Tag Archives: Is This Live? Book Review

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!

 

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