The Never-Ending Present

The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
4.5 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

Price: CDN$ 37.53

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About the Audiobook

In the first biography of the Tragically Hip, Michael Barclay talks to dozens of the band's peers and friends about not just the Hip's music, but about the opening bands, the American albatross, the band's role in Canadian culture, and Gord Downie's role in reconciliation with Indigenous people. When Downie announced he had terminal cancer and decided to take the Hip on the road one more time, the tour became another Terry Fox moment; this time, Canadians got to witness an embattled hero reach the finish line. This is an audiobook not just for fans of the band — it's for anyone interested in how culture can spark national conversations.

©2018 Michael Barclay (P) 2018 Audible, Inc.

Listen to Clips from The Never-Ending Present

The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • Written by: Michael Barclay
    Narrated by: George Stroumboulopoulos
"That whole argument [about not making it in the States] is just ridiculous."
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The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • Written by: Michael Barclay
    Narrated by: George Stroumboulopoulos
The meaning behind "Fifty-Mission Cap": "He's an imposter, a poser, a con."
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The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • Written by: Michael Barclay
    Narrated by: George Stroumboulopoulos
Sam Roberts reflects on the Hip's National Celebration show on August 20, 2016.
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Now Playing

  • The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • "That whole argument [about not making it in the States] is just ridiculous."
  • The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • The meaning behind "Fifty-Mission Cap": "He's an imposter, a poser, a con."
  • The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
  • Sam Roberts reflects on the Hip's National Celebration show on August 20, 2016.

Behind the Scenes with Strombo

Narrator George Stroumboulopoulos reveals what to expect from The Never-Ending Present and expounds on the Hip's impact on the Canadian cultural landscape.
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The Hip's Peers Reflect on the National Celebration Concert

George Stroumboulopoulos

About the Narrator

George Stroumboulopoulos is a Canadian television and radio interviewer, writer, and media producer. He was host and executive producer of the CBC talk show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (formerly The Hour) and Stroumboulopoulos on CNN, host of The NewMusic with MuchMusic, and anchored Hockey Night in Canada. He was also host of the music interview show Live in Toronto on CFNY 102.1 The Edge and continues on radio with The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2. He also produces and hosts a live concert series, House of Strombo, with Apple Music

For even more from Strombo, check out his selection of must-listens.

Michael Barclay

About the Author

Michael Barclay has worked for Maclean’s, CBC Radio’s Brave New Waves, and Exclaim!. He co-authored Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985–1995, which told the stories of the Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, k.d. lang, and dozens more. He lives in Toronto.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • JR
  • 2018-10-14

Gord F’ing Downie

Loved this book, thank you Michael for writing it and for George’s narration. The music these guys gave us became the anthems of my youth. Every time I hear their music it reminds of great times with lifetime friends.

This book is very thorough hence the over 17 hour’s of listening. It gives you everything you would ever want to know about the band, it’s members, albums, tours, etc. it also gives you great info on the Canadian music scene and its players.

If you are a fan of the band or a fan of Canadian music this book will not disappoint. Miss you Gord!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-10-13

Loved it!

Very thorough informative and entertaining. Gord and the boys are an inspiration to us all!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven Rochon
  • 2018-09-12

Highly Recommended to Fans

This gave me a lot of the band's story from their beginnings to their culmination in 2016. It reminded me how much I miss Gord and how much of a shame it is that we'll never hear from this band again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim
  • 2018-08-03

very insightful in all areas

I really respect the amount of research that went into this. what an unbelievable testament not only to the band, but to how music brings us all together in our common mortality and quest to make meaning of the gift we call life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • Newmarket, ON, Canada
  • 2018-08-01

Non-traditional biography

I have enjoyed this (unauthorized) biography very much. Full disclosure I am a huge Hip fan, but not an audiophile. I listened even though some of the surviving band members have criticized some of the facts in the book, but I have found it very well researched.

Without giving away some of my favorite parts, for me the highlights included:
-history on the band and their key performances
-connections to other popular acts like Nirvana, Spirit of the West, Midnight Oil, the Odds, etc.
-behind the scenes details on Gord’s solo album and how it was constructed
-explanations and perspectives on how the Hip fit into the Canadian cultural landscape (positive and negative)

On a personal note I enjoyed the extensive details on the July 1994 Canada Day Concert which I had never seen anywhere. I was actually there and I remember how amazing their set was (and how out of place Daniel Lanois was, which was fully explained in the book).