George Stroumboulopoulos welcomed Hayden into his home for an intimate conversation and an acoustic performance on The Strombo Show.
Hayden is a celebrated Toronto folk-veteran with seven critically acclaimed records to his name. In conversation, Hayden talks about the inaugural Dream Serenade concert, meeting Neil Young, Billy Idol borrowing his guitar, finding out he was dead and the special relationship he shares with his daughter.
Watch the complete interview and performance with Hayden below:
When Hayden was courted by Young in the mid-'90s, he visited Young's ranch and Lionel train collection: "I was very happy to see his trains. But, I mean, the beautiful thing about his trains is that he set up a whole world of trains as a way to experience things with his son, Ben, and that's the whole impetus for that. That was a very emotional thing to see."
His relationship with Uncle Neil included a Bridge School Benefit double-night billing, alongside many iconic names: Patti Smith, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Pete Townsend and an instrument-free Billy Idol.
"I don't know why he arrived there without an instrument to play with, but he did and he asked me if he could borrow mine," remembers Hayden. "I was sitting backstage watching him perform 'Rebel Yell' and 'White Wedding' on my acoustic guitar. Just the coolest thing. At the end of the set, he got up and lifted the guitar above his head and went right up, walking towards the monitor pretending like he was going to. But then he looked at me and winked and put it down softly."
Bridge School Benefit's spirit was one of the main sources of inspiration for Hayden's own curated benefit concert, Dream Serenade. It features a cattle call of musicians that include Matt and Aaron from The National, Feist, Sarah Harmer, Billy Talent, Barenaked Ladies and more at Massey Hall on Oct. 25 for children with developmental disabilities. In conversation, Hayden talks about the inaugural Dream Serenade concert, meeting Neil Young, Billy Idol borrowing his guitar, finding out he was dead and the special relationship he shares with his daughter.
For further musical exploration with George Stroumboulopoulos, tune in to The Strombo Show every Sunday night on CBC Radio 2 or CBC Music from 8 to 11 p.m. for three hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers.