Canadian Music Hall of Fame blog

Back to Autograph! They never did garner any hits in the West, no thanks to Glasnost or the tireless efforts of their record labels, North American and European concert promoters (including the venerable Bill Graham), Frank Zappa’s management, videos airing in generous rotation on MTV and MuchMusic, headlining major international rock shows and perhaps a fair amount of payola via the KGB.

Autograph (not to be confused with the other ’80s hair metal band by the same name and their hit “Turn Up The Radio”) made their North American live debut performing at a big gig in Quebec City on February 10, 1987, as part of the NHL’s Rendez-vous ’87 All-Star Game. Appearing on the same concert bill at the Colisée in Quebec City were Glass Tiger and two members of the Bolshoi Ballet.

Instead of having to endure another unwatchable no-hitting love-in, a.k.a. the annual All-Star Game that pits the elite from the Eastern Conference versus their Western counterparts, Rendez-vous ’87 was a two-game matchup between the NHL selects and the Soviet National Team. Some of the players who competed in the series (which ended in a 1-1 draw) included Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Chris Chelios and future NHLers Igor Larionov, Sergei Nemchinov and the recently deceased Vladimir Krutov. I remember the series as being about as entertaining as a Yakov Smirnoff stand-up routine, meaning, not very.

By David Ball

February 2013
Canadian Music Hall of Fame