BN.com Gift Guide

Around the World in 57 1/2 Gigs [NOOK Book]

Overview

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, playing solo and finding out about the state of rock ’n’ roll around the ...
See more details below
Around the World in 57 1/2 Gigs

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price

Overview

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, 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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551991498
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/5/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 328
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Author and musician Dave Bidini is the only person to have been nominated for a Gemini, Genie and Juno as well CBC's Canada Reads. A founding member of Rheostatics, he has written 10 books, including On a Cold RoadTropic of HockeyAround the World in 57 1/2 Gigs, and Home and Away. He has made two Gemini Award-nominated documentaries and his play, the Five Hole Stories, was staged by One Yellow Rabbit Performance Company, touring the country in 2008. His third book, Baseballissimo, is being developed for the screen by Jay Baruchel, and, in 2010, he won his third National Magazine Award, for "Travels in Narnia." He writes a weekly column for the Saturday Post and, in 2011, he published his latest book, Writing Gordon Lightfoot

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

I started playing my first song — “Little Bird, Little Bird,” a folk elegy about a Second World War soldier. I stood at the front of the stage but stepped down on the floor after sensing that the lyrics couldn’t be heard at the back of the hall. Before I got too deeply into the song, however, I borrowed a trick from our old drummer, Dave Clark, and divided the audience in half, getting the right side of the room to whisper Zzzzzz-Zzzzzz-Zzzzzzz on the first three beats, and the left side to shout Ha! on the fourth. After I demonstrated this to the audience, Wilfred bounded out of his chair and began conducting the crowd on my behalf, swinging out both arms and counting in the air to show them where the beat fell. The Finns and the Chinese — with the exception of crowds in Joensuu and the Hunan — had been perplexed by this kind of razzmatazz, but the Liberians grabbed it by the neck. Soon their chanting had grown louder than my vocal, polyrhythmically transforming the song. The hall rang with voices, and I was free to take it all in, experiencing one of those rare instances when the musician feels both inside and outside the performance, as conscious of how the song is being perceived as it is being played.

Then I played “Horses.” I went over to where the drummers were sitting and repeated the song’s opening riff until they started thumping along. I sang a verse, then a chorus, and Wilfred sprang to his feet once again, waving his arms through the “Holy Mackinaw, Joes!” and getting the crowd to sing along as the King’s Jubilee had done the day before. My eyes fell on Stephen from Harmony Rocks, who was singing “The glory of God will take you over!” at the top of his lungs. Wilfred was quick to him too, and within moments, Stephen was on stage standing over Abbie as she held the microphone in the air as if putting distance between herself and a foul-smelling sock. Meanwhile, a tall, willowy woman dressed in a long African gown with her hair bundled in a cloth turban stood up, tightened her fists above her head, and wailed along with Stephen. Others in the crowd followed her lead, and, once again, the Liberians gloriously wrested my song from me and made it their own.

I’ve played “Horses” at outdoor rock festivals over enormous speaker towers wired through mighty guitar cabinets juiced to fill stadiums and speedways, and the version at Buduburam sounded just as big without any kind of amplification, Abbie’s microphone notwithstanding. The song was driven by the cries of the crowd, the pounding of drumskins, my strumming hand slashing down on my guitar, and the whoops and screams of a pack of small children Wilfred had organized into a choir near the front of the stage. This natural accompaniment sounded intense in the same way that the wind hammering at a houseface is intense, or an axe thunking into cordwood, or a freight train shaking a quiet neighbourhood. It was all the more visceral for having been created out of nothing by the crowd.
Because of this, the Buduburams were reluctant to let it go easily, and as the chorus looped and looped, I thought that “Horses” might never end.

When the song finally began to lose steam, I turned to the drummers and shouted the song’s final bar — “One! Two! Three! Four!” They took this as a metronomical command, and played loudly and more frenetically in an attempt to straighten the groove into the tepid Western time signature I’d requested. I shook my head at them and counted out the song a second time, but my voice couldn’t be heard above the drums. I looked at the front row and saw Wilfred slapping his hands together and laughing at me, at which point I realized that it wasn’t that the drummers didn’t understand my signal to conclude the song. They just didn’t want to.

I put down my guitar and walked over to where they were drumming. I fell to my knees and joined them, pounding one of their fangas with the flat of my palms. But they were too fast for me, and I soon picked up my guitar again. I strummed hard for a few more bars, stared gravely at the crowd, then did the only thing possible: I leaped off the stage, scissoring my legs and landing in a groin-stretching Townshendian pose at the feet of the crowd. The song tumbled to rest in a hail of laughter.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)