The Kickstart Story: Part 1- Clueless

February 8, 2008

We thought it might make sense to briefly outline exactly how the book came about. As a result, over the next few months, we’re going to be telling our story in serialized form – while writing about other things as well of course. Hope this doesn’t get too dull.


Many moons ago, in a frozen, hyper-Americanized Canadian city (let’s call it Toronto), Andrew, Alex, and Paul all attended the same high school. Alex and Paul played in a band called Black i (well, actually, inspired by Prince, said band was identified by a mere symbol – a cartoony, sable lower case ‘i’ rather than any script). The band, fronted by the inimitable Fraser Finlayson, specialized in tight, radio-friendly pop-punk ditties, inspired by the forebears of Green Day – Pinhead Gunpowder. Finlayson penned some of the most memorable hits to ever come out of North Toronto: ‘Shine,’ ‘Toxiphobia,’ and ‘Bishop’. You may remember them.

Anyway, I’m digressing, but only to give you proper background. Alex (lead guitar) and Paul (hapless drums) came together around the music. Even when Paul left the band, citing “artistic differences”, the bond never disappeared.

Andrew didn’t play an instrument. He was, however, a fan. Not of cartoony, sable lower case ‘i’, but of BritPop – in particular a group of louts from Manchester who he believed were geniuses. Paul disagreed.

Alex is a conciliator. So he sat, waffling, on the fence.

The three young men would hang around the locker room in grades ten through thirteen (ah, those halcyon years, when Ontario was brave enough to stick out), chirping on about whether ‘Rock and Roll Star’ was the most inspiring rock anthem of the 90s or a piece of insipid drivel (this argument has continued, in different forms, through the remainder of their friendship).

Though they spent their university years in different places, the friendship survived – mainly because Oasis continued to stink and Andrew remained in a coma-like denial.

After finishing up in England (where he had secured a B.A. in English Lit of all things), Paul returned to Canada and tried to write for magazines (as well as working construction, putting ads on taxi hubcaps, teaching sailing) . He wrote all kinds of things, but he was rarely paid more than 35 cents for anything (no matter how “genius”).

Just as Paul was about to give up, Alex returned from Dublin, claiming that he was going to do a little writing too. That was enough to instill Paul with a renewed faith, so he went on being poor and staring into his navel for another year.

During that year, a number of things happened. One thing was that Alex, Paul, and some other friends – Kegan Winters, Alex Molenaar, Adam Peterson, and Dave Baker – began writing a TV show about people who worked at a youth hostel. They themselves didn’t work at a youth hostel. But they did like throwing parties at one. And they wanted to write a TV show. So it didn’t matter.
Another was that Andrew – now an aspiring financial planner with Investors Group- took Paul and Alex for a drink and suggested an idea he had: why not interview successful Canadians, asking them how they survived their twenties and got their careers started? We could then put the fruits of our labour into a book. And hell, we might even learn something.

The idea seemed a grand one, mainly because they would get to meet and talk to people they admired. Even if there was no book, it couldn’t hurt, could it?

As Alex and Paul slugged away on the show, they began writing letters to potential interviewees as well.

The story of how they picked those interviewees is to come. Continued anon


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: