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Old 05-09-2004, 12:34 PM   #1
muklucannie
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Sun, May 9, 2004


Endless Fire

THE FIELDS ARE LOOKING GREENER ON THE SUMMER SIDE OF LIFE FOR CANUCK LEGEND

By JANE STEVENSON, TORONTO SUN




ANYBODY LOOKING for songs about Gordon Lightfoot's brush with death on his latest album, Harmony, might be disappointed. Only because the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter wrote and recorded the album's 11 original tracks -- nine in the studio and two live recordings from Massey Hall -- before his near-fatal stomach aneurysm in September 2002.

Still, the 65-year-old Lightfoot does touch on the subject of mortality on Harmony, in stores Tuesday.

"In a funny way some of the ones on this record deal with it," Lightfoot said recently, down the line from his Toronto home. "I have a way of looking ahead.

"River Of Light is like that. It's that dreamy, peaceful, end-game type of scene."

The song in question contains the line: "Headin' off on a river of dreams, be a part of a river it seems / Can you tell me how long ... must I travel on?"

Lightfoot, who fell seriously ill just before a concert at The Opera House in his native Orillia, also makes references to death on another new song called Couchiching, which gets its title from the area's local lake.

"I've only played the song once in my whole life and it was the Friday night in Orillia -- one of the two concerts that we were doing when I got sick -- I never made it to the Saturday night one," Lightfoot said.

But the local crowd reaction, as you might imagine, was overwhelming.

"They loved it. They absolutely loved it. They went crazy. Even the guy that was yelling for Cotton Jenny all night, he even shut up after that one."

Lightfoot, whose reputation as a Canadian songwriter ranks right up there with the likes of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, said he was just inspired by the sound of the word as much as anything else.

"It was just an idea of working with the word Couchiching. I mean, it's perfect. It's just a perfect word to get something going with. I thought it would be fun. And it's about the hometown and it's got a line in it too that says, 'When I do my final number, it will be by Lake Couchiching.

"Truer words may not have ever been spoken," he added with a chuckle. "But I don't plan to retire so let's not worry about that."

No kidding.

Lightfoot worked on Harmony's post-production just two weeks after waking from a six-week coma in McMaster Hospital in Hamilton. His entire hospital stay lasted three months.

Since then he became one of the first inductees into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in December and was honoured with a three-night tribute at Hugh's Room in January.

"The tribute show was very nice. I got up on stage. I did a little bit of business with Catherine McKinnon because I've known her for years and I got them all laughing," Lightfoot said.

But it was his Companion of the Order of Canada honour in December that really made an impression as Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson came to his house for a private ceremony.

"Adrienne came by here with two cars, a soldier, a driver and a bodyguard, and presented it to me, right here at my house, in my living room, and that's where I have it," Lightfoot said. "The Companion of the Order. That's the one that they give you if you keep on being productive and you don't flag at the switch."

Since his burst artery, Lightfoot has undergone three major surgeries, most recently in February, and has had a couple minor surgeries since then.

So the prospect of him touring anytime soon is still a way off despite the fact he already has mentioned giving a benefit concert for McMaster University Medical Centre in the fall.

"Well, if the two years go by and I feel strong enough, there's no reason why I shouldn't," Lightfoot said. "I could start by doing some stuff around southern Ontario, not Toronto necessarily, we probably won't do that until May of 2005.

"Let me see how it goes," he continued. "I've got to make it through to the end of this run. It usually takes two years (to recover) and I've talked to quite a few people about this too.You know, if I'm feeling good when that time comes, I'll start booking some stuff."

In the meantime, there's always his new video.

Right before his most recent trip to the hospital, Lightfoot made a clip -- his first in 23 years -- for Harmony's first single, Inspiration Lady.

It was filmed in a warehouse near Toronto's waterfront in early February and features Lightfoot playing acoustic guitar and women of descending ages -- a mature-looking painter, a younger musician, a girl skater, etc.

"I wish they would have showed more of my face," Lightfoot said. "They could have, you know, 'cause I was ready. I was up and prepared that day. I think they thought I was being a little retiring because I was ill or something. I was ready for a closeup. You have to keep it out in the forefront of your thoughts if you're going to be doing a video. So you practise. I'll practise in front of a mirror, which I did this time. You get as close as you can and I got the guitar playing just about perfect."

One thing is for sure, Lightfoot may be down, but he's definitely not out. He's still got a bit of the minx left in him.

"Actually, the topic got turned a little bit," Lightfoot said of the video treatment. "It was supposed to be just a little bit more on the seamier side. More like a man and a woman kind of a thing. But the director showed me a treatment showing the woman painting and the little girl skating, you know things like that, that made me like it from a different point of view."

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Old 05-09-2004, 12:34 PM   #2
Char1
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Sun, May 9, 2004


Endless Fire

THE FIELDS ARE LOOKING GREENER ON THE SUMMER SIDE OF LIFE FOR CANUCK LEGEND

By JANE STEVENSON, TORONTO SUN




ANYBODY LOOKING for songs about Gordon Lightfoot's brush with death on his latest album, Harmony, might be disappointed. Only because the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter wrote and recorded the album's 11 original tracks -- nine in the studio and two live recordings from Massey Hall -- before his near-fatal stomach aneurysm in September 2002.

