Music History

Michael J. Fox Resurrects Marty McFly’s Guitar Performance at GGPAA in Ottawa

For the last twenty-five years, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award is bestowed upon people in the arts who have made outstanding contributions to Canadian culture. Awards have been given to musicians (Rush, Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Leonard Cohen, Buffy Ste. Marie, Michel Pagliaro), actors, theatre performers, philanthropists, filmmakers and more.

Last night, seven more people were honoured:  theatre director Brigitte Haentjens, filmmaker Jean Beaudin, philanthropist William Loewen, theatre artist Yves Sioui Durand, comedian Martin Short, singer Michael Bublé and actor Michael J. Fox. Each was given a salute of some sort (a short film, a tribute performance, a nice speech) but only Fox participated in his own tribute.

After an interview film, the screen rose to reveal Joan Jett’s band–with Michael himself holding a Les Paul. Everyone launched into the Springsteen song that came from Light of Day, the 1987 movie that featured both of them.

Damn, if it wasn’t like the time Marty McFly picked up a guitar in Back to the Future. Watch the entire GGPAA event tonight on CBC at 9m ET.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38303 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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