Concert planned for May in Montreal will be the ‘Sunglasses at Night’ singer’s ‘farewell’ show, Corey Hart says.
Published on Fri Nov 15 2013
Time to get out those sunglasses.
If you’re planning to attend the It’s Always Something Gilda’s Club fundraiser at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts this Saturday night, here’s an added incentive: it’s one of the last performances Corey Hart will ever give.
In fact, make it his last Toronto on-stage appearance: the Juno-winning pop heartthrob, known for such massive ’80s hits as “Sunglasses At Night,” “Never Surrender” and “It Ain’t Enough” — as well as being one of the first domestic artists to sell one million copies of his albums in Canada with 1985’s Boy In the Box — is planning one more big blowout. That will be on May 31, 2014, his 52nd birthday, at the Bell Centre in his hometown of Montreal.
Aside from an appearance at Pride festivities in 2012 and a few guest recording appearances, Hart has virtually retired as an artist, focusing instead on running his label Siena Records, in partnership with Warner Music Canada, and the four children he shares with wife Julie Masse in the Bahamas — not necessarily in that order. Hart answered some questions posed to him in an e-mail interview.
Q: Your last Toronto performance occurred during Pride, and then you basically announced that an arena show in Montreal on your birthday on May 31, 2014 would be your last performance. Why did you decide to do It’s Always Something?
A: It’s Always Something’s Gilda’s Club cancer support community was brought to my attention last year by Warner Canada VP of Promotion Steve Coady. I’ve kept a really low profile over the past decade but when Steve mentioned the event again this year, I felt it was something I should lend my voice to.
Q: How many songs will you be performing this Saturday, and will it be with a full band?
A: I will be performing three songs unplugged, accompanied by two of my band members . . . plus a very special guest on backing vocals for my last song of the evening: My dear friend, Jane Siberry.
Q: Will you be making any other performance appearances in Toronto, or is this and Montreal truly the finales?
A:Truth be told, (Montreal) will be my farewell concert. I see no reason to play coy or hedge my bets. I never had the chance to properly say goodbye when I quietly exited the music scene in 1999. My last headline concert was in 2002. I want to give something musical back to my longtime fans, many of whom are traveling from Europe, Australia & Asia to attend. It’s going to be very emotional: We can rejoice in the power music has to cross all boundaries, uniting us no matter the colour, gender or creed. It’s going to be the definitive concert of my career: At least that’s my aim.
Q: After selling 16 million albums and enjoying a number of hits, was it easy to walk away from music in the late ’90s?
A: I’m writing an autobiography entitled Chasing the Sun — My Life in Music. It will be released at the Montreal show. It explains in detail the reasons why I left the business to raise my four children with Julie, covering the full journey of my life thus far. Hard choices are never easy to make — but the right choice was made for my family. This I am 100 percent certain about.
Q: When you performed last summer, was it tough getting back in the saddle? Were you nervous, and did you discover that you missed it?
A: I’m always nervous before heading out on stage & especially after such a long gap between gigs as was with Pride in June 2012. . . .
I’ve missed it terribly, which is why I am gunning to match Mr. Springsteen’s legendary marathons on May 31 at the Bell Centre. They’re gonna have to drag me off kicking. I will sing until my voice gives out and then my fans will take over.
Q: What is the stature of your current venture, Siena Records, and what are your plans at this point beyond your Bell Centre appearance?
A:We have two young artists signed in development at the moment, Mr. Jonathan Roy and Miss Trudy Simoneau. I’m inspired by their talents & will continue nurturing their musical path to the best of my abilities. The future looks bright for them.
After May 31 — hmm. I go back to my real job as Taxi Dad. My youngest (son Rain) is still only 9 so I’ve got many more miles left to drive on the roadway.
Q: You’ve lived in Montreal and Spain, and currently call Bahamas home. Is life indeed better in the Bahamas?
A: Montreal is my birthplace. Nothing can ever shake that bond. But Bahamas has been our home since 1996. Three of our four children were born and raised there. Spain was an interim setup for our daughter River (who turns 14 on Nov. 18) as she has dreamed of playing pro tennis since she was 4 years old. We adored Barcelona and the experience.
But I know another Hart who set their career goal sights early . . . so I wouldn’t count River out from a trip to Wimbledon one day.