Tom purchased his first guitar at age 11 by selling a toy train set. In the early 1970s, he was performing in coffee houses across Canada. He eventually made his way to Los Angeles where he found a job writing theme music for My Pleasure is My Business, a Xaviera Hollander movie. Unable to find steady income from music, Cochrane returned to Toronto where he drove a taxi cab and later took a job on a Carribbean cruise liner to help pay the bills. Cochrane went back to Los Angeles in 1976, trying to sell his songs to publishers but without success, and returned to Toronto in 1977. Cochrane walked into the El Mocambo club one night in Toronto and came across a band of locals calling themselves Red Rider. After an audition, they agreed to Cochrane joining the band as lead singer and songwriter.
After the Red Rider era, Cochrane set off on his soloist path again. In 1990, Cochrane took his family to West Africa where he helped to raise awareness and money for the World Vision famine relief organization. That experience shaped his next album Mad Mad World which contained the internationally acclaimed hit single Life is a Highway. In 1995, he released Ragged Ass Road and followed that with a Canadian tour in 1996. The tour resulted in Songs of a Circling Spirit, a live CD and multi-media package of previously released material.
In June 1999, Cochrane was involved in a light plane crash in Montreal, after one of the wings came off in a grove of trees. Fortunately, no one was injured.
At the 2003 Juno Awards, Tom Cochrane was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The special award ceremony took place April 5, 2003 at Casino du Lac-Leamy in Ottawa, Ontario.
In December 2003 he was one of the musical guests on a CBC special called, Rick Mercer's Christmas in Kabul.
Tom Cochrane Facts
|May 13, 1953 (70)
|Lynn Lake, Manitoba, Canada
|The Prime Gig
|Gardens of the Night
|A Year In The Life Of Tom Cochrane Champion Ploughman & Agri Contractor DVD
|Sharpe's Sword Collection Set
|Wilbur and the Baby Factory/Tanya
|Life Is A Highway
|Sharpe's Collection, Set 2