Pure Petty is a musical tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They will be taking the stage at the ADSS theatre on Friday, April 27. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Musical tribute to Tom Petty will debut in Port Alberni

‘I wanted to do it in my hometown’

Alberni Valley musician Lance Lapointe will be kicking off a new project in his hometown at the end of the month with a tribute to the American singer-songwriter Tom Petty.

Lapointe has had a successful musical career, touring and recording worldwide, although he always sticks to his roots on Vancouver Island. He was named the Vancouver Island Music Awards artist of the year in 2016/2017 for his own original music with the Lance Lapointe Band, and will have a new single coming out soon. He is also an accomplished promoter and producer.

“You have to wear many hats as a musician,” he laughed. “I’ve always been a musician, since day one. I do my original thing, go to Los Angeles twice a year.”

His newest project is Pure Petty—a musical tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It was in Los Angeles where Lapointe said he came up with the idea for the tribute.

“It was a couple years ago,” he said. “I was driving down Ventura Boulevard, and Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’ came on the radio. I couldn’t believe I’d made it to LA.”

He discussed the idea with some friends and fellow musicians, but didn’t take much action until Petty’s passing in October of 2017.

“We wanted to do something cool and pay homage,” said Lapointe. “It was on the backburner for a while—until he passed away. Now it’s kind of blown up.”

Lapointe plays bass and provides backup vocals for the band. Fellow Vancouver Island musicians Art Van Volsen and Richard Spencer provide percussion and guitar work, respectively. John Mang, a former CBC music producer, will be on keyboards, guitars and vocals. Lapointe describes him as a “musical idol.”

The part of Tom Petty will be played by Dave Danylchuk.

“He looks and sounds exactly like Tom Petty,” Lapointe said. “I’m really lucky to have found someone who sounds like that.”

Pure Petty will be kicking off an Island tour at the Alberni District Secondary School theatre on April 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Lapointe says the ADSS theatre has become a “world-class” venue, with 500 seats and more than 100 lights on stage.

“It was built acoustically,” he explained. “There’s not a bad seat in the house. As theatres go, it’s comparable to the beautiful theatres on the Island.”

Former ADSS music instructors Sarah Falls and Barry Miller had input into the building of the auditorium. Lapointe credits both of these instructors for his successful career.

“[Sarah] was the reason I became a musician,” he said.

Lapointe has arranged meetings in Las Vegas about performing a number of shows there, as well as on cruise ships, and he feels positive about the future of the project.

“Everybody’s a Tom Petty fan [in the U.S.],” he laughed. “Between that and other promoters on the Island, there’s interest.”

But Pure Petty’s very first tour stop will be at the ADSS Theatre.

“I wanted to do it in my hometown,” said Lapointe.


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