RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Myles Goodwyn – Just Between You and Me (book)   
Harper Collings


Rating: B+

Myles Goodwyn, as we learn in his new book Just Between You and Me, was a member of East Gate Sanctuary and Woody’s Termites.  Oh… he also was the heart and soul/guitarist/songwriter/producer for April Wine… they are a bit more well-known than those other two!

The band April Wine is best known in the USA for their massive 1981 classic album Nature of the Beast, but in actuality April Wine began in 1969 and had a ton of success in their homeland of Canada before coming to the States.  Here, they first broke with the FM radio hit “Roller” in 1978 from their album First Glance.  The following year, the group gained more notoriety with the release of the album Harder… Faster.  When Nature of the Beast came out, every rocker around the country snapped it up.  “Just Between You and Me” was a smash hit and the album was a true ‘start to finish’ rocker.  The band had other hit singles following this album, including “Enough is Enough” but they failed to equal their earlier success.

Like many classic bands, April Wine ended up a legacy band and toured… and toured and toured some more, releasing an album here and there for their hardcore fans.  April Wine fans are hardcore.  They love everything about this band; mostly, they love Myles Goodwyn.  The singer throughout his career has been nearly anti-social, preferring to give his band some mystique, and also to keep his personal life out of the spotlight.  This is one of the reasons why April Wine fans are drooling over the release of Myle’s memoirs.

A fiercely private man, Goodwyn, after surviving over 40 years as a famous touring musician, as well as drastic alcoholism, both got clean and decided to come clean in this book.  His story is not one of fame, disaster, groupie tales or glamour rock star excess.  Myles did not have these not-so-lofty goals in mind when he decided to write his life’s story.  Goodwyn wanted only one thing to come across in his story: The Truth.

From his tragic upbringing and loss of his mother at an early age, to his brushes with the law, to his salvation -the electric guitar- Myles lays out the truth.  He writes in a ‘matter of fact’ manner and he truly tells it like it was… and like it is.  He throws no one under the bus, yet he gets his point across, whether it is in-band fighting, drunken mishaps, failed marriage or regrets.  Myles owns up to his misgivings and lets others known as well… but in a classy way.  He succeeds at telling his side of the April Wine story… and then some.

Goodwyn has written a lot of damn fine songs and has a unique style of playing. His vocals just sound cool every time he opens his mouth.  Lyrically, he can go from deep to silly to rocker-ish to storyteller.  Musically, his best moments are just a few chords and rip-roaring pentatonic blues scale played through a really loud amplifier.  He is able to be unique within the confines of the ordinary.  That is not meant as a slam.  It is actually a great compliment.  Any solid guitarist can slam out “I Like to Rock,” “Enough is Enough” or “Roller.”  Not everyone can write them, however, and play with his style and feeling.  And even fewer can give these tracks the unique flavoring that makes ‘you know it’s April Wine the second you hear it’.  That is what makes Myles Goodwyn great… his honesty in his writing, both musical, and now in prose.

April Wine fans will dig this book.  Myles tells the tales behind the songs (some are interesting and some are just what happens when a Canadian boy with a guitar and an attitude plays a Les Paul).  He tells about his life, his family, his feelings and his many successes and missteps.  He comes across less as a rock star—or even as a rocker as he likes a lot of other styles of music—as he does as just a guy… a human being.  Mostly, he comes across as a guy who has done some extraordinary things and survived to want to tell his side of the story. His lifetime of living outside of the limelight offstage is now over.  He has opened up… and thank goodness he did.


Don’t believe me?  Here are a few quotes from some famous rocker friends of Goodywn on his new book:

“Myles Goodwyn is unequivocally Canada’s greatest rock ’n’ roll songwriter. This book chronicles Myles’s personal journey, as only he can. His chart-topping success with April Wine are a testament to Myles’s talent. This book is a testament to his humanity.” — Gil Moore, drummer for Triumph and owner of Metalworks Studios

“This book will be read and loved by many who are not fortunate enough to know Myles Goodwyn personally, as I have. He is truly one of the Canadian pioneers who helped bring Canada to the forefront of the stage of international music.” — Burton Cummings, former lead singer of the The Guess Who and Officer of the Order of Canada 

In these pages, Myles chronicles the journey of April Wine, Canadian hard rock trailblazers, but also presents his personal life stripped to the core, warts and all. It’s a story many will understand and appreciate.” — Alex Lifeson, guitarist for Rush, Order of Canada

“I swear, so much of this could be my story, too. So many parallels, the same memories, only the names have changed. This book is a great trigger, a catalyst--it brought so much of my life back to me, stuff that otherwise probably would’ve been gone forever. Thanks, Myles!” — Paul Dean, lead guitarist for Loverboy 

“The iconic real rock voice of Canadian hard music and legendary band April Wine, songwriter Myles Goodwyn has always had the magic with his songs in my humble view, creating a legacy of timeless, unforgettable music that remains relevant to this day forward.” — Robb Reiner, drummer for Anvil

“After a friendship of more than five decades, I thought I knew Myles Goodwyn. That is, until I read Just Between You and Me. The up-close and personal writing style of his memoir make it an easy, entertaining and revealing read.” — Jim Henman, singer, songwriter, and original member of April Wine

 “Being onstage is the easy part. If you dare, let Myles walk ya through the rest.” — Kim Mitchell, singer, songwriter, performer, and radio personality

 Purchase Just Between You and Me here: https://www.harpercollins.com/9781443446709/just-between-you-and-me

By Jeb “Schizoid Man” Wright