Friday, January 14, 2011

Jeff Friday Jan.14/11


Last night I attended the memorial of a friend and associate that some of you may know. Doug Grover was one of the cornerstones of the rock and roll business here in Vancouver and recently passed away from injuries suffered from an accidental fall at home. He worked for Bruce Allen for many years and as his road manager, helped guide the careers of most of Vancouver's great bands including Trooper, Prism, BTO, Loverboy and Bryan Adams. During the collage that they showed last night there was even a shot of a young Doug and Kenny Shields together from the early Streetheart days so, there was that connection there as well. I knew Doug as a friend for years but we worked together only on occasion. Streetheart's management at the time was very successful at keeping us isolated from anyone that could actually do anything for us (hoping you sense the sarcasm here, which is fully intended).
When I was touring in Europe with Jimmy Barnes during the 90's, we opened up for Adams on his European Tour. There was Doug and his all Canadian/Vancouver crew, running the show. I really loved working and hanging out with that mob for the summer as they were all old friends, many that I'd hadn't seen since I left for Australia years before. I had always been given the gears by my Aussie friends about how hard working they were and how they knew everything about Rock and Roll and how to put on a show, blah, blah... Well, after a few months of witnessing the Adams juggernaut and the level of professionalism shown by Doug and the boys, that pretty much ended any of that conversation. One night as I, along with my Aussie crew were watching 80,000 Adams fans singing Summer of 69 and the finale of yet another top drawer rock and roll evening I said to them, "Well mates, this is how we Canadians do rock and roll." Funny, I was never ribbed about who did things better after that...
I know I've digressed but basically I wanted to say that Doug was a loyal, kind, funny, ass kicking, hard working man that got the job done right everynight. He succeeded at the highest level many times and as Bruce Allen said last night, " I trusted him with the most important things in my life outside of my family, my artists, and he never let me down". I have paraphrased Bruce somewhat but that was the essence of what he said. The 400 or so people who attended last night justified those thoughts and though the room was touched with some sadness, the joy and respect for a man who gave so much of himself to so many people won out. As I said, I did not work with Doug a lot but, I knew him well and he always treated me with respect and he was always interested in what I was doing even if he wasn't directly involved. The last time I saw Doug we had breakfast at the Slocan restaurant with our good friend Les Doiron. The Slocan is your typical greasy spoon that was one of Doug's favs and as good a place for your road breakfast as anywhere. We talked shit, laughed a lot and made future plans for golf. A nice way to spend a perfectly lazy 10:30am breakfast time slot. It was the spring of 2008, the days were was getting warmer and life felt good as I headed for home charged by Doug's positive energy and kick ass spirit...
Last night driving home I felt so different. My life is now packed with agendas and schedules and things that need to be done yesterday. What I wouldn't give to feel that spring of 2008 feeling right now. Think I'll go to the Slocan and have bacon and eggs over easy with brown toast. Somehow, I know it won't be the same.
See ya Doug...
J.

2 comments:

Kerry said...

Nice tribute, Jeff. You write well. -Kerry Diotte/Edmonton

buckwheat55 said...

nice work as usual Jeff, lets play that round we talked about soon. Love ya brutha