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Old 02-25-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
johnfowles
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Default "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories"

Following the appreciative reception of the two anthem recordings and Omer's
great collection of rare video (seen by a few fortunates who are no doubt now
frantically compiling bootleg DVDs to cash in on the windfall interest)
I was emboldened to digitise a rare live performance of one of Gord's more underrated songs(one that was not included in the Songbook box set.)
I was also prompted to choose this particular rendition following November's "Mellissafluous" airing of what is usually known as "Heaven HelpThe Devil" by Ms Joe.Since it is not in the Songbook Collection it is not one of the songs that Gord decribes in the Songbook booklet.
I was lucky enough to see Gord's 18 May 1981 concert in London's Royal Albert Hall which was the
fifth concert in a series in the UK and Ireland that had started in Dublin on May 13th an unfortunate date as it was the day that Pope John Paul II was shot by a Turk in Rome
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d...00/2512533.stm
recently whilst searching the now much abused and
underused Newsgroup I found a thread about UK touring containing a posting by Wayne Francis in July 1998 (i.e.before lightfoot.ca was up and running) and which he later added to his website in the review at:-

http://www.lightfoot.ca/810513r.htm :-
his original Newsgroup posting is at:-
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.m...b3d87e1e?hl=en
which contains the following and is obviously a review of the May 13 1981 concert in Dublin and which said:-
"In May of 1981, Lightfoot set off for a seven city tour through the British
Isles. It was a volatile time in Britain, and particularly in Ireland where the tour began. On May 13, Lightfoot landed in Dublin and played the opening show of the tour there that same night in the National Stadium. The atmosphere was electric! Lightfoot came on stage to begin the show to
thundering applause. He was well aware of the significance of the time and place and after his third song he told the crowd:
"As events unfold we shall continue to carry on here. We're, you know, fully aware of all of the stuff - we heard about the pope. But this is another story, again, which complicates things even more. Sort of casts a pall of
gloom. Let's hope that the poor gentleman survives."
His brief statement is greeted by overwhelming applause. In spite of the situation, Lightfoot appears to be very loose and even pulls out the old "let me introduce the band" routine, where the band meet at centre stage
and pretend to introduce themselves to each other. The crowd loves it!
Later in the second half, when introducing the then unrecorded, Heaven Help The Devil, Lightfoot tells the hushed crowd:
" A sociological type of song that can relate to just about anything in the world today and those of us who are peace loving people can understand
this. I was talking to Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador to Iran, and I said, 'Would you ever go back to Iran,' he said, 'Not even for dinner!' and I wrote this song just after the hostages got back, but it relates to everything. I mean, sometimes you wonder what is going on in the world, you
know and it seems to be almost too much to bear all at once. So we'll do this one for you, it's called Heaven Help The Devil and you'll see what I mean when we do this song. It means, heaven help the son of a bitch!"


Note that at that time Wayne said the song was unrecorded . He presumably obtained more accurate details later because in his own album recording notes for Shadows at:-
http://www.lightfoot.ca/albrecno.htm he said
SHADOWS
Recorded: Toronto, ON at Eastern Sound in March, April and June 1981
Released: February 1982
Out-takes: Gotta Get Away; Keepin' On Yearning; Forgive Me Lord; Canary Yellow Canoe
Notes: In March, In My Fashion; Heaven Help The Devil and I'll Do Anything, along with out-takes of Gotta Get Away and Keepin' On Yearning were recorded. In April, All I'm After; Blackberry Wine;Thank You For The Promises; 14 Karat Gold; Baby Step Back; Triangle and She's Not The Same were cut. The album was wrapped up in June when Shadows and an unreleased out-take of Forgive Me Lord were completed

So Heaven Help The Devil had only just been recorded but the performances in Dublin and London were when the song was still very new.If you listen very carefully to Gord's intro he seems to be saying what I had heard him say at a previous London concert in 1972 to the effect that he liked to try out new songs to see if they worked and "if we don't think its good enough we won't do it" he then introduced the next song as "this one here this one goes by the unlikely title
"Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories" Quite a mouthful! In Dublin he might have used the shorter and more usual title. It is IMHO a great rendition, albeit recorded in monoaural.But you will hear both Pee Wee's pedal steel guitar and Mike's Keyboard playing
right click this link then "save target as" or whatever and enjoy
http://johnfowles.org.uk/LIGHTFOOT/Extra_Rare/08_Heaven_Help_The_Devil_May_He_Have_A_few_Unpleas ant_Memories.mp3
 
 
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
charlene
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Default Re: "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories"

that's just yummy yummy yummy...
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:24 PM   #3
Wes Steele
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Default Re: "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories"

John,

GL's voice sounded GREAT....

