Roy Forbes (photo submitted).

Roy Forbes loses his sight, but finds inspiration

The singer/songwriter and radio host performs in Red Deer next week

For singer/songwriter and radio host Roy Forbes it was a case of one door closing and another opening.

Although many of his fans don’t realize it, Forbes has been completely blind since the end of 2015, due to a freak accident at his home.

He’d been reorganizing boxes of Christmas decorations on a high shelf when one container slipped, hitting him in his left eye.

Forbes, who had already lost the vision in his right eye due to glaucoma at the age of six, had been having problems with his left eye since 1991, when its retina first detached.

The trauma from the falling box was the final blow.

“I’m legally blind now,” said Forbes.

The host of CKUA’s Roy’s Record Room admitted this “stupid” accident forced him to slow down for a while to adjust to a new reality. “My biggest obstacle was coming to terms with it.”

But he soon realized “I’ve got too much to do to let it stop me,” so he resumed life as a touring musician — with the help of his partner, Lydia, “who’s become my roadie.”

If there’s a bright side to this story it’s that Forbes, who performs at Red Deer’s Elks Lodge on Friday, April 28, has turned into a prolific songwriter.

“Right now I’m in total writing mode. I’ve got eight new songs,” said the 64-year-old B.C. resident, who’s eager to test out a few of these tunes in front of a Red Deer audience.

Most of his new material is about overcoming adversity, but it’s “only obliquely about my situation. The (songs) could be about anybody who’s going through a hard time,” said the singer, who wants to remind listeners to “grab the joy in your heart and don’t let go.”

His own happiness over the last year sprung from having a supportive network of friends and relations — and his music. “My music pulled me through, as music will. It’s a healer,” said Forbes.

As an intuitive guitar player, he feels being blind hasn’t altered the way he plays.

The performer, formerly known by his nickname Bim, will deliver a mixture of blues and country with his soulful voice. Forbes anticipates playing original songs spanning his 40-year career. Some of the tunes will be from his live albums, Strikin’ Matches (2014) and Almost Overnight (1995).

As host of Roy’s Record Room, the Dawson Creek, B.C.-native admitted he also looks forward to “prowling” through Red Deer’s second-hand shops for old vinyls while he’s in town.

“It feeds me, discovering that stuff… I’ve had a record in my hand since before I could walk!”

For more information or tickets to his 8 p.m. show, please visit www.centralmusicfest.com.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer police recover stolen Second World War German army passport, trying to find owner

A rare, Second World War era German passport was recovered by police… Continue reading

Four Red Deer skiers off to Alberta Winter Games

Four young Red Deer skiers are headed to the Alberta Winter Games.… Continue reading

Hurry Hard: Red Deer Oilmen’s Bonspiel starts on Friday

A January tradition in Red Deer, the Oilmen’s Bonspiel takes to the… Continue reading

City Hall briefly evacuated

Carbon monoxide false alarm behind evacuation

Charges laid in home invasion in Maskwacis

Three people injured with stab wounds

WATCH: Marijuana in the Workplace information luncheon held in Red Deer

Central Alberta businesses need to prepare for the legalization of marijuana. That… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month