Sunday 5 November 2017

Book ~ "Big League Babble On: The Misadventures of a Rabble-Rousing Sportscaster and Why He Should Be Dead Now" (2017) John Gallagher

From Goodreads ~ Veteran radio and television personality John Gallagher’s salacious, voracious and dangerously delicious memoirs of a life lived on the edge in the midst of some of the world’s biggest celebrities.

Long-time sportscaster John Gallagher has had close to four decades of hosting some of the top-rated radio and TV shows in Canada and, while he was at it, doing enough drugs to wipe out a small village. Along the way there was plenty of drinking, cavorting and gallivanting with some of the coolest, biggest, and baddest sports stars and Hollywood celebs around.

In "Big League Babble On", John spares no one, not even himself. Read about his nights boozing with the likes of Tony Curtis, Stevie Nicks, Colin Farrell and Leafs head coach Pat Burns. Find out how partying with Gallagher saved Mark Wahlberg’s life. Or how he once came a little too close to Princess Di. And the time Muhammad Ali stole John’s Penthouse magazine … for the articles.

Gallagher is a pop culture Cuisinart and a walking - but mostly talking - sports almanac. From hot tubbing with Wendel Clark to “chasing skirt” with Robbie Alomar, Gallagher has met (and often partied with) all of the greats. This book will give you an accredited backstage pass and get you close enough to sniff Bo Derek’s perfume (Tigress by Fabergé?).

According to his bio, John Gallagher is an award-winning, thirty-year on-air veteran of Canadian television and radio.  He worked for fifteen years at Citytv and is the former host of the country’s #1 talk show, Gallagher, on TSN. A self-described news and pop culture junkie, foodie, music collector, world traveller and closet wine expert, John has partied with just about every celebrity of note for the past three decades - and has the pictures to prove it.

John was raised in Montreal.  After accepting a job in broadcasting in Halifax when he was quite young, he moved to Toronto from Nova Scotia about the same time I did in the 1980s (he's about my age).  I know of him from being on the morning crew on classic rock station Q107 and on Citytv.

I enjoy reading bios/autobios and I thought his would be interesting, especially since he has spent most of his career here in Toronto.  John is not shy about telling his story ... of his excesses in booze, drugs and women, his meetings with actors, sports stars and other broadcasters, the adventures his career has allowed him to experience, and more.  He names names and is honest in his opinions about them.  Throughout the book, there are pictures of some of the people he talks about in the book.

I liked the writing style and found it to be conversational.  The stories he shared were interesting and at times shocking, but in a fun way.  I will admit, though, that I didn't find John all that likable.  Though I liked the book and the writing style, I found him to be too arrogant, cocky and boastful (not unlike his on-air persona).  It would appear that no woman can resist him and all are anxious to hop in bed with him minutes after meeting him.  It doesn't seem like he has much for respect for women, other than his mother.  Needless to say, the language and stories are for a mature reader.  The last chapter in which he talks about his father and his family life growing up to me seemed to be perhaps the "real" John rather than the "on" John.

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