Tom Wilson and I are friends. I’m not saying we’re not besties. We don’t grab coffee once a week. In fact, we have probably never arranged to meet up except to do interviews. Doesn’t matter. There’s a Hamilton-bred loyalty there.
I’ve known Tom since I was an undergrad at McMaster. I was already kicking around with rock’n’roll types, being in a band myself. I met Tom’s bandmate Dan Achen through his then-wife Judy Donnelly, and soon met the rest of Junkhouse. I got to hear the early shows, got to hear a sneak preview of Jesus Sings the Blues (in the Sony studios, no less), but most of all, I got to hear the stories.
If you’ve seen him perform, you already know what a storyteller Tom is, so his new book seems like a natural step for him. Beautiful Scars: Steeltown Secrets, Mohawk Skywalkers and the Road Home is, as Tom says, a collection of stories that pave the road to where Tom Wilson is today. Reading this book, it comes across as what he says it is – a love letter to the people who have helped him through life, as well as a love letter to the city of Hamilton.
We sat down in Tom’s living room, on a wintery afternoon, to talk about the book and whatever else came to mind. Somehow, though I was only a foot or two away, my voice is distant on this recording. Don’t let it distract you – I don’t have much interesting to say. Tom, on the other hand, certainly does. Hope you enjoy the show.