What Is Hip? The Life and Times of The Tragically Hip

What is Hip? The Life And Times Of The Tragically Hip

Author: NY Times Best-selling Author Marc Shapiro

Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books

“The Tragically Hip is certainly one of the greatest bands we’ve ever produced in this country.”

– Geddy Lee of Rush

New York, NY: April 18th – On August 20th, 2016 about 11.7 million Canadians stood transfixed, watching the final concert of The Tragically Hip, and the rest of the world asked, “Who is this band?” New York Times best-selling pop journalist Marc Shapiro answers that question in the first American book about this Canadian rock band that largely shunned the spotlight but has become the standard bearer of a resurgent sense of Canadian pride and patriotism.

What is Hip? The Life And Times Of The Tragically Hip delves deep beneath the surface of this rock and roll story to discover how a band that spent more than three decades in the rock and roll trenches selling millions of albums and opening for the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin’s Page & Plant, remained almost unknown outside their home country, even as they rose to the level of rock royalty in Canada.


Through extensive research and some well-placed sources, author Shapiro has put together a complete look at The Tragically Hip’s rise from humble Kingston roots to endless tours, the internal struggles to keep their music fresh and the fanatic loyalty they fostered in millions of Canadian fans of all ages and generations. Fans that would unite to honor the band and shed more than a few tears when it was announced that singer Gord Downie had been diagnosed with brain cancer and that The Hip were about to embark on what may well be their final tour.


“What drew me to The Tragically Hip was a lot of questions I had,” author Shapiro said. “The most enticing to me being ‘How did they do it?’ “This was a band that almost completely avoided compromises creatively and business wise. And to be honest, their career might have turned out easier and different if they hadn’t. But you’ve got to admire anyone, band or mortal, who forges their own path regardless of the consequences. I had to know what makes rugged individualists tick and this book answers those questions.”


About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Marc Shapiro has written more than 60 nonfiction celebrity biographies, more than two dozen comic books, numerous short stories, poetry, and threeshort form screenplays. His young adult book JK Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter was on The New York Times bestseller list for four straight weeks. His fact-based book Total Titanic was also on The Los Angeles Times bestseller list for four weeks.  He has recently written books about Lorde, Jenni Rivera, EL James, Justin Bieber, Norman Reedus, Shonda Rimes and Donald Trump.


About Riverdale Avenue Books

Riverdale Avenue Books is an award -winning, innovative hybrid publisher at the leading edge of the changes in the publishing industry.  We publish e-books, print, and audio books under 11 imprints: Desire, an erotica/erotic romance imprint; Riverdale/Magnus the award-winning imprint of LGBT titles; Pop featuring pop culture titles; Afraid, a horror line; SFF, a science fiction fantasy line; Truth, an erotic memoir line; Dagger, a mystery thriller imprint; Sports and Gaming featuring sports and gaming titles; VerVe featuring lifestyle titles; and Hera featuring both the true and fictional lives and loves of women aged 35 and up. Started in 2012 by industry veteran Lori Perkins, Riverdale is a full-service publisher, with a foreign rights and film agency


My Review:

One of the most well known bands in Canada is The Tragically Hip. I have always loved their music.

If you ever wanted to learn more about The Tragically Hip, this book is for you.

Marc Shapiro brings the story to life about how each member of the began their love of music to how The Hip was formed.

I found it interesting that one of the biggest bands in Canada wanted to go with the name Bedspring Symphony Orchestra. Doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as The Tragically Hip. I think the latter name suits them better.

I won’t spoil the rest of interesting facts about The Tragically Hip that you would learn in Marc Shapiro’s book.  But I will say that I learned a lot about the band and have a new found respect from them. I always admired on how they made a name for themselves.

Downloads of this book are available at RiverdaleAveBooks.com and also at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles Nook, iTunes, Kobo and where digital and print books are sold.


What’s a post about The Tragically Hip without a video of one of their videos? This is one of my favourite songs from The Hip – New Orleans is Sinking.




Riverdale Avenue Books would like to offer one Basically Speaking reader to win a digital copy of What Is Hip? The Life and Times of the Tragically Hip.

Open to Canadian Residents 18+

Giveaway closed


I received the book to review but the opinion is my own.


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  1. Kelly Bouma
    July 9, 2017 / 8:42 am
    Hope I win this - such a great Canadian Band
  2. Jennifer
    July 10, 2017 / 1:22 pm
    Sounds like a great read for any Hip fan
  3. Catherine Robichaud
    July 13, 2017 / 4:50 pm
    My favourite Tragically Hip song is Bobcaygeon.
  4. July 16, 2017 / 11:04 pm
    I love this super Canadian band.New Orleans Is Sinking is one of my favorites too.Thanks for the chance.
  5. Tasha F
    July 19, 2017 / 12:14 pm
    My favorite would have to be New Orleans Is Sinking but all their songs are great.
  6. Lynda Cook
    July 19, 2017 / 10:52 pm
    My most favourite is New Orleans Is Sinking!!
  7. Debbie White Beattie
    July 20, 2017 / 1:51 am
    My favorite song would be Ahead By A Century
  8. Shirleyp
    July 20, 2017 / 7:11 am
    New Orleans is sinking
  9. Irene Wyman
    July 20, 2017 / 1:35 pm
    Great band, thanks for the chance.
  10. Darren Scrubb
    July 21, 2017 / 12:43 pm
    My favourite is Sinking.
  11. HEIDI C.
    July 21, 2017 / 10:12 pm
    My all-time favourite is Bobcaygeon.
  12. Julie
    July 22, 2017 / 9:06 pm
    Wheat Kings is my fav!

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