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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gord Downie: 1964 - 2017

Gord Downie & Neil Young
Live8 Concert in Canada

Gord Downie: 1964 - 2017

Gord Downie and Neil Young performed together at the 2005 Live8 Concert in Canada. The Live8 concerts ended with Neil Young and an all-star finale -- including Tragically Hip's Gord Downie -- on "Rockin' In The Free World". Quite a fitting conclusion for a day in music history.



At 10/19/2017 07:09:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

The only comment thus far on Gord Downie is from Syscrusher:

RIP Gord Downie.

It's been a pleasure doing business with you.

I find Gord to the most similar songwriter to Neil Young, in the way he turns events into abstract imagery. And I find The Hip as a band are the most similar to Crazy Horse. Two bands that have always maintained their guitar heavy sound and never once straying towards anything cheesy.

The status Gord has achieved as a symbol OF Canada is something that likely has no equal in America. And something Neil and Joni will likely not see should they ever pass on, no matter how 'Canadian' their songwriting is.

I wish Neil would tweet on this Canadian songwriting genius to show us that he is at least aware of the importance of Gord Downie to music and to Canada. Or Thrasher would post on him. The connection between the music created by these two is too great to be ignored.

At 10/19/2017 07:09:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Syscrusher. Glad Gord & Neil got a chance to rock the free world together.

At 10/19/2017 10:26:00 PM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

That's what I needed to see. Thank you Thrash. Thank you Neil.

At 10/20/2017 07:03:00 PM, Blogger smellthehorse said...

Gord Downie was a Canadian treasure. His lyrics and live performances were sublime. He cared deeply for his fellow Canadians and stood with indigenous peoples for justice. Gord's impact on the world is immeasurable. We are all much richer for having known him. Rust in Peace Gord.

At 10/21/2017 04:17:00 PM, Blogger paul in windsor ontario said...

Smellthehorse is 100% correct. Gord Downie was a great Canadian. His commitment to Native Canadians was amazing. He made a great documentary last year - "The Secret Path". Check it out. Unfortunately Canada and the United States have a horrible history regarding our treatment of Native people. There is a great concert/cause to raise money for Leonard Peltier, another injustice that has not been righted, on Novemeber 6th in Tulsa (Kris Kristofferson and many others). Even through his terrible illness, Downie remained active in helping our Native people. A huge loss that will be hard to fill.

At 10/23/2017 12:32:00 AM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

Charlie Wenjack

At 10/26/2017 07:52:00 PM, Blogger paul in windsor ontario said...

So sad and unbelievable

At 9/30/2019 01:47:00 AM, Blogger toad said...

I printed out and framed that photo of Neil & Gord and now it's in my living room. Neil became a favorite of mine in the 80s when as a teen I discovered his music and The Hip followed a decade later. It's been almost two years without Gord Downie now. His death has left a legit void in my life. I didn't personally know the guy but I'm sure we've all experienced that thing when someone you appreciate is taken away too soon and the world becomes a little dimmer.

I am not Canadian but music from The Tragically Hip was played a lot on Windsor, Ontario stations (89X and 97.1 The River) whose signals were easily received on our Detroit radios. I saw The Hip four times in concert and they were my absolute favorite live band. If you never saw them perform, find some concert footage on Youtube. Gord's stream of consciousness ranting during shows is something to behold. Hip lyrics, like the lyrics in Neil's best songs, were enigmatic and often dark. I could list a good 40 or 50 songs by that band that I feel are just pure genius. For those who are unfamiliar with their stuff, find a way to listen to these four albums: Fully Completely (1992), Day for Night (1994), Trouble at the Henhouse (1996) & Phantom Power (1998). The Hip hit their stride during that period. Then, watch the final concert (2016) from their hometown in Kingston, Ontario. This was post brain surgery, about one year prior to Gord's passing. He had to learn all of the songs over again to treat fans to one final, courageous, glorious, farewell tour. So bittersweet.

It was always a bit baffling why they didn't gain more popularity in the US outside of places like Detroit & Buffalo. But in a way, it adds to the band's allure. A good chunk of our people are dopey (Trump supporters certainly taught us that) so it's no surprise The Hip never caught on with certain Americans. While those of us who appreciate great music will miss Gord, we will keep his memory alive in the States. Fully and completely.


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