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Old 10-29-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
vlmagee
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Default David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

David Rea passed away on Thursday, October 27th, the day after his 65th birthday.

He was lead guitar player for Gordon Lightfoot, Ian & Sylvia, Joni Mitchell and others, and then went on to become a singer/songwriter in his own right.

David played lead guitar on Lightfoot's debut album, "Lightfoot!"; everyone recognizes his distinctive intro riff to For Lovin' Me. He played some live shows with Lightfoot in the early years (1964/1965), before Lightfoot could afford fulltime sidemen - and he entertained me repeatedly with his funny stories about those days.

Please visit my Lightfoot web site to read my full article about David David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away, and visit the new web site I have just launched in David's honor David Rea Music.

Last edited by vlmagee; 10-29-2011 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

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Originally Posted by vlmagee View Post
everyone recognizes his distinctive intro riff to Early Mornin' Rain. He played some live shows with Lightfoot in the early years (1964/1965)
that's sad to hear, RIP

i think one of the most distinctive riffs is the one on For Lovin Me

i never was certain which licks were done by Bruce Langhorne vs David Rea on that album.... which songs did David play (or not play) on that album?

we played a Tribute gig in Toronto to a wonderful listening and singalong audience the very night he passed away....

EMR, For Lovin Me & Steel Rail Blues (all off of "Lightfoot!") went over real well

cool, it would be great to hear a sample of some of those funny stories

here are some '68 '70 images of Rea I'd stumbled on at the amazing YorkU archive site and posted some time ago, and I think they they are worth repeating
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

Ack! I meant For Lovin' Me! But I think he played on all of them. I'll have to go back and listen carefully. Like Red and Terry, David's playing is pretty distinctive.

There's a video clip on his site, on the Music page, where David plays the FLM intro.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

nice pics at his tribute site... i still dig Lovin' Sound, i'll have to listen closer

a minor trivia tidbit regarding Gord's first lead guy:

when well-seasoned Yorkville scene folkie Bob (see video here http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showthread...light=Burchill) was telling of Whelan's passing at a Gord tribute, he mentioned that he'd asked Gord who his first lead guitar player was, Gord said Bruce Langhorne, right there in late '64 sessions that began the 'Lightfoot!' project

it's too bad I didn't get the full anecdote as I was holding toddler in one hand, and filming with the other and had mistakingly hit REC twice by mistake (which of course, put the cam in Pause mode)

...but it did pick up him saying that Bruce was followed by David (I imagine during the early '65 studio sessions) and then Red

someone run the question by Gord again sometime and see if he gives a consistent answer... which would be very un-Gord-like, heh

I'd have loved to have heard early Gord's voice then doing Red Velvet (one of the Lightfoot! album out takes)...it took 35 odd years to lay that down again

I am no lead guy, but it sounds like the Steel Rail signature riff has the same crisp attack that FLM has, so I imagine that's also Rea (set me straight, Gord early birds)

looking fwd to your elaborating on the write up, should be some fun memories... if the service is Sunday and you're going (Ohio?), pass along our collective respects and a sincere thanks for his contributions to Gord and to the folk music scene
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

I am very sad. Met David for the first time last year. We spoke for quite a while. He gave me his phone number and I never called. I know I took a good picture of him and Gordon. I will try to find it and post the picture.

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Old 10-30-2011, 12:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

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I know I took a good picture of him and Gordon
how wonderful that they hooked up recently, and that you captured a moment

my condolences to all who were acquainted: by phone or in person, for many years or just recently
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

Thanks JJ,

I truly enjoyed my time with David and wished I had called him so we could have connected again. My husband remembers him as the guy with the great cowboy hat. I am sure his family and friends feel a great loss. RIP-David Rea

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Old 10-30-2011, 01:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

sounds like he must be wearing the big hat in your pic - glad Gord's not a hat guy but he looks like he's about ready for a Willie bandana!

i was checking out this wonderful album write up (Wayne needs to assemble a book sometime.. then again, his site is more than a book, i suppose) http://www.lightfoot.ca/lightrev.htm and i've concluded/corrected a few things:

Gord and the lead guys were ALL there pretty much at once for the initial RMS '64 recording, and that there was no '65 session work...my conjecture wrong and also Gord's response to Bob unless Gord and Bruce did some live stuff before the Lightfoot! sessions...but here's the neat bits about who's who:

Bruce was playing on The Long River (Gord's first song with Canadian imagery)