Still, the 65-year-old Lightfoot does touch on the subject of mortality on Harmony, in stores Tuesday.

"In a funny way some of the ones on this record deal with it," Lightfoot said recently, down the line from his Toronto home. "I have a way of looking ahead.

"River Of Light is like that. It's that dreamy, peaceful, end-game type of scene."

The song in question contains the line: "Headin' off on a river of dreams, be a part of a river it seems / Can you tell me how long ... must I travel on?"

Lightfoot, who fell seriously ill just before a concert at The Opera House in his native Orillia, also makes references to death on another new song called Couchiching, which gets its title from the area's local lake.

"I've only played the song once in my whole life and it was the Friday night in Orillia -- one of the two concerts that we were doing when I got sick -- I never made it to the Saturday night one," Lightfoot said.

But the local crowd reaction, as you might imagine, was overwhelming.

"They loved it. They absolutely loved it. They went crazy. Even the guy that was yelling for Cotton Jenny all night, he even shut up after that one."

Lightfoot, whose reputation as a Canadian songwriter ranks right up there with the likes of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, said he was just inspired by the sound of the word as much as anything else.

"It was just an idea of working with the word Couchiching. I mean, it's perfect. It's just a perfect word to get something going with. I thought it would be fun. And it's about the hometown and it's got a line in it too that says, 'When I do my final number, it will be by Lake Couchiching.

"Truer words may not have ever been spoken," he added with a chuckle. "But I don't plan to retire so let's not worry about that."

No kidding.

Lightfoot worked on Harmony's post-production just two weeks after waking from a six-week coma in McMaster Hospital in Hamilton. His entire hospital stay lasted three months.

Since then he became one of the first inductees into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in December and was honoured with a three-night tribute at Hugh's Room in January.

"The tribute show was very nice. I got up on stage. I did a little bit of business with Catherine McKinnon because I've known her for years and I got them all laughing," Lightfoot said.

But it was his Companion of the Order of Canada honour in December that really made an impression as Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson came to his house for a private ceremony.

"Adrienne came by here with two cars, a soldier, a driver and a bodyguard, and presented it to me, right here at my house, in my living room, and that's where I have it," Lightfoot said. "The Companion of the Order. That's the one that they give you if you keep on being productive and you don't flag at the switch."

Since his burst artery, Lightfoot has undergone three major surgeries, most recently in February, and has had a couple minor surgeries since then.

So the prospect of him touring anytime soon is still a way off despite the fact he already has mentioned giving a benefit concert for McMaster University Medical Centre in the fall.

"Well, if the two years go by and I feel strong enough, there's no reason why I shouldn't," Lightfoot said. "I could start by doing some stuff around southern Ontario, not Toronto necessarily, we probably won't do that until May of 2005.

"Let me see how it goes," he continued. "I've got to make it through to the end of this run. It usually takes two years (to recover) and I've talked to quite a few people about this too.You know, if I'm feeling good when that time comes, I'll start booking some stuff."

In the meantime, there's always his new video.

Right before his most recent trip to the hospital, Lightfoot made a clip -- his first in 23 years -- for Harmony's first single, Inspiration Lady.

It was filmed in a warehouse near Toronto's waterfront in early February and features Lightfoot playing acoustic guitar and women of descending ages -- a mature-looking painter, a younger musician, a girl skater, etc.

"I wish they would have showed more of my face," Lightfoot said. "They could have, you know, 'cause I was ready. I was up and prepared that day. I think they thought I was being a little retiring because I was ill or something. I was ready for a closeup. You have to keep it out in the forefront of your thoughts if you're going to be doing a video. So you practise. I'll practise in front of a mirror, which I did this time. You get as close as you can and I got the guitar playing just about perfect."

One thing is for sure, Lightfoot may be down, but he's definitely not out. He's still got a bit of the minx left in him.

"Actually, the topic got turned a little bit," Lightfoot said of the video treatment. "It was supposed to be just a little bit more on the seamier side. More like a man and a woman kind of a thing. But the director showed me a treatment showing the woman painting and the little girl skating, you know things like that, that made me like it from a different point of view."

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Old 05-09-2004, 09:06 PM   #3
Don Quixote
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I envy you folks in Canada! Could someone please post if Gord decides to play? I would fly out for that! I cannot imagine a world where our hero is a memory. It saddens me to even contomplate that! God bless Gord!!!!!
Sean
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Old 05-09-2004, 09:06 PM   #4
searam
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I envy you folks in Canada! Could someone please post if Gord decides to play? I would fly out for that! I cannot imagine a world where our hero is a memory. It saddens me to even contomplate that! God bless Gord!!!!!
Sean
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Old 05-10-2004, 04:07 AM   #5
Borderstone
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Hey! ...and someone (they know who they are) come pick me up!!!
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