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MuchMusic host who wrote a new memoir coming to Stratford

Bill Welychka was a television personality on the Canadian music program from 1992 to 2005, in that time racking over thousands of interviews. Welychka will be in Stratford in April to sign copies of his new book
Bill Welychka, of MuchMusic fame, has written a memoir.

For nearly a decade, Bill Welychka graced the television sets of Canadians as a VJ for MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic. 

Welychka is sharing stories from the other side of the television screen with his autobiography A Happy Has-Been

Welychka was a television personality on the Canadian music program from 1992 to 2005, in that time racking up thousands of interviews with some of the most prolific music artists of the last century.

The book, which has the subtitle “Exciting Times and Lessons Learned by one of Canada’s Foremost Entertainment Journalists,” has stories from celebrities, friends, and life lessons, and touches on topics from pop-culture to politics. 

More than anything, however, it is about Welychka’s life. 

“I didn't want the book to be the ramblings of some old guy saying, ‘Hey, let me tell you about the time I interviewed Madonna,’” he explained. “No, it's more than that. I think it's an interesting story. I think everyone has an interesting story and what an opportunity...I'm humbled by the fact that I tell mine and people are interested.”

Welychka has been asked countless times to write a book, but it wasn’t until the pandemic, after being invited on different podcasts to tell stories and writing a monthly column, that he started to think that there was a market for it.  

He began organizing different stories, writing, and then researched and pursued a publisher all within a few years. 

That being said, as with any life there are stories that a writer is excited to share and stories that they may not want to publicize. 

That is certainly true for Welychka’s book, which has a good mix of interesting, funny, sad, and unbelievable stories - with stories about Madonna, Slash, and Gord Downie to name a few. 

The forward to the book is written by Paul Langois of The Tragically Hip, who shares the first time he had met Welychka.

As one could guess, in an interview. 

“We in The Hip never wanted to do interviews, like ever,” Langois writes. “We looked at it as a chore and an extreme chance to embarrass ourselves. So, we always did the same thing: short straw had to do it, and then we’d take turns after that.

“But Bill was a revelation to us. He was super friendly, had a kind smile and vibe and yet he asked questions that kind of woke you up and made you realize that you’d better up your game and stay on the ball. He was that good, and his questions were always interesting and usually fun.”

The secret to a good interview, Welychka shared, is simple. Good, well-researched questions coming from someone that wants to let the artists be the star of the interviewer. 

“Just make it a good experience for them,” he said. “Because everyone's got a message and the idea is, you know, I'm just the conduit between them and their message and the people.”

Those wishing to put their own interview skills to the test may have an opportunity soon.

As part of his book rollout he will be in Stratford soon for a book signing -  at Coles in the Stratford Mall, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

For more information about Welychka, or to order a copy, visit his website