September 10, 2017
Hello World of Friends!
Hope this finds you well and happy, and I hope you had a fantastic summer of 2017. Our family had a great one, managing to spend plenty of time at the cabin in Desolation Sound BC, where I continue to gather stories for my upcoming sequel to “Adventures in Solitude”. There, I said it! That’s what I’m working on next! We did lots of other fun watery stuff… like seeing humpback whales in the Sound for our first time ever!
My wife Jill and I also did a wonderful reading and music event in Refuge Cove BC, one of our favourite spots not only in Desolation Sound but the entire world. Thanks to all those who kayaked, canoed, motored, sailed, and yachted to that special event.
Do you dig rock ‘n’ roll? My band the Smugglers did a couple more fun reunion concerts / book launches for DIRTY WINDSHIELDS (my latest memoir) in Toronto and Ottawa in June. Thanks to everyone who came out to those wild shows! In total, the Smugglers did four gigs on our “reunion tour”: Berkeley, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. No further full-throttle concerts are planned, but we have a few other interesting things in the works, as you can read about below.
I continue to write, write, write, my main gig between books being a weekly column for the Westender on Vancouver city life. The column is called “Vancouver Shakedown”. It picked up an award earlier this year for my story on the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and the hippie mecca that was West 4th Avenue in the 1960s. You can read that here if you’re interested.
Also this summer, you might have heard my first-ever radio serial, a story called “The Spaghetti Bandit”, about a drifter / squatter with disturbing tendencies, who ended up in, of all places, Desolation Sound. Yup. The serial aired in a podcast called “Road Trip Radio” and on CBC Radio this summer. You can listen to all the episodes here. Despite it being an eerie story, it was a lot of fun to put it together in this format. Thanks to my ol’ pal Chris Kelly for doing an incredible job producing it.
This fall at the CBC (my day job for the past –cough– twenty years), I’m hosting and producing a national event called The Canadian Music Class Challenge. It’s a call-out to all music teachers in Canada to teach their class a Canadian song from our list, film their class performing the song, and sending us the video, which we make public. There’s plenty of prizes for the best performances, and the contest involves the Juno Awards, the Olympics, CBC Kids, and the national music charity MusiCounts. Needless to say, if you know of a great music teacher, please send them my way.
Also this fall, I continue to tour and promote my new book DIRTY WINDSHIELDS, about all the ups, downs, and really-downs of 16 years in an indie touring band. Book tours are a lot easier than rock ‘n’ roll tours. I hope to see you somewhere down the road at one of these dates!
All the best from the West,
Sat Sep 23, Nardwuar Radio 30th anniversary party, The Hall, Vancouver BC (I’ll be reading Nardwuar stories from Dirty Windshields and showing the corresponding video proof)
Sun Sep 24, Word Vancouver, Library Square, Vancouver BC (Community Garden reading at 12:30pm with signing to follow)
Wed Sep 27, West Vancouver Memorial Library, West Vancouver BC 7pm (official hometown DIRTY WINDSHIELDS book launch w/ reading, signing, Q+A, acoustic Smugglers performance featuring original members Nick Thomas and Adam Woodall, plus North Shore poster exhibit)
Thu Oct 12, A Girl In Teen City album release party, WISE Hall, Vancouver BC (I’ll be reading a story from Dirty Windshields at this album release party for Oh Susanna)
Fri Oct 13 – Sun Oct 15, Whistler Writers Festival, Whistler BC (I’ll be doing various events at this festival, including a author lake walk on Sunday morning)
Wed Oct 25, River Volta Reading Series, D’Lish Cafe, Saskatoon SK
Thu Oct 26, Vertigo Reading Series, Crave Kitchen and Wine Bar, Regina SK
Thu Nov 9, Flywheel Reading Series, Pages Books, Calgary AB
TBA: an evening of music and stories on Bowen Island, BC.
Reviews of DIRTY WINDSHIELDS:
“A wild adventure… Dirty Windshields is the rare kind of music memoir that manages to transcend immediate fanbases and appeal to music lovers of all stripes.” – Exclaim, Toronto
“Rhythm, wanderlust and a three-chord dream.” – Globe and Mail, Toronto
“Dirty Windshields is the rarest of things: A largely evidence-based musical memoir.” – Montreal Gazette
“Dirty Windshields is easily one of the best rock memoirs I’ve ever read.” – Nexus, Victoria
“Fucking hilarious!” – Allison Robertson, The Donnas