Tuesday, May 2, 2023

The Local Music Scene Honours the Legendary Gordon Lightfoot

Canadian music icon Gordon Lightfoot passed away Monday, May 1, 2023. The legendary singer/songwriter left an indelible mark in the international music scene. Our condolences to his family friends and fans.

The world is still reeling from the loss of Lightfoot and this is also being felt in the local music scene where quite a few musicians knew and worked with the musical giant.

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Long before recording with Gord, long before singing and playing this song (Home From the Forest) in Ronnie (Hawkins)'s room after a gig, and I was still just learning to play guitar a little when I'd first heard it.
How many thousands of songs have I heard and how many I've loved so much how many have I played?
There is one song that from the very first time went beyond anything I knew about anything from a song, inside myself somehow,
I'd spent many a quietly desperate night roaming the dark lonely streets of Toronto when I was young, my dad was also a deeply alcoholic individual, I had an uncle that suffered the same fate in Toronto as the storyline in this song depicts.
I'd spent lonely nights looking down on various Toronto streets at night thru many different windows, I'd watched with heartache Native brothers staggering in rags with paper bags of booze, and many older men huddled in doorways sleeping on steps, these things and much more were in some sense just too hard for my inexperienced mind to come to terms with, somehow in a strange way, it helped me thru the personal pain and hardship of home life knowing I wasn't alone, what's going to become of me? will I wind up like that? them?
And that's just one small angle of the picture 
My heart was broken long before it had a chance to experience it's own growth 
To this day and to my grave this is the one song of them all that taught me the meaning of life and death in my heart, its taken a lifetime of proof of it's truth 
For this one song I've been and will always be grateful for Gord's insight and ability to put it so simply and deeply in words.

Links: Gordon Lightfoot, More Gordon Lightfoot Stories/CoversVideo above courtesy of  hankgwe

Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Lee Harvey Osmond)

Rave On Gordon Lightfoot - My Mother used to come and visit me from time to time when I was a kid. I was maybe six years old or so.  One time she showed up with an old portable record player with a shitty needle that made every record I played sound like it had a five o’clock shadow in the grooves.

She came through the door one day with a copy of a record by a guy she used to go see at Steele’s Tavern on Yonge Street. Across the top of the record in big letters LIGHTFOOT and a photo of a guy leaning back in a studio chair holding a guitar up towards the ceiling and looking cool as shit.

The photo alone captured my young imagination. He looked serious, like he knew something that he wanted to tell me.

Dropping the needle on that record changed my life immediately. It was responsible for igniting the devil in me and stirring the sludge up at the bottom of my lake. Everything sounded so real like the guy was standing right there beside me in my bedroom fingerpicking that guitar and singing in my ear. He opened up the doors of possibilities with the haunting Oh Linda, Steel Rail Blues and Rich Man's Spiritual.

Gordon Lightfoot has left us but he lives in our blood. His voice will always  raise up our ghosts and reunite us with a tremendous  joy we all hold in our hearts but may have forgotten about. Thank you Gordon.  

Brian Mee (local fan) 

I was in attendance at the Grand Hall at Hamilton Place in Nov 2004  for his first concert back after suffering  / recovering from a life threatening  aneurysm he incurred in 2002.

Gordon was treated at McMaster Health sciences and he showed his appreciation by donating many tickets to the medical staff that could attend and publically thanked the surgeon that headed the operation that saved hid life.

Understandibly, Gordon was initally a bit shaky to start off with, however the audience positive reaction to see him back on stage soon brought him back to form.

A memorable night and a win win for McMaster Health Sciences since Lightfoot also gave a generous donation to them as well as raised their  reputation with the life saving surgery they gleaned with a celebrity patient such as Lightfoot.

Local Covers

Links: Stephen FearingMore Stephen Fearing Stories,Video above courtesy of Stephen Fearing - Topic

Links: Rodeo KingsMore BARK storiesVideo above courtesy of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings


Links: Evan CameronMore Evan Cameron StoriesVideo above courtesy of Evan Cameron

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