Streetheart’s Kenny Shields was no stranger to Surrey.
The rock singer died Friday (July 21) at a Winnipeg hospital following cardiac surgery. He was 69.
Several memorable, riffy hits kept Shields and band on stage since the 1970s.
In 2013, Shields spoke to the Now in a phone interview prior to a Streetheart concert at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre in December of that year.
Winnipeg is where Shields made his home for nearly half of his music-filled life.
Memorable rock hits, including “Action,” “Hollywood,” “Here Comes the Night” and “What Kind of Love is This,” kept the band working over the years.
In conversation with the Now, Shields talked about some of those songs.
“We do get that sometimes – ‘Oh, that song! That was you guys?!’” he told me. “It does happen, although not that often, I guess, where people come up to me and say, ‘I didn’t know you did ‘Tin Soldier,’” Shields noted. “That one surprises a lot of people when they’re told it was ours.”
In Surrey, one of the band’s most memorable gigs was during the 2010 Winter Olympics at the city’s “Celebration Site” at Holland Park, in the big indoor bar set up for the occasion.
“That was a great gig there, I recall,” Shields said three years later. “It was a great moment, a great time – there wasn’t really a bad vibe around, just a pretty simple, straight-ahead gig. Everybody was there to have fun.”
Back before Streetheart was formed, Shields sang in Witness Incorporated, a Saskatoon-based band that had a few regional hits and the good fortune to land some plum opening slots.
“In Edmonton one night,” Shields recalled, “we get a knock on the door and it’s Eric Clapton (then with Cream), standing there with snakeskin boots, and he wants to know if our guitar player has a wah-wah pedal he could borrow. Well, our guitar player carried that little wah-wah pedal around in his hands for weeks after that, cherishing it.”