My mom gave me this book two Christmases ago when it first came out, and I just got to it now. It seems rather fitting, because whether Jian knew it or not, he was my first celebrity interview, I conducted it while I was interning at FLY.FM in Kingston, and was a huge Moxy Fruvous fan – Ghomeshi’s band in the 90s.
I remember meeting he and the rest of the fellows when they came into the studio before their show that evening, and he actually complimented me on my interviewing style and mentioned that I was good at it. I warned him not tell me things like that as it may set me off on a career path… and here I am, interviewing Canadian talent on a regular basis.
As such, I think it would be interesting to chat with him again… Jian?
Where for me, 1984 was the most influential year in my life, 1982 definitely helped to cement and influence the young awkward aspiring-Bowie teen that would become Jian Ghomeshi. In a humorous and nostalgic look back at a time that I knew well, Jian guides us through the suburbia that was Thornhill, and his time in high school over the course of that year, and the events and music that helped to shape him.
I laughed aloud through a lot of this book, as I remembered my own similar tales and remember diving across my bed to hit record to get THAT song off the radio.
His knowledge of music is put to great use here as he illustrates the times and fashions that were influenced and directly influenced the New Wave and Punk movements that he so aspired to be a part of. But, could you imagine anything New Wave or Punk coming out of Thornhill in the early 80s? Neither could he.
The book explores his fascination with Bowie, the annual Police Picnic (I so would have been there for those shows, they must have been amazing) and his fascination with a girl named Wendy.
Bracketing these life changing events are exasperated discussions with parents, the pursuit of Rush, blooming sexuality and games of road hockey, all of which makes this book a truly Canadian experience. And as if I needed another reason to add more 80s music to my iPhone this book has fired up my desire to revisit a lot of 80s New Wave, I never got quite as far into it as Jian did, I dabbled, and stuck more to the pop/soundtrack side of things, but man, reading some of the song titles in this book brought back a lot of memories, and while I didn’t spend my formative years in suburbia, instead, I was on an island in sunnier climes, I could totally relate to everything he has written here.
For any music lover, for anyone who grew up in the 80s, for anyone who wonders what growing up in the distant 80s was like before social media, before cameras everywhere… this one is a must, and won’t be put down until you’re finished.
This was a joy to read!