Spirit of the West frontman John Mann passes peacefully at age 57

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      Spirit of the West frontman John Mann has died in Vancouver after a years-long battle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He was 57.

      In a statement, his family said that he passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends. 

      Mann was best-known for his work with folk-rock fusionists Spirit of the West, who released a series of classic albums in the '80s and '90s. Songs like "Political" and "Home for a Rest" are among the greatest to have ever come out of the underground music scene in this city. 

      But musician was only one of the hats that Mann wore. He was an actor, appearing on-stage in Vancouver productions such as Miss Saigon and Of Mice and Men, as a support player in such films as Underworld: Evolution and The Chronicles of Riddick, and on television shows like Battlestar Galactica and Smallville. 

      He was a father to two children—son Harlan and daughter Hattie—with local actress and playwright Jill Daum. He was well-known as an activist, not only with SOTW, but also through his effort to raise awareness of Alzheimer's. 

      And he was first and foremost respected and loved as a genuinely decent person. His family announced his passing while describing him as "a man of uncommon courage, a loyal and beloved friend, a gentleman of great social conscience, and a soul brimming with creativity and enthusiasm".

      A 2015 documentary by Pete McCormack titled Spirit Unforgettable documented Mann in the beginning stages of his battle of the disease. 

      Mann's family has requested privacy in the wake of his death, noting that a private memorial service will be held at some point in the future. 

      Here's "Home for a Rest", which has achieved Canadian-anthem status since its release on 1990's politically charged Save This House