Press Release: The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip

We can't wait to share this exciting new release with you! In stores and available online wherever fine books are sold on April 3, 2018: Michael Barclay's powerful biography, The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip.


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More than just a significant biography of “Canada’s band,” Michael Barclay’s The Never-Ending Present places the Tragically Hip within the cultural and national shifts of Canadian consciousness over the last thirty years.

For Release: 3rd April 2018
Contact: Debby de Groot, MDG & Associates

The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip by Michael BarclayIn the summer of 2016, more than a third of Canadians tuned in to watch what was to be the Tragically Hip’s final performance, broadcast from their hometown of Kingston. Their music defined a generation of Canadian rock music, selling millions of records. But the five men were always more than just a band: they were a vehicle for conversations about Canadian culture, about poetry, about performance, about hockey, about America. In the summer of 2016, those conversations expanded to include camaraderie, aging in art, reconciliation, and death.

Barclay started interviewing the band’s peers and friends that summer for Maclean’s magazine. “The discussions were joyous and reflective and hilarious and heart-breaking,” he says. “I realized there was so much more here than just the story of a hard-working, successful rock band. This book is partially that, but it’s also about issues that resonate with music fans of all kinds, and with people who just tuned into the final show out of curiosity.

“The title comes from a song on Gord Downie’s first solo album. To me it represents the Hip’s ethos: the most important time is right now. Get to work on the next record, the next tour. At every gig, something could happen that will never happen again. At the same time, the past is always with us: songs written 30 years ago can still sound fresh today. They can instantly trigger memories, or introduce new ones, no matter how old the music is. Finally, I was writing this book while its subject was living with terminal cancer, a liminal state where one has no choice but to live day to day, which Gord Downie did until his final days, writing and creating and advocating as much as he could—as he always had, in the never-ending present.”


Michael Barclay has worked for Maclean’s, CBC Radio’s Brave New Waves, and Exclaim! He co-authored Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985–95, which told the stories of the Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, k.d. lang, and dozens more. He lives in Toronto.


Michael Barclay is available for comment and interview

The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip by Michael Barclay

6 x 9"/504pp/cloth/16-page colour photo section/$34.95 CDN/978-1-77041-436-5/Pub April 3, 2018

Acknowledgements - ECW Press

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