Platinum Blonde Rocker Laid To Rest


December 4, 2008

Former Platinum Blonde bassist Kenny MacLean was remembered Thursday as not only a brilliant and ambitious musician but also as a kind, loving man who befriended everyone he met and touched the lives of countless people.

Hundreds attended a memorial service held at a Toronto church for MacLean, who was found dead in his apartment on Nov. 24, just days after performing at a party to promote his upcoming CD.

His friends and family said they were organizing a free tribute concert in his honour at Toronto’s Mod Club on Dec. 17.

Before he died at age 52, MacLean was in the midst of planning a long-awaited Platinum Blonde reunion gig and preparing to release his third solo CD.

His brother Donald thanked the many well-wishers who had sent along their thoughts and prayers, including friends, fans and members of other ’80s Canadian bands like Red Rider, Honeymoon Suite and Glass Tiger.

“For those who have sent condolences and posted tributes, we thank you – there have been so many,” he said.

He said his brother’s life as a musician was not without its share of problems, which are all too common in the industry.

“Every musician, writer and artist knows there’s a hell of a price to pay for being in this business,” he said.

“(Kenny) had demons along the way, but in the last year he found the strength to deal with them head on … Over the last year Kenny had been working very hard to get his career back on track. He had his new CD, ‘Completely,’ a new record label, studio, music recording school and a CD release party on Nov. 21.

“It must have been too great a stress, as his big heart gave way.”

A series of mourners all spoke of how MacLean was a man of many friends who genuinely cared for all those he came across. He also donated his time to support several children’s charities.

“When you went to the gym or a restaurant there was an endless procession of people coming by that Kenny knew over the years,” said longtime friend Ken Hight.

MacLean’s brother-in-law, Robert Tersigni, read a series of tributes that had been sent to the family and said the musician was so well liked because he was completely down to earth and never let his fame get to his head.

“There was no pretence … no acting one way in public and then different in private,” Tersigni said.

“Like anyone who met Kenny MacLean, within minutes . . . (they) were friends and exchanging hugs at the end of the night.”

MacLean’s brother said his final CD will be released soon and expressed the hope that his music will live on.

The family urged mourners to consider a donation to the Humber School of Creative & Performing Arts to start a scholarship in MacLean’s name. If donations reach $10,000, matching government funds will be added and a permanent annual scholarship will be created.

“This would be a most fitting tribute for Kenny’s passion for music and a drive to support young musicians,” his family said in a statement.

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