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Even back then he enjoyed flipping back and forth between politically correct and sexually inappropriate. Reading over my piece 16 years later, I noticed he was the only one of the band members who got much ink.
After the interview, the band dispersed and I ended up walking and chatting with Jian.
He almost always remembered my birthday in the days before Facebook reminders, though sometimes his greetings were of the canned digital calendar variety (“Happy birthday beautiful—thinking of you today! For someone who’d experienced success so young, he seemed strangely insecure.
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I knew him to be a charming, if temperamental, narcissist who desperately wanted to be adored—and he was, until it all came crashing down.
Now he’s surrounded by a small circle of admirers who either believe he’s innocent or have forgiven his sins .
At the time I met them, in a café on the Danforth, they were selling out mid-size venues filled with NDP supporters in itchy Ecuadorian sweaters. Jian, the band’s drummer and singer, was a weedy-looking guy, about a decade my senior, with a penchant for winking after his jokes.
I spent an amiable hour with the band, listening to enthusiastic and semi-delusional talk of their enormous Grateful Dead–style following and imminent U. He went out of his way to weave an odd mix of earnest liberal values and sexual innuendo into the conversation, referring to the band’s “pinko politics” and then telling me the story of his new favourite “superfan”—an exotic dancer named Moxy who stripped to their song “Michigan Militia” in a combat outfit.
He talked a lot about George Stroumboulopoulos, who’d been given his own talk show—a fact that obviously irked Jian, even though he considered George a friend. But worse than that, he had a strange neediness—a sweaty, almost aggressive desperation to be liked—that came across on camera and made even those of us who already liked him squirm in our seats.
TV wasn’t working out for Jian, but there was another way up the greasy pole.
He’d done some radio that summer, filling in for Shelagh Rogers on , and somehow over the sound waves, his anxiety fell away and was replaced by a magnetic calm.
He was wonderful at engaging the listener by quickly and articulately dashing up to the edge of a point, then slowing down to a Cheshire cat purr—a trick that would eventually become a signature element of his daily monologue.
He owned two houses, one in Riverdale, which he rented out as an income property, a fact I found mind-bogglingly impressive in my 20s. He got a taste of fame in Moxy Früvous—jiggling his ringlets as the band busked on Queen West—and now he wanted the same thing but on a bigger scale.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating