Is This Live?/ Christopher Ward (Book Review)

Being a teen in the 1980s.  MuchMusic was a big deal in my world as it was  Canada’s 24 Hour Music Video Cable Channel that at the time played well Music Video’s before all these channels delved into reality like programming and blah blah blah and well to be honest  I got older which is the biggest problem of all! Ha!

Christopher Ward who wrote this book was also one of the original MuchMusic Video Jockeys as well. Chris goes into great detail about the origins of MuchMusic with the two fella’s that started it. One being Moses Zanier and John Martin

These two guys couldn’t get along but they somehow managed to work together and make MuchMusic a household name in Canada back in 1984 and  hitting the 1 Million subscriber mark in 1987!

First ever video played at MuchMusic? That would be The Enemy Within by Rush!

Ward does a nice job of interviewing for  this book all the VJ’s that we would always see everyday on the telly. Steve Anthony/JD Roberts/Erica Ehm/Laurie Brown/Master T/Michael Williams/Denise Donlon/Terry David Mulligan/Theresa Roncon and many others. They are all present and accounted for in this book!

Actually one of the funniest interviews I had ever seen on Much was when Ed The Sock interviewed Hugh Dillion from the Headstones. I posted the clip of Hugh VS Ed below…(Interview is after the song) The best is when Hugh says he can’t believe he’s having a “serious discussion with a sock!”

Tons of pics are included with visits of RockStars like Duran Duran/Boy George/Motley Crue/Alice Cooper/Platinum Blonde/Robert Plant. Basically if you were selling records in the 80’s you were on MuchMusic!

Christopher also asks the Vj’s the worst interviews that the VJ’s had and to no one’s surprise Gene and Paul(KISS) make a cameo!/Chris Issak/Mariah Carey/Ramones  to name  a few others are mentioned  among others  but it did not surprise me to see KISS here as they always did the sexual innuendo’s especially with the lady VJ’s! The Best interviews? Well, buy the book folks!

TV shows on Much are talked about like Rap City/Electric Circus /Electric Circus/Mike & Mike’s X-Cellent Cross Canada Adventure The Wedge/Big Ticket and my personal fav The Power Hour which ran from 1984-1991 ( I would always have my VCR set from 4-5 pm every Thursday!)and then was reduced from the power hour to a half hour show. Than again the musical climate was shifting in the early 90’s….watch the clip for a good two  minute flashback below!

Tons of Canadian acts of course are featured with Ward asking them how the impact of video helped them along with their careers! Northern Pikes/Sloan/Honeymoon Suite/Gowan/The Pursuit OF Happiness are just a few of the acts that are covered.

Ward himself talks at detail how his career as Alannah Myles songwriter had taken off in 1990 and how a decision had to be made as to whether to stay on TV or quit and move to Los Angeles to break Myles career in the U.S! It’s a great inside look at the music business on how a new artist can hit it big.

I will add this is a great read almost like a huge 329 page scrap-book of a time we will never ever see again…. But Ward captures it brilliantly!

For us Canucks, MuchMusic was a big part of growing up in the 80’s and Christopher Ward takes us all on journey though the inner workings of the Nations Music Station MuchMusic!

Must own folks!



16 thoughts on “Is This Live?/ Christopher Ward (Book Review)”

  1. Gene and Paul were difficult? Well certainly possible although every time I saw them on Much, I thought it seemed great!

    Gotta admit that Christopher Ward was one of my LEAST favourite of all the VJs, but I think it’s probably easy to overlook that for the memories in this book! JD Roberts was and always will be the best Power Hour host. My friend Scott used to get mad that Michael Williams played Living Color every time he was the host. LOL

    I know Erica Ehm really challenged Blackie Lawless when she interviewed him, and Denise Donlon kind of gave it to David Lee Roth over his video for A Lil’ Ain’t Enough. She said “You’re smarter than the videos you make,” and in a way she was right. But DLR’s style isn’t about being the smartest kid on the block. It was about being the smart kid that is the life of the party, but you only see the smart side when you get to know him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great reply Mikey! I think the thing is the lady Vj’s didn’t like KISS period!
      Ward was alright he just wasn’t a metal guy. Yeah JD was good and I liked Williams esp on the Roth interview as well him and Chris Robinson had a good interviews as well…
      I remember Williams interviewing Chris at the MTV 92 awards and this must have been there third or fourth interview done and when Michael thanked him Chris replied “Thanks man for not asking If I’m a junkie” they both laughed ..wish i could find that clip….
      This is a a great book….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha that’s great! I probably have that Chris interview on tape, as I was recording as much as I could back then.

        I remember one Gene interview where he made a crude joke that they had to black out! Maybe that was difficult! 🙂 It was Gene and Bruce, and I have to admit, Bruce looked embarrassed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy mackerel I wanna read this. Adding it to the Mr. Books’ List Of Books For Mr. Books!

    Also: We were just in Taranna last week and Much is gone from Queen and John. Looks like it’s CTV in there now? I have no idea how long that’s been true – apparently I haven’t been paying attention, though. My first thought was ‘damn, we lost the place where BNL did their phone booth audition.’ Priorities!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.