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It’s finally happening: The Tragically Hip to release massive coffee table book this fall

For years, members of the Tragically Hip have hinted that, maybe someday, they’d sit down and write a book about their career and long history together. 

Now, as their 40th anniversary approaches, the time has come. 

“In the years after our final concert, we’ve felt a growing need to tell our own story, in our own words – someone had to get it right!,” the surviving members of the band said in a press release issued to its mailing list Tuesday morning.

The book, now available for preorder with an October release date, is titled “This Is Our Life.” Really, could it be called anything else? 

The note, penned from guitarist Robbie Baker, continues to say the book “is the true story of five young friends who bonded over their mutual love of all kinds of music, and who, over the course of four decades, found ways to continually renew those bonds of friendship and love through music. We shared a dream and that dream became our lives. We explored music, travel and life together. From the very beginnings through to the present day – the albums, the tours, the successes and failures as we saw them – in our words.

This Is Our Life is the definitive chronicle of The Tragically Hip,” he says. 

There are two versions of the book available, to be published by Genesis Publications in the fall, and both will set you back a pretty (and honestly, well-spent) penny. 

The big shiny ultra mega deluxe super version, a limited edition with only 1,000 copies, will be signed by Baker, Gord Sinclair, Paul Langlois and Johnny Fay. The book is “fully bound metallic pink paper, copper foiling and bespoke aluminum plate, black paper edging” and measures an astonishing 245mm x 290mm, printed on 200gsm Italian art paper. It comes with an unreleased remix and live recording of “Get Back Again” on vinyl, which has never been available on physical media before. The package also contains six postcard prints, a reprinted laminate from the 1992-1993 tour and a numbered and stamped print. 

The cost? $565 Canadian, before shipping. 

There’s a straightforward edition for those of us who still want the full and complete, unabridged, unadulterated and straight-from-the-Road Apples-producing horse’s mouth. That one, which does not come with the bells and whistles (no vinyl, signatures or extras, just the solid coffee table book), runs about $80 CAD. 

There’s no set release date for the book, just a promise of October, but it’s sure to be a bestseller. We’re coming up on seven years since Gord Downie’s passing and the band has made a handful of few and far between appearances since the final show in Kingston, Ontario, in August 2016; there’s been only one precious performance in that time as well. But Hip fans are a devoted lot and the promise of reading the band’s story, in their own words, complete with behind-the-scenes photos, handwritten snippets of lyrics and notes, quotes from the band and those within the inner circle, is sure to provide incredible insight. 

So, Hip fans, get your orders in now.  It’s sure to be well worth the wait.

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 520 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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