This Galen Weston sells you on jazz, not President’s Choice
Musician’s profile is rising globally, but often causes confusion at home with his recognizable name
When Galen Weston — the musician and financier, not the president of Loblaw Companies Limited — was 11, a copy of Equinox magazine arrived featuring Prince Charles playing polo with . . . Galen Weston.
“My instant reaction was, cool! I want to open up a joint bank account with him!” Weston, 41, says.
Unsurprisingly, Weston went into finance, where the shadows of those other Westons — first Sr. and then Jr. — have loomed over his career.
“Everybody you call, there’s always that disappointment factor,” says the founder of the million-dollar financial-advice company AdvisorWorld.com. “You have to call like this: ‘Hi, I’m Galen Weston, I’m not related . . . ’ ”
It’s been six months since Weston left his thriving business to pursue his passion for modern jazz.
“Song For Daphne” has been played more than 118,000 times on Sound Cloud, with half of his 24,000 “likes” coming from Brazil, where the bossa-nova-flavoured “Rose Wood” caught on.
Blame it on a weak appetite for jazz, but in Canada, his Facebook comments are more likely to consist of grocery grievances. “I get people every day, multiple times a day, posting about, ‘what am I doing overseas?’ ” he says.
“You wouldn’t believe the daily insults I get! ‘I lost my job because of you.’ If it’s not negative, it’s jokes. Like, can we get in with our PC points.”
The attention spiked when Galen Weston Jr. became the face of Loblaws and President’s Choice in television commercials.
“Restaurant reservations are an interesting one,” the musician Weston says. “They won’t have anything available but you leave your name and they’ll call you back. I always get the call back.”
He’s decided it’s not worth the weight of disappointment when people find out he’s not that Galen Weston. “I started telling my wife to put it in her last name just to not deal with it,” he says.
So far the supermarket magnate has brought at least one fan out to a Galen Weston show.
“A very prominent media mogul in the city, probably the most famous, showed up,” he says. “He said that Galen Weston at his wedding played guitar, and that’s why he thought he had returned to guitar.” He wound up staying for the entire show.
After years of near-misses, he final- ly met the Loblaw leader at a benefit gala for the National Ballet of Canada.
“He got all caught up on the spelling,” he says. “Spelt O-N? And G-AL-E-N? We were supposed to be going into the dinner and he said, ‘I’m talking to someone here.’ He found out my wife’s mother worked at Loblaws for 25 years and he was like, ‘Oh which store?’ Genuinely interested. We agreed to protect each other’s reputation. I think he was more worried about me, to be honest.” Galen Weston (the musician) plays Tattoo (567 Queen St. W) on Wednesday, Nov. 25.