Spirit of The West’s John Mann dead at 57 years old


The music of Spirit of The West has been a part of my life since my early teens. The band’s lead singer and oft-time songwriter, John Mann, was a joyful beast on stage. I saw SOTW live on a number of occasions over the years. They were great, every time. John’s energetic rapport with the audience made sure of that.

Even though we knew it was coming, it’s still a sad day for us Spirit of The West fans. I first saw them back in college with my buddies Rich, Brad, Glen, and Karl at the old Railway Club here in Vancouver and they put on a hell of a show. I saw them many times afterward and always enjoyed Mann’s energy and exuberance.

It’s not often a songwriter writes about the pubs you hung out in on a regular basis – “The Crawl” was the ultimate anthem for us “good, old boys who come from the North Shore.” Or writes a song about the street you grew up on at your suggestion – check out “Gottingen Street.” I don’t know if their music is on Apple Music but here is their Spotify playlist.

At only 57, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease took him far too soon but he is finally “home for a rest.”