Buddy Fucking Forever
a novel by ra mcguire
Buddy Fucking Forever is a hard-rock murder mystery, written by a Canadian rock legend, that interweaves themes of fame, power, love and the shifting boundaries of freedom.
In 1981, Canada’s most beloved band goes dark when two of its members disappear. In 2008, a bludgeoned body and cryptic words written in blood compel a troubled recluse to leave his Airstream hideout to begin an epic search for the truth.
Buddy Fucking Forever is a page-turning, unconventional mystery that follows a passionate crew of misfits on an unauthorized and probably misguided murder investigation that careens from the anonymity of a riverside Vancouver lumberyard, to the halls of power in the nation’s capital of Ottawa.
In Canada, fame is low-key but deep. For some, it’s the dark road to temptation, for others, a probing spotlight that sears as much as it illuminates. Buddy Forever risks everything when he steps back into that light, hoping to find justice, and peace.
This is the second book by Ra McGuire, singer and songwriter for Trooper, and author of Here For a Good Time, On the Road with Trooper, Canada’s Legendary Rock Band.
Buddy Fucking Forever is the second book by Ra McGuire, singer and songwriter for Trooper, and the author of Here For a Good Time, On the Road with Trooper, Canada’s Legendary Rock Band.
Ra’s band has released eleven albums, been awarded five gold and eleven platinum plaques representing millions of sales, enjoyed a dozen top-ten hits, sold-out coliseums across the country, and been honored with numerous awards and accolades including a Juno Award (Canada’s Grammy) for Band of the Year. The Vancouver Sun called Trooper “Canadian rock heroes of the first order … the best performing band in Canada” and Joel Rubinoff, of The Record, wrote: “What becomes more apparent with each passing year, is that this frolicking, rollicking showcase for McGuire’s soaring pop melodies and whimsical wordplay is arguably one of the biggest Canadian bands of all time.”
Ra has written or co-written well over two hundred songs – one hundred of which have been recorded and released, a dozen of which have topped the charts. He has received multiple awards including his favorite: a West Coast Juno for Best Male Vocalist.
With his songwriting partner, Brian Smith, he’s also received SOCAN’s National Achievement Award and five SOCAN Classic Awards. Trooper is active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and continues to perform sold-out shows across Canada.
Ra and his wife, Debbie, also spearheaded a campaign that resulted in Surrey’s first Fine Arts School, and have received the World Harmony Run’s Torchbearer Award for their “collaborative commitment to inspire cultural harmony and community spirit through music, and championing the importance of fine arts in education.” The Ra and Deborah McGuire Collection is installed at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, Ontario. A collection of both Ra McGuire and Trooper memorabilia is housed across the river at the Gatineau Preservation Centre as part of Library and Archives Canada’s permanent collection.
“There are funny stories, tragic stories, and poignant stories. There’s profanity, profound sadness and profound happiness. And there is a lot of soul-baring truth.
And all of it is good.”
~ Jim Barber - Huntsville Forester
“I have to say that this book, Ra McGuire, could be called ‘Canada’…” “As I read it, I honestly had this feeling I was driving along with you and having the same experiences, and really feeling something about this country, ya know, because you are so hooked into it, and because this country is so hooked into you.”
~ Shelagh Rogers - CBC
“McGuire is clearly no rock and roll doofus. He’s a keen observer with a sharp wit, a good eye for detail and perhaps just a touch of hubris-which is a good thing if you’re a lead singer, by the way. He’s also not afraid to get all introspective on us either, and it’s during these deeper musings that the book is at its most rewarding.”
~ Andrew Molloy - BC News Group
Praise for Ra McGuire's first book: Here For a Good Time, On The Road with Trooper, Canada’s Legendary Rock Band:
“Canada’s soundtrack is not complete without Trooper. My Canada includes Ra McGuire as the poet laureate of Rock ’n’ roll. Raise a Little Hell indeed.”
~ Rick Mercer
“This real-time unfurling of a man’s life could trip up on the banality that is the 23 of 24 hours of a road musician’s day. Instead McGuire gives us a brilliant read with the necessary elements of a good story intact. He instinctively has documented the most interesting parts of his day, not always the gig and he puts a humanity to the fantasy we all have of running away to the circus.”
~ William McGuirk - Durham News
“It’s a witty, sometimes sad, but always honest appraisal of not only what is going on in McGuire’s life, but in his head, his heart and his spirit.
I admire anyone who can articulate what they are thinking and feeling in such a forthright, but sensitive manner.”
Excerpts from Buddy Fucking Forever:
“So what’s your plan for the songs?”
