My Book, “Here for a Good Time (On the Road With Trooper, Canada’s Legendary Band)” is, essentially, the first three years of ramcguire.com. It was written in real time as journal entries. It has no beginning and no ending, but it surprised me by telling more than a few seemingly complete stories.
Some of it was dashed off quickly at four in the morning. Some of it might be more carefully considered than it needs to be. Often it reveals much more than I’d intended at the time. And sometimes the story is fleshed out by that which wasn’t written down at all. Each entry came as a complete surprise to me—as did, of course, the unfolding events I was chronicling.
Critics and reviewers have called it “captivating” “amazing” and “brilliant” (see below) and I’m chuffed that they liked it, but I’m most moved by the hundreds of Canadians who’ve stopped by the merchandise table after the show to tell me how much they’ve enjoyed reading it.
I’d like to encourage you to pick up a copy of your own by clicking over to the right there – where you can purchase it direct from this web site.
Here’s more about the book from Insomniac Press:
“Part travelogue, part confessional and part real-time chronicle, “Here For a Good Time” was written in airports and rented vans, on ferries and planes – in billet-rooms in remote high-north villages and luxury hotel suites in the heart of the Big Smoke. Begun as an online journal in 2002, it follows McGuire on the roller-coaster road-trip of his unpredictable life and is a candid look at the inside workings of a talented songwriter and performer – and the revered Canadian band he sings for. “Here for a Good Time” offers a funny, insightful and often surprising glimpse into the heart of an artist who has spent his lifetime performing, and a unique perspective on the real Canadians he has met along the way. McGuire’s appealing photographs, captured on his travels from coast to coast, bring a sense of place and immediacy to the text, and are interspersed throughout. This is a must-read for Trooper fans, and armchair rockers everywhere.”
Praise for ‘Here For a Good Time’:
Codi Jeffreys – Music Director/On Air Hostess
Majic 100 Radio – Ottawa ON
“I LOVED it!!!! I’ve never ever been able to say before, ‘it made me laugh, it made me cry, it became a part of me.’ With this book I could. It’s an honest down to earth, damn fine book.”
William McGuirk – Feature Writer
Durham News – Oshawa ON
“… McGuire has a knack for storytelling and the book, while underlining the reality of the road, is still top heavy with hilarious accounts of the people, fans and otherwise, that the band meets in the towns small and large they perform in.”
“This real-time unfurling of a man’s life could trip up on the banality that is the 23 of 24 hours of a road musician’s day. Instead McGuire gives us a brilliant read with the necessary elements of a good story intact. He instinctively has documented the most interesting parts of his day, not always the gig – and he puts a humanity to the fantasy we all have of running away to the circus.”
Shelagh Rogers – Sounds Like Canada
“I have to say that this book, Ra McGuire, could be called ‘Canada’…”
“… as I read it, I honestly had this feeling I was driving along with you, and having the same experiences, and really feeling something about this country, you know, because you are so hooked into it, and this country is so hooked into you.”
The Now Newspaper – Surrey BC
“Over the years I have read dozens of rockers’ tomes. Flat out, Here for a Good Time is at the top of my list.”
The Globe and Mail
“Unlike megastars such as Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, McGuire’s fame has been more modest and regional. But unlike Cobain and Hendrix, McGuire is still here to tell his tale, and his book reveals not a jaded rock veteran, but a sensitive and decent man who agonizes over his craft and loves his wife (miraculously for a rocker, he has had the same one for 35 years) and his son (a talented musician in his own right who finds himself eclipsed, at least for now, by his father’s status as leader of “Canada’s Number One Party Band”).
For those expecting artistic excess, drug ruination and apocalyptic rock debauch, McGuire’s conclusion provides the ultimate counterpoint: “It’s a good gig,” he writes, ” . . . a good life.”
Fiona Forbes – Urban Rush TV
“You have to pick up this book – it’s an amazing read.”
Andrew Molloy – BC News Group
“… captivating reading. The fact that it is written from the perspective of a man who, in his mid-50s, has never had a “real job” and who continues to doggedly travel the grueling Canadian gig circuit is what sets it apart. It’s more a travelogue of small towns and cities and the good people who inhabit them than it is an on-the-road sleazefest -and that’s refreshing.”
” McGuire is clearly no rock and roll doofus. He’s a keen observer with a sharp wit, a good eye for detail and perhaps just a touch of hubris-which is a good thing if you’re a lead singer, by the way. He’s also not afraid to get all introspective on us either, and it’s during these deeper musings that the book is at its most rewarding. The entries dealing with the struggle that is songwriting, the pride he takes in his son’s burgeoning music career and, especially, the passing of various friends – including his father – form the heart of the book.”
” … Anyone who grew up or spent any amount of time in this vast, charming country of ours will recognize at least a few of the people, places and/or things mentioned with utmost affection within its pages.”
More press about Ra and his book:
“Q&A with Ra” – Surrey Now – Tom Zillich
“From ’70s Hits to Web Hits” – Toronto Star – Vit Wagner