David was doing the lovely work on I'm Not Sayin...not much else is specified

fyi, here's a clip of Bill Lee (black bassist on Lightfoot!) where he speaks of folk music at the 4 minute mark Jazz Bassist Bill Lee Interview Part 2 - YouTube they don't mention Gord ....then later in Part 3 of the interview, about 9 mins in Jazz Bassist Bill Lee Interview Part 4 - YouTube I was hoping he'd break into Oh Linda!....but not to be
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

So sad to hear. In contrast to David's folk side, he was also had contributed to the music of 'Mountain', one of my favourite rock bands of the 1960's. He had maintained a friendship with it's late bassist Felix Pappalardi as well as the rest of the band. I'm sure most of you have heard their tune 'Mississippi Queen' with it's memorable cowbell intro. David Rea is credited as co-author of the song.
Sad. More and more of my what 'filled my life' is being consigned to history and I find so little to replace that void.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

I found that very interesting, yuri
..your quote is sad and true for many

Well, I'll have to put this "under the covers" forum but it also seems to belong here


I remember tufts telling same anecdote at the first Hughs room tribute when Gord was still 'touch and go' with his recovery.

Who'd have thunk Gord and especially Bill Lee (born 1928!) would outlive Rea Whelan Shea Harvey Clements...I truly hope the list slows to a halt

I believe Bruce Langhorne is also alive...the opposite of 'nodding off' is 'nodding on' and that's what Bruce is doing on the porch (on the right)


as for Rea vs. Langhorne style on the Lightfoot! album, Bruce picked with only two fingers (the only two he had) ... but I don't know if anyone can detect that aurally ...I understand there are some pretty versatile fellas who pick with just one finger ...i digress...how unusual


if David Rea was laid to rest (on this 'day of rest'), I trust it was very somber, yet hopefully many hours were devoted to celebrating his life amongst love ones

Last edited by jj; 10-30-2011 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

Very sad, indeed. The days and years are slipping right through our hands, aren't they?
A little math question...If the "Lightfoot" sessions started in '64 (47 years ago), and David Rea was 65 when he died--was he really 18-20 when the album was being made? That's pretty precocious.
Best to all,
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

Yup. He was 17 when he first started playing with Ian & Sylvia.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

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Originally Posted by Don Quixote View Post
Very sad, indeed. The days and years are slipping right through our hands, aren't they?
A little math question...If the "Lightfoot" sessions started in '64 (47 years ago), and David Rea was 65 when he died--was he really 18-20 when the album was being made? That's pretty precocious.
Best to all,
DQ
Not 18-20....thirty seconds into the Tufts video I posted below, he says Rea was 17 at the time
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

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Who'd have thunk Gord and especially Bill Lee (born 1928!) would outlive Rea Whelan Shea Harvey Clements...I truly hope the list slows to a halt
I said nearly the same thing to my husband after I read about this. That list is full of fairly young men, to my way of thinking.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

I agree, Lisa. Perhaps Barry foremost. I probably have omitted some from the Gord family/camp over the decades. Brita indeed.

Some say 65s the new 50...hope 50s the new 35
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

David rented a room (my old bedroom) from my parent's in Calistoga, CA (Napa Valley) sometime back around 1993-1995ish. He was separated from his wife and still trying to be around and be part of his kid's lives. I was very into folk music and was playing gigs at coffee houses/pubs/open mics at the time. He showed me some things, but he was so advanced and I was so new, I had a hard time learning from him (his hands just went too fast, went right over my head). I was a huge Joni Mitchell fan, trying to learn most of the open tunings on the Blue album and learning to play most of the songs (all that I could). He told me stories of him knowing Joni Mitchell, and one day he dug around in his stuff and brought out a journal of songs -- all handwritten papers, bound, that Joni had written. I about flipped. He had it tucked away and apparently didn't dig it out and show it around much. He only let me look at it while he was there, and then took it back and put it back away so that it was safe. It was handwritten poems and songs that Joni had done and apparently had either given him or he somehow got in his possession. Not sure of the whole story, but I know it was the real deal.

Later, when I lived in Seattle, I was at one of the music festivals and was shocked that he was playing on stage. I hadn't seen or heard from him in years, and then I walked around the corner and there he was. I said hello, but he was really busy with what was all going on at the time, being on stage and all.

My parent's have many more stories I'm sure, since he lived with them for more than a year. Funny, he had my old bedroom.....
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

mcurnutt, i really dig your cool post...thanks for sharing that great memory

i love how the flys on the walls here, will just suddenly fly down, and login
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

David and Joni were really good friends. The cover art of David's 2000 solo album, X7 (Times Seven) was from a painting Joni did of David. And, of course, she wrote a song about him.



