Legendary Toronto radio personality Dave Bookman dead at 58
Longtime radio personality, and Toronto indie music champion Dave Bookman has died.
Indie 88, Bookman’s last employer, released a statement on Tuesday morning saying Bookman had died “peacefully at 12:45 A.M.” on the same day.
It was later confirmed by the Canadian Press through Megan Bingley, general manager of Indie88, that Bookman had suffered a brain aneurysm.
In early April, the Toronto radio station had posted on social media that the midday announcer had taken ill and was in hospital.
He was 58.
Bookie, as he was known on radio, was a revered personality within Toronto’s independent music scene as an announcer, joining the legendary CFNY-FM in 1991 as a street reporter.
He worked for CFNY off and on in three different decades (1991 through 2012) and was known for 102.1 the Edge’s Indie Hour, Bookie’s College of Musical Knowledge, and Nu Music Nights at the Horseshoe Tavern.
Bookman was renowned for his radio interviews having chatted on many occasion with major music acts such as U2, Oasis and Lenny Kravitz.
He also presented Edge radio Rock of Fame awards to Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Tragically Hip.
WATCH: Dave Bookman inducts Coldplay into 102.1 the edge’s Rock Of Fame in 2011
On Tuesday, former staffers at 102.1 the Edge remembered his enthusiasm for the music community and its artists.
“Professionally, there was no better interviewer,” said Darryl Spring, a former evening announcer at 102.1 the Edge.
“He once conference-called Dave Grohl and Noel Gallagher live on air. No one could have pulled that off other than Bookie. This is a sad day and a terrible loss.”
“He did incredible work for the Canadian music scene and many bands wouldn’t be where they are now had it not been for Bookie,” said Rob Johnston, a former 102.1 the Edge co-worker and radio producer for Corus Entertainment. “How he talked about them on air, had them play new music nights at the Horseshoe, or champion them to anyone who would listen.”
Ivar Hamilton the former Import Music Director at CFNY, current Universal Music Exec, and contributor to a CFNY fan page says he was one of the best all-around pop culture persons in the business.
“He was always up to speed on all things going on in the city and around the world, loved his music, loved his sports, he knew how to dig deep on music history,” said Hamilton.
WATCH: Dave Bookman inducts Red Hot Chili Peppers into 102.1 the edge’s Rock Of Fame in 2012
Hours after Bookman’s death, the impact was felt by many in the music community on social media.
“Bookie, you were a gift to us all. Thanks for everything you offered to Canadian music and culture. You helped shape this community. We will remember you for your integrity, insightful opinions and GREAT taste in music. Much love and respect,” Arkells said in a Twitter post.
“Bookie always had the right answer for any musical question, pulled from his vast and generous, photographic mind. RIP Bud,” said Tyler Stewart of the Barenaked Ladies.
Meanwhile, TSN Hockey Analyst Bob McKenzie also reached out saying “Bookie was a joy to listen to on the radio. So much knowledge and passion. He was also an all-world guy, kind and considerate and fun to be around.”
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