[sic] magazine - spring 2013 spring 2013 - Page 21

REVIEW: 1982 Jian Gomeshi is a radio broadcaster, musician, and pr oducer. He r ecently released his first book, a memoir documenting his teenage y ears in Thornhill, Ontario. 1982 meshes stories from his y outh with piv otal songs and musical moments that had a profound impact on his life. The prologue begins with a list of the most important things in his life at age 14: David Bowie, black pointy boots, fitting in, theatre, his drum kit, and his cr ush, a g irl named Wendy. Coming from the only Persian family in a predominantly white, suburban neighbourhood gave Gomeshi a unique perspective. He and his older sister attended an expe rimental liberal school that had a r eputation for focusing on the performing arts, namely theatre and music. It was also known for a diverse and racially integrated student body. Here, he met Wendy, who was quintessentially cool. She was older, into New Wave music, and, to Jian, she was the female v ersion of David Bowie. During the summer of Grade 9, Gomeshi gets tickets to see The Police. Before they became mega stars, The Police were a relatively unknown ska/reggae/New Wave band fr om the UK. He works up the courage to invite Wendy to the concert and brings an Adidas bag full of essential items: Sony Walkman with Police mix tape, portable headphones, jean jacket, and bag of mixed nuts. The concert begins as a poignant and innocent date, but it turns awkward when a hooligan takes Jian’s bag and hurls it onto the stage at one of the band members. The rest of the book gets into ho w Gomeshi met the member s of his futur e band, Moxy Fruvous, and acknowledges the star t of his broadcasting career as being the morning announcer in high school. “And so it tur ns out 1982 w as a pivotal year in m y life,” he wr ites. “Ninety eighty-two was the y ear I became a New Wave. In my goal to be like Bowie, I acquired the black clothing and the hair gel, and some of the attitude to fit in with the punks and New Wavers. Or at least, I came close by the end of the year. And it didn’t help that all the heroes in the New Wave were white—like Bowie—although I imag ined that Bowie had no race . He was too cool.” New Wave is seen as one of the definitive genres of the 1980s . The genre became a fixture on MTV and the popularity of several New Wave artists has been partially attributed to the exposur e that was given to them by the channel. A few of the New Wave bands that influenced Jian’s musical career included Siouxie and the Banshees, the Cure, New Order, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, and Ultravox. 1982 is a blast to the an era some of us remember, peppered with themes of suburban malaise, the notion of fitting in and being cool, the ar t of making the perfect mixed tape, being perceived different due to ethnicity , obsessions with music, and coming of age moments. It’s a humorous journey back through time, to a world where Google, iPhones, and Wikipedia weren’t yet part of our everyday vocabulary. Gomeshi captur es the coming of age—his own and the world’s—through music, wit, and heartfelt memories. – C.M. Añonuevo 20 [sic] spring 2013.indd 21 13-04-04 1:29 PM