'Robbie Tucker
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'Robbie Tucker

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“The day after I first took the medication,” recalls Montreal musician Robbie Tucker
over a plate of pasta, “I ran up to Sherbrooke and ran as far as I could—jumping off
stairs and avoiding people like the Flash or Batman—until I literally couldn’t run
anymore. It felt so good!”
Tucker’s thinking back to 2005, when, at age 28, following months of increasing
misery and despair, the New Brunswick native was at last properly diagnosed with
Parkinson’s disease, the devastating neurological disorder that keeps one trapped in
an increasingly unresponsive body. “I had reached the point where it was so bad
that I couldn’t play on stage anymore. It took me five minutes to get my guitar out
of the case.
“It’s like someone took a big block of kryptonite and threw it over there,” he says,
gesturing away from himself, “Aw, that’s great, thank you so much—but it’s still
over there.”
If anyone gets a pass on superheroic self-reference, it’s a guy who’s not only faced
down both PD and the serious side effects of his medication, but taken his regained
musical chops to new heights, and lengths, as a device for stirring up awareness
and action.
Tucker’s recent third album Green Room happily betrays his two gurus. Vocally in
particular, he’s in awe of Roy Orbison, “someone who’s never been duplicated, ever
—his voice is so unbelievably unique.” Tucker’s tunecraft nods to Paul McCartney.
“He doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks about him anymore, I’m not sure he ever
did. He just plays.”
Throwing in some Tim Burton ornamentation while keeping the foot-stomping rock
intact, Tucker shows a knack not only for sharp melodies but for wit, theatricality
and the unpredictable. “To have to sing something that’s three minutes long—verse,
verse, chorus, verse, a generic song—to sing six of those in a row would be boring
for me.
As ambitious as his pop-rock tunes are, Tucker’s myriad initiatives connect his music
with PD militancy. His Web skills have proven pretty useful in both departments. In
addition to his own site, Tucker has recently established two others of note. The first
is MAPmusic.org, for Musicians Against Parkinson’s, which he intends to throw
open for other artists concerned about PD to upload their work for fundraising
purposes. The second is pdMoves.org, a locus for information and networking
among people living with PD—he hopes to offer round-the-clock online neurologist
visits, in time.
Offline (and back on stage after too long a wait), Tucker’s also launching a series of
Parkinson’s awareness concerts, under the banner “Music for a Cause, a Cause for
Music,” and breaking in his new backing band, the Dangerous Crayons. Now get this
—Tucker aims to raise a million bucks over the next year, and has put up request.
com pages twisting the arms of McCartney, Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and noted PD
sufferer Michael J. Fox for help. Aiming high? Hell, why not?
But he’s less interested in seeing what money he does raise go to feel-good PSAs
than towards practical results. An example he gives is, “Tonight, this person in
Pennsylvania needs deep-brain stimulation, and they haven’t got insurance. Without
it, they won’t have much of a life, so we’re going to try to raise enough money to
pay for it.
“Okay, maybe we won’t start with deep-brain stimulation, that’s pretty pricey, but a
wheelchair, or something that’s going to help someone in that field.” - Montreal Mirror-Rubert Bottenberg


Montreal Musician Robbie Tucker has
began Musicians Against Parkinson's
(www.mapmusic.org), a new website
whereby musicians & labels can
donate their digital music in order to
spread awareness and raise money
for Parkinson's disease.
"This MapMusic.org will help both the
music community and more
importantly those affected with
Parkinson's, especially the youth" says Tucker, who suffers from the
disease himself. "Not many people know but young people can get
Parkinson's Disease and its important to demonstrate to them, that this is
real and look at me, I'm so young and I'm living with it."
In association with MAPMUSIC, Tucker has organized a series of
concerts to raise money for Parkinson's disease. Robbie's goal is to raise
1 million dollars by year’s end and would like the aid of local Montreal - Canadian Musician


