Great Hall Photo Series
Dan Hill Photographed in The Great Hall in Toronto by Lisa MacIntosh for her series of musicians. Photo Credit: Lisa MacIntosh Photography.
Dan Hill Performs in the Philippines: read article and see photos of performance
“Just a quick post to thank you for your support and birthday wishes, and to let you know I am taking a break. As many of you know, I have recently faced some staggering losses: deaths of family members and close friends, including my beloved sister, Karen. So I’ve decided to take some time to heal and to work on some creative projects. Meanwhile, thanks again for your love and support. Be well.” Dan Hill
Dr. King Jr’s message is my message to everyone out there, who cares, who has love and lost or lost and then loved. hope, kindness, forgiveness, and yes, love is all that matters.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“On March 23, 2014, I was in Nashville, Tenn., writing songs with my friend, multiple Grammy Award winner Keith Stegall. We were writing in hopes of placing some of our songs on the new Alan Jackson album. Keith discovered Alan, who is now a country music superstar, his worldwide record sales surpassing 70 million albums. Keith and I had two great days of writing behind us. At 12:30 a.m., I returned to my room. I felt good. I’m no longer a drinker, and my mind was clear, but between eight intense miles of hill running and banging out three songs with Keith, my body cried out for sleep. Usually I don’t check emails before I go to bed. That night, I broke my rule. One email; from my younger brother, Lawrence.” more…
(Graham Rockingham, The Hamilton Spectator)
Dan Hill’s phone rang 10 minutes before he was to go on stage. It was a doctor, informing him he had prostate cancer.
“The urologist called me at 10-to-8 on Oct. 11, 2011 in Cambridge, Ontario,” the Grammy winning Toronto singer-songwriter says. “You know you’re in trouble when your urologist calls you on your cellphone on a Saturday night. You know it’s bad. I had just had a biopsy. He got back to me within 72 hours of it.”
A decision had to be made quickly on whether he would undergo surgery.
“I said, ‘Fine I want this thing out of my body. Give me the surgery.’
“Then he says, ‘If you get the surgery, you’ll never sing again.’
“I said, ‘Fine, I’ll never sing again. I choose life.’
“I marched on stage and sang like I would never sing again.”
It’s a story, Hill has been telling a lot lately, mostly at benefit shows to raise funds for cancer research, like he’ll be doing with hockey great Paul Henderson Tuesday night at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel.
Hill, 59, and Henderson, 72, are both cancer survivors (Henderson was diagnosed with a form of leukemia several years ago).
Hill had his prostate removed, and, despite the doctor’s warning, rebounded from the surgery without losing his ability to sing. Without going into details, the inability to sing following prostate surgery has more to do with incontinence than vocal chords. Hill, however, can still hit those high C notes without embarrassment.
“You have to learn to retrain your body,” explains Hill, an avid long-distance runner since his teens. “One of the reasons I was able to, is because I was in good shape from running 10 miles a day. My body was strong and easily trainable.”
Hill, best known for his international ’70s hit, Sometimes When We Touch, intends to sing some songs as well as talk at Tuesday’s fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society, including a new one, The Slightest Difference, which he wrote during his cancer battle.
Hill now calls himself “a lucky guy,” but he’s grateful for his lifesaving surgery and is aware that advances in cancer treatment can only come with money.
“The cures are getting better all the time,” Hill says. “Unfortunately the way it works in this world, is that a lot of research money comes from donations. One of the things I did is bequeath a large part of my will to the cancer society.
“What I ask of people coming to this event, is for things to get even better, we have to give money. It saves lives.”