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Old 03-26-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
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Default Dylan and Lightfoot at The Junos

today's National Post: regarding the presenting of a Juno to Lightfoot in the early 80's:

"Then there was the show in the early 1980s, when Bob Dylan appeared to be confused while presenting an award to Gordon Lightfoot. "He wandered onstage," recalls Reynolds, "absolutely stoned, looking around at the set, totally oblivious to the fact that there was a show going and that he was on television."

whole article:
By Maria Kubacki

Nickelback, Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams and Michael BublÚ: this year's Juno Awards boasts a lineup of so many big-name artists that it might as well be the Grammys - or, depending on how you feel about Nickelback, possibly a music festival in hell.

Love them or hate them, there's no denying the international stature of this year's performers and presenters. These days, homegrown musicians more than hold their own on the world stage, and Juno organizers have plenty of big names to choose from.

But in the beginning, there was Anne Murray - and as one of the country's few recognizable names, she was called upon to appear at the Junos so often that it got be, well, a little embarrassing.

"It was always a struggle because there were a relatively limited number of genuine Canadian stars, and it was always tough going back to the Anne Murrays of this world, who got a little tired," says retired Universal Music Canada boss Ross Reynolds, a founding board member of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), which has been organizing the Junos for nearly 40 years.

Reynolds, who was chair of CARAS from 2001 to 2006, remembers the bad old days when Juno organizers had the unenviable task of scaring up acts to perform at the fledgling Canadian music awards back in the 1970s.

Murray still holds the record for most Juno awards - 24 in all, four of them in 1980 alone. But the Canadian music industry has come a long way since the days of scrounging around for talent when the Junos were in their infancy.

The origins of the awards go back to 1970, when the publishers of the music industry trade publication RPM organized the Gold Leaf Awards in Toronto, with RPM readers voting on the winners.

The following year the awards were renamed in honour of Pierre Juneau, then head of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and responsible for implementing the Canadian Content Regulations in 1971.

The Junos were first telecast in 1975 on CBC, and by 1978 were reaching an audience of more than two million.

But the show was far from polished, and then-unknown names sometimes got mangled: Bruce Cockburn was once introduced as Bruce Cock-Burn.

There were other memorable gaffes - such as when disco queen Patsy Gallant (best remembered for her 1976 hit From New York to L.A.) got so excited upon winning an award that she bypassed the stairs and awkwardly clambered up onto the stage with her dress in disarray, inadvertently mooning the audience in the process.

Then there was the show in the early 1980s, when Bob Dylan appeared to be confused while presenting an award to Gordon Lightfoot. "He wandered onstage," recalls Reynolds, "absolutely stoned, looking around at the set, totally oblivious to the fact that there was a show going and that he was on television."

And who could forget Shania Twain playing Juno host in a series of body-hugging dresses based on NHL uniforms, or when Alanis Morissette whipped off her clothes to appear in a "nude" bodysuit with a cartoonishly enormous patch of faux pubic hair?

The evolution of the Canadian music industry is the single biggest reason the Juno Awards have gone from bush league to legit. Before Canadian content rules were introduced in 1971, requiring commercial radio stations to play 30% homegrown music (now 35%), there wasn't much of an industry to speak of.

"There wasn't the infrastructure," says Reynolds of the Junos' early days. "There were branch operations here that just promoted the U.S. hits. Radio didn't really want to play Canadian records."

There were no places for bands to play, no promoters, no agents, no record companies that took the time to promote domestic product, says Reynolds, who arrived in Canada from the U.S. in 1978.

Now artists no longer have to leave Canada to become successful - the Tragically Hip have never managed to break through in the U.S. but are huge stars at home.

The Junos have grown and changed along with the Canadian music business, in the process becoming such a mainstream cultural institution that they've drawn criticism for being too commercial, too predictable, too boring - and not representative enough of the full range of Canadian music.

This year's host, comic Russell Peters, admits he never had any interest in the Junos. "Look, the Junos really didn't have any appeal to me," he said recently. "Call it like it is: It was made for older, white Canadians, and I was neither of those."

Peters would like to see urban music get a higher profile at the awards.

Other complaints have focused on the quantity vs. quality question. The nominations for the major Juno categories - including album of the year, artist of the year and group of the year - are based on sales as well as votes from CARAS members, which explains why a mega-selling but critically panned band like Nickelback leads the pack with five nods this year.

Categories such as alternative album of the year and adult alternative album of the year were introduced in recent years (alternative album in 1995 and adult alternative in 2005) to recognize worthy acts that might not sell as many albums as artists in the major categories.

There have also been attempts to make the awards more relevant to Canadians across the country. The Junos were an industry-only event until 1995, when they were held at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton. They've been staged at arenas ever since, in front of screaming fans rather than blasÚ, seen-it-all industry types.

The awards started out as a mainly Toronto-centric affair, but in 2002 - the year CTV took over the telecast - organizers took the show on the road, staging the show in St. John's. Since then, they've been held in Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Saskatoon, Calgary and now Vancouver. Next year they'll come full circle, back to St. John's.

Stephen Stohn, the current chair of CARAS and one of the executive producers of the Juno broadcast, wants the Junos to go even further and become a year-round event. Stohn would like the Junos to celebrate "a much broader array of music, and sometimes more eclectic music than you might see on the national television broadcast."

Stohn imagines taking cameras into a local club and filming a young singer-songwriter - "just put it on the Internet under the Junos banner," in advance of the Juno Awards themselves.

"You can imagine the constraints of a two-hour television show," Stohn says. "There's only so many performance slots. It'd be great to really reach out to all the musical genres and properly reflect them."
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dylan and Lightfoot at The Junos

Dylan wasnt stoned! 1986 was one of his best years for interviews. he was open with everything/everyone - and he has/had a love old Gord since the 60s
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dylan and Lightfoot at The Junos

Well, Reynolds was there that night.
no one is disputing his love for Gord or how open he was.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dylan and Lightfoot at The Junos

The thing for me is that it was weird and memorable (i.e. "he's an artist of rare talent and all that.."..
I mean, who needs another pompous formal speech etc..
Dylan's presence was introduction enough in my book..
Bottom line: Dylan worships the ground Gord walks on..
(and with mighty good reason)..
and there aint no better musical critic on this good green Earth..
than (the early 60's Greenwich Village record-stealing great listener and grand interpreter.. of the world's folklorist roots songbook etc.) Bob Dylan..
the kid from Hibbing..

Ok I'll shut up now..

Last edited by RJ; 03-27-2009 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dylan and Lightfoot at The Junos

any thoughts from viewers of this year's Junos (ie. Canada's Grammys)? was the atmosphere on the west coast 'electric' at all?

I was on a conf call with a fellow from BC today and asked him about the Juno week vibe out there...he had no clue what i was talking about...he was white and 50+
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dylan and Lightfoot at The Junos

I was more interested in the JUNO Cup hockey game between NHL players and musicians.
Wish they'd broadcast that!
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