Rocket’s F- Cancer Concert
Rocket Norton has Cancer. He’s been fighting the disease for some time now and has taken his fight public. Twice now, Rocket, the former drummer for the rock group Prism, has organized and produced a night of Rock and Roll music to raise money for the Cancer Foundation and its fight against the insidious disease. This latest fundraiser on October 21, 2023, saw $300,000 raised to help children with cancer.
Coleen Christie and I were asked to be the MCs for the event, and at one point in the evening, Coleen asked the nearly 2,000 people in the theatre to applaud if they had not been touched by cancer in some way. There was silence, not one person clapped. Cancer had in one way or another touched everyone in the audience. None of us have to venture very far to feel the pain of the dreaded disease.
My broadcasting family lost two members this past week. Kim Larsson, long-time traffic reporter was taken from us by lung cancer last Sunday, and radio and television reporter, producer, and my co-anchor on CKVU’s 6 o’clock news, Doriana Temolo lost her long battle with breast cancer this past Wednesday.
Rocket admits that he doesn’t know how much time he has left on planet Earth, but wants to make a difference, to try and help put an end to a disease that affects so many. He can’t do it himself, but he can motivate others to not only donate money but also in the case of the last two concerts, give of their time to help the cause.
It was a who’s who in the Canadian music scene as Rocket put out the call to his friends and colleagues to come on board and help him raise money. When friends get together to help each other a lot can be accomplished. His musician friends responded and music fans did too.
How’s this for a musical lineup? Trooper, Lee Aaron, The Legendary Powder Blues Band, Prism, Chilliwack, Headpins, Doug and the Slugs, Loverboy, Jim Byrnes, and Colin James.
It was quite a night with some legendary performers taking the stage. And so many of them have played and will be playing again at Blue Frog Studios. People like Tom Lavin, Ray Roper, Lee Aaron, Lindsay Mitchell, John Hall, Bill Henderson, Al Harlow, Simon Kendall, Tom Keenlyside, Mike Reno, Paul Dean and Cathy St. Germain.
I could list so many more, but I’m sure you get the picture. All of these people and the rest of the musicians could have been somewhere else, doing something else, but when the call came from Rocket and there was an opportunity to help kids with cancer, they all answered “Yes, I’ll be there.” It was quite an outpouring from the music community here in Vancouver.
These performers love to entertain, but each group had to be limited to 3 songs maximum, otherwise, we would have been there all night, which I’m sure most of the crowd would have loved! So the old adage of “leave 'em screaming for more” definitely came into play. Aside from the performance on stage, it was fun to watch the performers off-stage in the green room. I could tell that some people hadn’t connected with old friends in a long time, and there was a lot of catching up and telling old stories of days gone by.
Mike Reno told me that Loverboy had just come off a tour of the U.S. and Canada where they were playing to sold-out arenas and ampitheatres. I think it felt a little strange for him and the band to play only 3 songs. He wanted to do more, and the crowd wanted more. As it was, the show started at 7, and was still rockin' at midnight with the big finale song being Trooper’s hit “We’re Here For A Good Time…Not a Long Time.”
If Rocket Norton doesn’t have a theme song that finale tune could well be it. “We’re here for a good time, not a long time, So have a good time, the sun can't shine every day.” Well played Rocket, well played!
Till next week...
L-R: Rocket & Wayne // Coleen Christie & Wayne // Finale - all bands on deck
L-R: Keith Larsson // Doriana Temolo // Doriana & Wayne
Trooper - Here for a Good Time
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White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2