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Old 05-21-2009, 02:00 PM   #1
ANTHONY ROBERSON
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Default More Gord Memories

No other songwriter brings out as many emotions and memories for me as does Gord. I'll ask you guys a question after I finish telling one of mine.

I can remember as if it were yesterday when I was in the Navy (1984-86) at the ship's store (back in the waning days of the cassette). I would always ask what new music they had, and would be disappointed to hear stuff like "We got BANANARAMA." <actually, "Cruel Summer" was kind of a cool song, but I digress!>
I can remember the serious trepidation when I saw EAST OF MIDNIGHT-GORDON LIGHTFOOT in the rack. At first, I thought "I bet it's some compliation again, let me check which songs they put on this one." Man, I almost jumped like a kid at Christmas when I saw the new song titles. I almost took the cassette to my rack immediately without paying for it! (A Store Keeper 2nd class who was twice my size "reminded" me to drop the cash before I made my dash!).

Every time to this day when I hear "Stay Loose" I get thrown back on the U.S.S. McCandless as a 21 year old kid on the high seas listening to Gord. I also remember writing a good friend of mine who was ashore, and also loved Lightfoot's writings, and giving him my "reviews" of each track on the album (I have to admit, I panned "A Lesson In Love" pretty heavily...forgive me!).

My friends were all into rap, country or big-hair bands back then, and they would ride me hard (in humor of course) about listening to Lightfoot, but I wore that cassette out and it lasted all through the moves and tranfers during my service.

Can you remember a place you were when you found a new Lightfoot album, and if so, did the moment stand out?
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANTHONY ROBERSON View Post
Can you remember a place you were when you found a new Lightfoot album, and if so, did the moment stand out?
Yeah. I was at a now defunct store chain called Fed Mart. I was in hot pursuit of "If I Could", which I had heard on the radio. This is the early 70's, and Lightfoot was not a well-known name. Thumbing through the LPs, I found IYCRMM. It was my first Lightfoot album, and the world was forever changed.

I love "Stay Loose"......it's so positive.

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Old 05-21-2009, 05:30 PM   #3
Dave, Melbourne,Australia
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I remember stumbling upon "Waiting For You" in Warrnambool, which is on the coast about 3 hours west of Melbourne. And "Harmony" at my favourite music store, Basement Discs, which is in the centre of Melbourne. That was when I first heard of Gord's near-fatal aneurysm. I noticed "A Painter Passing Through" reviewed in the Green Guide of Melbourne's Age newspaper.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:31 PM   #4
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I can't tell you exactly were I was when the records came out... But I know I joined a record club back in 1970 or 1971 that gave you 25 albums (yes LPs) for $ 1.00. and with nothing else to buy ever... Anyways, I ordered Classic Lightfoot, The Best of Lightfoot and Sunday Concert (All UA albums) the only Lightfoot albums they had. I know I also ordered the available Kenny Rogers and First Edition albums also.
That's how I started my Lightfoot collection, and yes I eagerly awaited taking the albums or tapes out, and listening with lyrics in hand as I'm sure all of you did also.
It also seems to me that I always wanted to be alone for the first listen. I didn't want to get distracted by conversation when I was trying to tune into the new Gord record.

Kevin

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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I can remember back in the late 60's going to hear GL at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. I bought my ticket a week in advance, paid $3.50 for a seat on the aisle in row 6. It was Gordon, Red Shea, and Rick Haynes.

I mentioned the low ticket price to a friend of mine who had transferred to our college from Univ. California Riverside. He said, "Heck, two years ago we had him at our fraternity house, and I sat right in front of him for nothing."

