Saturday, August 17th,2019 and more than 3,000 spectators are crammed into Little Current, Manitoulin Island’s Flatrock Event Centre to witness Vancouver’s Trooper bring the two-day Rockin The Rock music festival to a frenzied conclusion. Not a bad turnout for a community which boasts a resident population of fewer than 1,800 souls.
And although the likes of Platinum Blonde, Glass Tiger, Lee Aaron, The Box and Holly Woods & Toronto had all delivered highly-charged performances over the two days, it was Ra McGuire, Brian Smith, Clayton Hill, Paul Gogo, and Scott Brown who brought the concert to a crescendo with a legacy of hits which included, “Raise A Little Hell”, “We’re Here For A Good Time”, “Two For The Show”, “Santa Maria”, “Round Round”, “General Hand Granade” and “Pretty Lady”.
Yet despite the fact that McGuire and Smith have fronted Trooper none stop for the past 44 years, it is a travesty that Trooper has yet to be inducted into Canada’s Music Hall Of Fame.
Fact: In 1979 Trooper’s `Hot Shots’ album became the first-ever release by a Canadian artist/group to attain a sales level of 400,000 units (since gone to 500,000).
Fact: The same year, Trooper won a Juno Award as Top Canadian Group and had two albums nominated for Juno Album of The Year (Hot Shots and Thick As Thieves). They split the vote and Anne Murray’s Greatest Hits won (for the second straight year- go figure!).
Fact: Trooper has released four platinum/multi-platinum studio albums, two multi-platinum compilation albums and one gold studio album.
Fact: When Universal Records released the band’s Hits From 10 Albums release in 2010, the accompanying press release proclaimed Trooper as “One of Canada’s Top Five Selling Bands Of All Time”.
Fact: CBC celebrity Rick Mercer claims Trooper’s “Raise A Little Hell” should be Canada’s unofficial National Anthem!
Fact: Trooper received SOCAN classic awards in 1999 for “We’re Here For A Good Time” and “Santa Maria” and in 2012 won three SOCAN classic awards for “Raise A Little Hell”, “Janine” and “General Hand Grenade”.
Fact: April Wine never won a single Juno Award – Yet they are Canadian Hall Of Fame Inductees.
Fact: Alanis Morissette was 5 years old when Hot Shots sold Quad Platinum – yet she is in the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame.
Fact: Key members of Bare Naked Ladies were about 10 years old when Hot Shots sold Quad Platinum – yet they are members of The Canadian Music Hall Of Fame.
Nothing against any of the above artists (who all richly deserve recognition) but Trooper is one of the original bands which sparked Canada’s music revolution in the early 1970s. All of their compatriots (Guess Who, BTO, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Bryan Adams, Corey Hart, Loverboy, Rush, Triumph, April Wine) have all been inducted…but not Trooper?
There’s a credibility issue here. If the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame is supposed to honour and recognize artists/groups who have created a legacy of achievement in Canada, then surely Trooper is worthy of such recognition. As 2020 will mark the 45th year of continuous touring, Music Express believes that the next Juno Awards would be a fitting occasion for CARAS to honour Trooper.
The 15 members of the CARAS executive board who determine the recipient of the 2020 Juno Hall Of Fame are listed below:
Mark Cohon – Executive Chairman/Georgian Bay Spirits Company
Erik Hoffman – President/Live Nation Toronto
Jeffrey Remedios – President/CEO Universal Music Canada
Shane Carter – President/Sony Music Canada
Julie Adam – Senior Vice President Radio/Rogers Communications
Bruce Allen – President/Bruce Allen Talent
Melissa Bubb-Clarke – Vice President Music & Live Events/Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment
Joel Carriere – Owner/Bedlam Music Dine Alone Records
Jeff Craib – President/The Feldman Agency
Steve Kane – President/Warner Music Canada
Christine Litz – Board Member
Meghan Symsyk – VP International Marketing and Management/eOne Entertainment
Jennifer Walsh – Director Shazam/Apple Inc
Rob Zifarelli – Agent/Paradigm Talent Agency
Jennifer Dettman – Executive Director/Unscripted Content CBC
Music Express readers who wish to support Trooper’s induction into the 2020 Juno Hall Of Fame are encouraged to contact Allan Reid, President/CEO of CARAS/The Juno Awards at Allan@junoawards.ca and encourage his board to support this selection and in doing so help correct a blatant travesty.