Robbie Tucker is back with his third album
GreenRoom. After being diagnosed with
Parkinson's disease, playing has been a struggle,
but aggressively treating his condition has allowed
this local musician to continue to pursue his
passion.
"It feels like being trapped inside your body,"
Tucker said of his condition. He recalled a concert
where it took him 15 minutes to get his guitar out
of the box. The concert itself is something he just
wants to forget because he just couldn't play or
sing anymore.
His diagnosis and the treatment that followed
allowed him to start playing again. His condition
is always changing, with new medications and
treatment options becoming part of his routine.
Tucker has no doubt that his music is protecting
him from complete depression. "You have to have
something you really love, I love the music," he
said.
Robbie's struggle spawned a short film
documentary that he hopes can inspire others with
Parkinson's. The short film by Isabelle Lacombe is
currently available at http://exposure.cbc.ca/category/documentary and deals with
Tucker's return to the stage. The musician also hopes that the documentary can help to
create awareness of the disease, that will in turn lead to more support and research in
finding a cure.
Tucker said of his love of music, "I can't hold it back. It doesn't matter what time it is. I
have to." He has even been known to leave his apartment late at night and head down to
the subway just so that he could play.
As for Tucker's songwriting skills, he doesn't write songs from his own point of view, but
tries to understand other's realities. In a tight mixture of folk and rock, his lyrics are a
testament.
The stage would be the best place to get to know the singer-song writer; the stage is
where he lets loose. Tucker's live performances are so full of energy and emotion. He
also hopes to switch from his live acoustic sets to being backed by a full band. - The Concordian - Peter Asp


Parkinson's disease has long been considered
something developed later in life. When folk rock
musician Robbie Tucker was diagnosed at the age of
28, he decided to act. On December 27th, he
announced on CBC radio that he aims to raise
$1,000,000 for the disease and to spread awareness
to the youth and uninformed.
His year-long concert series kicked off in Montreal at
Theatre St. Catherine on Feb 22nd, and he's set to
perform his more popular tracks such as Poor Fella
and The Carnival. In addition to his tour, he's
launched a new website called MapMusic.org where
musicians and labels can donate digital music to
spread awareness and raise money.
Robbie states:
This MapMusic.org will help both the music
community and more importantly those
affected with Parkinson’s, especially the
youth” says Robbie Tucker. “Not many people
know but young people can get Parkinson’s
Disease and its important to demonstrate to
them, that this is real and look at me, I’m so young and I’m living with it.
In order to garner celebrity support, Tucker has reach out to stars through a series of micro-sites, targeting
heavy weights like Oprah, Paul McCartney and Michael J. Fox. For more information about this cause contact
he Tucker Management team at (514) 678-1492. - Capazine



