A Wild Night At The Socan Awards


Dallas Green, Randy Bachman and Mars Bonfire

Yes music industry boys and girls, Mars Bonfire actually does exist! The reclusive writer of Steppenwolf’s seminal rock classic, “Born To Be Wild” was honoured Monday night at the 26th annual SOCAN Awards gala staged at the Westin Harbour Castle.

More than 500 music industry movers and shakers paid tribute to Bonfire (nee Eugene McCrohan) author of probably `the’ most played rock song on Canadian radio, who appeared on stage, accepted his unique Cultural Impact Award, didn’t say much other than a cursory `thank you’ and left .

A song that is for ever etched in history as a cultural icon, serving as the opening credits of the movie, Easy Rider’, one that first referenced the term “heavy metal” and has been covered by more than 100 artists (including Bruce Springsteen, The Cult and Wilson Pickett) and has chalked up over 900 synch licenses in movies, television shows and commercials.

It was only fitting then that Canada’s Heavy Metal kings, Anvil should deliver a booming rendition of the song which had many attendees searching furtively for their ear plugs. Anvil’s energetic performance was only one of several key live performances at a Gala event which honoured song-writing achievements in a number of music categories.

Cold Specks performed “Private Eyes”, the Hall & Oates classic, co-written by Canadian Warren Pash, one of four composers feted by SOCAN as winners of their 2015 Classic Awards for songs which have achieved over 100,000 spins on domestic radio. The other recipients were The Stampeders’ Rich Dodson for two songs; “Monday Morning Cho-Cho” and “Wild Eyes”, Honeymoon Suite keyboardist Ray Coburn for “Feel It Again” and fellow bandmate, guitarist Derry Grehan for four Honeymoon Suite classics; “Burning In Love”, “.New Girl Now”, “Wave Babies” and “What Does It Take”.

Francesco Yates proved to be a young talent in the making with his solo, acoustic performance of “Better To Be Loved”, Yates his currently working on a debut album with master producer Pharrel Williams.

But the evening’s climax proved to be a performance by Lifetime Achievement winner, Randy Bachman who led an all-star cast that included the likes of Brett Kissel, Rich Dodson, Derry Grehan, Anvil’s Lips, Kim Stockwood, Colin Linden, Tim Hicks, Damhnait Doyle and his son Tal Bachman through a spirited “Taking Care Of Business”, with the audience joining in by bashing away at miniature cowbells (you had to be there!).

Other key awards were presented to former True North Records’ president, Bernie Finklestein (Special Achievement Award), Magic (International Achievement Award), Dallas Green (National Achievement Award), The Stumbellas (Folk/Roots Music Award), Country Music Awards to Brett Kissel,  Jason Blaine and the duo of Tim Hicks and Jeff Coplan and Pop​/Rock Music Awards went to Magic, Hedley and Down With Webster.

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