Celebrities and Rock Stars need convenience stores too.
Myles Goodwyn: On the Road Again
By Angela Altass
It’s road trip season and many Canadians, including rock stars like Myles Goodwyn, are traveling again to new destinations or revisiting favourite spots with frequent stops to refuel their vehicles and themselves being part of the experience.
Goodwyn, a Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee is happy to be performing shows again after a pause in live entertainment during the pandemic. You can find him on stage with his well-known rock band April Wine or as part of the Myles Goodwyn Trio at venues across the country.
“We haven’t really worked at all over the last two-and-a-half years,” notes Goodwyn. “The bandmates are all buddies and the faces of the fans are very familiar and we’re back working with our crew. We don’t do meet and greets and things like that because of the possibility of getting sick so that’s a drag but basically once you hit the stage it all becomes very familiar and very rewarding. People are there having a great time and we’re having a great time on stage.”
Don’t be too surprised if Goodwyn shows up at your store while he’s in the area for a show at a nearby venue.
“Sometimes we’ll do a tour where we drive for a couple of days and we will stop and go into a store and buy a bunch of stuff for the road – potato chips, chocolate milk, juices, fresh fruit or whatever we want and that’s a lot of fun,” says Goodwyn. “It’s kind of a cool thing. For example, we have four shows in Ontario: Burlington, London, Highgate, and Oshawa, and we’ll be driving for all of them so we’ll be shopping as we go along. It’s good fun. The things that I must have all the time are the things that will get me through each day dealing with my diabetes. I’m Type 1 so I need to keep my sugars up.”
Even if he is traveling by airplane, Goodwyn might show up at your store to make sure he has the items he needs.
“When I go on the road, I make sure that I’m carrying everything that I need on the plane and sometimes when I get to a town, before the driver takes me from the airport to the hotel, I’ll tell him that we’re going to go shopping and we might go pick up some juice or snacks,” he says. “As a diabetic, it’s a big deal. I go into the store myself because nobody knows what I want but me. The cool thing about wearing masks is that I’m never recognized with the mask on. I wear my mask everywhere because I’m 73 years old and diabetic. I have all my shots but I am still very careful about COVID.”
Goodwyn received the East Coast Music Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) National Achievement Award in 2002. He has received a JUNO Awards nomination for Blues Recording of the Year and the East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for his first Blues album. He later released Friends of the Blues 2, which won another ECMA award.
He wrote a memoir called Just Between You and Me in 2016 and a second book, a work of fiction called Elvis and Tiger, in 2018.
Goodwyn spent the pandemic years writing new music from his home in Nova Scotia. He just released a new album, called Long Pants, which he describes as a collection of songs he’s been writing for 42 years.
“It’s a personal album,” he says. “It’s not suitable for April Wine and it’s not Blues. The oldest song on it was written 42 years ago when my daughter was born. I have a song called Over the Moon that was written when one of my children was diagnosed with diabetes at age six. It runs in my family. It’s about how a young person can handle that. I have a song called Some of These Children (They Never Grew Up) about the unmarked graves from the residential school system and a song called Darling Where Are You, which is about the missing and murdered Indigenous women in North America. There’s a song about euphemism called I Leave Today. So, I cover a lot of important things.”
Goodwyn also wrote Song for Ukraine, which is on the new album.
“Every morning and evening, I check the news,” says Goodwyn. “I was seeing the images and becoming more upset; the idea that there are over four million displaced Ukrainian people without shelter, food, water, or medicine. I couldn’t survive there with my diabetes if I had no insulin or the other stuff I take. I don’t write about politics or religion so I sat on my hands for a long time. I saw a few of my contemporaries writing a few things and I thought this is what I am supposed to do and, in a way, folk music and folklore is how stories get passed on in history. One day I said I have to write something! It was a Tuesday and by Wednesday it was done and Friday I was in the studio to record it and I made the video over the weekend.”
Goodwyn is currently working on songs for a new April Wine album, scheduled to be released next year, but he isn’t too focused on what the future holds in store for him.
“I don’t know what I see for the future,” he comments. “I just have to finish what’s on the table for this year and having my health going forward. Hopefully COVID won’t be so bad and we’ll be able to do more dates and maybe go to do some shows in the States. I’ve written a third Blues album called I Dream in Blue, which is coming out this summer, and after that I don’t know. Hopefully more playing next year and maybe I’ll be inspired to do some more writing. I just want to stay healthy. I love what I do now and I hope I can continue to do it later too.”