Robbie Tucker plans to raise $1 million dollars for Parkinson's Awareness.
A singer songwriter from Miramichi, Tucker now lives in Montreal but his
name is quickly becoming synonymous with the fight to cure Parkinson's.
At 31 years old, one might think he is trying to help a parent or grandparent
suffering from the illness. But Tucker was diagnosed with Parkinson's at the
very young age of 28. Only five to 10 per cent of people are diagnosed at
such a young age.
And his symptoms had been creeping up around him for years beforehand.
Parkinson's is a chronic, progressive neurological disease which effects
coordination and movement.
In Tucker's case symptoms included tremors, trouble walking, decreased
motor skills — like not being able to tie his shoes or play the guitar — and
weakened speech and drastic loss of singing voice.
Tucker has been making music ever since his dad, Sherman gave him his
first guitar at age eight.
He's played in Toronto and Montreal over the years, but his illness caused
several setbacks before he found out just what was wrong with him.
In his online biography he remembers a time on stage when his voice
became so weak and his body trembled so badly he was unable to perform.
It wasn't until after that night and many doctor's tests later that he
discovered the disease.
"Something was killing me," he wrote. "Something had taken my gift of
music away."
Now that he has been diagnosed and gotten the proper medication, Tucker
is back on top with his new album, Green Room, which has been receiving
great reviews.
His folksy pop sound is being compared to the likes of Roy Orbison, Rufus
Wainwright, and the Beatles. Critic Stephen McKnight said his song "Jason
Michael" has a "kaleidoscope ending Paul McCartney would be jealous of."
And his song "Carnival" took runner up in Canada's International Music Aid
Awards.
But, clearly, Tucker isn't satisfied receiving shiny reviews —his name is
quickly becoming associated with the issue of Parkinson's.
Tucker is using his name and music to help raise money to find a cure.
Number 1 on his agenda is his Parkinson's Awareness Concert. The slogan
for the show is "Music for a Cause, A Cause for Music."
Tucker will be performing with a band called the Dangerous Crayons. Their
first stop on the tour will be Theatre St. Catherine in Montreal on Feb. 22.
With him will be other supporters from the Montreal music scene, Miss
Tabasco and Take The Boys.
Tucker has plans to take his concert on the road, including a show in
Moncton.
And Canada won't be his only stop. He's been invited to Munich as well as
Spain to perform in the Parkinson's 4/11 Concert.
He has created websites asking celebrities like Oprah and Paul McCartney,
as well as Michael J. Fox, who shares his affliction, to fight for the cause.
A compilation CD is currently being put together called Musicians Against
Parkinson's. If you are a musician who would like to help support the cause
it isn't to late to add your song to the CD. The deadline is May 1 and Tucker
is looking for songs about hope.
Of course, it isn't only Montreal musicians backing Tucker. Someone very
close to him who lives with in Miramichi is helping with the cause. Using the
pseudonym Sir J Vincent Roberts this man has created an album called
Dead Man's Heartbeat, the proceeds of which will go toward Tucker's $1
million goal.
While Robbie has been labeled by critics as the new Roy Orbison, Roberts is
most certainly an old school Johnny Cash.
This musician wants people to see if the people in the community can guess
who he is. If you want to give it a shot, Dead Man's Heartbeat is available at
CD Plus.
To find out more about Tucker's cause and how to help, log on to
robbietucker.com.
- The Miramichi Leader - Laura MacInnis


Discography

Greenroom (2007)
A passion for touchstones, the Beatles and Roy Orbison, fuels this acoustic rocker.

The Ledden Street Sessions(2006)
Robbie Tucker combines a love of rockabilly and great song writing, Robbie enters the music scene with some great tunes.

Songs from apt#12 (2005)
Robbie Tucker's twenty-four tracks represent a love of the history of rock n roll. It is light hearted but passionate, letting us care for a wise-ass.

Photos

Bio

When it comes to Robbie Tucker, there’s no question, that he has determination. Tucker has been compared to such musical geniuses as Rufus Wainwright, Mika, Roy Orbison & Paul McCartney. Robbie Tucker has built a unique musical career, while dealing with the progressive neurological disorder, Parkinson's disease. Diagnosed at the young age of 28, Robbie began showing symptoms of the disease. Traditionally thought of as only affecting the elderly, this of course is untrue. The risk of Parkinson's disease increases with age and the general age for onset is
60-65 yrs; however, around 5-10% of people diagnosed are under the age of 45 with about 1% of those being under 30. "You know sometimes, in life we tend to get lazy. Parkinson's disease was my wake up call. Before my diagnosis I had to stop playing on stage because my voice and guitar playing had gotten so bad.”

But, Parkinson’s hasn’t stopped Tucker; presently he is organizing a yearlong series of concerts to raise both awareness for people living with Parkinson's disease & $1,000,000. Tucker has recently launched a new charitable organization called MapMusic.org. "If there’s a cure out there, you better believe I won't stop until it’s found, you have my word." Says Robbie. MapMusic.org is a non-profit organization, which uses music to increase/create awareness & raises money for people living with Parkinson's disease.

Tucker is also asking the big boys for help. He has put together a series of request websites such as, www.PaulMcCartneyRequest.com, www.OprahRequest.com,
www.MichaelJFoxRequest.com and the list doesn't stop there.
If you ask Robbie what he thinks about losing his
abilities, his reply is simple.

“I am the driver of this car, and I won't stop until I want to."