Corey Hart is about to vacate his hotel room in Vancouver and head out to the airport for a flight to Japan where he and his band are set to perform concerts in Tokyo and Osaka before an insane schedule which sees everyone fly back to Quebec City July 4th just in time to headline at the Festival d’été de Quebec music festival.
“I am actually going to fly back July 4th, spend 18 hours on a plane and get back to Quebec City just in time to go on stage,” allowed Hart. “If I miss a connection there’s going to be about 50,000 fans disenchanted fans.”
Hart has just completed an amazingly successful 16-date sojourn across the country with Glass Tiger in support and although it’s been 22 years since his last national tour, the Montreal native said he was overwhelmed by the amount of love he felt from his adoring fans each night.
During his stopover at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage, Hart stood alone on stage after concluding his final encore, “Never Surrender”, fighting back tears of emotion as he acknowledged the accolades from an audience that was 14,000 people strong and he continued to sing the song acapella with his fans joining in the sing-along.
“I only did that in about five or six shows, because it seemed the audience didn’t want me to leave,” admitted Hart. “I was just surprised by the outpouring of affection directed at me. It just blew me away.”
From St Johns to Vancouver, the response to Hart’s show was 100% positive with fans posting ecstatic comments about his performance. During that emotional encore in Toronto, Hart spoke of how he harboured doubts that anyone ever wanted to see him perform again and how heartwarming it was to hear the audience sing his songs back to him.
“That emotion from me was genuine, quite frankly I thought I had moved on, it’s just a natural occurrence in the music business,” Hart explained. “I was very hesitant at first about launching a comeback. I was telling the folks who were offering me these tour dates, `look, it’s hard enough when you’ve been out of the spotlight for two or three years, but when you are gone for 22 years, you can’t expect people to come out and see you, it’s not something I anticipated would happen.”
With Hart’s induction into the Juno Hall Of Fame, Warner Music Canada deciding to invest in a new album `Dreaming Time Again’ and Hart even revealing a plaque at Calgary’s national music centre, he notes that “it’s very rare to have a chance to come back the way I have. No life is perfectly charmed, but if there was one, I’ve certainly had it.”
Hart noted that a highlight each night was the B stage which he set up in the audience for a little impromptu session. “We did one in every city and it was none-scripted so the band didn’t know what I was going to play until the morning of each show and sometimes as late as one hour before our performance,” he explained “I would often change what we were going to do because of some facebook message I had received or something I had read. The B stage allowed members of the audience to fulfill their wishes and make certain dreams come true, but at the Toronto concert I fulfilled a wish that my mother had requested.”
“When I was living in Spain, I was estranged from my eldest sister Donna. My mother used to visit us during the winter and one time she gave me a note and said, `When I pass away, I want you and Donna to makeup and I want you to sing “I Am By Your Side” to her in a concert setting,” Hart noted. “So the first chance I got to fulfill my late Mother’s wishes was at Toronto and to be able to have Donna come up on stage and have me sing that song to her was especially meaningful to me.”
So now that the boy is officially out of his box, what’s next for Corey Hart? “I’m getting lots of offers, it’s been a phenomenal year in my life, but honestly I have no concrete plans at all,” he allowed. “My next objective is to fly out to Japan, fly back for Quebec festival and see where things go from there. My family is always going to be my priority.”
So it’s going to be another 22 years before we see you again! “Yeah, right!” Hart laughs. Something tells this writer, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Mr. Hart in the near future.