Slash to perform at Blue Jays' opener
TORONTO (CP) - Laurel Lindsay knows it sounds cheesy but she can't help herself.
"You want to make a splash and you make a splash with Slash," she said with a laugh Tuesday after the Toronto Blue Jays announced plans to have the former Guns N' Roses guitarist perform the national anthems before the club's April 8 home opener against the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
"Opening night isn't your typical night," added Lindsay, vice-president, consumer marketing for the Jays. "It's about entertainment and it's the one game of the year when you can be different from other nights."
With the three main characters of the Canadian cult TV hit Trailer Park Boys on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, Blue Jays fans can be certain of that.
Rather than the safe, staid choices who typically perform the anthems at the Rogers Centre - it was R&B artist Keshia Chante at last year's opening day and Shawn Desman a year before that - Slash is a riskier, more memorable choice.
The renowned guitarist, famous for wearing top hats that sit precariously atop his wild curls and strumming with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, was a longtime member of rebel heavy metal band Guns N' Roses before joining rock supergroup Velvet Revolver.
Deb Belinsky, who is in charge of in-game entertainment for the Jays, pitched the idea to Slash last summer when he was in Toronto with Velvet Revolver for a show. He'll make a side trip from the group's current tour to play the home opener.
"He loved it," said Lindsay. "He loved the fact of coming here to perform solo and do the anthems. He's never done it before."
As for those worried about what Slash might do to O Canada, Lindsay says not to worry.
"It's going to be similar to a Jimi Hendrix style of anthem," she said. "It's going to be his rendition. He's been supplied with all the music and I know he's already practising."
The ceremonial first pitch, however, might not be as incident-free.
Showcase's Trailer Park Boys revolves around the troubled lives of Julian (played by John Paul Tremblay), Ricky (Robb Wells) and Bubbles (Mike Smith), who will take the mound in character and perhaps bring the shenanigans from the show with them.
"We'll know when they get to the mound," said Lindsay. "I have a feeling with these guys, you can't really predict a lot."
Actor Eugene Levy threw out the first pitch last year.