Gordon Downie, lead singer and lyricist for the popular Canadian rock band, The Tragically Hip, released his first solo record, Coke Machine Glow in Spring 2001. Vintage Canada is proud to have to published Downie's first book of poetry, under the same title. It also contains the lyrics to the sixteen songs on the record.
Coke Machine Glow is a rich, haunting collection that reveals both the public and private selves of one of Canada's most enigmatic musicians. In poetry that is urban, gritty and political, as well as romantic, nostalgic and whimsical, Downie allows us a glimpse inside his world. With his acute and observing eye, he gives us snapshots of his life, both on the road and at home; he writes of loneliness and isolation; of longing and desire; of the present and the past; of dreams and nightmares; love lost and love of family. Ultimately, this book is about the distances that bridge and separate us.
Layered and deceptively simple, imbued with Downie's wit, insight, anger, compassion and rock 'n'roll edge, Coke Machine Glow is a remarkable debut. With its publication, Gordon Downie becomes a part of the wonderful literary tradition of Canadian songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell who are also poets.