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Old 01-29-2011, 07:58 PM   #1
Borderstone
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Default The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

I know we've discussed how we came accross Gordon and what year we first heard his music but specifically...........what one moment/event (or events) finally lit that light-bulb over your head ?


As I've told on here,I had heard some of Gord's U.S. hits between 1974 & 1988,then I bought a garage sale copy of G.G. #1 for 50 cents but his stuff still didn't "grab me" like it did later.
(I was in my teens and into my 20's,so "new music" was still the thing & buying well known oldies. )

I bought a few more LPs in the 90s for the hits but hardly played them (wish I had now). I used to measure artists worth by how many hits they had and since Gordon had only 6 here in America,I thought "Wow,I wonder what's wrong with the rest of his albums?"


..... but the "light-bulb" moment for me (as I've also talked about I beleive) was when I dared buy the $60.00 "Songbook" in August of 2001 , which come this summer will be 10 years ago. Got it home listened to every track and quite simply got blown away by how good he really was and how much,so many of the songs moved me emotionally.

That of course led me to the concert a year later,this site,you folks and 3 more concerts,autographs and pics from & with Gordon himself. What a decade it's been !
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

Two moments come to mind. The late 60's, camping with my folks at what I recall was Fairbanks provincial park in northern Ontario. The sun had finally won a day long battle with the rain clouds and poked through to light up the evening sky. That golden glow, the freshness in the air that a rain shower brings, the leaves sparkling with raindrops and the roadway dotted with puddles all set the stage in my mind. Then the music started. Wafting in from some distant campsite came the strains of;

pussywillows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses,
rain pools in the woodland, water to my knees,
shivering, quivering, the warm breath of spring,
pussywillows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses

That clinched it! A memory locked away for eternity...
Here I was listening to Led Zeppelin's debut album, Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,, Jimi Hendrix' Axis Bold as love and Deep Purple's Book of Taliesyn, yet Gordon Lightfoot managed to elbow his way through those rockers. I picked up his compilation 'The Best Of Gordon Lightfoot' which I believe was released in 1970. Unbeknownst to my hard rockin' friends, I had become a closet 'Lighthead'.

I guess I came out of the musical closet rather late – in 1976. I was visiting a friend who had an apartment in downtown Toronto. Doing the town on a Friday night, we were checking out the vinyl at 'Sam The Music Man' on Yonge Street when a familiar voice filled the store . 'Summertime Dream' had just been released and 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' was sailing out of the speakers. Heard a few more from Gord before heading back to the apartment with bundle of heavy metal under my arm. But in my mind, the 'Wreck' continued to surface all evening. Next morning, before anyone else had awoken, I boarded the subway and found myself back at 'Sam's' waiting for the doors to open. Picked up TWOTEF that morning and I found myself hooked - a lifelong quest to pick up everything else he ever released– past present and future.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

Summer 1974. Listening to the newly released "Sundown" album while preparing for a backpacking trip to Yosemite.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

No one moment, probably just a gradual awakening. I had heard "Talking in Your Sleep" and bought and bought Summer Side of Life which became one of my favorites immediately. I didn't add any more GL to my collection until my brother gave me a copy of Sundown (along with America's Homecoming) for my high school graduation. At the time, I considered the two albums very good but was not compelled to find out any more about Gord's music. Later, my freshman year of college, when I was thumbing through the cutout bin in the Finest Record Store in Greeley, Colorado (still a great place if you ever travel through) I came across "The Very Best of Gordon Lightfoot." None of the songs were familiar but I think it was just a buck so I took it home. CRT and The Last Time I saw Her blew me away and I was getting much more interested in this amazing troubadour. Living in the dorm as a freshman, there was a girl who I occasionally got together with and traded songs on the guitar. One night, she played "Beautiful" which somehow I had never heard before. I asked her about it and she told me it was a Gordon Lightfoot song. Within a few days, I returned to the Finest and found a used copy of Don Quixote.

Gordon Lightfoot's music to me is timeless. The words and tunes mean as much to me today, maybe more than they did then. I have now been a fan for about 2/3 of my life.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
charlene
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

I've always been one...
the condition just never had a name before 1999.
Until then I was just a 'Lightfoot fan"
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

Yep, me too, Char. Started when IYCRMM got radio play in the States and I said to myself "Gee cool song" and would stop what I was doing and listen whenever it played. Then my first album purchase, "SSOL" with my babysitting money a year later. Collected the rest as they were released and when I passed from my mother's apron strings and got my own apt, first thing I did was go to the local music store and order all the back lps I didn't have. Carried his music with me wherever I went and attended as many concerts as limited publicizing (before the electronic age) would allow.

