Khyber Pass to Vernon’s light – sold out show

He’s been rocking stages for 52 years, but playing in Vernon Monday night, legend Tom Cochrane was “nervous as shit.”

The 70-year-old played to a sold-out crowd at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Monday, Nov. 13.

But having a lot of friends in Vernon, it was like a hometown gig for the rock veteran.

“I’m going to for sure mess it up but i don’t give a shit, that’s what this tour is about…happy little mistakes.”

Fumbling through tuning his guitar and adjusting volumes several times he reassured the crowd he knew what he was doing.

“I’m a professional musician.”

Cochrane entertained the crowd with many of his hits, even the ones he scratched his head at.

He never understood why White Hot caught on so well.

Created with his former band Red Rider, a highlight of his life is when his old man heard the hit in public.

“My dad went into a strip club in B.C. and he said ‘son they played that song White Hot at that strip club.’”

Cochrane, from Little Lake, Manitoba, was the son of a busy pilot up north.

He also had two older sisters, “who beat the shit out of me.”

Before sticking to music, Cochrane worked at CIL paints, stacked sheep carcasses and got his hand caught in a conveyor belt and almost ended up like Dr. Hook.

But it was when driving cab he pulled up to location and heard Leonard Cohen playing Bird on a Wire.

“The hairs on my arms stood up,” said Cochrane. “Leonard Cohen to me is the epitome of class.”

A man of class himself, Cochrane shared his love of golf, saluted all the strong women out there and his thoughts on the ongoing conflicts overseas.

“This bullshit in the Middle East, we are tired of it and we need it to end.”

Working with World Vision, Cochrane has seen first-hand the destruction of war and poverty, something that weighed him down.

“We can’t change the world but what we can do is spread good will along the way,” said Cochrane. “Life is a Highway is about doing some good on the road ahead of you and that’s what World Vision taught me.”