On a Cold Road Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock

On a Cold Road Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock

On a Cold Road Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock ➠ [Epub] ➚ On a Cold Road Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock By Dave Bidini ➪ – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk David Bidini rhythm guitarist with the Rheostatics knows all too well what the life of a rock band in Canada involves storied arenas one tour and bars wallpapered with photos of forgotten bands the ne Cold Road ePUB ´ David Bidini rhythm guitarist with the Rheostatics knows all too well what the life of On a MOBI :å a rock band in Canada involves storied arenas one tour and bars wallpapered with photos of a Cold Road MOBI ò forgotten bands the next Zit speckled fans begging for a guitar pick and angry drunks chucking a Cold Road Tales of Kindle - twenty sixers and pint glasses Opulent tour buses riding through apocalyptic snowstorms and cramped vans that reek of dope and beer Brilliant performances and heart sinking break upsBidini has played all across the country many times in venues as far flung and unalike as Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto and the Royal Albert Hotel in Winnipeg In when the Rheostatics opened for the Tragically Hip on their Trouble at the Henhouse tour Bidini kept a diary In On a Cold Road he weaves his colourful tales about that tour with revealing and hilarious anecdotes from the pioneers of Canadian rock including BTO Goddo the Stampeders Max Webster Crowbar the Guess Who Triumph Trooper Bruce Cockburn Gale Garnett and Tommy Chong whom Bidini later interviewed in an effort to compare their experiences with his The result is an original vivid and unforgettable picture of what it has meant for the last forty years to be a rock musician in Canada.


10 thoughts on “On a Cold Road Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock

  1. Janelle Z Janelle Z says:

    The idea for Dave Bidini’s book On a Cold Road Adventure in Canadian Rock first came about when excerpts from his tour journal were published in the Toronto Star The dairies depicted the experiences of Bidini and his band The Rheostatics when they opened for the Tragically Hip on a cross country tour The Rheostatics are not new faces in the Canadian rock scene Since 1980 rhythm guitarist Bidini drummer Dave Clark later replaced by Don Kerr lead guitarist Martin Tielli and bassist Tim Veseley have been playing their uirky art rock for a steady and dedicated fan base Before their separation in early 2007 the band had released a total of fourteen albums including Whale Music and Melville both of which have made it onto numerous “Best of Canadian Albums” listsBidini’s intention with this book it seems is to provide a comprehensive and fascinating look into what it means to be a rock musician in Canada His own tour dairies are the backbone of the book which is interspersed with tales from well known Canadian artists His interviews with various famous players in the Canadian rock scene throughout the last 50 years include Triumph Trooper Crowbar BTO The Guess Who Bruce Cockburn Gale Garnett Goddo The Stampeders Max Webster The CollectersChilliwack and April Wine Bidini gathers these varied players and presents their stories to show the common ground upon which these experiences are founded These stories are always entertaining full of the expected sprinklings of sex drugs and rock and roll but the book deals heavily with some other common themes in a musician’s world as well the emotional roller coaster of touring meeting your idols the complex relationships between band members and first musical experiences Bidini being the writer of the band is fluid with words He writes with a kind of honesty and openness that makes the reader genuinely like and relate to him Even when describing his own ego and egg headedness Bidini still comes off as a very affable guy – the kind of every man with whom you can picture yourself sitting down in your parents’ basement and have long chats about life and music His prose is effectual and has the ability to bring us directly to the places he writes about evoking the same emotions The moments feel real and immediate when we read about them but only a secondary kind of reality fogged by the dreaminess of memory and nostalgia Before picking up the book I had only a brief introduction to the Rheostatics specifically through the CBC Radio 3 program hosted by Grant Lawrence Their music had never struck a chord in me or laid a fairly heavy imprint on my musical memory so I went into the book with limited expectations but a willingness to learn What I experienced was something uite rare and interesting getting to know the band not through their “obscure cultish art rock” but through the literary voice of their rhythm guitarist Throughout my progress I would occasionally look up a referenced personality or song on the internet which helped me to develop a better visual landscape of 70’s and 80’s Canadian rock For a debut Bidini certainly proved himself to not only be one of Canada’s most distinctive musicians but a fine writer as well On a Cold Road accomplishes what it sought to do in the beginning it brings readers onto the road with the bands and the musicians who made up the Canadian rock scene for the last fifty years Not only is this an insightful read for the seasoned music fan but it is also an entertaining and poignant story of realizing your aspirations