Then came 1999 and my connection to the internet, first thing I typed in was Gordon Lightfoot. Found Val's site, Rik's chatroom and a whole lot of new friends...and that there was a name for my obsession. lol
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

Sophomore year of high school, 1975...listened to my brother's copy of Sundown over and over, then Don Quixote over and over. Picked up Summertime Dream when it was released, and then scoured record stores until by summer I had picked up all the prior releases. First concert was Nashville 1982 (back to back nights with Louisville, Ky too). Time went by, living later in Dallas...late 80s saw him in Ft. Worth twice (1st/2nd row), Dallas amphitheater. Then a dry spell; moved to Virginia in 2000 and saw him at Wolftrap several times (sweltering summer heat), Greensboro, NC. Last year in Roanoke, VA. And in March I'l see my 10th Lightfoot concert in Raleigh, NC. Boy, it was tough in the 70s to get info -- no email, no internet, no cell phones...just hole in the wall record shops. The quest was cooler then though. Joined this group on internet very early...so cool to hear others' stories.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

IYCRMM was my first revelation. Last Time I Saw Her hit even harder.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

the exact nomenclature "lighthead" I don't think was ever mentioned until about 2000 but if you mean "hooked on Lightfoot" my own moment of realisation was certainly in early 1967. Having in 1966 heard Gordon on the then new Montreal FM radio station CJFM (a new venture by the old AM station CJAD) singing first the hit "Spin Spin" then the wonderful "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" in early 1967 in the record department of Morgans (theBay) in the Dorval Shopping Centre across from my apartment I snapped up a copy of Lightfoot!
At that time I would sometimes buy an LP (which by my 1964 and earlier UK experience were in Canada at just over 3 canabucks extremely cheap) on the strength of just one track and then never play the entire album.
But within a very short time I realised that Lightfoot (the man and the album) were something else as there was not a bum track on it.
By the time The Way I Feel was issued coupled with a wonderful first concert at at the New Penelope on May 21 1967
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...icle873339.ece
I had begun a lifelong commitment to being what we now call a Lighthead
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

The seed was most definitely planted in my head during the "Riverboat" and Steele's Tavern" days, which also was the time when Gord's songs were being played on the radio, so the platform was being laid out for me at that time. There was lots of great stuff coming out as well with the many new folk singers at that time.

But I most definitely received my "confirmation" (good catholic boy that I was) at the CBC live studio performance, during the sixties when he performed "Song for A Winter's Night" with the backing of Red Shea and John Stockfish. I was sitting up front maybe about ten feet from Gord. I was sold, or as John says "hooked" right at that special moment.
I recall he missed the lyric at the beginning of the second verse (The smoke is rising in the shadows overhead) and had to go back and do it over.
I was very tempted to blurt it out for him but resisted (lead us not into temptation, another good catholic indoctrination thing).
That session would probably the best I've ever experienced. He also introduced "Face of a Thousand People" at that show.

Another special gig was one he did also with Red and John at "The Rockpile" in Toronto during that same era.
That one was specially for his friend Bob Markle who was injured in a motorcycle accident. I recall him performing "Ballad of the Yarmouth Castle" for his friend as it was one of Bob's favourtite tunes.
It was sort of a party type gig and I remember handing him a beer while he already had several going.
Talk about the "good ol' days." eh?
RJ.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

1972 - I listened to the whole "Don Quixote" album daily for a long stretch. I had heard his stuff before, and liked it, but that was the "moment". Seems like yesterday, LOL.

Bill
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

I have vague memories of hearing the tune Bitter Green back in the late 60's, but didn't investigate who the artist was. Listening to AM radio in Chicago sometime in 1970, I heard the song Poor Little Allison from the Sit Down Young Stranger album and the DJ mentioned afterward it was by a young man from Canada named Gordon Lightfoot. That song really grabbed me for its melody, vocals and rich acoustic guitar sound. I soon purchased Sit Down Young Stranger (later retitled If You Could Read My Mind after the chart success of that song) and I was hooked. That was the beginning of my interest in Gord's music. I eventually purchased Sunday Concert which contained the song Bitter Green that I had heard years before.

In 1971 I attended my first Lightfoot concert where he introduced a young and long-haired Terry Clements who would replace Red Shea on lead guitar.

Here it is 2011, Gord's still performing and I've been a loyal fan going on 41 years!
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

Good one Bill.
It seems many of us had similar experiences.
Another one came to mind was the first time I'd heard "Bitter Green."

