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Myles Goodwyn

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I’m very late getting this post out, so all you April Wine fans, please forgive me.

I was saddened last month to hear of the passing of Myles Goodwyn, the main man of April Wine. I just wanted to acknowledge his voluminous contribution to Canadian rock n’ roll.

Growing up on the prairies in the 70s, April Wine was omnipresent, their music woven into the culture of the times. I always loved Myles Goodwyn’s voice… it was always instantly identifiable. Myles could belt out straight-ahead rock n’ rollers (You Could Have Been A Lady) or write mainstream, sappy teenage ballads (i.e. You Won’t Dance With Me). He was a versatile musician with an impressive track record.

In December 2022 Myles Goodwyn announced that he would no longer be touring with the band, turning over his vocal and guitar duties to Marc Parent: “I’ve had a long career, happy, fulfilling. I’ve seen much of the world and I’m grateful to continuing support of radio and our fans worldwide, but touring has been very difficult in recent years because of my diabetes and my health comes first, so unfortunately, my touring days are officially over”, he said.

Myles died in Halifax on December 3, 2023, at the age of 75.

For posterity, here is The Canadian Press report of Myles Goodwyn’s death, published December 3, 2023 :

April Wine has sold 10 million recordings worldwide and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2010. The band was also added to Canada’s Walk of Fame this fall.

The group formed in Halifax in 1969 and consisted of Goodwyn, his friend Jim Henman, and Henman’s cousins David and Ritchie Henman.

After moving to Montreal, the band would go on to record a steady stream of hit songs in the 1970s and early 1980s including “You Could Have Been a Lady,” “You Won’t Dance With Me,” “Roller,” and “Just Between You and Me.”

Their 1975 album Stand Back was the first by a Canadian band to sell more than 100,000 copies. Their 1978 album First Glance would be their first gold album outside Canada, while 1981’s The Nature of the Beast would help them attain platinum status on both sides of the border, according to the band’s website.

In later years, Goodwyn released several blues recordings, including the Juno-nominated “Myles Goodwyn And Friends Of The Blues,” as well as an autobiography titled “Just Between You And Me: A Memoir.”

Alper, who has represented him in recent years, described Goodwyn as a “straight shooter” and a “breath of fresh air” who retained a keen interest in the music business.

Alper said Goodwyn stepped away from the band earlier this year due to health issues and no longer wanting to “live out of a suitcase,” but continued to perform and work with other musicians.

“I’m just so sad, because his spirit and his energy of still wanting to write the great rock and roll song, and the great Blues song, was still in him and he loved collaborating with people to have that happen,” he said. “I’m going to miss him terribly.”

Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge wrote on X — formerly Twitter — to express sadness at Goodwyn’s death and offer condolences to his loved ones. “Myles Goodwyn led April Wine for over 50 years, bringing us hit Canadian rock music and touring relentlessly,” she wrote. “Myles, thanks for the songs we’ll keep playing all over town.”

Canadian rocker Randy Bachman, founder of the Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, described Goodwyn as “a great singer, songwriter, guitar player and creator. His songs will live on forever,” Bachman wrote in an email. “Many of his songs are among my favourites of all time.”

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Thank you, Myles, for all you have given us. You will never be forgotten.

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