I Remember - Peter Gzowski

Somewhere around 1992 or 1993 I found myself in the studio with Peter Gzowski. Having been interviewed many times on various media – as a musician or as an investment analyst – I was accustomed to less. Less knowledge, less congeniality, less preparedness. But Peter knew all about me. He knew of my strange past, music and finance in an odd tryst. He knew about the music I was there to promote – my new CD was all cued up and ready to be played.

I can recall vividly my first glimpse of Peter. It was an image that would turn out to be prophetic. He was encased in what looked like an aquarium with cloudy water. In fact, it was cloudy air... a glass office filled with cigarette smoke. Peter’s office was probably the last permissible smoking area in the CBC building at the time. There he was, hair wild and jacket rumpled, swimming around in that smoky aquarium, circling what looked like an old Remington manual typewriter. Peter would one day succumb to smoking-related illness.

But not on that day.

On that day Peter was alive and well and very present. He opened the door of his tank and emerged, eyes twinkling. He seemed genuinely interested in little old me. There wasn’t a hint of cynicism. He was simply like a curious kid, investigating a new toy. His guest.

The show started with a cut from the new CD “Just Duet”, a collaboration between myself and (bassist) Kieran Overs. Peter obviously liked the music. He was genuinely curious about my rather odd life and careers. After all, how many Bay Street analyst musicians did he know? On air we chatted easily. The show finished with another cut from the CD.

I’ll remember Peter for the many interviews I heard while listening to the radio, but mostly for that day in the studio… watching him work. Like a true master, he performed a difficult task while making it seem like the easiest thing possible. Peter was well-prepared for the interview. Questions were never posed in a confrontational way. He laid no traps. It was just innocent. And honest. At the end he wished me well, then re-entered the cloudy aquarium once more, to puff on a cigarette and contemplate his Remington and his notes.

Innocent and honest. That’s how I remember Peter Gzowski.


  1. well, well, well, very interesting read Mr. Holt...

  2. Talk about coming in late in the game... Posted in November and I'm JUST finding this???

    I was thrilled to read your memory of Peter Gzowski. I much admired the man's work and in one of those awful blogger "memes" that I do on a weekly basis, I put into text that one of my life's "blessings" was that I was able to listen to and appreciate his way of interviewing people... how he genuinely made me care about all of Canada and it's people... and how my life was a little bit more expanded thanks to his effort.

    Sadly, when talking to people "more in the know" than myself about him personally, I found a lot of people "Hmm"ing and "Haw"ing over their feelings about him... and noticed that the CBC staffers all seemed to waffle a bit about him and their feelings... I don't think he was a very "popular" fellow at the CBC to many... or to those in the media in general... however, despite the seemingly "negative" vibe I got, I had the undying love of being a "fan" of his and simply knowing that hearing the opening strains of the "Morningside" theme brought (and still brings when I hear archived audio clips) a smile to my face.

    Thank you again for sharing... and I'm looking forward to reading your other memories.


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