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Tuesday, May 02, 2023

A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot: 1938 - 2023 + Statement by Neil Young

 "Rockin' In The Free World" Finale
Neil Young, Buckcherry's Josh Todd & Gordon Lightfoot
Live 8 - End Global Poverty Concert
Canadian Stage - July 02, 2005


Gordon Lightfoot passed away yesterday, May 1.

In 2005, Gordon Lightfoot was joined with Neil Young and an all-star finale of "Rockin' In The Free World" for Live 8 - End Global Poverty Concert. Quite a fitting conclusion for a day in music history.

Here is  Neil Young's tribute to fellow Canadian Gordon Lightfoot:


"I was saddened when i learned today of his passing.

Gordon was a great Canadian artist. A songwriter without parallel, His melodies and words were an inspiration to all writers who listened to his music, as they will continue to be through the ages. There is a unique and wonderful feeling to Gordon’s music. 

Lightfoot is a Canadian legend." 

(emphasis by TW)

Full statement of Gordon Lightfoot Tribute | Neil Young Archives.

In 2014 Neil Young released the album A Letter Home with a cover of
Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind".



Neil Young covers Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind"


Thanks Gordon. Indeed -- as we often think to ourselves -- if they could read our minds ...



At 5/02/2023 05:40:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Gordon Lightfoot now has the entire Top 4 songs on the US iTunes Song Chart:

1. If You Could Read My Mind
2. Sundown
3. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
4. Carefree Highway

At 5/02/2023 05:40:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

“I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever.” - Bob Dylan

At 5/02/2023 05:41:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Heartbroken to learn of the loss of a Canadian legend, Gordon Lightfoot. Sending love and comfort to his loved ones during this tough time. Rest in peace, Gordon.

~~ Robbie Robertson

At 5/02/2023 05:42:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

"I will be dedicating tonight's show in Waterford at the Theatre Royal and the remainder of my Irish shows to my hero Gordon Lightfoot."

~~ Ron Sexsmith

At 5/02/2023 07:03:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

A truly great songwriter, and singer whose legacy will outlive us all. Rest easy Gordon, you left us with a bountiful collection of songs and memories.

Peace 🙏

At 5/02/2023 07:38:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

RIP to a great singer songwriter.

I love all of his big hits, but Rainy Day People is a personal favorite. Great song

At 5/03/2023 08:51:00 AM, Blogger The FarmAidians said...

A sad day indeed for Canada and the rest of the world. My son and I had the pleasure of meeting him in the audience at a Neil Young show at Massey Hall in 2014. My favourite Lightfoot song is "Canadian Railroad Trilogy"

At 5/03/2023 04:28:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

I got to know some of Gordon Lightfoot’s songs a lot better after Neil covered ”Early Morning Rain” so well.

I am going to listen to a lot more of his music. RIP, a Canadian Hero.

Alan in Seattle

At 5/03/2023 10:53:00 PM, Blogger Mark from T.O. said...

Another lesser known neat Neil/Gord connection goes back to 2013. Here's the set-up for that: Daniel Lanois hosted the inaugural "Harvest Picnic" music festival at a park just outside his home base of Hamilton, Ontario the year prior in 2012. EmmyLou Harris and Ray Lamontagne were the closers of the all-day affair and it went over well. Neil and Crazy horse also toured SW Ontario heavily that year with shows in nearby London, Toronto and Kitchener on the Psychedelic Pill tour. I caught 2 of those 3 shows and was jazzed to see him back with the Horse and dropping solid new tunes.

For the sophomore Harvest Picnic event at the end of August in 2013 the price for the day long affair went up considerably. But the rub for that was Neil and the Horse were the headliners so there was lots of buzz about that when that was announced. Peggi Young and the Survivors were also on the bill that day so that was exciting too. She had a 2nd album out and was touring that across North America with her great band. No more back-up singer role at Neil's gigs for her. She was striking off all on her own in search of her muse.

Then the shit started to "hit the fan" (figuratively and literally). 3 weeks before the show Frank Sampedro breaks his hand over in Europe and Neil and the Horse cancel the rest of those European gigs. Then with only a week before the Harvest Picnic event Neil announces they are cancelling all remaining North American dates. Then shortly thereafter the promoter announces to the ticket holders for the Harvest Picnic event that the show will go on but that there will be a "headliner swap" and no refunds. The swap was Gordon Lightfoot instead of Neil and Crazy Horse. Suffice to say a lot of the Neil fans were upset at this. They took a lot of heat but stuck to that plan.

Then the promotor picked Peggi and her band to do the kick-off show at a small dive bar in downtown Hamilton called " This Ain't Hollywood". It wasn't well announced and the few tickets there were (maybe 100 ?) went fast since the rumour was Neil would show up. It was a jam-packed venue and the show was good. It was neat being up close and I gave a quick "attaboy / well done" to Spooner Oldham and Rick Rosas as they threw back a beer on the picnic table on the sidewalk outside the venue after the show. Neil never showed. Of course we all know now he had made "other plans" for that exact time (driving Lincvolt up to protest the oil sands in Fort McMurray with Daryl Hannah as part of a documentary production). He did show up at a Peggi gig in Boston a couple of weeks later in Boston just before Farm Aid, which was in upstate NY that year.

Anyway back to Gord and the replacement show. Gord was good... most of the audience were respectful whilst also holding the view that Neil and the Horse was what they had paid for and a good # were still pissed no refunds were offered. I had an extra ticket and gave it away that day to a stranger as there was no market demand for tickets. You need to understand that Gord played regularly throughout Ontario (since he lived in Toronto) so his fan base had ample chances most years to see him live in good comfortable venues. He was also about as old then as Neil was just before the pandemic. Respectfully, as a fan of both and their entire body of work, and having seen Gord live on several occasions, I can attest that Gord's live shows fell off considerably as he aged and encountered failing health. That is the norm, and is to be accepted by the concert goer, is it not ?

So just typing out this tome brings back floods of memories of the "days that used to be" and also drives home just how much things have changed since then. We Neil fans are so very lucky he has been vibrant both creatively and when seeing him live, complete with only modest "slippage", despite some serious health setbacks for him along the way too. Fingers-crossed long may he run.

At 5/06/2023 08:45:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

When I first picked up a guitar, I also picked up a Gordon
Lightfoot songbook. Carefree highway, If you could read my mind
and The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald were among the first
handful of songs I learned, way before I picked up on any Neil
tunes. Sundown was one of the only songs of his I had heard of
at the time as it played on top 40 radio a few years earlier.
Gord's Gold, man I guess so! And that first guitar I played was
a 12 string, which he used so often. RIP Gordon, thanks for the
music! ~ SONY


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