Tributes pour in for Kenny MacLean
TORONTO ó Platinum Blonde bass player Kenny MacLean was an ambitious ìpop-meisterî who was brimming with ideas and had a lot more music to share with the world, friends and colleagues said Tuesday as news of his death spread.
The Canadian ë80s band officially announced on its website that MacLean had died. Police said the veteran musician was discovered collapsed and unresponsive Monday at his Toronto apartment.
Just days earlier, MacLean gave an ìelectrifyingî performance at a party in Toronto to celebrate the upcoming release of his third solo album, ìCompletely,î and he had recently convinced his Platinum Blonde bandmates to get back together for a reunion gig, said drummer Chris Steffler.
ìWe were (going) to put together a Platinum Blonde show for the first time in over 20 years and the rehearsal was set for 5 p.m. Monday,î Steffler said.
ìAnd I just couldnít figure out why he wasnít returning calls to confirm … Now weíre all just kind of shocked.î
Steffler said the band is upset that some are quickly turning to gossip and speculating about how MacLean might have died, rather than focusing on his musical contributions.
MacLean was found in his bathroom with a toothbrush in his hand and the tap running, Steffler said, which suggests he might have suffered a heart attack.
Toxicology tests will reveal if there were any drugs in MacLeanís system but Steffler discounted the idea of an overdose or suicide attempt.
ìHe had his track pants and a T-shirt on, itís not like it was after a show and he had a bunch of (cocaine) on his face or a needle sticking out of somewhere,î he said.
ìThereís no way he would take his own life or anything like that, and his party consumption days were long behind him, so itís really untimely.î
Record producer Terry Brown, who has worked on several classic Rush albums and music by the likes of Max Webster and Blue Rodeo, said MacLeanís death was ìvery sad newsî and a loss of a great talent.
ìHe was an incredibly talented fellow who had so much enthusiasm and such great ideas, he was a pop-meister, he just wrote great pop tunes,î said Brown, who worked with MacLean on his solo album, ìClear.î
ìAnd he was just one of those people that always had lots of melodies and great ideas in his head and was always dying to get things done. Unfortunately, we never got this (latest) record off the ground, which is a real shame. It had so much potential but … I guess it just wasnít meant to be.î
MacLean joined Platinum Blonde for their second album, 1985ís ìAlien Shores,î which featured one of the bandís biggest Canadian hits ó ìCrying Over You,î which won a Gemini Award for best music video ó and their only U.S. hit, ìSomebody Somewhere.î
The album went quadruple platinum and 1987ís ìContactî went platinum.
MacLean won a SOCAN Award for his solo album, ìDonít Look Back,î and he also strayed from his rock roots to play with the Edmonton Symphony and Orchestra London.
Most recently, in addition to preparing to release his latest CD, he worked on a project called Rock Through The Ages, playing covers of musical hits from the 1950s through to todayís singles by the likes of Oasis and Coldplay.
His new band played regular gigs in Toronto as well as corporate shows for the likes of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Laidlaw, Monsanto, TD Canada Trust, the Toronto Blue Jays and Yamaha Music Canada.
He also worked with a company called hMh Music, an independent record label and music company dedicated to working with emerging artists.
Tributes pour in for Kenny MacLean