It's not the typical run of the mill rock n' roll history — no, readers will not find yet another photo of sunglass-clad David Lee Roth sitting in his Bentley, nor will they find the even more popular live concert shots. No, No Sleep 'Til Sudbury offers a more intimate look at '70's and '80's hard rock and heavy metal, told from the perspective of a small toy kid who simply loved everything about the era, its culture and, of course, its music.
Jensen grew up in Espanola, where his passion, or perhaps obsession, for music was born.
“There was always a radio on somewhere when I was a kid, and I think because there wasn't a whole lot of other stimulus readily available at the time, music was like this absent friend that just kind of drew me in,” he said.
"As an eight-year-old, I was really attracted to KISS just because there's such an obvious correlation between cartoons and heavier, more dangerous (at least for an eight-year-old) rock with KISS. I played right into Gene Simmons' hands.”
He spent much of his later childhood in Sudbury, expanding his fascination with all things rock.
“On the whole actually, Sudbury was always an exciting place to go when I lived in Espanola,” Jensen said. “People laugh when I tell them that, but it's obviously relative.”
Considering what memorable events Jensen experienced here, it's a pretty fair statement. He caught his first-ever concert, Iron Maiden and Twisted Sister, at the Sudbury Arena, the show that actually inspired the title of his account of rock history.
“I was crazy excited, but No Sleep 'Til The Sudbury Arena didn't exactly roll off the tongue, so I played around with it a bit,” he said.
Along with being the concert mecca of the north, the Nickel City was also home to one of Jensen's favourite shops — Records on Wheels.
“I absorbed a lot of stuff at Records On Wheels as a kid, but I don't know if I actually learned anything,” he said with a laugh.
“One thing I wish I had learned earlier would have been to have a more open mind when it came to music. In ROW, (owner) Tony (Anselmo) had this emporium of awesome musical richness and I refused to listen to anything but metal.
"I haven't been a serious 'metalhead' since I was a kid, but about 10 years ago I bought an old Tygers of Pan Tang record at ROW and Tony looked at me plaintively and said, 'You still buy this stuff, eh?'”
To pay tribute to his time spent there, Jensen dedicated an entire chapter of No Sleep 'Til Sudbury to the shop.
“It was so communal and 'vibey,' unlike any other store,” he said. “It goes hand in hand with the mindset of the book in general, which was written with the intention of sharing an experience.”
On July 14, Jensen is returning from big-city life in Toronto to his youthful stomping grounds to sign copies of No Sleep 'Til Sudbury. He will be at Records On Wheels, 56 Elm St., from 1-3 p.m.
For more information, search No Sleep Til Sudbury on Facebook.
Posted by Arron Pickard