Toronto radio’s Dave Bookman ill in hospital. Please send good thoughts and karma his way. UPDATE MAY 21: Bookie has passed away.

UPDATE: Bookie died this morning (May 20). The full story here.

Dave “Bookie” Bookman is one of the gems of Canadian radio. He’s passionate, knowledgeable, loaded with indie/street cred, and always a team player for whom music means everything.

I first met him more than 20 years ago when he was a contributor to Live in Toronto on 102.1 the Edge. He and Kim Hughes followed my afternoon show.

Later, Bookie started getting full shifts, usually on the weekend. When I returned to The Edge as program director in 2004, one of the first things I did was give him the afternoon drive slot. Not only did he acquire a strong following and strong ratings, but he evolved into one of the best interviewers Canadian radio has ever seen. (I once witnessed him take on all four members of U2 at once in a live interview in front of a couple of hundred people.)

Bookie was also the host of The Indie Hour back when indie music wasn’t the juggernaut it is today. Yet he gave the same respect and reverence to an artist that submitted a homemade cassette as he would to a major label band. On Tuesdays, you could always expect Bookie to be at The Horseshoe Tavern hosting Nu Music Night. He did that for decades.

Times change. I moved on to help put Indie 88 on the air during my three-year absence from The Edge. One of the first things I insisted to management was that they hire Bookie. Thankfully, they did and once again he flourished. Bookie had found his new spiritual home.

Today we learned this.

Anyone who has ever met Bookie will tell you that he is kind, caring, principled, hard-working, a good colleague, and a great friend. Please send some karma his way.

UPDATE as of April 23: Bookie is still in hospital in serious but stable condition. He’s fighting.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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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