n’ roll but textured with a U2-style guitar wash. Then, in a dispassionate voice. Tom Cochrane spins a disturbing tale of extinction of a dream. Cochrane’s “Big League” is the story of a star high school athlete.
Tom Cochrane has a saying that he applies not only to music, but to his life as well. It goes like this: You have to do the opposite of what you think you have to do, in order to get the things you want”.
For the past eight months, Tom Cochrane has spent most of his time travelling across Canada with his band, Red Rider, on what he describes as “one last fling” before beginning work on another recording project.
“Bruce Allen,” Tom Cochrane wondered aloud, Where are you tonight?” To most of the 3,400 people who’d come to the Expo Theatre on Saturday, it might have seemed a whimsical question, but Cochrane had a point to make.
During the early days of rock and roll in the ’50s, audiences would never see just one act on any bill. They would see short sets by countless bands who would travel together from town to town with their musical reviews.
When it comes to his music, Tom Cochrane has learned to be “fatalistic” with good reason. The last Tom Cochrane and Red Rider album, Boy Inside The Man, is their best, with several songs that attain the rarest of blends.
Tom Cochrane and Red Rider have breathed a spark of life into the moribund world of major-label, mainstream Canadian Rock Music. Their two sold-out shows at the Spectrum Saturday night provided conclusive evidence that Cochrane is one singer-songwriter not to be ignored.
Tom Cochrane has put out some good records in his time, but nothing as fully realized as his latest opus, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider. From the opening strains of the anthemic Boy Inside The Man through the hard-edged pop of The Untouchable One and Citizen Caine.
It was 10 a.m. Friday, and Tom Cochrane, lead singer of the rock group Red Ryder, was roused from his bed in Toronto to do a telephone interview. His voice hoarse and tired, he explained he had a late show the night before.
Things started crowding in on Red Rider’s Tom Cochrane after the 1983 tour to promote the band’s Neruda album. In 1980, on its first album, the Canadian rock group had had a winner with a single called “White Hot.”
Red Rider: This band is a model of persistence. During the past four years, Red Rider has kept it’s power-rock sound in circulation with plenty of live performances (including opening shows for The Kinks, J. Geils Band and ZZ Top).
Red Rider, the all-Canadian band playing tonight at Six Flags Over Georgia, prefers the cerebral approach to rock ‘n’ roll, but has been concluded that does not necessarily sell records or please concertgoers.
Tom Cochrane, 30, singer and songwriter for Red Rider, which will perform Saturday at Harpo’s 14238 Harper. Doors open at 8 p.m. Call 823-6400.
“We believe that we have a sound, a style,” says Tom Cochrane of Canadian Rock Band Red Rider, “but we don’t think that we have a formula.” And with their just released fourth album, the low-key Red Rider will appear Sunday at the West Hartford Agora.
Rock with a political conscience has become legitimate once again, if not commercially viable. It is due to such bands as The Clash who have become millionaires despite of, or perhaps even because of, their radical politics.