I'm an absolute sucker for an interesting independent podcast that's produced in Toronto. There are interesting podcasts, and there are independent podcasts, and there are Toronto-based podcasts, but rarely do I find all three in one. But that doesn't stop me from searching.
As part of this search, I sample many podcasts. Yesterday, I stumbled upon a podcast called Hit Me, produced by a self-described "music historian". So I tried the first episode, quickly realized the host and producer, a chap named Robert Davis, was from Toronto, and downloaded a few episodes for my morning bike ride.
Episodes were thematic and Robert would sprinkle fun facts in the mix and share personal anecdotes about himself and his relationship with the music. For example, in one episode I learned that Robert saw The Stampeders play Innis College at U of T and that this was during their funk period. I knew very little about The Stampeders' funk period, and was intrigued as Robort spoke of how only he and a few others were paying attention to the band.
By the end of the fourth episode, I had decided I'd reach out to Robert and invite him over for an episode of Toronto Mike'd. I'm a sucker for local music historians. Off to robertdavis.ca I went in search of an email address. That's when it hit me.
In the top right corner of Robert's website was written "Robert David [sic] passed away Nov 21, 2020." I read it twice, and still didn't believe it because the host's name is Robert Davis. Who is this Robert David? So I went to his social media accounts for proof he had survived past November 21, 2020. I found no such proof. Then I realized the podcast's most recent episode is almost two years old. And finally, I found an obituary online. Robert Davis was dead.
In honour of Robert, I'm going to listen to every episode of his Hit Me Podcast. I never met the man, and only learned of his existence yesterday, but I dig what he was doing with this project and I like to think we would have had a great chat about it. At least that's how I mapped it out in my mind as I biked south on Lansdowne on a chilly February morning.