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Old 02-25-2014, 01:30 AM   #1
dray7austin
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Default Gordon Lightfoot Biography

I was just wondering why after 51 years on The Carefree Highway there is not one true definitive Biography on Gordon? I realize there are maybe three books that somewhat mention Gordon. Books by Maynard Collins, Dave Bidini and one earlier piece. But I've always been advised against these. Although I would like to read Dave Bidini's just to get the flavor of the Mariposa Folk Festival during the early 70s as well as the political climate in Canada at the time because that does peak my interest. But look how many books that Bob Dylan has written about him. Even Gram Parsons whose career was but a fraction of Gordon's has more books written about him than actual recorded albums he cut. I do feel blessed that we do have Gordon's music and maybe I should be content with that. But I was just wondering why there isn't one or if there is one in the works? Should I also stay away from the Dave Bidini book as I have read the non flattering Amazon reviews of it? Thanks!

Last edited by dray7austin; 02-25-2014 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Forgot a question to ask.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
jj
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Default Re: Gordon Lightfoot Biography

some people read the Bidini and liked the concept and the non-Gord hockey and Mariposa and FLQ era stuff.... i read a chapter sitting with coffee at an Indigo/Chapters store here.... it looked like a chapter that might contain new and possibly non-fiction info, but I was turned off, Much to My unSurprise

Browsed photo sections too...saw a neat unseen one but it way too small to get immersed in

the bio at the official site is more of a press release promo thing...not meaty, mainly name-dropping stuff http://lightfoot.ca/glbio.htm

char's working on it, lol

maybe Doolittle is doing same ...thank goodness Gord pre-dated the cellphone era
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Gordon Lightfoot Biography

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Originally Posted by dray7austin View Post
Should I also stay away from the Dave Bidini book as I have read the non flattering Amazon reviews of it? Thanks!
I liked the book, and so did moderator Char (if I remember correctly). It isn't a biography, and isn't meant to be, but I thought it was a good book. People knock it for not being something it isn't intended to be! Here's my review of it:

Review of "Writing Gordon Lightfoot"
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Gordon Lightfoot Biography

that's not fair for professional reviewers to only negatively critique it because they expected an actual Bio ...if that was going to be the "long awaited Gord bio" then I think there would have been much more publicity and hype throughout the nation (and pockets of the continent and globe) and amongst hardcore fans

I find it refreshing to see people still buying hardcover books and/or real printed newspapers, and bookstore shelves still lined with offerings of every sort...

can you imagine in 50 years when our kids will be saying "it's so refreshing to still see the odd person still holding iPads (or a Kindle thingie)"

lol

here's is the review at the lightfoot.ca website:

An unauthorized, semi-fictional account of Lightfoot, using the 1972 Mariposa Folk Festival and
events of that year as a backdrop. It's difficult to give this author any credence on the subject matter,
in light of his admission of spreading false rumours of Lightfoot plagiarising, then refusing to retract
his comments when proven wrong. And on top of everything else, pasting Gordon's friend
Bob Dylan on the cover, smacks of cheap exploitation. It's more the kind of book
you'd expect from someone like Kitty Kelley.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
jj
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It isn't a biography, and isn't meant to be, but I thought it was a good book. People knock it for not being something it isn't intended to be!
that's funny.... here is a direct quote from DB that leads you to think that was somewhat what it was intended to be:

"One of the reasons I wanted to write about Gord was because I feared his amazing story would not get told"


dray7austin, you should check out some of the excerpts that char shared in the Book thread (I revived it..well, YOU did, lol) found here... she pasted some non-Gord segments that I think will give you a good flavour as to whether you like the style and/or content ...many non Canadians wouldnt know what Mariposa is, or who Trudeau or the FLQ were, or what hockey is and if that's of interest, then I dont see why you wouldn't give it a chance and take the Gord bits as an entertaining bonus... but there are better ways to whet your Bio appetite (how about browsing the wealth of info here, or the other thorough GL websites out there...see Links section on Home page here)... cheers! J
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
charlene
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So DB said something years ago that was wrong in a reviewers eyes and that means the book is no good? It was never sold as a bio..
jaysus.
Regardless of not having new info or photos- it's ONE person's take on the times and man and his relationship with both. It doesn't make it right or wrong or deceitful..If I wrote a book about MY 'relationship' with GL there'd be lots that people would not like or disagree with or say is just re-hash of stuff already known.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:25 PM   #7
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oh, i still haven't read that review but i guess i've become interested...Amazon? i think the thread about the book is great...lots of excerpts and comments from both sides, plus fence sitters ...i dont know how the term Bio and this book seem to keep surfacing... there is SO much info about him and his life at this site and other web places... i think we already have it, just needs to be condensed... or in HIS own words

i would read char / gord relationship book! ... it's about real encounters and perhaps have the stuff you respectfully wouldn't share online (or even face to face) over the years ...you likely wouldn't divulge in a book either, out of respect for your friend and a revered national icon ...or regurgitate all the 'stuff' one more time, for old times sake

then there is your relationship with him before you even met him (the concerts as a teen, the music)...and it's so universal how women (and men) can relate to that stuff

again, the promo i read from DB, was that he and Gord had a spiritual bond and that was their connection... DB said he had gone through similar experiences as Gord, the substance stuff, etc, etc.... I am not interested in reading more factual or speculative text about Gord's "out of control" period ...and no interest at all in DB's ... and any creative similarities? they both used various stimulants to fuel their art... that's unique? i think the book writing process may have had some therapeutic positives for DB, and if that's the case, terrific... if Gord has acknowledge him since, or "done dinner" and that also helps, even better.... regarding the Wreck cover version, we all hear Gord say that he hasn't heard a cover he didn't like... so based on that and a few positive responses (including Bill, a songwriter himself), dray7austin, you might want to buy the Rheostatic track (or album) and the book... and if so, don't come back looking for me, lol
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:54 PM   #8
dray7austin
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Default Re: Gordon Lightfoot Biography

My intent was never to create a firestorm. My more pressing question was in wondering why there isn't a dedicated Gordon Lightfoot book? Then I just wondered what others thought of Bidini's book. I have gone ahead and ordered it because of not what little or not it talks about Gordon but for all the other things I did mention above. And like I believed you mentioned jj, any mention of Gordon is just an added bonus.

Last edited by dray7austin; 02-25-2014 at 02:55 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:07 PM   #9
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fire storm? lol ....trying to keep this place alive... everyone seems headed to FB!

they have all those radio talk shows out there with people taking two sides of the fence ( sometimes it's a bit of an act ) ...maybe it gets like that here too

i think they canceled that CNN Peirs guy because he was too agreeable with his guests... i dont get the channel but i heard it at the water cooler

i hope you get some bonus Dylan along the way ... thanks for perking us up
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gordon Lightfoot Biography

Quote:
Originally Posted by jj View Post
"One of the reasons I wanted to write about Gord was because I feared his amazing story would not get told"
after reading, please let us know if you think it achieved this objective (all the other fascinating stuff, aside)

i actually just learned of what DB said overseas about the Wreck that set Barry off a tad... there is not always time to read all the great contributions here, and i missed that... wow, yeah, thats likely regrettable (but i had also heard it was perhaps somewhat valid)
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gordon Lightfoot Biography

lol. Actually jj I have found this page much more refreshing than Facebook. I really like you all here. And the one thing we all have in common? We all love Gordon. I'll have search and find what sent Barry off on what DB said about "Wreck". Thanks everyone.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:01 PM   #12
charlene
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No firestorm..
lol-
JJ (or James as I call him, amongst other things) and I are friends from way back.

Lots of people say they have a spiritual connection with Gord and others who have touched their lives so profoundly. Bidini just put it out there in a book. The info/story in the book is all part and parcel of the Bidini experience that he, as an author writes about. He has other books with HIS experience intertwined in the subject matter-his hockey books, music books, KEON book..
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:05 PM   #13
dray7austin
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Default Re: Gordon Lightfoot Biography

Like I mentioned Charlene and jj, I am so glad I found you all. You have all been such a tremendous help in the week I've been aboard. But I feel like such a rookie asking questions that have probably been asked and answered a hundred times. Thanks for putting up with me. lol.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:47 AM   #14
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Default Re: Gordon Lightfoot Biography

If I am remembering correctly, Mr. Bidini accused Gord of plagiarism regarding The Wreck, and then, when given a chance to clarify his remarks, declined to do so.

Gordon later said that he had based the melody on classic old sea dirges, which makes sense, given the subject of the song. That is a long way from plagiarism - taking someone's creative original work and claiming it as your own - which is, for an artist, the unpardonable sin.

David, I have found this forum to be a wonderful place full of friendly, knowledgable, and generous folks. You and your questions are more than welcome here
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:21 PM   #15
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Well, I wrote Gord back on his birthday offering to write a music-based bio (thus evading all the personal stuff he might not get into). Still awaiting a response LOL ...
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:47 AM   #16
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ha, good luck, tg...i like it

JP, i guess having "nerve" can take you places...(DB posing as press guys, crashing Stompin Tom's 50th, his comments about GL's original Wreck production needing their reworking to have deserving storm impact, etc, etc...the nerve not to apologize) ...maybe a prerequisite to certain types of journalism i to also pry...i like your type
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:30 AM   #17
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Aww, thank you, jj...

I have always known that I don't have the constitution to be a successful journalist...not aggressive, or nervy, or ballsy....whatever you call it, I am seriously deficient
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:33 AM   #18
jj
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you're perhaps the opposite: passive, reserved.....ummmm, female
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #19
charlene
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me and you - same people JP!! - I couldn't take the flak either...got enuf in real life to last a lifetime.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:50 PM   #20
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Amen, Char!

jj, instead of "passive," could we substitute gentle, or kindhearted? Or even non-aggressive? Passive sounds so...passive
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:14 PM   #21
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oh, i was trying to do the antonym thing, but was a bit off the mark

>aggressive, or nervy, or ballsy

>non-agressive, non-nervy, non-male

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Old 03-02-2014, 03:22 PM   #22
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Yep, that's me
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:42 PM   #23
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look at you JP! - gettin all up in his face....passive my arse..lol
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:09 PM   #24
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me and you - same people JP

huh? if every guy on the Leafs had your balls, we'd coast to the Cup final! lol
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:10 PM   #25
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look at you JP! - gettin all up in his face....passive my arse..lol

passive aggressive
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