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Stephen Harper shows Tory faithful his rock star side

Stevie Harper and the Herringbones rocked the Conservative Party Christmas party Wednesday night, to raucous applause from what was, admittedly, a friendly house.

Sweet Caroline started the show, with the Prime Minister in a grey shirt and playing an electric piano, assisted by local musicians Richard Linke on guitar and bass, Phil Nolan on drums and Andre Van Schyndel playing bass and accordion. The show continued with I'm On My Way by The Proclaimers, The Who's The Seekers and a few bars of Imagine in tribute to the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death.

Mr. Harper called the former Beatle "probably the most important person in the history of rock."

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Political strategists will see a repeat and expansion of last year's surprise performance at the National Arts Centre – a sure portent of an imminent election. Like most amateur musicians, Mr. Harper has no plans of quitting his day job.

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About the Author

John Ibbitson started at The Globe in 1999 and has been Queen's Park columnist and Ottawa political affairs correspondent.Most recently, he was a correspondent and columnist in Washington, where he wrote Open and Shut: Why America has Barack Obama and Canada has Stephen Harper. He returned to Ottawa as bureau chief in 2009. More

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