I've probably been to 50 concerts or more over the last 40 years, but that first one will always be a favorite, second only to sitting at Massey Hall in row 2 next to Jenny Rivard.
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:42 PM   #6
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FANatic? Years ago, bought a Gordon Lightfoot compilation on K-Tel Records in a small 5 & dime in Orillia Ontario - just to have it all...
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad2mak View Post
I've probably been to 50 concerts or more over the last 40 years, but that first one will always be a favorite, second only to sitting at Massey Hall in row 2 next to Jenny Rivard.
One of my favorite concerts too.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:29 PM   #8
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A new album moment.....been a few of them. One of the standouts was Sundown, as I was struck by all the denim, the beard, and that big Gibson 12-string. Seemed like a big change.
I was "meandering along" in a music store early in 1980 when I happened upon "Dream Street Rose" - it had just arrived. I grabbed it right away.
When I was a kid in '68 or '69, I came across a newspaper flyer advertising records at a record store - Toronto somewhere, I think - and it was "Back Here on Earth" that had just come out.
My grade seven school teacher was a huge fan - that was 1970 - and my uncle had "Sunday Concert" which I borrowed from him.
I had always anticipated new Gordon Lightfoot records, but was totally surprised by "Salute" in 1983 - I had just bought "Shadows" and didn't really expect another new record so soon. Saw "Knotty Pine" performed on TV at about that time.
I don't know.....I could go on and on...Always looked forward to new Gordon Lightfoot records.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:31 PM   #9
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By the way Jenney, great picture of you and Gord.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:13 PM   #10
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i found Summertime Dream on vinyl for 50 cents at a 2nd hand store (Cash Converters), back in 1997... up to then, i only knew sundown and IYCRMM, but after listening to summertime, i never looked back!
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:43 AM   #11
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Anthony, dug this out from a fave monthly commentary, enjoy:


"...it's been a rewarding experience following Gordon Lightfoot's musical journey all these years. I started listening to him as a 12 year old in 1967. Until I heard him, it was all Beatles, all the time.

Since then, I've awaited each new release from Lightfoot with undiminished anticipation. Looking back, each album is like a signpost, stirring vivid memories of the circumstances surrounding the point I was at in my life when the album was released.

Some cases in point - taking up guitar (Back Here On Earth); my first summer job (Sit Down Young Stranger); leaving home for the first time to attend university (Sundown); that idyllic, yet bittersweet summer of 1976 (Summertime Dream); a year spent travelling (Endless Wire); birth of my first child (Waiting For You).

I can remember as a high school student, saving my money to buy Don Quixote and when the day finally came to make the purchase, I awoke to a freak April snowstorm and can clearly remember walking up the middle of the street to the record store because the sidewalks weren't yet shovelled. Or while changing trains in Montreal in 1975, I wandered into a store to pass the time, only to find the brand new Cold On The Shoulder staring back from the shelves!

These are just examples, but every album is etched firmly in my conscience, from the day I first layed my eyes and hands on it in the store, through those first critical listening sessions - always privately, to soak up every new nuance of word and music without distraction, the time and place in my life forever colouring how I hear those particular songs. His music opened the door for me to explore artists like Dylan - and many more too numerous to mention. But to my mind Lightfoot is the epitome of what a singer/songwriter should aspire to be.

Watching how he has conducted his career all these years has been an inspiration for me in many aspects of life, even extending far beyond music..."

Wayne Francis ( www.lightfoot.ca )
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:19 PM   #12
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geeze - I feel so bad..I have no memories that pop out about purchasing any albums/cd's etc. until Harmony actually.
I just took it for granted that there'd be another CD like I took it for granted that he'd always be at Massey.
I guess because there was always stuff in the papers about him it was never like he was 'gone' for any time.
It's hard to explain..
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:13 PM   #13
ANTHONY ROBERSON
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It figures something so cool to read came from Wayne Francis. I enjoy his site daily.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I guess because there was always stuff in the papers about him it was never like he was 'gone' for any time.
It's hard to explain..
Understood. That's the difference. It was hard to find any info about him in the states. It was a trip to the music store to check, and then like magic (especially in his prolific early 70's period) one would appear. It was like finding another Easter egg.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:45 PM   #15
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hi Kevin, I actually tried that critical first listening with "lyrics in hand" but it didnt work out well for me...since then i've let my ears do 100% of the absorbing and just let Gord recite the lyrics which are usually 99% decipherable (and i've come to listen with eyes closed anyhow)...i always fear the last track is soon approaching

some tunes get airplay on radio up here before album release and it was hard to avoid these sneak peaks in the 70/80s so a few tracks were never a complete surprise during that solitudinal virgin listening...anyhow, it's usually the non-radio friendly tunes that would get me most excited (and still do)...i envy folks just discovering his catalogue and still have so many wonderful 'premiers' awaiting them

anyhow, back to the "lyrics in hand" comment...when i eventually dove into the Songbook and Harmony CD booklets, even though i hung on every word, I simultaneously developed a large headache trying to make out that small font...don't we all miss those LP inserts with 'seniors sized fonts'?

