Dave Bidini reads from On a Cold Road


The Rheostatics are considered one of the best Canadian bands of all time. But even the greatest bands have humble beginnings. In On a Cold Road, a memoir published in 1998, band member Dave Bidini chronicles their 1996 cross-Canada tour with The Tragically Hip.

The Rheostatics formed in 1980, and there were many memorable gigs in the years between the band's inception and their tour with The Tragically Hip. However, as with any band, the first big gig is always unforgettable.

In the audio player below, Dave Bidini reads a passage from On a Cold Road in which he looks back at the Rheostatics' first gig in Winnipeg — long before The Tragically Hip tour — when Dave was only 23 years old.

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Can't get enough of On a Cold Road? Check out another excerpt here.

On a Cold Road will be defended by supermodel Stacey McKenzie in the Canada Reads 2012 debates. The debates will air at 11 a.m. (11:30 a.m. in Nfld.) on CBC Radio One and will be livestreamed on CBC Books at 10 a.m. ET on February 6,7, 8 and 9.

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