If we don't invest now in so-called priority neighbourhoods with music classes, athletic facilities, and skills training and mentoring, we will all pay more in the long run.
In a world where people are hungry for quick fixes and sound bites, for instant gratification, there's no patience for the long, slow rebuilding process: implementing after-school programs, hiring more community workers to act as mentors, adding more job training programs in marginalized areas.
I cannot emphasize just how dangerous it is cycling in the city. Especially now. Even though it is against the law to do this, you'll see people texting while they drive.
To be sure, boxing has always been, at best, a shady and sometimes cutthroat business, buttressed by hype and tomfoolery rivalling, at times, that of carnival circuses.
Ringside seats mean you hear the breaking of ribs, the splattered cartilage of what was once the boxer's nose, the dislocation of the jaw, the horrifying 'ugggh' that the boxer utters milliseconds after receiving a crushing left hook to the solar plexus or kidneys or head.
Toronto is exploding with cyclists, with more and more people wanting to cycle and being turned off driving because of the incredible congestion. Biking is a much more efficient way of getting around, and you get there faster.
That was my first introduction to BMWs in 1978, when my friend bought it for me as a surprise with my money. And ever since then, I've stuck to BMWs.
The stuff I write I'm very proud of, but I'm smart enough to know I'll never get on the cover of 'Rolling Stone' next to Elvis Costello.
In the music world, concerts unfold strictly according to plan. But, as I'd been finding out, in the book world, things keep changing by the second.
Sling your guitar to wherever you're going, and you'll be amazed by the connective power of music: It knows no boundaries, cultures or class.
At 10, I heard Neil Diamond's 'Solitary Man' and it moved me so deeply I stood, frozen in place during school recess, feeling such empathy for the narrator in Diamond's masterpiece that my heart was smashed.
I feel the only way I can survive is to spend a lot of time writing songs. I have to have incredible, killer songs that also are hits, or I just don't have a chance.
Blessed with Mom and Dad's remarkable genes, raised on big words and big, iconoclastic attitudes, Larry and I, before entering kindergarten, knew who we were, what we wanted, and how we would get there.
I just want people to know they are the masters of their own fortune and misfortune. A lot of us think that doctors and drugs are going to control and help us, but the reality is we're our own best doctor.
I don't want to lose my legs, you know. I don't want to be wheeled around in a wheelchair. I don't want to be attached to a catheter. I saw all that stuff happen to my father, and as much as it upset me because I loved my father so much, it also really traumatized me.
I just wanted to show people - maybe I'm wrong - that I can still really sing. I can sing better than I ever have before. My intonation is way better, my timing, my phrasing - there's a lot more expression; I feel it's a more lived-in, soulful voice.
I missed my father so much when he died that writing about his life and mine was a way of bringing him back to life and getting me to sort of understand more about him and what made him the father, the husband and the man that he was, and how that made me the man, husband and father that I am.
I did have one bad accident up north near Deerhurst. I was driving back in the winter on these snowy roads, and these two snowmobilers were racing up a hill and they weren't looking, so they caught me as I was going up the other side of the hill, and they smashed into me.
I never go on a run when I don't think of my dad, where I don't think about how powerful his legs were and what happened because, unfortunately, he didn't take care of himself.
I think the last thing you want to do as a writer, as a storyteller, is to create indifference. I don't necessarily go out of my way to provoke, but I would much rather have a song that triggers a whole myriad of reactions than a song that inspires a shrug of the shoulder.