I'm a little behind on the blogging, it's been a rush of airports and activities, home, kids, cats, and back to work the past few days. So let's get caught up, first in Winnipeg. It was the by-now usual flurry of interviews during my two days there, offset by dinner and entertainment by some fine friends who I rarely get to see. A smaller-than-normal crowd turned out at McNally-Robinson book sellers, but that was possibly due to a forced Friday night event, the only day our schedules could match up. Still we had a lively chat and met some interesting and interested folks, Canadian music fans all.
I say "we", because in this case, it was a duo of dueling music minds. I was joined by my good friend John Einarson, one of the country's finest music writers, and the music historian-in-residence for Manitoba. John is the expert on all things Guess Who and Neil Young-related, when it comes to their time in Winnipeg, and has the goods on all the other Manitoba acts as well. That's just the start of it though. His books on Arthur Lee and Love, The Flying Buritto Brothers, Steppenwolf, Buffalo Springfield, and of course his Randy Bachman and Neil Young tomes are considered essential reading everywhere. His most recent one, on Lee and Love, has received praise in Rolling Stone, and even Robert Plant is dropping superlatives about it in interviews. His previous works routinely show up in the Top Music Books of the Year lists in publications such as Mojo and Uncut. To sit with John is always a pleasure, and he supplied a steady stream of interesting and intriguing questions.
And, he made me mad. He knows exactly how to do that. He showed up with some old singles to show the audience, and tease me with. First, there was a rare European picture sleeve single of American Woman, which I immediately wanted. John says Burton Cummings wants one too, so I had to get in line. Then he flipped to Opportunity by The Mandela, which featured Dominic Troiano among its members. That song finished very high in the Top 100 Singles poll, for good reason, it's a neglected classic.
After that it was off to the Fort Geary Hotel for dinner with old Fredericton friends Graham and Vicki Young, an excellent spot, refurbished to its glory days status as one of the country's beautiful railway hotels. Vicki reminded me she used to work for my publisher, Goose Lane Editions, way back in the 80's. Graham reminded me what a dork I was way back in the 80's. Thanks friends!