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Old 08-23-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
lighthead2toe
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Default Grosvenor Hall, Belfast

Just returned from a three week holiday in that part of the world friends and let me tell you...that place is LOADED with rich history.

On May 14th, 1981 Gordon Lightfoot appeared on the stage of Grosvenor Hall and made a plea to the people in his audience for peace at a time when there was political instability in Northern Ireland.

Thirty one years later there is now a power sharing agreement in place and other than the odd flare up during ceremonial dates it's a very stable area.

"Somebodies" were listening.

"Must this be the road we are traveling yet,
Must this be the time when all nations forget."(lyrics from Gord's song "Echoes of Heroes)

They decided not to travel any further down that road.

In this case the nations did not forget.

RJ.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
Sundown17
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Default Re: Grosvenor Hall, Belfast

Thanks Ron for this update from Gord's visit in 1981.

Coincidently, I was at the concert in Boston on May 9th, just before they were to fly to Ireland and my date overheard a conversation among Gord's crew about the trip, on his way to the little-concert-goers room during intermission.

And not to digress from this update, BUT (lol) that same day while riding around Boston to find a good and cheap parking spot, at one stop light the people in the car next to us asked where Gord was playing. For the life of us, we couldn't figure out how they would know we were in town for a Gord concert...til we remembered what my license plate looked like...SUNDWN.

Great place for a vaca, Ron. Hope you took plenty of pics and wrote down the details for your future generations to share your trip. Historical.

Diane
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:31 PM   #3
jj
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Default Re: Grosvenor Hall, Belfast

cool story, Diane

ron, were your future generations with you? it all sounds very wonderful

i found a clip from your totally engaging rendition of EOH a few years back

don't know how you nail all those lyrics...you were killing me, with his sooong

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
charlene
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Default Re: Grosvenor Hall, Belfast

May 1981 was a crazy time in Ireland..Bobby Sands had died from his hunger strike in jail, Aer Lingus had been hijacked and riots, murders, protests etc. had been going on for several years. That Lightfoot and his band even went to Ireland for their May 13 concert is a miracle. Peace in Ireland is a good thing!
Send along your pics when you can RJ!
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
lighthead2toe
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Default Re: Grosvenor Hall, Belfast

Thanks guys, and Diane, your story is wonderful. I love hearing about these kinds of happenings. Really cool choice of license plate name as well.

Didn't have the offspring with me on this trip JJ.
Mar and I went with another couple who bought a condo in Coleraine, a town just North of Belfast and we used that as a base and traveled around from there. It's their retirement place and we've been friends for quite some time.

The "Troubles," as they're referred to in Ireland were on at that time as Char mentions and yes, it certainly was a very dangerous place to be.

It was a most courageous thing for Gord to do and clearly he would not underestimate the extreme danger that was so close at hand.
His songs reveal lots and being the rabid fan that I have been for forty odd years he has become somewhat of a mentor to me.
I just read the lyrics. But.....only he would have the answer as to why he would have taken such a risk.

"To take my troubles as they fall
To stand against the icy wind
To guard against confusion and decline."

These are just a few sample words from "Face of a Thousand People."

As the folks who live in that part of the world would say: "Now there's some rather mentoring words, would you not think?"
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #6
youngstranger
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Default Re: Grosvenor Hall, Belfast

As an Irish person it is interesting to read this thread to read about Gord's visit here in the 80s. Reading about it in the past has always been both interesting and somewhat uncomfortable.

The island of Ireland comprised and comprises two states the Republic in the south and the Northern Ireland in the erm, North which is part of the UK. Most of the terrorism, bombings etc. etc. happened in Northern Ireland during this period from the late 60s to the 90s. However, both places became identified as one in the minds of those abroad and so even though the Republic was largely peaceful international bands and musicians avoided it like the plague. Despite the fact that there were more incidents related to the troubles in England than there were in the Republic people couldn't see the distinction and so the Republic (along with the troubled North) became something of a no go area for touring acts. So, big kudos to Gord that he bothered to come here!

In 1975 a group from the Republic, the Miami Showband, were attacked by terrorists when travelling from a gig in the North. 3 band members were killed, thus sealing the fate of all Ireland as a destination for musicians.

Interestingly several performers who played the National Stadium (as Gord did) around this time had some of their sets recorded and shown on TV. Some shows have recently been repeated including one by Don McClean. It would be amazing if Gord's show was filmed, it would be great to see him in action at this stage of his career.

Edited in: Just to be nerdy and anal the Aer Lingus hijacking had nothing to do with the troubles and terrorism, it was some religious nut who wanted the Pope to reveal the the third secret of fatima.*

*I doubt that means much to a lot of people today!

Last edited by youngstranger; 08-24-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:56 PM   #7
johnfowles
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Default Re: Grosvenor Hall, Belfast

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngstranger View Post
Just to be nerdy and anal the Aer Lingus hijacking had nothing to do with the troubles and terrorism, it was some religious nut who wanted the Pope to reveal the the third secret of fatima.*
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngstranger View Post
*I doubt that means much to a lot of people today!
Quite so Y.S. it would I must confess not have meant anything to me back then either
Just to recap on Gord's British Isles tour in 1981
He had started on May 13 with a concert in Dublin which just so happenned to be a few hours after the first assassination attempt on the Pope had taken place in Rome then up to Belfast the next day. then a lot of travelling, firstly over to Liverpool then all the way up to Glasgow before a day off then the trek down to London
then it was up to Brum before a final London concert on the 20th that according to Bru/silverheels who attended was rather controversial
I have a monaural bootleg of the complete 18 May Royal Albert Hall concert
during which Gord was not very chatty between numbers but he did introduce the band that at that time featured both Pee Wee and Mike.
Pee Wee's pedal steel is much in evidence and Mike put in some strong sounds on Canarie Yellow Canoe
An interesting setlist
Gord's upcoming album at that time was Shadows, (not released until 1982) but it was being recorded in Toronto in March and April '81 and on the 18 May setlist were 12 Karat Gold, In My Fashion. a song about wine and a golf inspired toetapper
(that indulgent ditty about every river in Canadar and Keepin' on Yearnin' would of course remain rarities for another 18 years until the fantastic box set during which time I do not recall playing CYC at all. I wonder why??
In introducing his new song Heaven Help The Devil Gord gave it its full (unlikely) title of "Heaven Help The Devil May He Have A Few Unpleasant Memories"
I had previously reported on this in an earlier thread about this great song at
http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showpost.p...08&postcount=1
which contains a link that can use to download an mp3
just before the final number (Old Dance Records) Gord said "my grandfather came over from Manchester in 1910"
Use the following link appropriately to hear the song and the introduction
which also includes Gord talking about the sectarian violence in Ireland and that he had played Belfast before but he was interrupted by a loudly yelled request for Danny Boy but he did oblige another request with a short burst of Bitter Green "wtitten in a London taxicab"
http://johnfowles.org.uk/LIGHTFOOT/L...7s_Records.mp3
if anybody wishes to hear the complete recording drop me a PM
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:08 PM   #8
lighthead2toe
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Default Re: Grosvenor Hall, Belfast

Hi John.

Thanks for the follow up on this.
You are a very formidable fact finding friend.

Looking forward to connecting with you and family at the Massey shows in November.

Cheers,

RJ.
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