It was in a little town just north of Toronto called Alliston; again in the sixties.
We arrived there early as we didn't want to miss out on anything and thought we'd look for a place to go for a drink before the show.
Good luck; this is "drytown" and the only place anyone could a drink there was in the Legion Hall.
Without any connections to sign us in to the Legion we had to do it dry, but it was ok as once we got to the concert hall.
I recall it being in the high school and things came together so our interest became more focused on what was happening on the stage, with the guys setting up things and all.
Again, it was Red and John, and Gord was in really great form. It was the first time I'd "Bitter Green."

I was again "sold."

After he finished the song there was a thunderous round of applause and he made a sort of reference; can't recall the exact words, but it was something to the effect that "it's a good song, isn't it?" And we all went "yeaaa."

The song came out on his next release "Back Here on Earth" and I remember taking a week of holidays from work just to wallow in that recording.

It was also around the time when I was learning to play my own sort of "Travis style" guitar and things were beginning to fall into place pretty good.

What a wonderful era that was. I'm very blessed to have had the experience of living through it and the great threads that appear on this site in some special way make me think more of those very special moments.

Guess it's all about what that great music does but one thing is for certain: it's very clear that it brings many happy moments to a great many people.
RJ.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

I was 12 in 1971 when my parents moved our family to a small town far from where we had always lived. Being shy, my best "friend" for a while was the family record player spinning Classic Lightfoot round and round. I huddled next to the speakers and listened to Gordon's beautiful voice singing "The Last Time I Saw Her" and I knew I was "in love". I couldn't imagine who that man singing was, but I was sure he must be perfect to be able to sing like that and take my loneliness away. That song still takes me back. I was my first Gordon song and it hooked me forever. I played that album so much that I wore it out and had to buy my mom another one. I still know the words to every song!
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

Always enjoyed the music right from the beginning but it was also "The Last Time I Saw Her" that grabbed me back around 1978. Heard it on the radio and had to find out who it was - and was completely hooked for a number of years. Life took over and fast forward to around 1999 when I started lurking about on this site and later learned of the boxed set - heavy into the music again and haven't stopped. Saw Gord in concert the first time at around 1980 and then trotted up to Ontario for a show in 2001 and have been attending 1 - 2 shows per year since then. The music has been such a joy and comfort and inspiration at different parts of my life. What an amazing artist!
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

there's some new additional anecdotes (real gems) sicne we last had a thread like this...i love these...should be archiving these off the homepage/member section...whenever florian decides to reappear, and update the 2008 tour links, lol
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

I was hooked the first time I heard IYCRMM on the radio. I think I was about 14. I started buying the albums, taught myself to play Don Quixote on the guitar (badly) and got my high school boyfriend to take me to my first Lightfoot concert in Kalamazoo, around 1972 I think. Unfortunately, those were the drinking years and he was forgetting lyrics. Still, the music had gotten into my soul, and it's been there ever since. I've always known I'm a Lighthead, and it was great to find this group so that I could give the condition a name.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:57 PM   #18
2silent2breal
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

I would actually prefer the term "Gordhead," but that will probably not catch on.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:22 PM   #19
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

was never crazy about the term either...i'm simply part of the Gord Following

i'm still unsure but could be an agnostic, however i do believe in Gord

then again, the Corfiddler label is pretty fun


family members were spinning GL long before i could discover him...but the Long River and especially Changes were first to stick to my brain...i didnt realize the latter wasn't penned by the man until probably a decade later, it still seems Lightfootian to me...same with On Susan's Floor, another terrific cover vocal performance, imo
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

Liked Gord's music since he first put out "I'm Not Sayin'". Didn't really start to go hard buying Lightfoot cd's and learning to play his music until I bought "Dream Street Rose" in March 1980. Never looked back...
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:01 PM   #21
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Default Re: The Moment Your Realized....I'm A "Lighthead" !

I've probably told this one before, but it started when my younger sister bought IYCRMM album, not long after I got my first guitar.

I was a HS sophomore. My music interests ran to acoustic playing and not barr chord noise making. My sister liked to play her records on the family stereo and rock in the living room rocking chair. She preferred doing this alone.

Of course I'd heard IYCRMM on the radio, but as I heard the rest of the album's songs, it hit me that this was the kind of music I really wanted to learn to play. The variety of tempos and playing styles was wonderful. The intelligent lyrics were equal to the Simon and Garfunkel I'd been listening too, but didn't have the "too urban" tone that S&G had. At least too urban for this boy living in Roanoke, VA.

When my sister would play it, I'd come in to hear it, which would break her solitude. (What 15 year-old brother and 13 year-old sister want to be with each other when they're at that age?) Sometimes she'd leave, because I was there.

Anyway, her interests moved on, mine didn't and here I am.
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