“Why don’t you work with Case, Buddy. Help her out.”
“I’d say there are a few hundred good reasons for me not to do that, Blocker.”
“I’m in Ottawa to investigate the murder of my partner.”
“So you’re a detective now?”
Buddy said nothing.
Blocker shifted in his chair and rubbed at the stubble on his chin.
“For the record, Mr. Forever,” he said, smiling, “you’re one fucked-up detective.”
“Yeah, well, I’ll agree with you there, Block. I definitely agree with you there.”
The Fraser River is thirteen-hundred and seventy-five kilometers long and flows from the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains, through the sprawling province of British Columbia and, eventually, out into the Straight of Georgia at the city of Vancouver.
Every year, when Beau Smith was young, his family would pile into their Fifty-Seven Chevy station wagon and escape the city, motoring up a crude and sometimes dangerous two-lane into the Cariboo region of the province to spend summer holidays with his mother’s sister, Eleanor, his uncle Bert, and his three rambunctious cousins.
The Mighty Fraser was central to the road trip. The highway, up and back, clung to the river bank – winding from Quesnel, where his aunt had lived till she died, on to Williams Lake, where his Dad was posted during the war and had met Beau’s Mom, down past Hell’s Gate in the treacherous Fraser Canyon, to Hope, Chilliwack, and on down through the Fraser Valley where the river calmed and widened.
Beau had grown up in Fraserview, the Vancouver subdivision only a few kilometers from the river, but with no actual view of it. Tommy lived nearby, and the Saints’ first rehearsal space was a large plywood-walled room perched on the river side of the South Vancouver Building Supply yard.
That room became for them, at seventeen and eighteen years old, more than just a place to create and practice their music. It was a clubhouse, a headquarters, a hideout and a place to smoke pot and drink beer and cheap wine with impunity. Beau, who by then had become Buddy, loved the place and spent as much time there as possible. Tommy became so addicted to the tar and sawdust magic of the yard, he’d moved there in his twenties when a rambling upstairs room had become available, right across from the South Van Cafe. The space was not meant to be lived in, and living there was illegal, but the lumberyard was a world unto itself with its own rules, cut off from the straight world by a high, razor-wire-topped fence.
When Buddy returned to Vancouver from Ireland in 2000, broken-hearted and exhausted, he visited the yard to see if John had a room for him. It had not changed at all in nineteen years. It was still a screwball conglomeration of seemingly random construction, built with big dreams and good intentions. Buddy had never fully explored the whole of it. He was drawn, that day, to the South end of the lot, around behind the hardware store and its attached out-buildings. The Saints’ rehearsal studio, and the building it had been in, was gone. In its place was a dented and drab trailer, almost completely overgrown by blackberry bush and morning glory.
The vines and brambles had long since been beaten back and a patch of scrubby grass now filled the space in front of the trailer, where Buddy Forever sat on a rusted yellow lawn chair, staring out at the brightly sparkling water. Beside him, Sandy Tymoschuk kneeled awkwardly on the Mexican blanket spread out there.
“So are you left handed or right handed?”
“Left handed,“ Buddy replied. He was naked but for a pair of green camo shorts. His right arm was in a cast, suspended in a white sling.
“So you can still jerk-off then.”
“Yes, Sandy,” Buddy replied, rolling his eyes skyward, “I can still jerk off. How’s your band doing?”
Tommy and Buddy turned to the boom mic as the DJ left.
Preston watched, impressed, as the two young men skillfully dispatched five liners in one long uninterrupted take.
“Hi this is Buddy Forever.”
“And Tommy Hardy, from …”
“The Saints!” they both said together.
“And you’re listening to our close personal friend …”
“On CJCY Radio.”
“Where it’s at in the Hat!”
After completing liners for other jocks from the station, they continued on, seamlessly:
“Hey everyone! This is Buddy Forever …”
“And Tommy Hardy, from …”
“And we just wanted to say,”
“Fuck Off!” they shouted this together. Preston jolted in his chair. They continued.
“Hey everyone! This is Buddy Fucking Forever …”
“And Tommy Fucking Hardly – Hardly Fucking Tommy from …”
“And you’re listening to …”
“The radio!” Buddy shouted, laughing now.
Tommy leaned into the mic and spoke seductively, “hi girls, this is Buddy Forever from the Saints …”
Buddy reached for the pause button. Tommy blocked him.
“And I have an erection.” The two began to wrestle. Preston got up and moved the mic and music stand out of their way.
“I think it’s time we left for sound check,” he said, shutting off the tape machine.
Buddy Fucking Forever
White Rock, BC, Canada