Dave “Bookie” Bookman announces his departure from The Edge

Bookie was one of the last great vestiges of Toronto's golden radio rock age

The early ’90s have often been called the glory days of indie music in Toronto. Sure, one could argue the point, but there is no disputing that it was a unique period, when local indie rock (Lowest of the Low, Rheostatics, Barenaked Ladies) and live music in general flourished. And, one factor in the mix was plucky radio station CFNY 102.1.

It was the station that had the gumption to pull an Andy Travis a la WKRP in Cincinnati and start playing indie bands such as Change of Heart and Eric’s Trip instead of Top 40 artists such as Rick Astley and Madonna — not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Sadly, the station changed a long time ago. Now known as The Edge 102.1, it mostly features run-of-the-mill rock.

And later this month, one of the last vestiges of the golden years will be toast. The DaveBookie Bookman era — which began back in 1991 when Bookman was hired on as a reporter — is over at The Edge. Yesterday morning, a message from Bookman appeared on his blog on the 102.1 website that announced his departure as well as a last on-air appearance on Dec. 20.

Alan Cross, afternoon drive time host at CFNY in the early ’90s and program director from 2004 to 2008, had this to say: “Bookie is one of the country’s best interviewers. On the air, his enthusiasm and love of music is infectious. You can’t help but love the guy. When I was his boss at The Edge, I loved listening to him.”

Dave Bidini, from the Rheostatics, said: “In my mind, Dave Bookman is the best DJ I’ve ever heard, worked with or known. He is real and genuine, alive and imperfect in an industry — commercial FM — that’s becoming more pale and robotic as times move on. Nobody was ever more enthusiastic, and his interview style was artful yet conversational. He is also my friend and I love him lots.”

One of the more public contributions to the local music scene was the establishment of Dave Bookman’s Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe Tavern. The series has featured the Toronto debuts of Tracy Bonham, Everclear, Goldfinger, Flashing Lights and many, many more.

According to Craig Laskey of Collective Concerts, the event will continue as Dave Bookman’s No Cover Nu Music Nite every Tuesday, including tonight. The bands start rolling with Teen Violence, followed by Big Name Actors.

Show Bookie some love and say hello.

[h/t Toronto Mike]

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