Rocker opens for John Mellencamp on Canadian tour

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Tom Cochrane opens for John Mellencamp at the ACC tonight.

He’s played Toronto many times over the years, but Tom Cochrane has never stepped on the stage at the Air Canada Centre.

That will all change tonight when the Canadian rock legend opens for American rock legend John Mellencamp.

Cochrane, a resident of Oakville, told Metro he is excited to play in Toronto again.

“Yeah, of course I am. It’s always great to play in Toronto, it’s a great city,” Cochrane said. “I don’t think I’ve ever played the ACC before so it’s going to be a great new experience.”

Mellencamp completed a major tour in the U.S. last month and is now crossing Canada with Cochrane and Red Rider in the opening slot.

“I think we’re kindred spirits in a lot of ways. He’s fairly outspoken and honest in his music, and obviously he’s had a ton of hits, and I think a lot of the sensibility in the music is similar,” he said. “I think a lot of his fans are my fans and vice versa. So he’s a good dude and we’re going to rock the country from one end to the other.”

Cochrane fans can expect to hear all their favourites including Life Is A Highway and Big League — those are tunes Cochrane just couldn’t leave out.

“I can’t play as long as I usually like to but I think I have to play (Life Is A Highway) don’t you?” Cochrane asked. “A lot of the songs that are near and dear to Canadian hearts are going to be in there, so it’s going to be a power packed set I guess.”

Cochrane set the table for a career in music when, at age 11, he traded in a toy train set for his first guitar.

After years of struggling, travelling and driving a taxi, Cochrane joined Canadian band Red Rider as lead singer/songwriter and together they released four acclaimed studio albums.

Later, Cochrane set out on his own, and when Mad Mad World — which included megahit Life Is A Highway —was released, it helped Cochrane ensure a long-lasting career.

So what’s the key to longevity?

“I think a big part of it is naivety. If I knew some of the things I know now when I started out I don’t know if I would have the gumption to carry on,” he said. “But you really have to have a steadfast belief in what you do, you do need to have faith in music.”

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