Terry Fox

2015-08-30 12.42.20

I am posting this days before a special day. I wanted to read and review the book entitled Terry by Douglas Coupland before September 1. That was the date 35 years ago that Terry Fox had to stop the Marathon of Hope.


He was outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, and he could not continue his run across Canada any longer. This started as a simple book review, however I will tell you about the man himself. Terry Fox was a young man most Canadians have heard of. Many only associate him to The Terry Fox Run held every year. Many younger than myself do not realize the impact that he had on Canada, and for cancer research.

Terry Fox was a great athlete among a family of athletes. Whatever sport he tried, he excelled at. He always seemed to be smaller than the other competitors, but that just meant he had to practice more to succeed. On November 12, 1976, Terry was in a car accident. After that, his knee always hurt. In March 1977, the pain was too much to handle. Doctors told him he had bone cancer in his knee. He had to have his right leg amputated above the knee. A few months after his operation, Rick Hansen (later famous for the Man in Motion World Tour) called Terry and asked him if he would like to play wheelchair basketball. Soon after he decided to run. He competed his first marathon in 1979. He finished hours later than the other competitors. What he didn’t know, is that they waited for him to finish, and they were so moved, most had tears in their eyes and were unable to speak.

Terry had used this marathon as a stepping stone. He knew that if he could run a marathon a day, he could run across Canada. That was his plan. To run a marathon, 26 miles(42km) every day from Newfoundland to British Columbia, with one prosthetic leg, and raise money to fight cancer. On April 12, 1980 Terry left St. John`s, Newfoundland, heading west. The run was 5,300miles (8,529 km) long, and Terry planned on running 200 marathons in a row. 1 every day with no rest stops in between. WOW!!!! I have yet to run a marathon, and I am not recovering from cancer, and have both of my legs.

Terry had told the media he was planning the run, but they thought he was crazy. No one would do this. No one had even tried, so they didn`t bother to show up when he left. A few local stations would do a story when he passed through, but the National media didn`t start to take notice until he had reached Ontario. A British Columbia journalist named Doug Collins wrote a story that stated Terry had drove through Quebec. This disturbed Terry so much that he almost called the run off. He kept on though, and by the time he reached Ontario, the entire country was behind him. It was a media circus everywhere he went. I remember seeing him on tv back in the day, kicking the ball to start the CFL football game in Ottawa, and seeing the crowds when NHL star Darryl Sittler gave his All Star Game jersey to Terry in front of 10,000 fans in downtown Toronto.

Terry took the long way though Ontario, down through southern Ontario to help bring the run to a large population and get more donations. I have vague memories of this as a kid. I wish so much today that I had ran alongside with him, even for a few minutes. The impact of how important he was lost on me at the time. I was more concerned with ball hockey and hanging out with my buddies. None of us realized that he would pass through, and we would never get that chance again.

When Terry travelled to Northern Ontario there was a noticeable small dry hacking noise Terry was making. He had thought he was getting a cold. Unfortunately, the bone cancer had returned. Just outside of Thunder Bay, Terry got a dull pain in his chest that would not go away. He was taken to hospital, and they found he had a growth in one lung to size of a golf ball, and one in the other lung the size of a lemon. The bone cancer had returned and had attached itself in his lungs through his bloodstream. On June 28, 1981, Terry Fox died. But his legacy lives on. During the Marathon of Hope Terry raised $1.7 million. One week after his run ended, CTV network ran a national telethon for cancer that raised $10.5 million. Donations continued and by 1981 over $24 million had been raised. This had met Terry`s goal of $1 donated by every Canadian for cancer research. Since then over $650 million dollars has been raised for cancer research in Terry`s name. Cancer hasn`t been beaten, but many cancers can be better treated due to Terry Fox. If Terry had gotten his cancer today, he would not have lost his leg, and he likely would not die from the disease. He personally has saved people and prolonged the lives of others.

The book itself is short on words, but what words it does have are very moving. The book is full of pictures. One of the things that strike me is the images of how antiquated the artificial limb, his shoes and clothing look. Runners such as Oscar Pistorius had the use of light, carbon fiber blades to run with. They had custom made, expensive shoes and breathable clothing to run in. Terry had a heavy leg, beat up old tennis shoes and some ratty shorts. The image I remember most from my childhood is Terry`s curly hair, freckles on a sunburnt face and his smile. It seemed like he was always smiling. He was in pain, had lost a leg, the media had lied about him, he was behind on his schedule, and the cancer had returned(although he didn`t know it, or didn`t tell anyone he suspected), but he was always smiling.

B. In September of 1980, the rock band Rush presented their gold record for the album Permanent Waves to Terry. When I think of the track list of this album, the song that jumps out most for me is Freewill. Terry used his free will to choose to run across the country and raise money for cancer research. One of the lines I absolutely love from that song is “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.“ This says we can either chose to do nothing and sit on the fence about things, or better yet to do something. Terry was not a fence sitter. He chose to help others with his condition

Many songs have been wrote about Terry Fox over the years, but one that slipped by me until doing research for this post was this one.

