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Old 01-21-2006, 09:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kitchener ON
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Screen name: Staiduk.
Real name: David R. Organ
Occupation: Self Defense instructor; creator, Great Wave SD training system.
Retired soldier; Canadian Armed Forces, former industrial safety rep.

I just picked up 'Harmony' today; and was totally blown away. I've long enjoyed Gordon Lightfoot's music; and the warmth and timbre of that wonderfully unique voice. I honestly believe that Harmony is the best album he's made yet.
(As well as possibly the best song; though 'Sundown' remains my favourite; since it so accurately reflects my own )

Every song on this CD is elegantly crafted, thoughtful and beautifully recorded. Though his voice is much thinner than it used to be and has a noticeable quaver from age; it still has that same lingering resonance and easygoing soul that's made him such an iconic figure of Canadian culture.

It's too bad I only found out today that he'll be in Niagara Falls 26-18; the show's likely sold out and I'm teaching a seminar those days anyway. Rats - I would have dearly loved to have seen the concert. Oh well; there's always October.

Anyway, I have a question: I was reading a few press releases regarding his return to the stage; and they all seem to say what seems right to me - that he's a warm, generous entertainer. However I was mentioning this album to a couple of friends that saw him some years ago down in the States; and they told me something very different: that on stage he was a 'veritable tyrant' who refused to bond with the audience in any way.

Odd. The person I was talking to is above reproach in terms of opinion; so I'm wondering if his performance that day was the exception; not the rule. In other words; overall what is Mr. Lightfoot's common behaviour like on stage?

Thanks my new friends!
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:08 PM   #2
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As I'm relying on memories from the early 70's, and 80's, I tend to say your friends' appraisals were correct, although I would never use the word "tyrant" as a descriptive. "Distant" would be my choice. The music spoke for itself, and that was enough. What I've gathered from more recent reviews posted in this forum is that he has become more

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Old 01-22-2006, 01:43 AM   #3
The Rez
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Balboa, CA, US of A
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Yes, stage manner has changed . . .

Back in the HayDay Days, Gord would say very, very little - but sing volumes. I recall one Stand Out concert in LA at the old open-air Universal Ampheater were he spoke only "Good Evening" and "Here's a tune from a friend. I've know Kris for a long time" then sang Bobbie McGee.

However, that was also the night he sang Affair on 8th Avenue like I'd never heard before or since. He came to the half-cadence just before The Riddle and paused for a breathtakingly long time . . . during which nobody made the smallest noise. The pregnanat pause went on . . . and on . . . and, yes, on.

So, if your friend was expecting a Neil Diamond Entertainer, he would have been sorely disappointed.

Gord took that signature bow at the end - and a small wave - but no words.

Be assured, he was not then - nor is he now - ever cold off stage and when meeting folks.

I do enjoy his Enjoyment showing these days on-stage. And each new concert I'm able to attend is a new adventure in wonderment. Only wish I could travel around like Johnny Fowles (Hey, John . . .you always make me smile.)


The Rez
I came to Love the Music
Before I came to Be
[Psalm 139:13]
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:36 AM   #4
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He is interacting with the audience and making jokes. Great concerts, I hope you will be able to attend one and see for yourself.
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:03 AM   #5
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Until the last few years I'd only seen him at Massey Hall every year/18 months - going back to mid 70's. WHile not a big talker I do recall him talking about his songs, making jokes, tuning his guitars and having interactions with the band.
Perhaps being at home made him more comfortable but I've never seen any kind of 'tyrant' or behaviour to suggest that description.
His philosophy is to let the music speak for itself and try to perform as many tunes as he can...and idle chit chat gets in the way of that goal.
Offstage he is humble and quiet and generous with his time for fans.
Beyond that we fans can only speculate as to his conduct with colleagues, friends and family.
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:59 AM   #6
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Thanks for your answers friends; very informative.

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Old 01-22-2006, 04:55 PM   #7
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Hey Staiduk,Borderstone here. 1st up,welcome!

I can only give my "opinion" of '70s Gordon. I've seen early 70s clips where he seems pretty laid back and friendly too the audience.
In a clip of "Sundown" from a 1974 NBC "Midnight Special",he even encourages the audience to clap along.

I think if he were different in the latter 1/2,it would be to the personal problems I've heard so much about. The divorce,his drinking,WB not being to supportive and eventual low sales of his LP's.

...or,maybe your frieds just saw him on an "off" night.

I saw him in 2002 by the way and he's perfectly "hospitable". :D
"A knight of the road,going back to a place where he might get warm." - Borderstone
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