Toronto Mike

Am I the Asshole?

This afternoon I'll record the 1395th episode of Toronto Mike'd. There are actually more than that, but some episodes (including one celebrating a birthday today) didn't get numbers because I intended to remove them from the feed. And there are at least ten episodes of Your Blog Sucks in there, shout out to Elvis.

1395 episodes over 11+ years amounts to a tonne of recorded time available on-demand in the public webspace. You're going to pull a boner or two along the way. The trick is to learn from it so you don't do it again.

There are two recent episodes that seem to be polarizing, so I've been wondering if I'm the asshole. Last Monday, two of my all-time favourite musicians visited to talk about their excellent supergroup Trans-Canada Highwaymen. Steven Page, founding member of Barenaked Ladies, and Chris Murphy, founding member of Sloan, graced me with their presence for a delightful and informative chat. Did you know "it's not the band I hate, it's their fans" was written about Kate Bush? Hear that ep here.

It just so happened that I had recently dropped the latest FOTM KOTJ episode of Toronto Mike'd in which listeners submit their jams that satisfy a theme. This time, we did Crappy Coverz and listener Jos Louis recorded himself talking about how terrible he deems the Barenaked Ladies cover of Lovers In A Dangerous Time. As I said on that episode, I love that cover, but I had this audio and suddenly the co-lead singer of that very cover was sitting across the table from me. I played him the clip.

Jos Louis is a listener who has attended several TMLX events, and even though I disagree with his opinion here, I respect it. I wanted to hear what Steven Page had to say about it. It actually sparked a fascinating retrospective about that cover and what it meant to the band at that time. The result was compelling audio, even if some thought it was a little mean to Steven.

Speaking of mean, a few days later Robert Lawson returned to Toronto Mike'd and we spent some time fact-checking the Randy Bachman episode from two months prior. Robert was already an FOTM from his episode about The Guess Who, and I wrote him after reading an article in The Walrus that quoted him as the manager of the Sunrise Records store in Cloverdale Mall. I wanted to talk about that, but Robert let me know he heard the Bachman episode and had several issues with it. I told him he could share those issues during his return episode.

Some commenters felt this was unfair to Randy, but I've thought this over extensively and I think it was completely fair. I loved Randy's episode, and understand embellishment and exaggeration is part of telling a good tale, but as I've declared in this very space someone else can print the legend. I allow Robert Lawson time on Toronto Mike'd to fact-check Randy Bachman 10 out of 10 times. I simply can't say no to that request.

Nor could I resist playing Jos Louis's audio for Steven Page. I love music, and thoroughly enjoy my conversations with musicians about their art and craft, but I am not their publicist and I don't have to pull punches. Other podcasts can do that.

Am I the asshole? After careful consideration, I say no.

Author image
About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.