Some things I learned while reading this book:

Terry Fox was smaller kid. He wanted to play on the basketball team. But wasn`t big enough, and he wasn`t very good at it. He kept practicing until the coach finally had to let him play. This was the beginning of him never giving up.

Terry Fox had an enlarged heart. He could have died of a heart attack any one of the days he ran. I spoke to a man with an enlarged heart and lung problems. He told me that he wears oxygen when he is going to do any physical labour, let alone running marathons.

Terry went through 9 pairs of shoes on his journey, and since he could not afford to replace them unless absolutely needed, they applied Shoo Goo to the tread to extend the shoe`s wear.

Terry didn`t eat a special diet like runners today would. He ate what was available on the road. Usually typical diner fare. Fries, burgers etc. He ate huge amounts of food due to the calories he would burn off. Terry and his crew often had food fights to let off steam, but the rule was “food is never to touch the restaurant“. It was fair game to put fries down the pants, or cake down the shirt, but they didn`t want to make the place dirty.

The generosity of everyday people. Often lodgings and meals were free to Terry and his crew. It was a small way for people without much to give back and help Terry make it across the country as cheaply as possible. Often invitations to come over for a meal, or spend the night were offered.

Terry and his crew never took one dime from this journey. In Christmas 1980, Terry had helped raise millions of dollars for cancer. He, however was flat broke. He could not even afford to give his family Christmas presents. He gave his Mom a pink wastepaper basket, as that was all he could afford to give.

After the Marathon of Hope ended the CEO of Four Seasons Hotels, Isadore Sharp phoned Terry in hospital. Isadore had lost a son to cancer. The 2 men came up with the idea of an annual run to raise money for cancer, and so the Terry Fox Run was born.

In 2005 Terry`s image was put on the Canadian dollar coin, affectionately known here as The Loonie. Terry Fox was the first person in history to be put on a Canadian coin that was not a King or Queen. The very first one minted was struck specifically for this book, and was picked up in Winnipeg by Terry`s brother Darrell(who was part of the crew during the Marathon of Hope).

Cancer research is real, and it is not glamorous. Most days researchers spend half of their time filling out forms to try and keep the research going. They need to get by with used freezers and fridges to keep specimens viable. They work for low or no pay and try and make advancements. It is not lucrative and run in some fancy, new lab. Not like the movies at all.

The first part of this book is called Counting The Names. The author spent the better part of a year, in and out of storage lockers in the Vancouver area. They were filled top to bottom with cards, letters, greetings and signatures for Terry. I do not remember exactly, but I do think one of those names was mine. I think my grade school class sent a poster to Terry wishing him luck, and hoping he got better after the Marathon of Hope ended.

After finishing this post I will be speaking with my family. I pledge that I will be involved in the Terry Fox Run this year, and I hope they join me. I have never done it before, but this research has moved me greatly. I am not an awesome physical specimen that jogs a mile a day, but that doesn`t matter. All participants can choose to walk, wheel, run, ride. They can go as far as they choose. There are different distances. I am not big on asking people for money, but I will donate from my pocket because even though I don`t have a lot to give, I feel it is a great cause. Perhaps one day they will find a cure, and I can be a tiny part of that. Below is a poster I saw at a grocery store out of town. They are everywhere across Canada, and maybe even around the world. The Terry Fox Run is Sunday September 20, and this is the 35th anniversary.

2015-08-22 13.08.17


Musical finds at my local LCBO(Liquor Store)

2015-08-25 21.55.33Iron Maiden Trooper Beer. I could describe it, but I will leave that up to Aaron as he does a mighty fine job here…https://keepsmealive.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/trooper/

I wonder what song I should include for this beer. Oh I know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4bgXH3sJ2Q

2015-08-20 19.19.44Primus-Zitsa. I bought this for my Mom as she likes white wine. She normally likes a sweeter wine, but she did like the fruity flavour, and hint of apple. She said it was the perfect wine for a sangria mix. I did not explain that I bought it because I love the following Primus song just because.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYDfwUJzYQg

2015-08-20 19.23.09Mott’s Clamato Caesar. First off, those outside of Canada may be asking what the hell this is. It is kind of like a Bloody Mary but tastier and not as thick. The tomato juice is thinned with clam broth and vodka is added. This is the extra Spicy version I like with tabasco already added. Others may be asking what this has to do with music. I always think of one song when I think of Caesar’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fptue_EaMjw

2015-08-20 19.22.53Mill Street 100th Meridian organic Amber Lager. I have had a number of organic beers before. Most are just ok. This was an amber beer, which can also be spotty. But I had to have this because, well, The Hip. I must own everything Hip related. It really was an enjoyable beer. Slight aftertaste, but in a good way. More of a burnt orange colour than a red, so it is unique. A bit more malty than your average lager. I was almost tempted to drop a slice of orange in this one. Maybe next time. And yes, there will be a next time. I was torn as to what song to play with this one, so I guess I’ll go with this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCFo0a8V-Ag

2015-08-20 19.23.28Brewdog Punk IPA. This was a beer I had never heard of. Brewdog. I have also had some IPA’s that were a little strong for me. This is a 5.6%APV beer, so is fairly strong. It doesn’t taste it though. This isn’t the stuff Sid Vicious or GG Allin would have drank. They would have swilled down Colt 45. It is actually really awesome. It has hints of grapefruit, mulberry and maybe even some chocolate. I read the label after starting to drink it and found it was from Scotland. No wonder it is so good. One of my favourite beers(Innis & Gunn) is from there. It really did get better as I kept drinking

There were sooooo many punk bands I wanted to link here, but I think I will go on a punk music rant in some upcoming blogs. Anyway, since the beer is from the British isles, I will include my original, and favourite British punk band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCFo0a8V-Ag

Happy drinking and listening.

