The campaign to support Canadian music legend John Mann continues, highlighting one of the greatest Canadian music moments of all time, not just for the calibre of musicians involved, but for the love and support that the moment represents.
At the Commodore Ballroom in November, nearly 50 of Canada’s most celebrated musicians hung out in the men’s washroom to record an emotional cover of Spirit of the West’s “Home for a Rest” in honour of frontman John Mann and his battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s. The cover was released today (Feb.2) on Spotify and iTunes.
Sarah McLachlan, Colin James, Barney Bentall, Jim Cuddy, Alan Doyle, Ed Robertson and many more of Canada’s top musicians were at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver as part of a benefit concert in John’s honour.
Alan Doyle, best known as the lead singer of Great Big Sea and audio engineer Peter Green created a makeshift sound studio in the Commodore’s second-floor men’s washroom, and shuttled musicians — which also included Spirit Kids, Dustin Bentall, Craig Northey, Shari Ulrich, Jim Byrnes, Kendel Carson, Daniel Lapp, Cory Tetford, Shehab Illyas and Kris MacFarlane — in to record.
“We did drape it nicely,” said Doyle, speaking of the makeshift studio in the washroom. “We found a bunch of black drapes to put over the urinals and the like. We had Sarah McLachlan coming in there. I couldn’t ask Sarah to go to just any old men’s can to sing a song.”
The resulting video and song are the foundation of a GoFundMe campaign to assist the 55-year-old singer in his extensive care for the devastating degenerative disease.
Currently one month in, the GoFundMe campaign is at $33, 290.
Today’s release of the single creates another avenue of support for Mann. One hundred per cent of the proceeds from the sales and streaming of the new release will go to the John Mann Trust Fund.
“This song is a testament to the love that lives in the community of the Canadian music business,” said Alan Doyle, who spearheaded the recording. “I encourage everyone to enjoy and share this song that was made by so many people offering a hand to a friend who needs it.
The special recording of “Home For A Rest” was performed by: Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Sarah McLachlan, Alan Doyle, Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, Spirit Kids Barney and Dustin Bentall, Colin James, Craig Northey and The Odds, Shari Ulrich, Jim Byrnes, Kendel Carson, Daniel Lapp, Spirit of the West with Cory Tetford, Shehab Illyas and Kris MacFarlane.
“We got it in the can in the can,” said Doyle.