Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

flailing closer to god

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I'm still not fully recovered from my launch Tuesday night (meaning I still haven't had a normal night's sleep), so I'm just going to mention a couple things and go back to playing catch up with the work piled up on my desk.

The Wilco show last night at Massey Hall was fantastic. I wish I could go again tonight, but you can only be in one place at one time and tonight is the fall launch for Coach House Books at Stones Place. (I'm excited to pick up both Kate Hall's The Certainty Dream and Susan Holbrook's Joy Is So Exhausting. I spent a few days with Kate Hall on the Wave Press Poetry Bus Tour of 2006 and I loved her work — her reading in Montreal was a total revelation. And Susan Holbrook's reading at the always-solid Scream Literary Festival (okay, I'm on the board, but I'd only be on the board of something I thought was awesome) mainstage reading this past summer was stellar.

But back to Wilco for a second. I particularly enjoyed the quasi-vaudevillian and terrifically executed guitar war between lead guitarist Nels Cline and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Sansone toward the end of the night. It reminded me of something a musician friend of mine told me the night before at my launch.

After listening to me talk to Claudia about rock and roll, dancing, and ecstasy (the state, not the drug), he told me a story about Pete Townshend describing his famous windmill-style of playing guitar as his way of "flailing closer to God." (I couldn't find this quote online, so consider those quotation marks within quotation marks.) It's a beautiful concept to me.

So I spent some time this morning — after listening to an interesting piece on CBC's Q about the current CanStage production of Tom Stoppard's play Rock 'N' Roll — looking up clips of The Who in all their youthful, smashing glory. I think this (rather long) jam from the delightfully poncy and demented Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus from 1968 is the best example of what he was talking about:

Oh and Keith Moon, Keith Moon, Keith Moon.

It's a (comparatively) slow build, but I start to get really excited around minute 4:48.

By the time Townshend sings "you are forgiven," I am prepared to believe it.

1 comment

Great link, thanks for the share, and congrats again on your launch!

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Damian Rogers

Damian Rogers lives in Toronto. Paper Radio (ECW Press) is her first book.

Go to Damian Rogers’s Author Page