A Podcast Conversation With... David McPherson
The rich and colourful history of Massey Hall, arguably Canada’s most famous music venue, has been captured in a new book by this prolific author and music scribe. Learn more here.
By Bill King
I speak with author David McPherson on today's FYIMusicNews.ca podcast. He has written The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, Massey Hall, and many articles in Paste, AmericanSongwriter, Bluegrass Unlimited, Exclaim!, Canadian Musician, and more.
When I first caught wind that David was diving into the history of a venue with such historical significance, a structure built in the 18th century as the “people’s house,” I thought David was the right person to inhabit the rich past. Dig, listen, and write to inform and entertain the reader.
Massey Hall, the finished book, is beautiful. Colour rich, text savvy, and carefully bound to fit the hands. The 230 plus pages come with splendid black and white photos, posters, souvenirs, playbills, everything a book of unique consequence should offer. Massey Hall also carries the memories of those who were there on nights of cultural significance. The years that balladeer/singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot owned the stage, The Beach Boys, Beck, Matt Andersen, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, Dave Brubeck, Victor Borge, Liona Boyd, Bill Haley and the Comets, Tom Cochrane, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Rodney Dangerfield, my favourite, Joni Mitchell, and on.
“Playing Massey Hall is like Christmas to me. I’m home; I get to see my family, all my friends. I love the place—Gordon Lightfoot.”
"The fascinating story of Canada's most revered concert hall and the myriad artists who have graced its stage.
Known for its intimacy and sense of occasion, a night at Toronto's Massey Hall is magical for audiences and performers. For many musicians, playing the hall is the surest sign they have made it. Looking out over the crowd, performers often comment that they feel they have joined history as they stand on the stage where Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, and so many other legends have stood.
Based on scores of interviews and meticulous research, Massey Hall chronicles the historical and musical moments of the past 127 years and the community of artists and supporters built up around the hall. This full-colour book celebrates music, community, and our shared cultural heritage, covering both emerging artists such as Matt Anderson and William Prince and musical giants from Herbie Hancock to the Tragically Hip." - Dundurn Press
David McPherson is the author of the acclaimed Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: AComplete History and has written for Grammy.com, the Globe and Mail, SOCAN's Words and Music, No Depression, American Songwriter, and Acoustic Guitar. He lives in Waterloo, Ontario.