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Puck Rock: Dave Bidini

Who is Dave Bidini? If you’re an American hockey fan, you may not be that familiar with Dave. That’s too bad because he’s one of the most entertaining hockey writers around. He also is the founder of noted indie rock band Rheostatics, and has recorded his share of solo albums. Dave’s hockey books include Tropic of Hockey (an award-winning look at how hockey can be found in even the most remote of regions; ToH was also the basis of The Hockey Nomad aired on CBC in 2003) and The Best Game You Can Name (a funny and vivid look at the game from Dave’s on-ice perspective and the perspective of greats like Steve Larmer and Frank Mahovlich).

If you’re Canadian, you may have heard, seen, or read Dave about sports and all things puck because he’s all over the place. He’s featured in This Magazine (writing), Toro Magazine (web show host), and, well, a bunch of other places. If it rocks or if it’s got a puck involved with it, chances are Dave has some thoughts about it. He’s even curated a gallary exhibit about Maple Leaf fandom called Blue Blood (runs through January 4th at Toronto’s Harbour Front Center.

Which, of course, makes him perfect subject for an edition of Puck Rock. And in true punk spirit (punk, not puck), here’s Dave’s irreverant take on the whole thing:

How do you go from punk-rock pioneer to hockey writer?

I turned left at Wreckless Eric.

(Mike’s note: Wreckless Eric is a UK-based musician and a punk pioneer in his own right.)

Did your band touring inspire the idea for Tropic of Hockey?

Tour Canada in the winter and you can anywhere.
(Mike’s note: Want to know what that’s like? Check out Dave’s On a Cold Road.

For music buffs, Bidini’s journey with Rheostatics is chronicled in his book Around the World in 57 1/2 Gigs. How does one rock in Africa and Russia? Dave’s book will teach you.)

You’ve written some songs about hockey players. What inspired you to tell those particular tales and how did you put them all together?

How better to address the issue of homosexuality from the perspective of two hockey-playing brothers living in the BC interior?

(Mike’s note: Dave sent me a preview of a cut off his new album regarding fallen Hab/Penguin/Nordique Bryan Fogarty. The song, called The Land Is Wild, will be featured on Dave’s new album this spring. Now check out The Ballad of Wendel Clark by Rheostatics:)

Hypothetically, if you could either A) play to a sold-out Madison Square Garden B) win the Stanley Cup or C) have a New York Times #1 bestseller, which would it be?

We played the Gardens with the Hip, not the Garden, which is close enough.

We sang the anthem at MLG, which was, sort of, our Stanley Cup.

New York Times it is, I suppose.

What song should they never, ever play in hockey arenas again?

The Final Countdown by Europe.

(Mike’s note: I think we can all agree that this is a great choice to ban from hockey arenas in any form. I’ve heard both an album version and an arena organ version and both equally suck. Let’s just hope that it never comes to this atrocious version spawned by the horror of American network television:)

What punk or indie song would make for the ideal hockey team entrance song?

None. Bring back the bloody music of the crowd.

Tell readers about some of your favorite music gear you own.

The only thing duller than gear talk is goalie pad talk and I’ll bow out from doing either.

(Mike’s note: I’d argue the point, at least when it comes to music gear, but maybe that’s mean being a music geek. Goalie pad talk? I’ll give that one.)

You’ve just won the Stanley Cup. What song would you pick for the cheesy TV network montage?

My Way by Sid.

(Mike’s note: Sid as in Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols AKA the guy Gary Oldman brilliantly played in Sid & Nancy. Here’s Mr. Vicious doing his best Sinatra act.)

You can find out more about Dave’s music and books at his official website.

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  Tags: puck+rock


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