The strengths of Bidini’s two best-loved books, On a Cold Road and Tropic of Hockey, music and travel to unlikely places, come together in this account of his search for rock ‘n’ roll.When it looks as if the Rheostatics are breaking up after more than twenty years together, Dave Bidini is left feeling adrift from his moorings and decides to go on a very long road trip, plaThe strengths of Bidini’s two best-loved books, On a Cold Road and Tropic of Hockey, music and travel to unlikely places, come together in this account of his search for rock ‘n’ roll.When it looks as if the Rheostatics are breaking up after more than twenty years together, Dave Bidini is left feeling adrift from his moorings and decides to go on a very long road trip, playing solo and finding out about the state of rock ’n’ roll around the world. Accompanied much of the way by his friend Al, who also has a solo act, Bidini sets out for London, England, his springboard for travel to Finland, Russia, China, Sierra Leone, and Ghana, punctuated by trips to Newfoundland and Gananoque in Canada, and to New York City.What Bidini finds is that the rock ’n’ roll machine has not yet flattened the globe, as each place has taken what suits it from the West’s dominant music and ignored the rest. Metal may have had its heyday in North America, but it still suits the quiet Finns just fine as a soundtrack for suicidal thoughts. In China, where Bidini plays with the Rheos-Not-Rheos as part of the Maple Rhythm Festival, he has to coach the crowd sitting quietly in plastic chairs how to clap rhythmically. In Russia, where live rock still lurks in hard-to-find places, the British band Smokie is far more popular than even the Rolling Stones, and the first Western band Mongolian audiences wanted to hear live was Boney M. In Africa, Bidini finds out just how far rock has wandered from its roots, and in Newfoundland, just how true it has stayed.Peopled with hosers, the über-hip, and the profoundly baffled, and brimming with tales of playing in strange venues to bemused locals and the odd drunk, Around the World takes readers on an unforgettable, ear-opening swing through the world of rock ’n’ roll.From the Hardcover edition....
|Title||:||Around the World in 57 1/2 Gigs|
|Number of Pages||:||328 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Around the World in 57 1/2 Gigs Reviews
This was a fun travelogue and fish out of water story. Not that Bidini hadn't traveled before the book, but you get the feeling it was only within the niche of a semi-famous Canadian rock band going through North America. Seeing him dealing with not only being a solo act, but also with going out to areas of the world where his music was unknown provided interesting reading material.The story's narration is a mixed bag at times. Bidini's obviously very passionate about music, and that shines through, but he also has a huge amount of punk rock snark about music. In small doses that's fine, but there's a reason most punk songs are so slow - stretching that snark out over hundreds of pages starts to tire a bit.If you're a fan of the Rheos you'll love this; if not, it's a really interesting but not great read.
An interesting book. Not as good as On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock, but not bad. Bidini has great observances of the various locales, both exotic and mundane, as well as the people. However, I find myself frequently irritated by his snobbery of some music, which is interesting, because he's similar in age and, for the most part, in musical taste to me. Yet I find it grating that he makes fun of some record exec who refers to the album Oranges & Lemonsby XTC asLemons & Oranges, yet later on, Bidini himself refers to the Joe Jackson songOn Your Radio as coming from his first album. Sorry Dave, you made as stupid a mistake as that record exec did. That song's from Jackson's second album, I'm The Man. So, if Bidini can't take that guy seriously, how am I supposed to take the author seriously?It's stuff like that that makes me put the book down for a few days.Still, overall, Bidini's a good storyteller, and in the long run, the book is a good read.
An adventurous read about Dave's world travels after the Rheostatics broke up. Some interesting cultural takes on the importance of live music.
I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I was familiar with the band and songs.
Best book I've read this year.