That Didn’t Take Long: A Song in Response to the Jian Gomeshi Ruling

Art Bergman (Credit Kenneth Locke).PNG
Credit: Kenneth Locke

In case you missed it, former CBC star Jian Gomeshi was declared not guilty on charges he choked and sexually assaulted several women. In response, Art Bergman has released a song called “Cassandra” as a single from his upcoming album. From the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2016

Toronto ON — Today, in response to the not guilty verdicts in the Jian Ghomeshi sexual assualt trial, Art Bergmann released the track “Cassandra,” from his forthcoming album The Apostate, due out digitally on April 8, and in physical formats on May 13 through (weewerk) Recordings.

Here is Art’s description of the song: “Cassandra was a princess of Troy. Apollo took her under his wing and guided her gifts of perception and prophecy. When he had finished, he expected her to fuck him. She refused, he raped her and then he spit in her mouth as a curse that she — despite being a prophetess — wouldn’t be believed. She saw what was going to happen to Troy: that Paris would take Helena; the Trojan Horse ….no one believed her. I have been Cassandra, all women have at one point in their lives.

“What to do with violent men? My better half, Sherri Decembrini got it right for me, after I made the mistake on first writing that I thought I might know how it would feel to be the woman, hence the line ‘I’ll never know how it feels to be a woman.’ We think we are more civilized than other cultures.”

The Apostate is Art Bergmann’s first full-length album in 18 years, and for that reason alone should be considered a triumph in the face of his once-debilitating health issues, and a music industry that seemingly no longer held a place for him. That aside, The Apostate is also a triumph simply because it is the best work he has ever done during his four decades as a recording artist, from the seminal Vancouver punk band the Young Canadians, to his four acclaimed solo albums in the 1980s and ‘90s, culminating with the JUNO Award-winning What Fresh Hell Is This?

Art Bergmann’s voice has been missing from our national consciousness for far too long, but it is back with a vengeance on The Apostate. Now residing in Airdrie, Alberta, Art worked with Calgary-based producer Lorrie Matheson and a stellar group of multi-instrumentalists to craft sounds suited to the subject matter of each song—the hazy Americana of “Atheist Prayer,” the mesmerizing North African majesty of “Mirage (The Apostate),” the ragged Stones-y groove of “Live It Up,” the epic sweep of the 12-minute “Pioneers,” and the stark intimacy of “The Legend Of Bobby Bird.”

Art Bergmann’s attitude has never changed since he made his first recordings in the late 1970s, even as his sound inevitably evolved. After so long in the wilderness, The Apostate is the album he needed to make, and all of us now need to hear.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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