Click on the image for album details.

I am not surprised that he had the handwritten poems and songs. They shared a lot.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

http://oregonmusicnews.com/tag/gordon-lightfoot/
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

This is very sad news.

Sometimes when we hear news like this we tend to reflect back and ask ourselves: "why didn't we delve more into what is going on in the lives of these talented guys who made such a wonderful contribution into the early work of Gordon Lightfoot (while they are still around)?
I would have loved to see David Rea perform wherever or whenever but with the way we tend to get wrapped up in our own lives, the thought never gets to enter the mind, and now he's gone.

I really love what David Rea did on that very first Gord album.

But friends, there's another twist to this, and I really need to "step inside that tent" again.

The story goes that on Thursday, Oct. 27/2011, I had pulled out all the seats of my Chevy Lumina mini van and make a trip to Aurora, Ont, as I needed to empty a storage locker there and move the stuff back to Ottawa where we now live.

When I was pulling out the seats, a cassette tape without a label fell to the floor so, being curious I picked it up and during the five hour drive I listened to it.

It was an interview with David Rea.

It wasn't until I got back to Ottawa I discovered he had passed away that same day.

Also I had no idea where the tape originated. I'll have to listen to it over a few times to try and get more information but hopefully somewhere down the road, with the expertise of our "IT" folks here we can get it onto a disc and share it the way we do with all the other Gord stuff that comes our way.

I try not to get hung up on this sort of stuff but it seems to happen a lot with me, so maybe I really should take Gord's advice from what he writes in his song "The Gypsy" "go have your fortune read."

Rest in peace Dave.

RJ.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:39 AM   #21
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

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Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
So sad to hear. In contrast to David's folk side, he was also had contributed to the music of 'Mountain', one of my favourite rock bands of the 1960's. He had maintained a friendship with it's late bassist Felix Pappalardi as well as the rest of the band. I'm sure most of you have heard their tune 'Mississippi Queen' with it's memorable cowbell intro. David Rea is credited as co-author of the song.
Sad. More and more of my what 'filled my life' is being consigned to history and I find so little to replace that void.

Yuri,

If you call my cell phone about 50% of the time you'll hear Mississippi Queen while you wait for me to realize my phone is ringing. Small world - I just pulled the Mountain - Climbing CD off the shelf and there it is "West, Laing, Pappalardi, Rea" listed in the writing credits. Sad but sounds like he lived a good life.

Bill
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:02 PM   #22
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

wonderful stuff, Ron...and what are the chances, what an anecdote!

thanks for sharing... you're a rhyme-less poet, even in your story telling

guess David never crossed paths with you during your early Yorkville days

so glad you had safe travels to Ottawa (ya better hide your Leaf jersey)

... now keep on those IT guys
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

RJ - that's a downright spoooooky story!
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:35 PM   #24
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

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wonderful stuff, Ron...and what are the chances, what an anecdote!

thanks for sharing... you're a rhyme-less poet, even in your story telling

guess David never crossed paths with you during your early Yorkville days

so glad you had safe travels to Ottawa (ya better hide your Leaf jersey)

... now keep on those IT guys
We're working on it JJ and thanks for your usual kind words.

Yes, we're in "SEN" territory here but I keep thinking of the fourteen years living in Vancouver being a Leaf fan. Not too popular there!

I do recall being in the Riverboat to see Tom Rush in those early days and it's possible Dave may have been there with him as he worked with Tom for a while as the article here talks about.
Problem was the Riverboat didn't serve beer so we had our beer before we went there and sometimes things were a tad cloudy as to remembering who who and what was what.

Bruce Langhorne also did some work with Tom as he did with Gord so it may have been him?

RJ.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:58 PM   #25
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Default Re: David Rea, "First" Lead Guitar Player for Lightfoot, Passes Away

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RJ - that's a downright spoooooky story!
Hey Char,

Very spookey but all very true.

Ironic also that it was so close to Halloween and when Gord had his aneurysm, after he came to in the hospital, he mentions that the hospital room was decorated for Halloween.

(A trip to that tent just has to be in order.)

On another note, after having a listen to the tape recording again, the radio program was on the CBC with Karen Gordon as the interviewer and her program was "The Entertainers." It doesn't give the date but from what I could gather it was done in segments and Dave talks about his experiences working with Gord and gives Gord "lots of stars." He really had a deep respect for Gord and apparently could see that Gord was going on to be something much bigger than Dave was ready for.

We'll eventually have it up for the sharing.

Time to put on that very first "Lightfoot" album and have a good listen.

RJ.
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