In an effort to show my commitment to the Huffington Post, and to start off with a little bang, this inaugural blog entry will make certain our name gets stricken from the Canada's Walk of Fame nominations list forever by using this space to publicly shit on it -- metaphorically, of course. Sounds unprovoked. Sure. I've always crank-called pizza deliveries to parties I wasn't invited to and trust me, I'm never getting invited to any Canada's Walk of Fame parties or their "Canada's Walk of Fame Festival" happening on September 20 if anyone from CWOF decides to read on.
What's my beef? Nothing personal. I know our band has a long way to go before we even get considered for one of their sidewalk stars, but did you know that Jeff Healey does not have a star on Canada's Walk of Fame?
I know, I know, most people would automatically assume Jeff got one years ago. Nope. Do you know who does? Supermodel Daria Werbowy. Now, I have nothing against Werbowy. God knows she's hot as hell, but why does she have one and Healey doesn't? Let's put some perspective on this -- when Daria was in Senior Kindergarten, Jeff was going three-times platinum in Canada and being nominated for a Grammy. When Nelly Furtado, another Canadian Walk of Famer, was in Grade 6, Jeff was acting opposite Patrick Swayze in the movie Road House (nothing the Criterion Collection will be releasing any time soon, but still).
McMaster University beat CWOF to the punch by awarding Healey with an Honourary Doctorate of Letters for his achievements in music in 2004. Conservatory Canada awarded Healey with an Honourary Licentiate Diploma in 2007. In 2011, Woodford Park in Etobicoke, Ontario was renamed "Jeff Healey Park."
We won't even go into the Grammy nominations, Juno nominations (although the Junos failed to even mention his name at the 2008 awards, held a month after his death), the New York Times obit etc, etc.
Isn't the date of induction as important as the induction itself? The ceremony started in 1998 and it's had to play catch up for a few years, inducting obvious people like Celine Dion, Anne Murray, Rush, Glen Gould, Margaret Atwood, Bryan Adams and Wayne Gretzky -- and at some point in the future Justin Bieber and Avril Lavigne -- but inducting people like Brendan Fraser smacks of straw grasping (no offence, Encino Man). At this point, a 2013 Canadian Walk Of Fame star for Healey might just be a tad embarrassing and too little too late.
So what's my angle with all this?
I was lucky enough to meet and speak with Jeff a few times and the last time I spoke to him in 2004, he was inviting me to drop by his nightclub located at Queen & Bathurst in Toronto to jam with him. Of course, I was thrilled at the opportunity, but looking at our tour schedule at the time, I knew it couldn't happen. Once the tours were done, months rolled into years and not having taken him up on his offer when it was on the table remains one of the biggest regrets of my life. With that forever in my mind, seeing Jeff ignored by CWOF year after year hits home a little bit. I guess my flailing arms and big mouth on this topic can be seen as slight compensation for my past neglect.
Still, how coveted is a star that a dog can shit on at a moment's notice?