Thank You!

Wes
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
Acadia
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Default Re: "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories"

Oh wow, the Shadows era is my favorite, and this is such an often overlooked piece of brilliance, this song (and the whole album). Thanks for putting this out there.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:00 AM   #5
johnfowles
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Default Re: "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadia View Post
Oh wow, the Shadows era is my favorite, and this is such an often overlooked piece of brilliance, this song (and the whole album). Thanks for putting this out there.
If you check the setlist for that 18 May 1981 London concert
http://www.lightfoot.ca/810518.htm
you will find that I heard a total of 6 songs that night that had yet to be released
3 from Shadows, 1 from Salute plus a pair of outtakes Keepin' on Yearnin' and the timeless and Mellissafluous Canary Yellow Canoe
(which of course eventually made it on Songbook)
Here is another early outing for a Shadow's song:-
http://johnfowles.fileave.com/In_My_Fashion.mp3
(the other one from Shadows was 14 Karat Gold)
and Gotta Get Away was not released until July 1983 on Salute
Meanwhile Mark Knopfler obviously heard it and like it because his guitar intermission on one of the tracks on the final Dire Straits album (On Every Street)
(which in 1991 was the last new vinyl album I ever bought) is almost identical I have now forgotten which one so will add tracking that track down to my current lengthy project list
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:50 AM   #6
Acadia
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Default Re: "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories"

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfowles View Post
If you check the setlist for that 18 May 1981 London concert
http://www.lightfoot.ca/810518.htm
you will find that I heard a total of 6 songs that night that had yet to be released
3 from Shadows, 1 from Salute plus a pair of outtakes Keepin' on Yearnin' and the timeless and Mellissafluous Canary Yellow Canoe
(which of course eventually made it on Songbook)
Here is another early outing for a Shadow's song:-
http://johnfowles.fileave.com/In_My_Fashion.mp3
(the other one from Shadows was 14 Karat Gold)
and Gotta Get Away was not released until July 1983 on Salute
Meanwhile Mark Knopfler obviously heard it and like it because his guitar intermission on one of the tracks on the final Dire Straits album (On Every Street)
(which in 1991 was the last new vinyl album I ever bought) is almost identical I have now forgotten which one so will add tracking that track down to my current lengthy project list
oh very interesting information, and thanks for the link to the "In My Fashion" mp3, another amazing track off of Shadows. It doesn't surprise me that Knopfler would do a bit of imitating of the early to mid 80's Lightfoot sound, because I was just thinking not long ago how the "Brothers in Arms" album has a sort of Lightfoot-esque/Terry Clements-esque vibe going on with the guitar soundscapes
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:55 AM   #7
Acadia
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Default Re: "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories"

and actually "If it should please you" sounds really Knopfler-esque, at least the studio version on GG2, so maybe there was a sort of mutual influencing going on during that period. Though Lightfoot is obviously the genius between the two of them!
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:52 PM   #8
Jesse Joe
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Default Re: "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A few Unpleasant Memories"

Very enjoyable to hear that great song John thanks a bunch ! And this poet genius has my longtime favorite lines of his in that one;

"Our love for each other may not be explained
We live in a world where tears must fall like rain"

In the 90's on the local newspaper Times & Transcript... Moncton, you could send some of your favorite line of poetry, quotes, aso... I have sent many of Gordon Lightfoot's genius writing through out those years, some they even printed them more than once on different days. I was known to their transcript team as; 'That Lightfoot Guy' lol... which no complains came from me.


So if they had never known what a great singer songwriter this Country had up in Toronto I was surely going to let them discover him. I have made a few people fans of ~gl~ & will continue to spread it around to anyone who wants to listen.
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