Books·Canadian

The Longest Suicide by Jason Schneider

A biography of Canadian singer-songwriter Art Bergmann.

A biography of Canadian singer-songwriter Art Bergmann

The pink and red-toned background of the book cover features a young man with short hair who has his hand clasped and is looking up. Over top of the image is the title, The Longest Suicide, in yellow cursive.

As Canada's punk poet laureate, Art Bergmann has been tearing up stages, and terrifying the music industry, for half a century. Often referred to as "Canada's Lou Reed," Art's story is one of rock and roll's great tales untold. Until now. From his days helping to lay the foundation of the Vancouver punk scene with The K-Tels, to his acclaimed solo work in the '80s and '90s, and a late career resurgence that has culminated with being named to the Order of Canada, The Longest Suicide chronicles every unlikely twist and turn Art's life has taken. Working with veteran music journalist Jason Schneider, Art lays it all out in his own inimitable way, with dozens of people who took part adding their own voices to corroborate (and sometimes dispute) the often-incredible chain of events.

With cameos by John Cale, Bob Rock, The Clash, Bob Geldof and many others, The Longest Suicide is both a triumphant story of personal survival, as well as a unique glimpse inside the rise of alternative rock. Above all, it is a tribute to Canada's most unheralded singer-songwriter, whose greatness is only now being widely recognized. (From Anvil Press). 

Based in Kitchener, Ont., Jason Schneider is a writer who has written for various outlets, including The Globe & Mail and The Toronto Star. He is also the co-author of Have Not Been The Same: the CanRock Renaissance 1985-1995, and his other books include Whispering Pines: the Northern Roots of American Music, and the novel 3,000 Mile.

 

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