Tinnitist TV | Episode 72: Art Bergmann & Jason Schneider

The Canadian punk legend on his new album, regrets, why Valdy is his fault & more.


Art Bergmann might be the most underappreciated artist in Canadian rock. At least, that seems to be how he feel sometimes. But not without good reason.

After all, the singer-guitarist helped usher in the Vancouver punk scene with his trio The Young Canadians. Then he went on to release a series of excellent solo albums — working with artists like John Cale and Chris Spedding — and earned a couple of Juno nominations. He was even the inspiration for the reclusive rocker Bucky Haight in Bruce McDonald’s classic Can-punk mockumentary Hard Core Logo (and did a cameo in film).

But thanks to the usual combination of bad luck, bad decisions, bad habits — and, in Art’s case, a notoriously bad attitude and a run of bad health due to degenerative arthritis — his career stalled in the early 2000s. And even though he’s made something of a comeback lately, releasing four albums in the last eight years, he’s never enjoyed the acclaim he deserves. Until recently, that is.

In 2020, Bergmann was made a member of the Order of Canada, in honour of his “indelible contributions to the Canadian punk music scene, and for his thought-provoking discourse on social, gender and racial inequalities.” This fall, veteran music journalist Jason Schneider released The Longest Suicide, the first biography of Bergmann, and certainly the last word on his tumultuous life and career. And just this past week, Art finally went to Ottawa for the Order Of Canada ceremony, delayed two years by you-know-what. A few weeks back, Bergmann and Schneider Zoomed in to talk about that joyful book title, regrets, why Valdy just might be Art’s fault, and his next release Shadowwalk: Legacy of Love — his first album since the death of his wife Sherri earlier this year. Enjoy. And then do yourself a favour and check out some of Art’s music and videos below. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.


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