Sunday, December 30, 2012


In 1982 the Commodore 64 computer was introduced, Ronald Reagan survived being shot, the Falkland War started and ended, Michael Jackson released, Thriller, Canada repatriated its Constitution, and the first compact disc was sold in Germany. And that’s not all. In 1982 I blossomed from a naive fourteen-year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids to something much more: a naive eyeliner-wearing, fifteen-year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids. So writes Jian Ghomeshi in this, his first book, 1982. It is a memoir told across intertwined stories of the songs and musical moments that changed his life. Obsessed with David Bowie ("I wanted to be Bowie,” he recalls), the adolescent Ghomeshi embarks on a Nick Hornbyesque journey to make music the centre of his life. Acceptance meant being cool, and being cool meant being Bowie. And being Bowie meant pointy black boots, eyeliner, and hair gel. Add to that the essential all-black wardrobe and you have two very confused Iranian parents, busy themselves with gaining acceptance in Canada against the backdrop of the revolution in Iran. It is a bittersweet, heartfelt book that recalls awkward moments such as Ghomeshi’s performance as the “Ivory” in a school production of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s Ebony and Ivory; a stakeout where Rush was rehearsing for its world tour; and a memorable day at the Police picnic of 1982. Music is the jumping-off place for Ghomeshi to discuss young love, young heartache, conformity, and the nature of cool. At the same time, 1982 is an entertaining cultural history of a crazy era of glam, glitter, and gender-bending fads and fashions. And it is definitely the first rock memoir by a Persian-Canadian new waver.
I started reading this book a little over a week ago, but with Christmas and this sinus cold I can't seem to shake, I haven't had much time to finish reading it, well, until today. 

I'm an 80's kid.  I remember the fashion, the television and the music.  Some things were great, music and movies (some) but the fashion...let's forget about that please.  Reading Jian Ghomeshi's memoir brought back a few memories.  Although I'm a tad younger than the author, I can relate.  In 1982, I was 9, my family had just moved to a different country, I was learning a different language and trying to fit in with the other kids.  I felt like an outsider but the one thing that was universal was music.  Duran Duran, ruled the radio waves, with some Talk Talk and let's not forget U2, Madonna and Michael Jackson. We could probably all agree that the best thing that came out of that decade was the music.  

I don't like rating memoirs because how can you really give someone's memories a rate out of five, let's just say that I had a blast (of the past) reading Jian Ghomeshi's 1982.

1982 by Jian Ghomeshi () Memoir; Published: Viking (2012); New Release; New Author; Canadian Author; Library; Books 2012 (58); 

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