Spirit of the West Announces They’re Done. The Cause? Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Spirit of the West frontman John Mann is one brave dude. Soon after being diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s, John and his family went public about his condition. In the time since, they’ve done plenty to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia, a problem that’s only going to get worse as the population ages. I was the host for a special fundraiser event at the Horseshoe in Toronto where John performed live. He needed an iPad for the lyrics but was still able to turn in a powerful and uplifting performance.

But there’s no halting this disease. Spirit of the West has announced that they will end their 30-year career with a couple of shows at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver on June 15 and 16, 2016.

If you’re so inclined, tickets go on sale Friday through Ticketmaster.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

5 thoughts on “Spirit of the West Announces They’re Done. The Cause? Early Onset Alzheimer’s

  • December 2, 2015 at 10:11 am
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    Man, this really makes me sad. I missed the news of his Alzheimer’s a year ago. Spirit of the West is such a fun, underrated (because of the genre, I suppose) band filled with extremely talented artists and musicians, both present and former. Their music STILL brings me back to those easier (sometimes, not so easier,) carefree (sometimes, not so carefree) teenage days. I have all their stuff and feel lucky to have seen them a handful of times. John’s voice is so unique — there’s not another one like it. Hearing his vocals along with the VSO on Open Heart Symphony gives me chills. Their music moved me then just as it does now. In a different way, but it still moves me. Thoughts and prayers with John, his family, friends and band mates.

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  • December 2, 2015 at 10:50 am
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    We saw SOTW open for Blue Rodeo here in Winnipeg right around the time the announcement was made. They had been on my concert bucket list since the mid-’90s — and it was my daughter’s first concert ever! — and they did not disappoint; John sounded great and put his whole self into that show. Best wishes to him and his family going forward.

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  • December 2, 2015 at 11:44 pm
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    The concerts are in April, not June

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