  2. Barbara McVeigh Barbara McVeigh says:

    On a Cold Road is the first book on my list for Canada Reads 2012 The point of Canada Reads is to find the most uintessentially Canadian book for the year to recommend to all Canadians to read On a Cold Road delivers what the subtitle says tales of adventure in Canadian rock by documenting the Rheostatics as they open for the Tragically Hip on a cross Canada tour Interspersed with Bidini’s poetic expressions of band life are interviews with the founders of Canadian rock The book begins uietly dealing with the troubles of the music business travelling on desolate country roads and playing in high school auditoriums before building up to the debauchery of groupies and of Yonge Street playing the hallowed ground of Maple Leaf Gardens and detailing the end band implosions The book takes the reader on uite a tourAs well Bidini’s prose is exuisite In a blizzard wind “knuckles the roof” of their touring van and Vancouver is described as a “kiss from a ponytailed girl” The book is also a love letter to Canada From experiencing “skin peeling” prairie cold in playing small towns to wild nights in Hamilton the band “got to know Canada way than they ever wanted to” Through the music Canada becomes a place “waiting to be explored”This book gave me a chance to relive my youth These were the bands and songs that were playing on the radio when I was in high school and university I also felt a different sense of nostalgia while reading the book The book describes a Canada that used to exist a country where we citizens had much in common All the kids of a certain age listened to the same music I don’t know if that’s true anyOr at least it felt that way This was the Canada I knew when I left in the mid 90s to live in Europe Canada was not the same place when I returned Canadians had suddenly become diverse without a common sense of self I didn’t know what Canadians shared anyAlso I initially found the transfer from Bidini’s narrative to the interviews jarring I needed to YouTube videos of the singers and bands mentioned to remind me of who they were Certainly they created great songs Unfortunately I haven’t remembered their names Also until now I never knew some of these guysgals were CanadianSo a combination of the book being set in a Canada Past and the fact that the musicians are no longer household names made this book feel datedWould On A Cold Road then be the ideal book for all Canadians to read this year?


  3. Carly Carly says:

    A west to east story of The Rheostatics’ tour with The Hip that was awkwardly interrupted by yarns from other Canadian musicians I wish it had been linear focused I also wish Bidini hadn’t relied uite so heavily on his thesaurus Over all decent writing bits of Canadian music history and a somewhat interesting memoir


  4. David David says:

    Not what I thought it was going to be I expected Dave Bidini's adventures with The Rheostatics not a short sample from him followed by a bunch of other takes from mostly people I'd never heard ofAbandoned in chapter 1


  5. Marcel Pierre Marcel Pierre says:

    Do not call yourself a Canadian music fan till you've bought and read this book


  6. Scott Taylor Scott Taylor says:

    For any Canadian music fan


  7. Christina Vasilevski Christina Vasilevski says:

    Review originally posted on wwwchristinavasilevskicomAbout the book In the mid 90s Bidini’s band The Rheostatics was the opening act for The Tragically Hip on their “Trouble at the Henhouse” tour On a Cold Road is Bidini’s memoir of the tour compiled from the journal entries he wrote during it However the book also aims to serve as a collective history of touring across Canada and includes anecdotes and recollections from Canadian musicians from the 50s 60s and 70sWhat I liked In this book Bidini captured the allure of travelling and performing on the road and made it comprehensible to us non musicians He made me feel the urge to pack up get in a van and drive across the country to visit all of the little hole in the wall places that I could – despite the fact that I still don’t have a driver’s licenseHis emotions became my own I felt the frustration he did when The Rheostatics kept on encountering the rising popularity of The Tragically Hip in unexpected places and comparing it to their own lower level of success I felt the sadness and alienation he did when he thought he became friends with Joey Ramone only to meet Ramone at an autograph signing and find out that the other musician looked worn out and didn’t remember him at all His realization made a cold wave of sadness wash over my stomach “He had no idea who I was I left the store Outside the rain felt like spiders” Is there anything else one can say after that?What I disliked The book’s structure was disjointed and the anecdotes provided by other Canadian musicians about the growth of the Canadian music scene in the 50s 60s and 70s didn’t mesh with the framework provided by Bidini’s own writing The stories that the other rockers provided were grouped together by theme but I often found it hard to detect a throughline between what everyone else was talking about compared to Bidini’s narrative frameMore egregious though was the huge gender imbalance between the number of male musicians that were uoted compared to female musicians Given the context Canadian rock in the mid 20th Century I understand that there probably weren’t a lot of women in the industry But the number of times that women musicians were uoted or mentioned absolutely pales in comparison to the number of men I bet that Greg Godovitz had space in the book devoted to him than all of the women in it combinedOn top of that most of the men who did mention women in music in any sort of context talked about the wonderfulness of having groupies I didn’t need to know about how some musician in the 60s got a tongue bath from a willing groupie or how some lovely angel of a young woman rehabilitated some hapless rocker by taking him in and doing his laundry Women as sex objects? Rock on Women as maternal caregivers bringing hope and cleanliness? Great Women as euals and musicians in their own right? MehThe verdict Bidini is obviously skilled with words and some stories he captures like the experience of performing at Maple Leaf Gardens are imbued with magic It also helps that I’m a huge Tragically Hip fan and that I have a copy of “Live Between Us” their live album made from the same tour that Bidini was part of However On a Cold Road still didn’t “spark” to me very much While I was reading this book I had some money in my iTunes account and it never occurred to me to buy a Rheostatics album with it – instead I spent the money on some Neko Case music I think that’s pretty representative of my stance towards the book – interesting enough but not so interesting as to encourage further investigation


