#169: No Regrets by Tom Cochrane
Tom Cochrane was born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, in 1953. When he was eleven he got his first guitar. In his late teens and early twenties, he performed in coffee houses across Canada in the early 70’s. His debut album, Hang On To Your Resistance, was released in 1974. Then Tom Cochrane made his way to Los Angeles. In 1975, Cochrane got work composing theme music for the movie My Pleasure Is My Business. This was a film about Xavier Hollander, the call girl and adult film star who authored her own memoir, The Happy Hooker, in 1971. Unable to get subsequent work in Hollywood, Cochrane returned to Canada for drive a taxi and work on a cruise line. At a concert at the El Mocambo for Red Rider in 1978, Tom Cochrane met the band. Soon after Cochrane was invited to join Red Rider.
Red Rider formed in Toronto in 1975. The band consisted of 1975 when lead vocalist and keyboard player Peter Boynton, guitar, keyboard and backing vocalist Ken Greer, guitarist Arvo Lepp, bass player Jon Checkowski and drummer Rob Baker. By the time Red Rider brought Tom Cochrane on board in 1978, the lineup consisted of Boynton, Greer, Cochrane, baker and former bass player with Rush, Jeff Jones. Red Rider released four albums between 1979 and 1984.
The band’s first single “White Hot” was a Top 20 hit across Canada, and climbed to #5 in Vancouver in April 1980. The single also climbed to #48 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was from the debut album by Red Rider titled Don’t Fight It. Then on May 10, 1980, Red Rider appeared in concert at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. A second album released in 1981 titled As Far As Siam expanded their fan base. And on September 5, 1981, Red Rider gave a concert at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.
And in 1983 Red Rider’s third studio album, Neruda, featured the single “Human Race”. A fourth album, Breaking Curfew, didn’t sell very well. In 1986, they released the album, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider. One of the songs on the album was “Boy Inside The Man“. And later that year on October 23rd, the band performed in concert at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium.
In 1988, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, they released Victory Day. Their debut single off this album was “Big League”. By 1988 Tom Cochrane & Red Rider consisted of Cochrane, Greer, John Webster on keyboards and synthesizers, Ken “Spider” Sinneave on bass, Randall Coryell on drums and Peter Mueller on guitar. In the studio production of Victory Day, Denny Fongheiser and Mickey Curry also added drums to the tracks. Victory Day earned Tom Cochrane & Red Rider three Juno Award nominations. On March 2, 1989, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider performed in concert at the Orpheum in Vancouver. A single titled “Good Times” climbed to #22 on CKLG in Vancouver.
After “Big League”, Tom Cochrane went on to release a solo album in 1991 titled Mad Mad World. The studio recording featured Red Rider bandmates Spider Sinneave and John Webster. On the album was a single release titled “Life Is A Highway.” In early 1992 the single climbed to #1 in Canada and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The albums’ follow up single was “No Regrets”.
“No Regrets” is a song about living your life and taking the opportunities that come your way. Even though you may feel sometimes like “a blown out fuse,” but there have been plenty of good times to remember. So, no regrets. Anyway, the couple going through life together still have adventures ahead of them. And even “better times” may be on the horizon.
“No Regrets” peaked at #4 in Hamilton (ON) and #5 in Vancouver. It also charted in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Further releases from the album were “Washed Away” and “Sinking Like A Sunset”. The latter charted in Vancouver, peaking at #7.
Cochrane followed up with an album in 1995 titled Ragged Ass Road, named after a street in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It included the top ten hits on the Canadian RPM singles chart “I Wish You Well” (#1), “Wildest Dreams” (#5) and “Dreamer’s Dream” (#4).
On July 1 the band performed in concert in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey at Surrey Canada Day 2006. On February 18, 2008, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider gave a concert at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.
In all, Tom Cochrane has released seven studio albums as a solo artist. Separately, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider released three albums, and Red Rider released four albums. (So, Tom Cochrane has been featured in 14 studio albums).
On February 24, 2015, the band performed in Vancouver’s suburb of Coquitlam at the Hard Rock Casino. August 29, 2015, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider appeared in concert at the PNE Amphitheatre in Vancouver. In 2016, a stretch of highway between Lynn Lake and Thompson, Manitoba, was named the Tom Cochrane Life Is A Highway. On March 2, 2017, at the Abbotsford Centre, in the city of Abbotsford – a one hour drive east of Vancouver. August 29, 2017, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider performed in concert at the PNE Amphitheatre in Vancouver. On August 17, 2019, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider appeared in concert in West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park.
May 4, 2022
“About Tom Cochrane,” Tom Cochrane.com
“Interview: Tom Cochrane,” The Wire, Peterborough, Ontario, July 1, 2017
“Tom Cochrane: ‘You Sometimes Write the Happiest Songs When You’re Down’,” CBC, December 7, 2016
Terry David Mulligan, Tom Cochrane Interview – 2014, Mulligan Stew, January 31, 2015
David Friend, “Tom Cochrane reflects on success of ‘Life is a Highway’,” Toronto Star, Toronto, ON, January 5, 2017
Xavier Hollander, The Happy Hooker. Xavier Hollander.com
Tom Cochrane & Red Rider – Credits, Victory Day, Discogs.com
“Tom Cochrane has Stretch of Manitoba Highway Named After Him,” CBC, October 31, 2016.
“Tom Cochrane & Red Rider,” setlist.fm.
“Vancouver’s Official Top 40,” CKLG 730 AM, Vancouver, BC, February 10, 1992.
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