Here for a Good Time: On the Road with Trooper Canada's Legendary Rock Band.

Description

269 pages
Contains Photos, Index
$21.95
ISBN 978-1-897178-10-7
DDC 782.42166'092'2

Author

Publisher

Year

2006

Contributor

Reviewed by Douglas Ivison

Douglas Ivison is an assistant professor of English at Lakehead
University in Thunder Bay.

Review

One of the more popular Canadian bands of the 1970s and early 1980s, Trooper (“Raise a Little Hell” or “We’re Here for a Good Time”) have continued into the 21st century, criss-crossing the country on annual tours, playing venues and festivals large and small, playing places that few Canadians have ever heard of and fewer bands have ever played. Despite the fact that their hits are now three decades old, Trooper have become an unavoidable institution, the ultimate Canadian party band.

 

Here for a Good Time is a tour diary by bandleader and lead singer Ra McGuire covering a three-year period from May 2002 to July 2005. The book is a compilation of the blog entries McGuire posted during that period, accompanied by photos he originally posted on flickr, and so is a nice keepsake for the fans. But is it anything more? Is there anything for a reader, such as myself, who has little or no interest in Trooper?

 

The purpose of the book seems to be, as McGuire puts in the introduction, to show that “Trooper is as viable today as it was in the 70s” and to document the fact that, as McGuire puts it, “our status has risen recently to a place just south of legendary where, for instance, total strangers embrace as they would a favourite relative visiting from out of town.” This concern with Trooper’s status is emphasized by the introductory entry, reflecting on his receipt (along with his songwriting partner, Brian Smith) of a SOCAN (Canadian songwriters association) Classic Award, and the final entry, which defensively critiques a Globe and Mail feature on the band which McGuire felt disparaged the band.

 

In between are entries that document the everyday life of a touring middle-aged rock band: the buses, the hotel rooms, the gigs. There are movie reviews, nostalgic remembrances of past glories and friends, reflections on the death of friends and his father, and entries which proudly celebrate the success of his son. McGuire is an amiable and engaging writer, whose interests are more wide-ranging than Trooper’s hits might have suggested. Unless you are a Trooper fan, however, there’s ultimately not enough in the book to sustain interest.

Citation

McGuire, Ra., “Here for a Good Time: On the Road with Trooper Canada's Legendary Rock Band.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/27869.