  8. Dorothy Dorothy says:

    This book was one of the five selected for the Canada Reads 2012 short list This year the contest focused on non fiction books for the first time Each book had its Champion the person who would argue their book’s merits and defend it against the other contenders After each day’s debate one book was voted off by the Champions Moderated at times refereed by Jian Ghomeshi it was “must listen” radio for the four days of the debateIt was through listening to this broadcast that I first became aware of the book and then through the passionate description from its Champion model Stacey McKenzie became interested in reading it Ostensibly it tells the story of Dave Bidini’s band The Rheostatics during their cross Canada tour with The Tragically Hip In fact that is only used as framework for the many anecdotes of the road and touring life told by various members of the Canadian music scene These anecdotes are grouped by themes; they seem to be answering a specific uestion such as What was your first performance in front of a paying audience? What was your worst experience on the road? etcetera These blocks of anecdotes are interspersed with Bidini’s own experiences growing up wanting to be a musician then realizing that dream as a touring bandThe stories related by the various musicians eg Kim Mitchell Randy Bachmann Ken Tobias Rik Emmett and others deep in the music scene eg Peter Goddard Alan Niester Richard Flohil were very interesting and enjoyable It gives an unvarnished insight into the true nature of the land and people of this country For those of us who grew up exclusively in big cities this alone is a revelationMany of these bands were part of my teenearly 20s The Guess Who April Wine Max Webster Downchild Trooper The Stampeders and that brought an additional layer of nostalgia to the anecdotesThe book is a true love letter to music musicianship and the necessary ritual of touring across Canada with your band At several points the interviewees speak about the lack of a “star system” that would scout and nurture young artists grooming them for musical stardom Shortly after reading this book the CBC did a piece on the Can con subsidies in radio Established in 1971 it was largely responsible for the additional exposure of many Canadian musical acts that might not otherwise gained a wider audience including those featured in this bookThis is a uintessentially Canadian book It speaks to the grit the passion the drive that is necessary to live your dream to play in front of a live audience However if you are not familiar with the groups or that time in Canada or your musical preferences do not include classic rock and roll this may not be the book for you


  9. Sumofparts Sumofparts says:

    I didn't love the book nor do I think it's one I recommend for Canada Reads It was too scattered for me; there's this central narrative from the Rheostatics interspersed with stories from these other Canadian bands but I couldn't tell where Dave Bidini was going with it all Either write about the Rheostatics or about the other bands Or if a combination is absolutely necessary change it somehow I can appreciate that it was of an oral history and I did think the format was interesting but it didn't hang for me I could see the connections sometimes but other times the stories felt randomly stuck in Also I wish there was background about each of the bandsmusicians; I was gleaning some narrative to tie it together but not enough to paint a proper picture I don't think non fiction has to necessarily be like a novel with a beginning middle and end but I think there should be a path the writer is leading you on or a direction the writer is pointing to Bidini could've done this better I think if the stories were separated better but even so I can see how the individual bits wouldn't have worked exactly because they were all basically transcriptions of interviews Although I wonder how this would work as a documentary or movie The description of how the band broke up was interesting to me though; of how even though the members were great friends and loved each other the relationships became toxic; also how the payoff gradually decreased and how the balance tipped in terms of how much each member was wiling to put up with the actual bad for the potential goodI guess I did enjoy the central narrative and I really enjoyed the travelogue aspects Overall there were great parts but the book wasn't greater than the sum of them


  10. Johanna Johanna says:

    I am not a Rock afficiando but I had heard of the Rheostatics before I took a writing course recently at U of T taught by none other than Dave Bidini He has 10 books to his name all on music or sports neither of which particularly interest me in a book format or so I thought Dave was an outstanding teacher and very regular for a rock star so I set forth to explore what he has written I could not put this book down I am familiar with a lot of the names and some of the music but it was rather Dave's down to earth having a conversation over a drink with me style telling me about his experiences and deftly weaving in the experiences of countless musicians he has interviewed He has no pretentions and sometimes shares with a raw honesty that always rings true something he kept telling us in class You can bullshit your way in a lot of art but not in writing your readers always know when you are not being honest The truth is always the hardest to write about He knows whereof he speaks


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