1982 [Hardcover] by Jian Ghomeshi

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It’s in passages like these, where he details the dramatic tension between his artistic interests and passions with his struggles to define his teenage self, that Ghomeshi is at his best, but unfortunately, they come too infrequently...
-National Post arts

Synopsis

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.

 

About Jian Ghomeshi

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Published September 18, 2012 by Viking. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History.
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Critic reviews for 1982 [Hardcover]
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Stephen Carlick on Sep 21 2012

It’s in passages like these, where he details the dramatic tension between his artistic interests and passions with his struggles to define his teenage self, that Ghomeshi is at his best, but unfortunately, they come too infrequently...

Read Full Review of 1982 [Hardcover] | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Stephen Carlick on Sep 21 2012

...it’s a well-intentioned, charming narrative with a beating heart at its core, but between bad jokes, unnecessary tangents and transparent attempts to appeal to “the kids,” it loses its urgency.

Read Full Review of 1982 [Hardcover] | See more reviews from National Post arts

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