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Old 11-17-2021, 10:54 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
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Default TORONTO SUN article-Nov.17/2021

LEGENDARY LIGHTFOOT: After breaking wrist, iconic songwriter, 83, set to reopen Massey Hall
Author of the article:Jane Stevenson
Publishing date:Nov 17, 2021

Having just turned 83 years old on Wednesday, Lightfoot is in serious prep mode to reopen Massey Hall after three years of renovations with a trio of sold-out shows Nov. 25-27.

“I suppose I could have said maybe it shouldn’t be me that does it,” said Lightfoot, who has played the hallowed Toronto venue more than any other performer with the latest run marking his 170th performance.

“Like I’m going to show up whether I perform or not. And I’m quite sure at least part of my organization would show up for the (re) opening. So I said, ‘well, if we’re going to be there, we might as well do it.’ I’m looking forward to it. I never started counting (my performances). It became my place for me to worship the crowd. Not for them to worship me.”

But one thing almost got in his way.

Lightfoot slipped and fell in the kitchen of his Toronto home back in August and broke his right wrist.

“Well, my hand feels like cement,” said Lightfoot.

The folk icon says he’s doing physiotherapy three times a week, even tried acupuncture twice (but it didn’t do anything), is walking a lot for exercise, and is practicing up a storm with his band at Canterbury studios on Dufferin.

He says he’s lucky he didn’t do more damage.

“The wrist is practically healed,” said Lightfoot. “It’s the hand. I was lucky on this particular (fall) that I didn’t also break my hip at the same time. I came up with a hematoma on my hip that’s half the size of a football. And it went away in three weeks. The wrist was a compound fracture and had to be operated on. It has a piece of steel in it with 10 support screws. It’s quite remarkable how they were able to repair it. The repair work was amazing actually. But the problem is it interferes with my guitar playing on my six-string. (He says he’s fine on his 12-string with a flat guitar pick) If I could get my index finger working right now, I’d be very happy.”

Lightfoot, who will load into Massey Hall on Nov. 24, got a sneak peek of the renovations when he introduced The Tragically Hip and Feist’s Juno Awards performance there back in June.

“The whole inside was done,” said Lightfoot. “It was looking pretty good.”

Lightfoot says normally he plays about 25 tunes a show but currently is down to about 17 songs this time so he has openers, Tom Rush on Nov. 25-26 and The Good Brothers on Nov. 27.

“If I’m going to do that, I want to have an opening act for the good of the crowd,” said Lightfoot.

“I made sure we had some real good people lined up there. Fun evenings all around. I saw Tom two years ago at Hugh’s Room in (Toronto) and he was just as I always knew him. We’ve done shows before. And The Good Brothers, we’ve been measuring one another for the last 35 years.”

A week after the Massey Hall gigs, Lightfoot will head to the U.S. to do nine shows. He’s also rescheduled his Casino Rama date, two hours north of Toronto, for Jan. 21.

“None of us is getting any younger,” said Lightfoot with a chuckle.

“We’re all aware of that. And if we can be doing it, we might as well be doing it.”
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