Being creative can be a blessing and a curse. It doesn't matter what type of creative you are; photographer, writer, painter, musician, when you've got that creative spirit within, you can't turn it off.
Singer, songwriter and musician Ted Moore knows this all too well. He started his professional career as a teen and spent the next two decades honing his craft, forming bands, writing songs and taking it on the road. Then he finally got his big break; the coveted record deal. Years of practice, writing and performing paid off and he and his band were about to be launched onto the world stage. Then the record deal fell through when their go-to-guy at the recording company died.
Moore decided it was time to change his game plan. He went back to school and became a teacher. He also got married and had two children; all the while playing his music any chance he could get. He would often bring his guitar to school and play for his students. They told him he looked and sounded like Bon Jovi and an idea was born.
Moore did some research into the logistics of becoming a successful cover band and then gathered several of his highly talented friends together. A few months later, Blaze of Glory was formed. The band, according to the many Bon Jovi fans that follow them, is the next best thing to Bon Jovi. The critics agree.
Randy Robertson - guitar, Ted Moore - vocals and guitar,
Doug Grant - drums, Mike Champigny - bass, James Meyer - keyboards
Moore takes the stage as Jon Bon Jovi, complete with costume changes. Doug Grant on drums, Randy Robertson on guitar, Mike Champigny on bass and James Meyer on keyboard complete the group. Google any one of them and you'll see what a talented and diverse group of professionals make up Blaze of Glory. When on stage the audience is entertained with songs from three decades of Bon Jovi concerts, starting in 1983.
The group recently came off a cross-country tour of the USA that included gigs in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California.
"We are now being taken seriously in the American market," said Moore from his home in the Lower Mainland. "On this last tour we were the first rock band ever invited to perform at the prestigious Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Centre in Connecticut. It was a truly humbling experience."
The response to the tribute band, at least in the States has been overwhelming at times. "Out of all the Bon Jovi tribute bands in the world we were specifically invited to perform at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey, " said Moore. "It's the very club where Bon Jovi has their roots. The band was incredibly well-received."
So well received they were invited back to play at the Stone Pony for the American July 4th celebrations this year. Since then the band has switched bookings and instead will be playing there a week before the Bamboozle festival, when all Jersey bands, including Bon Jovi, return home for a rock 'n' rollin time.
Blaze of Glory are also quite the draw on the California fair scene. They recently signed a deal with That's Entertainment to perform at 15-20 California fairs, festivals and casinos. They have also been invited to perform at the world famous Whiskey-A-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Moore is thrilled with the upcoming gigs and also a little nervous, knowing they are playing world famous venues.
"It is weird to be part of the process of going outside of Canada to get recognition and then coming home," mused Moore. "It's not that Canadians don't care about their own bands, it's just they follow pop culture which is driven by America and England. A lot of Canadian bands have to go away before they are able to get recognition in their country. We have great support from the Thompson Okanagan area and yet we rarely have gigs in Vancouver, where most of us are from. We had our very first gig as Blaze of Glory in Kamloops."
All the musicians in Blaze of Glory have had to adapt from being original artists to being cover artists. "These are uncharted waters for us," says Moore. "We all come from a background of playing original music. Now we've created a novelty act without a radio release or original compositions that is becoming an international success. We have over 20 dates book in the States so far for 2012 and it's early in the year. We are playing Kelowna and Kamloops in March. We also have some Canadian dates lined up for the PNE in Vancouver, the Stampede in Calgary and the CNE in Toronto. We are also working on getting back to the Interior of B.C. for Vernon's Funfest and Penticton's Peachfest."
Blaze of Glory will be playing on March 1st at the 97 St. Pub in Kelowna. On March 2nd they are part of a night of tribute bands and the Kamloops Convention Centre. They'll share the stage with Aerosmith Rocks, an Aerosmith tribute band, and Who Made Who, a tribute to ACDC.
As their slogan goes, Blaze of Glory is proudly second best … only Bon Jovi does it better. For more info on the band and concert dates go to www.blazeofglory.ca and click on tour dates.
You can get a preview of the band online at YouTube