Music History

New Campaign to Help Canadian Songwriter John Cody

Another Canadian musician needs a hand.  This is from Canadian Musician magazine:

The team at Canadian Musician magazine has launched a crowd-funding campaign via GoFundMe to help acclaimed Canadian songwriter and musician John Cody. He is in desperate need of financial assistance due to cancer and other continually worsening health conditions that have taken his singing voice, ended his career, and left him in severe financial hardship.

John’s many musical contributions and accomplishments include co-writing and touring with Tom Cochrane, as well as arranging and providing background vocals on the diamond-selling Mad Mad World album. Following that, John accepted a publishing deal in Los Angeles, where he lived for over 20 years. While there, John co-wrote the song “The Fundamental Things” for Bonnie Raitt’s platinum-selling album, Fundamental. He also wrote and recorded with Keith Urban, Lynn Miles, Sharon Stone, Christopher Ward, Larry Klein, Holly Cole, and many others. As the musical director for the infamous Hollywood hotspot Le Deux Café, John performed with countless legends like Joni Mitchell and Grace Jones and earned a reputation in L.A’s music scene as a musician’s musician. In addition to the gold, platinum, and diamond-certified albums John has written for and performed on, he also released four solo albums of his own, including 2017’s Hard Won: The Final Recordings, which was finished just before the partial-removal of his larynx that cost him his singing voice.

John is currently being treated for colon cancer and will undergo his seventh polypectomy in four years in a few months due to recurring and multiple cancerous and pre-cancerous polyps that constantly need to be removed. Due to complications from this condition, he developed cancer of the larynx and had laser surgery, which forever took away his singing voice.

Much of the regenerating squamous leukoplakia was removed but he will soon have another surgery on his larynx that will likely take away his ability to speak. He also suffers from a severe degenerative autoimmune disease that has robbed him of his mobility and is now in a manual wheelchair; however, a motorized chair is currently being built for him. He still uses a walker at times, but is a fall risk and has thus been discouraged from walking unless it’s necessary.

Currently, John is awaiting a surgery to remove necrotic tissue that needs immediate attention to prevent potentially-fatal infection. Because his colon does not work properly, his stomach doesn’t process food normally, so he has become diabetic as well. He has necrotic bone in his jaw that will be removed after it is determined what can be done to deal with the swollen glands around his throat and the significant scarring around the same area due to the laser surgery on his voice. The necrotic bone was discovered after having five teeth removed for the same reason earlier this spring. Add to that the constant pain of a great many of these conditions, which is in and of itself overwhelming.

For obvious reasons, John can no longer work and lives on an incredibly modest disability that leaves him with a scant $21 after paying the rent on his small Montreal apartment. Paying bills and having healthy food is next to impossible without the help of friends. Even with a few solvent years as a composer in the music industry after his cancer diagnosis, he was unable to keep up with the bills and returned to Canada after having lived and worked in Los Angeles for over two decades. While many medical expenses are alleviated in Canada, many are not. For example, he simply can’t afford to rent a motorized chair while he waits for his own to arrive. Subsequently, without the help of friends, he is basically a shut-in.

Nobody should have to live like this, whether they are sick or not, though adding poverty to this list of difficulties makes it nearly impossible to cope and flourish, let alone simply survive. But even when faced with all of these medical and financial hardships, John remains optimistic and upbeat about a positive outcome. Whatever can be done to help will aid in that positive outcome and will help John immensely.

Though by necessity he lives a very modest lifestyle, with just a bit of financial help, John can live through the next few years without the burden of poverty added to his deteriorating health conditions. Over the last 30 years, John’s impressive career and repertoire has brought joy to countless music fans, even if they didn’t know his name, as well as the fellow musicians who love and respect him. It is a shame to see someone in the Canadian music industry of John’s importance being forced into such a difficult situation through no fault of his own.

For these reasons, Canadian Musician magazine is asking people to go to, which will take them to the GoFundMe page, to make a donation. As well, spread the word about the campaign on social media with the hashtag #HelpJohnCody.

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 38536 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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