Toronto radio personality Dave “Bookie” Bookman passed away in the wee hours of this morning in hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm in early April. Bookman would have turned 59 next week.
Prior to joining Indie88 (CIND-FM) as an on-air personality in 2013, Bookman was a contributor to Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM) for more than two decades that included stints hosting afternoon drive and The Indie Hour.
He was also the host of long-running, weekly live music showcase Nu Music Night at the Horseshoe Tavern. The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) presented Bookman with its Unsung Hero Award in 2018.
Friend and colleague Josie Dye posted a heartfelt statement to the Indie88 website saying the station family had lost a “colleague, a mentor, and to me, a best friend.”
“Everyone knows Bookie as a crusader of the independent, winning the Unsung Hero award for his spirit and drive to make Indie happen. He has started careers for major bands such as Billy Talent, but he was also known as one of Canada’s top interviewers, forming relationships with artists such as Dave Grohl and Bono.
Bookie was the last true personality on air. He wasn’t hired for his charm, his looks, or his voice. He didn’t work his brand, or promote himself. He exuded knowledge, truth, opinions that mattered that had foundations in research and love for music. Bookie was never defined by a genre or a stereotype and cool was never in his vocabulary. He never lost vision of the music that unites us and even the word “Indie” was too pigeon-holed for what he brought to the music scene.
Bookie loved The Young and the Restless and Gilmore Girls and would comment the same way about each episode as he did the newest, hottest band. When I first met Bookie at 102.1 The Edge I was intimidated by his legacy…and right away he accepted me, when others questioned my “edginess.” We worked together side by side for 20 years. We acted like two teenage girls scheming to get more attention from our significant others. We shared a dozen calls a day about absolutely nothing. We FaceTimed each other in public bathrooms, hiding from our industry, usually laughing at how socially awkward we both were.
There was part of Bookie I wish we could all learn from. His convictions were strong, and his moral compass was tight. There was no grey area with Bookie; he knew what was right and what was wrong. It was challenging at times to be his friend knowing that he would always call you out when your compass slipped. Recently, when grieving the loss of another friend, Bookie told me I should try saying his name every day. I can’t think of a day that I won’t miss coming off air to be greeted by him (in his wonderfully unique way).
I used to think people like Bookie only existed in novels. Now I know, novels were written because of characters like Bookie. Our country has lost an icon and a beautiful man.”
the first time I met Dave Bookman, he was wearing dress pants drinking brown cows playing at the Isabella Hotel w Tim Mech as The Bookmen. This was, maybe, 1984.
— dave bidini (@hockeyesque) May 21, 2019
We’re sad to hear of the passing of Dave “Bookie” Bookman. He’s forged many great relationships with staff and listeners. He will be greatly missed. Our heart goes out to his family. ❤
— 102.1 the Edge (@the_edge) May 21, 2019
Me: “Hey, Bookie, coming to the show?”
Bookie: “No, there’s a game.”
Me: “Hey, Bookie, coming to the game?”
Bookie: “No, there’s a show.”
Dave Bookman was never sure which he loved most. Thus, we were each other’s other halves. I will miss all of Bookie. https://t.co/ePN1kfY6lK
— Dave Hodge (@davehodge20) May 21, 2019
THE LATE GREAT DAVE BOOKMAN, LIVE AT MASSEY HALL. Introducing happiness, and his favourite Canadian band of all time, the Rheostatics. “If there’s a password, it’s that courtesy is contagious.” @hockeyesque @masseyhall https://t.co/ic3x9aBHwS
— Michael Barclay (@mmmbarclay) May 21, 2019
We are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Dave Bookman @BookieAtNight. He was a massive supporter of ours from the first time we met in the very early 90s. Toronto has lost a music scene legend. #RIPBookie
— Sloan (@Sloanmusic) May 21, 2019
Absolutely horrible news today about the passing of Dave Bookman. I met him first at a show by his band The Bookman when I was 17. He was later one of BNL’s earliest supporters while at CIUT and then CFNY. He was one of the greats. #ripBookie
— steven page (@stevenpage) May 21, 2019
Juat devastated to hear of the passing of Dave Bookie Bookman. A hero of the Toronto music scene and a wonderful guy. Travel well, friend.
— Moe Berg (@moeTPOH) May 21, 2019
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