In Thy Future Challenge

Danica from Living A Beautiful Life nominated me for this challenge. Thank You Danica!!!! I have never been nominated for anything in this blogger world.

Rules for the In Thy Future Challenge:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Link back to the challenge creator Carolina from yesterday after to track progress
  • Share 5 things about your future. Then one day you can look back and see how psychic you are.
  • Tag 5 bloggers and put them up to the challenge.

5 Things about my future:

  1. I will make money, no matter how little, writing about music
  2. I will visit record stores in over 10 countries
  3. I will learn to play guitar, drums or bass and join a band
  4. I will bury the speedometer on whatever I am driving on The Autobahn, and drive at Nurburgring
  5. I will find a record worth over $1000

My Nominees:






Anyone else in this blogger world is also free to participate.

August 17-This Day in Rock

To help celebrate my beautiful wife’s birthday today I will showcase some musical events that happened on this day.

1939. The Wizard of Oz premiered in New York City.

1949-Sib Hashian of Boston is born.

1960-The Beatles first Hamburg Show.

1969-Woodstock Festival ended.

1970-The Band releases the album Stage Fright.

1984-W.A.S.P. releases the album W.A.S.P.

1998-Carlos Santana received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Awesome music for an awesome lady. Happy Birthday.

The Life Of An Opening Act-Part 2

I got to the show early. The opportunity to see Danko Jones in my hometown for next to nothing at a smaller venue could not be passed up.

This gave me the opportunity to speak to both opening bands. The first is a band from my hometown called The Wormwood Scrubs. They are really friendly, and have a wide mix of sounds from punk, to 60’s surfer rock, and a little hint of Brit Pop. They are a KW band, but the lead singer and drummer, Steven and Shaun Foy were born in Liverpool, England. The British accent gives the local band a unique flavour, and the rest of the band, Brandon Sanders(bass), JE Dawe(lead guitar) are tight, and sound great. During the interview I ask what bands influenced them. The Clash, Green Day, Rancid and NOFX were all mentioned. Personally, I get a positive vibe from the band, that most punk bands do not have. I asked them about if any upcoming songs will have that anger or angst often associated with punk. Brandon stated “What do we have to be angry about?” Perhaps positivity is the new punk, grunge or whatever genre is next. I was informed the band will be releasing some material soon that is heavier and I look forward to this. One song from their setlist that is not on the cd I bought that night is Too Late To Go Home. It kind of reminds me of Rollover DJ by Jet, and I really dug it. They performed a 9 song set, with 5 songs on the cd I bought, and 4 songs, possibly on an upcoming album. To sum up the talent of the band, lets put it this way. The first time I heard Take It Back by The Temperance Movement, I thought it was The Wormwood Scrubs. High praise indeed. I have yet to review the Temperance Movement, but suffice to say they are incredibly awesome. I am happy that there is at least 1 local band that has a bright future.


The bands Facebook page has videos of live and recorded performances. I suggest you check them out.

The next band is Say Yes. This is a new Canadian Supergroup of sorts, featuring Jordan Hastings(Alexisonfire)-drums, Adam Michael(formerly of Saint Alvia Cartel)-guitar and vocals, and Michael Zane-bass and vocals. The band states they were influenced by Black Sabbath, and they would classify themselves as a stoner rock band. This talk was before I had heard their set, and afterwards I was shocked. They had some sludge to their songs later in  the set, but not your typical stoner rock sound. It was a mashup. Possibly because one member came from a harder rock band, one from punk, and one from a combination of many styles. Unique would be my description, but in a good way. The raw emotion of the punk upbringing I feel helps with this uniqueness.

I asked Say Yes if they could cover a band, what band would it be. They said Van Morrison. Then they laughed their asses off. There is an inside joke about how they would always be asked to play Brown Eyed Girl, and that they really would do Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. Don’t get me wrong, Sabbath is my favourite band, and Deep purple is right up there, but these guys shouldn’t be fit into the mold of thousands of bands out there that want to emulate Sabbath or Purple. After listening to their set, the cohesiveness came through, as did the excellent musicianship. The guitar sounds were sometimes ones I don’t think I’ve heard before. It is hard to explain. You’ll have to see them live to get what I mean. Another great Canadian band on the upswing.


I bought cd’s from both bands and they will be done in a future post. At this rate soon both of these bands will not be opening acts any longer.