cheers,
jim

ps) If I Could...what a cool quest, rm....i've not even heard that on radio up here...you were mining for piece of silver and struck a chunk of gold
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:47 AM   #16
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Ann Arbor, Mich. 197(?)2 - Del Rio bar. The whole place rocking with, if I'm not mistaken, The Wreck. At Mr. Flood's Party, the same scene. But, like Gord, don't make that scene any more.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:27 PM   #17
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My first Gordon Lightfoot purchase was at a used record store about 15 or so years ago. I had been a fan in the 70's, but was only a child then. As I was browsing the music in the store, I came across the Gord's Gold cassette tape, and I vividly recall thinking to myself..."I loved the song Sundown" and bought the tape. Over the next couple of years I wore it completely out, until one day, lo and behold, i received an e-mail from Ticketmaster that said "Don't Miss Gordon Lightfoot." I had not been following his career, had no idea that he was still performing, and didn't even know about the health troubles. And the rest, as they say, is history. I went from being a fan as a kid in the 70's, to falling totally in love 20+ years later as a result of the used music store purchase of Gord's Gold. My collection is much larger now, although not complete, and I savor each and every "purchase moment" as I do each and every concert I have attended since.

Wayne, I loved your story.

Jenny, I loved the photo too, when was it taken? You and Gord look fabulously happy in it.

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Old 06-11-2009, 09:33 PM   #18
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The only one that stands out was finding "A Painter Passing Through" shortly after it was released. I called my wife over "look at this !!!" Took me a few seconds to decide to buy it, took me a few minutes to get used to the voice (in the car CD player), and then to the internet to see what he was up to. After having been a fan since the late 60s I caught up quickly, and the rest as they say, is history, LOL.

I actually bought other albums new but the question was "can you remember ?" Nope, cannot...

Bill
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:22 PM   #19
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I remember as a kid hearing Sundown on the radio. I already knew who Gordon Lightfoot was at the time but my family didn't have any of his music. So on one of our family outings in our station wagon to a local shopping store, I bolted to the record department and bought the 45. You know, the little records where you had to snap in the circular plastic ring so it would fit on the stem of the LP turntable? I couldn't wait to get home and play it, and I did, over and over and over again and again and again. I'll never forgot it. My mom and I thought the song had such a unique sound. Of course at that time, my young ears had no idea what the song was r e a l l y about.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:59 PM   #20
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I still get a laugh out of this scene. I was a Gord fan for a year or two and in 1969 I bought "Lightfoot", which to me, then, was a new set of songs. I was very broke at the time. After I bought it for all of about 4 dollars, I had buyers remorse and took it back. This took some pleading to the clerk, believe me; it was only a couple of weeks later, I bought it again. (no, finances hadn't changed...perhaps just outlook)
Hey, I'd mortgage the house now for a new Gordon CD!
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANTHONY ROBERSON View Post
Can you remember a place you were when you found a new Lightfoot album, and if so, did the moment stand out?
It was January or February 1978, East Lansing, Michigan. I was attending Michigan State University. One afternoon my roommate and I trudged through the snow to the business district just to bum around, window shop, etc ... As students we didn't have a lot of money so most of our shopping was "window shopping." There was a $10 bill in my pocket but I didn't think it was going anywhere that afternoon.

Into a record store and within 5 seconds we hear a cover of "Pussywillows Cattails" start playing on the speakers. At almost the same instant, I notice for the first time about 20 Gord faces looking at me from a display of "Endless Wire" album covers. My roommate, not yet noticing the display, but hearing the tune on the speakers, says "Hey, listen to what's playing?" I replied with "Hey, look at what's selling!!!" The $10 bill in my pocket found a purpose, a very good purpose, as I brought yet another Lightfoot masterpiece into my growing collection.

