the premise of have not been theSame: The CanRock Renaissance, 1985-95 is that after the early promise of 60s Canadian rock, a golden age began in 85 about which few people know much. The authors want to fix that. But instead of a well-reasoned analysis of what was so darn special about this decade and their chosen artists -- including the Rheostatics, Sloan, the Tragically Hip, Doughboys, Blue Rodeo, Slow, the Cowboy Junkies, Change of Heart -- these Exclaim! and Id magazine contributors cobble together facts from the main players about how their bands formed and the troubles they encountered playing music.
There are virtually no hilarious tour anecdotes or bizarre personal revelations -- the kind of things rock book enthusiasts love -- and few compelling first-hand accounts from the authors.
Their job ends with stringing together quotes they've spent years gathering. The whole monotonous spiel comes off like a script Brent Bambury or David Wisdom might've read as a 17-part series on CBC Radio.
It can't be a coincidence that many of the "golden age" artists covered were prominently featured on Brave New Waves during Bambury's reign from 85 through 96 and Wisdom's Night Lines stint between 87 and 97. Author Barclay himself hosts CBC Radio 2's EscaPade.
Maybe if the authors had spent as much time in clubs as they did at home listening to the radio, they could've come up with a much more exciting and worthwhile book.
Have Not Been The Same launches with Mike O'Neill, John Critchley, Blurtonia and guests at Lee's Palace Saturday (September 29).
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