Bidini, Dave 1963(?)-
BIDINI, Dave 1963(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1963; married; children: one daughter. Education: Attended Trinity College, Dublin. Hobbies and other interests: Hockey.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 481 University Avenue, Suite 900, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2E9.
CAREER: Musician, and writer.
On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.
Tropic of Hockey: My Search for the Game in UnlikelyPlaces, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
Contributor to periodicals, including Toronto Star, and Saturday Night, and to the anthologies The Original Six: True Stories from Hockey's Classic Era and Maple Leaf Gardens: Memories and Dreams, 1931-1999.
SIDELIGHTS: A founding member of the Rheostatics, a Canadian rock band, Dave Bidini has been a working musician for more than two decades. Bidini has also been writing for nearly as long, starting with writings that he "scribbled since I was barely into my teens," as he notes on his personal Web site. Budding writers are often told to write about what they know, and Bidini has followed this advice. His first book, On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock, chronicles the 1996 tour the Rheostatics made across Canada as openers for the more commercially successful band the Tragically Hip. In addition to his own personal stories of the tour, Bidini interweaves the stories of forty-seven older Canadian rockers. Most of them never made it to the big time, but they have plenty of eyebrow-raising stories to tell.
Divided into chapters according to the Canadian provinces the tour goes through, Bidini's book not only throws the spotlight on the mythic aspects of touring in a rock band, such as groupies and drugs, but Bidini's own reflections on both the glamour and dedication required in the music business. In a review on the eye Web site, Cindy McGlynn noted that, at times, "Bidini overwrites" especially "when trying too hard to share an experience that obviously moved him." However, she called the book a "cleverly structured and well-written" addition to the Canadian rock canon. Tom Snyders, writing in Quill & Quire, called Bidini's writing "well-crafted, personal, and passionate" dubbed book is "candid, Canadian, incisive, and inspirational." On the Canoe Web site, Jim Slotek stated that the book's "real joy" is "the Greek chorus of rockers, old and older, who tell their tall tales like boozehounds in a Legion Hall," adding that "Bidini's own tales are told with an honest eye for detail."
In addition to music and writing, Bidini has another passion shared by many Canadians: ice hockey. Tropic of Hockey: My Search for the Game in Unlikely Places is a travelogue in which Bidini takes a global odyssey—from China to Russia to the Middle East—in search of people in far-flung places who, unlike the professionals, play for the mere joy of the game. Although Bidini fell out of love with the game for a time, over the years he once again became an avid recreational player. His second book is a humour-filled story of dedicated players with quirky personalities. Bidini also sets forth his views on what is wrong with contemporary hockey, especially on the professional level. "People are always saying you should write about what you know," Bidini told Nicholas Jennings in Maclean's. "It's a natural subject for many Canadian musicians because so many of us know hockey. And for a writer, the game really lends itself to poetry and romance."
"Like all good travelogues, Bidini's carries a healthy dose of soul searching," noted a reviewer in Publishers Weekly, calling Bidini a "great storyteller" who's "at his best when he stumbles upon revelations about himself or hockey." Larry R. Little, writing in Library Journal, called, "Bidini's travelog . . . a humorous cultural exposé of people and how they play the game." Little also commented, "The result is a delightful read that both armchair travelers and aficionados will enjoy." Calling the book "delightful," in her review for Resource Links, Margaret Mackey also remarked that, "Laugh-out-loud funny in places, the book has a great deal to offer to hockey fans and others."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Canadian Book Review, Volume 27, 1998, Jack S. Broumpton, review of On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock, p. 50.
Library Journal, March 15, 2002, review of Tropic ofHockey: My Search for the Game in Unlikely Places, p. 87.
Maclean's, December 11, 2000, "Rock 'n' Hockey: More and More Artists Are Playing, and Singing about, Canada's Sport," p. 51.
Publishers Weekly, November 27, 2000, D'Arcy Jenish, includes a review of Tropic of Hockey: My Search for the Game in Unlikely Places, p. 90; March 15, 2002, review of Tropic of Hockey: My Search for the Game in Unlikely Places, p. 56.
Quill & Quire, October, 1998, Tom Snyders, review of On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock, p. 31.
Resource Links, October 2001, Margaret Mackey, review of Tropic of Hockey: My Search for the Game in Unlikely Places, p. 58.
Canoe Web site,http://www.canoe.ca/ (November 15, 1998), Jim Slotek, review of On a Cold Road.
Dave Bidini Home Page,http://www.davebidini.com (September 10, 2002).
Eye Web site,http://www.eye.net/ (October 22, 1998), Cindy McGlynn, "On the Highway to Hull, Canadiana and Guitars in Dave Bidini's On a Cold Road."*