Tuesday 23 January 2018

Book ~ "Beautiful Scars: Steeltown Secrets, Mohawk Skywalkers and the Road Home" (2017) Tom Wilson

From Goodreads ~ Tom Wilson was raised in the rough-and-tumble world of Hamilton - Steeltown - in the company of World War II vets, factory workers, fall-guy wrestlers and the deeply guarded secrets kept by his parents, Bunny and George. For decades Tom carved out a life for himself in shadows. He built an international music career and became a father, he battled demons and addiction, and he waited, hoping for the lies to cease and the truth to emerge. It would. And when it did, it would sweep up the St. Lawrence River to the Mohawk reserves of Quebec, on to the heights of the Manhattan skyline.

With a rare gift for storytelling and an astonishing story to tell, Tom writes with unflinching honesty and extraordinary compassion about his search for the truth. It's a story about scars, about the ones that hurt us, and the ones that make us who we are.

Tom Wilson is a musician in his late fifties who was/is in the groups Junkhouse, LeE HARVeY OsMOND and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.  This is his story.

Wilson was raised in Hamilton, ON, the son of Bunny and George, who were older than his friend's parents.  He always felt that something was off and found out about five years ago that he was adopted.  It explained a lot about what he was feeling as he was growing up.  A couple years later it was confirmed that he was not the only child of Irish-Canadian George and French-Canadian Bunny but was actually the illegitimate son of a young Mohawk woman, someone who had been in his life all his life.  He eventually found his half-brothers and half-sisters, children of his father, also a Mohawk.

Wilson was always drawn to music.  Though George and Bunny didn't have a lot of money, he was able to scam instruments while in school.  He did whatever he had to do to make money ... performing, selling drugs, busking, etc.  He met Sandy when he was in this twenties.  They ended up married with two children but his wild ways and lifestyle drove them apart.  He went into rehab and is clean.  He has a good relationship with Sandy, his two children and two grandchildren.

I didn't know who Tom Wilson was before I read this book, though I had heard of the bands he was/is in.  I'd read about his book in the newspaper and thought he had an interesting story to tell, which he did.  I liked the writing style and found he's quite honest about the experiences he's had in his life.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

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