Stompin’ Tom Connors was officially memorialized on Wednesday night in Peterborough, and tributes continue across the country.
On Tuesday in Vancouver, Rusty Ford and Michel Drouin played Tom’s song “The Bridge Came Tumbling Down” at city council.
I asked Rusty what that was like. He said,
“It was a great honour to be asked by Vancouver’s Mayor to mark the passing of a great Canadian, Stompin’ Tom Conners. Perhaps more than any other artist, Tom dedicated his life to telling the story of our country, one community at a time. At Vancouver city hall, I sang a beautifully sad song that Tom wrote about the tragic collapse of the Second Narrows bridge in 1958. Rusty is a huge Stompin’ Tom fan and his simple funny and straight forward song-writing is hugely inspirational.
Thanks Tom – you will be sorely missed.”
Fans camped out and lined up to attend the Peterborough celebration.
Here’s Tom in 1973, accepting one of his six Juno Awards. The annual Canadian music awards are coming up next month, and one would expect his passing to receive significant recognition.
In 1978, Stompin’ Tom packed up his Junos and returned them to the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, in protest over nominees who did not live in Canada.
As far as I know, nothing was done to amend the dispute.
One of my favorite Stompin’ Tom moments was when he was excluded from the lineup for Canada’s portion of 2005′s global “Live 8″ benefit concert.
In protest, Ottawa classic rock DJ Jeff Brown began playing Stompin’ Tom songs continuously, including a half hour string of “Big Joe Mufferaw”, until he was yanked off the air.