Some Of My Shocks




John Lennon murdered

Dylan going Christian

Robin Kuretsky dumping me the first day of summer camp

The waitress at The Mandarin inviting me to stay over

The end of cigarette smoking in public places

The Paleo diet

Of Mice And Men end scene

The 5th element opera scene

Mandela’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee

Harper’s hatred of Canada


Release Party


It should be swell to release Sam’s last recordings tonight with all sorts of people from the past and present but like finishing this record what pisses me off is the fact that he isn’t here to enjoy it. Now Magazine interviewed me and asked what sort of legacy I was hoping for him. I paused a long time, I’m more interested in him being alive than whatever legacy there might be.

I didn’t know what to say to the guy even though I know he meant well. A lot of people were moved by their personal experiences with Sam but the talk about a hope for his future was too weird because it’s about what we do when we’re alive that matters.

I’m glad I got to say goodbye by working with him all those recent Sunday mornings and hearing him gab and gossip and complain and cajole. Eventually he explained the health problems but he always framed it in a positive way. He had a young Doctor and he thought very highly of him.

After he died I remembered a telephone call one afternoon in 1984.
“Bob, you busy Thursday?”
“I’m getting married on Thursday and I was wondering if you would have time to come, this would be at City Hall Bob around 11:30.”
“You’re getting married? Do I know her?”
“Uh huh at 11:30 and we can go out to a little place afterward. No you don’t know her, she’s someone from work.”
“Sure ok.”

I looked her up after and found her online and wrote to her.
“Wasn’t I at your wedding 30 years ago?
“You were the best man.”
“I have pictures!”

I invited her to the release as well but she lives away and it isn’t going to work out. There are other people who live away that I contacted 5 sent me videos and we’ll screen them. Eileen O’Toole, Maria Grey, Diane Barbarash, Deb Montgomery & Thomas Sarantos. It should be a fun night.

And these people are performing

Brian Jantzi
Honey Novick
Kwesi Immanuel
Julia Rohan
Derek Currie
Robert Priest
Sarah Greene
Howard Gladstone
Brad McInnis
Johann Löwenberg
Tom St, Louis & Theresa Gregory
Lynn Harrison
Steve-Paul Simms
Kyp Harness
Don Kerr
Tony & Veronica
Glen Gary
Marianne Girard
Ben Bootsma


City Of Wood


Someone who had a radio show in Edmonton once told me campus radio station CJSR received a complaint about City Of Wood when they broadcast it in 1993. Not too surprising because the lyrics to the first verse were comprised of a lot of swearing about men that raped. When I wrote it, I was partly trying to figure out how one might write a song like that. I thought since it’s shocking the song should be shocking

. MendelsonJoeWomen

The cover was a painting of 14 empty chairs in the snow by Mendelson Joe  commemorating the murdered women from the Polytechnique massacre. What he painted got to me like this Alex Coleville painting.Colville-Horse-and-Train-660 A few years after that record was released I stopped playing it, moved on to newer songs plus there was weirdness in a room when I played it, drama time. But I remember the last time I played it – at Clintons in Toronto 6 or 7 years ago at a comedy show


I was the musical guest and one of the hosts asked me to play the song so I did and they all laughed which was confusing. They laughed as though that was my intention all along. I wasn’t sure if the meaning changed over time or if certain audiences are programmed to receive information in only one way. Maybe the joke’s on me.

Starts at 39:38