Although most rock fans on this side of the Canadian border probably say “Huh?” when they hear the name Kim Mitchell, he remains a favorite of mine whom I first discovered when he was fronting Max Webster. I thought they were brilliant and like so many other classic rock groups, their music stands the test of time and still retains a prominent slot on my regular playlist.
Although it seems Mitchell is semi-retired from the stage these days and probably spends more time behind the microphone at Toronto rock radio station Q107 as the afternoon drive time jock, he still like to bask in the bright lights once in a while to the delight of his fans.
“Everything about being on the road is a pain in the ass, but when you go out on stage and the light hits us…it’s wonderful,” Mitchell says, and he’ll be enjoying that feeling when he headlines the Lumberjack Heritage Festival that’s taking place in Kapuskasing, Ontario this weekend.
A decade or so ago, Mitchell was recognizable as the rocker with the long hair and OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) ball cap, but these days he sports a look more akin to that of Chickenfoot axe man, Joe Satriani. Gone are the ball cap as well as the hair, and he’s surprised when people still recognize him.
With regard to the change, Mitchell describes a scene that influenced him to take his personal appearance in a new direction. “It was about 10 years ago. I was loading equipment into the van. It was windy, the rain was coming down. The hat blew off my head into the mud and a truck ran over it. I went over to pick it up and I decided, ‘you know what, it’s time to move on’,” he says.
Fortunately for his fans, moving on did not mean he had decided to stop rocking. His last album, Ain’t Life Amazing, was released in 2007. Kim Mitchell fans like myself are hoping he has a few more left in him.
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