Radio, Records and Rockstars by Jeff Woods on Audiobook
Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 9:54
Anne-Marie Klein

I have a few typical avenues to obtain the books I read: most frequently, I borrow them from the local public library and disappear into luxurious bubble baths with them, or well-intentioned friends occasionally pass along their finished copies of genres we both love, usually British or Nordic mysteries, and some non-fiction. Sometimes, I even get them as gifts. It is quite rare for me these days to purchase a book, much less a hardcover, even when it’s a favourite author. Radio, Records and Rock Stars was an exception to that rule.

 

Jeff Woods is a well-known radio personality across Canada, with a long career on the air at many rock stations; he is possibly the greatest interviewer of musicians our country has ever produced. His autobiography is a delightful mixture of memorable interviews with some of rock music’s greatest talents, his personal life story,  and his experiences in the radio industry.  I was fortunate enough to get my copy at his book launch at Toronto’s legendary Horseshoe Tavern in June, 2016, which he also personalized. That immediately made the Victorian tub off-limits, and explains why it has taken me two summers to fully savour each chapter. As I finished the last few pages, I found out from Jeff that the audiobook version is now out, which will no doubt bring him further acclaim and success, given that he is narrating it himself but will also include the recorded interviews that are interspersed among his personal anecdotes. I am not a fan of audiobooks generally, but to hear the book in that voice will be such a natural and truly delightful experience, like a return to the Legends of Classic Rock show I used to listen to every week on my local FM rock station.

With Jeff at the book launch of Radio, Records and Rockstars at the Horseshoe Tavern in 2016.

 

I have spoken with Jeff a few times on occasion in the last two years, and observed in him generosity, humility, and honest in each of our conversations; these qualities follow him between the pages, unsurprising to me, because writing your own story authentically necessitates a great deal of reflection and introspection. He is often brutally aware of his flaws and shortcomings in the navigation of some of his relationships, yet simultaneously kind towards those who have crossed his path with less than good intentions or outcomes. I quickly recognised the telltale Capricorn trait of loyalty in his stories, perhaps because we share the same Zodiac sign and quality. His generosity and humility are likely factors in making him a much sought-after and skilled interviewer: in many of his interactions, he is a man of few words, effectively allowing each musician to open up and tell him detailed stories, often with intimate revelations and insights that a more self-centred interviewer might never have captured.

Coffee catch-up and book swap time back in 2017. Two rock writers, one legend.

 

It is a delightful read for any music fan, but also the engaging story of an industry which has struggled to reinvent itself as technology has changed the rules of the game and altered the musical landscape in so many areas of the business. I appreciated his insights into the lives of favourite musicians and their work, but also those about the medium that has been an integral part of my life since childhood. I’m looking forward to closing my eyes to listen to Jeff’s voice from the comfort of the bath tub as he takes me back through his rock and roll stories one more time.

For links to Jeff’s book, audiobook and podcasts, please visit his page. You can find all of this at www.jeffwoodsradio.com.


Article originally appeared on Behind Blue Eyes: A Series of Rock and Roll Novels (http://behindblueeyes.ca/).
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