(I never heard that cover of "Pussywillows, Cattails" again, but I found it an interesting coincidence that I would hear it at the exact moment I laid eyes on a new GL album)
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:34 AM   #22
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I had the 45rpm disc for If You Could Read My Mind, but had no idea who Gord was...I was just a kid. Then while plowing through my brother's Beatles albums I came across Sundown and played it endlessly over and over (old days of watching the album drop and needle arm lift and swing across). Then I got his copy of Don Quixote and played both over and over. This was 1975 and I was really beginning to play guitar a lot.
Then I started the album quest and the first one I bought was the newly released Summertime Dream. After that I drove (new license at 16!) all over to record stores in western Ky and Tenn. picking up the older albums until I had them all. It was a magical time of discovery. The later years were less fun -- the angst of wondering when another album would come out, and it taking so long between projects. Endless Wire came out my senior year of high school, and I remember picking up Dream Street Rose and Salute (the first tour I saw him in concert)...but just all the waiting...and no internet too bring news to remote places like the farmlands of Kentucky. You guys have been a blessing of pictures, stories, and video...it sort of recaptures those early days of discovering old albums!
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ANTHONY ROBERSON View Post
No other songwriter brings out as many emotions and memories for me as does Gord. I'll ask you guys a question after I finish telling one of mine.

I can remember as if it were yesterday when I was in the Navy (1984-86) at the ship's store (back in the waning days of the cassette). I would always ask what new music they had, and would be disappointed to hear stuff like "We got BANANARAMA." <actually, "Cruel Summer" was kind of a cool song, but I digress!>
I can remember the serious trepidation when I saw EAST OF MIDNIGHT-GORDON LIGHTFOOT in the rack. At first, I thought "I bet it's some compliation again, let me check which songs they put on this one." Man, I almost jumped like a kid at Christmas when I saw the new song titles. I almost took the cassette to my rack immediately without paying for it! (A Store Keeper 2nd class who was twice my size "reminded" me to drop the cash before I made my dash!).

Every time to this day when I hear "Stay Loose" I get thrown back on the U.S.S. McCandless as a 21 year old kid on the high seas listening to Gord. I also remember writing a good friend of mine who was ashore, and also loved Lightfoot's writings, and giving him my "reviews" of each track on the album (I have to admit, I panned "A Lesson In Love" pretty heavily...forgive me!).

My friends were all into rap, country or big-hair bands back then, and they would ride me hard (in humor of course) about listening to Lightfoot, but I wore that cassette out and it lasted all through the moves and tranfers during my service.

Can you remember a place you were when you found a new Lightfoot album, and if so, did the moment stand out?
I can remember being in a local Wal-Marts thumbing through the racks when lo & behold, I found a copy of Gord's Gold. It had material on it that I'd never heard before, and ever since, I try to order whtever of his music that I can find on CD's. I'm telling you, I haven't been the same since.
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:04 AM   #24
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Mid seventies, I happened to have enough money for an album, and was in the Music Center in Ashland, WI looking for one. I wanted to get the best one I could find and chose Cold On the Shoulder. I walked home feeling glad about what I had bought, thinking I just bought the best record in the store.(silly) The moment stands out for some reason. It was a nice, sunny day.

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Old 06-15-2009, 01:02 PM   #25
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I would have to say that the biggest highlight that sticks out in my memory was in the mid to late sixties when the CBC in Toronto were advertising to have people come to their studio to make up an audience for a TV show they were doing which included Gordon Lightfoot when he had Red Shea and John Stockfish with him.

We were lucky enough to be seated directly in front of the band and it was that night he sang "Face of a Thousand People" which I'd never heard before but was immediately hooked on that song.

Reading the lyrics it's not to difficult to see that this man was ahead of his time.

The Lightfoot era was in full swing then so it really was a mind blowing experience just being there.

It was a time when the bar, coffee house scene was exiting and the concert hall experience was being born for Gordon Lightfoot and us all.

Of course at that time and living in Toronto there' a host of other memories that I can relate to but we'd probably need to go into page 2 and maybe 3 to get them all in.

Very nice choice of topic Anthony.

Cheers, RJ.
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