Musician tours to end teens’ hurt

Using rock and roll to promote anti-bullying may not be a new idea but one musician has taken to the road for the cause.

Rock musician Robb Nash spoke with Ponoka

Rock musician Robb Nash spoke with Ponoka

Using rock and roll to promote anti-bullying may not be a new idea but one musician has taken to the road for the cause and doesn’t charge a dime.

Robb Nash spoke to students from Ponoka, Lacombe and Rimbey outreach schools at the Ponoka Legion April 23. His entire crew and tour is funded through donations by different organizations and individuals who feel his cause is worth the effort.

“I had to rip up my record label to do this tour,” explained Nash. “We didn’t care if there were four people or 40,000 in the audience.”

Even their tour bus was paid for by a husband and wife in the United States who felt Nash’s message, which tackles issues such as bullying and teen suicide, was worth the investment.

“It’s hard to explain until you see the impact of it,” he added. “When you do the right things, good things happen.”

Nash tells the story of how a collision with a semi-truck nearly ended his life. Doctors said he would not survive, and if he did survive that would be in a comatose state.

The accident was so severe Nash has a metal plate in his head and his collarbone. Once he recovered the singer had to battle with the idea that his life would never be the same.

After some time he decided to turn his life around. “I don’t have to be mad at anyone or anything.”

The first call he made was to the driver of the truck; Nash told the man he was alive and the driver burst into tears. Ever since the day of the collision he was unable to drive and had undergone therapy to deal with the incident.

Nash feels he helped the man turn his life around from a simple phone call and the singer wondered how else he could help people turn their lives around. His message appears to be working. “Ninety-three students have walked up to us, pulled out suicide notes and ripped them up.”

Change comes from a person’s power of choice, Nash told students. Only they can turn their lives around. He is realistic about the ups-and-downs of life and wanted students to know tough times do happen.

“Your life is going to be full of painful days,” he stated.

Issues do not just disappear but he suggests the difference is in how one deals with those issues. “Don’t try to take on a year at a time.”

Nash used the tool from Alcoholics Anonymous of one day at a time as a guide for the students. “If you’re going through hell the last thing you should do is stop. Go through it!”

The difference is in a person’s actions after disaster strikes and he feels their choice will help turn things around. He wants to see students help others and bring about positive change instead of regretting not taking any action.

“I’m not here for me, I’m here for others. You’re not here for you, you’re here for others,” said Nash.

One student sang Rolling in the Deep by Adele, with Nash and his band and the group then drove to Red Deer for two more shows that day.