banner.gif (3613 Byte)

Corner.gif 1x1.gif Corner.gif
1x1.gif You are at: Home - Discussion Forum 1x1.gif
Corner.gif 1x1.gif Corner.gif
round_corner_upleft.gif (837 Byte) 1x1.gif (807 Byte) round_corner_upright.gif (837 Byte)

Go Back   Gordon Lightfoot Forums > General Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-29-2013, 11:03 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,573
Default Chance encounter with Lightfoot-Toronto Star article

By: David Macfarlane Arts and culture columnist, Published on Wed May 29 2013

Let this be a lesson to anyone whose ambition is to become famous — in other words, let this be a lesson to everybody.
I’m not sure how this happened. You’d think that over time improvements in nutrition and education would have dimmed celebrity’s lustre. But no. The triumph of People Magazine continues unabated. Ben Mulroney soldiers on. Apparently there are many people under 35 who think their lives would be improved with fans and followers and friends they’ve never met.
The desire of the young to be recognized despite their hoodies and Ray-Bans stands in stark contrast to their parents’ humble penchant for anonymity. Not. Baby boomers have many charming characteristics, but an indifference to celebrity isn’t one of them. Who didn’t want to be waved through the lineup at Studio 54?
There are even those who say they are in politics because they are public servants working hard to serve their community. And not because they love being the centre of attention. LOL.
So let this be a lesson. For more of us than we care to admit.
The other day I mentioned Gordon Lightfoot’s name to a bank teller. I’d just seen Lightfoot a few moments before. He was ducking into the music store down the street.
The teller stared at me blankly. He was young. Obviously. There must be an age limit. Tellers must get sent away for computer training the minute they stop shopping at American Apparel. Never to be heard from again. But this bright, pleasant, helpful young fellow was old enough to have a job. He couldn’t have been born yesterday. You’d think.
His expression was so void I wondered at first if he were having a stroke at his tragically young age. But the truth — as anyone with both feet in the 21st century has already guessed — is obvious. He’d never heard of Gordon Lightfoot. He said he’d google the name sometime. He asked me to spell it.
Please note. The bank teller didn’t say he wasn’t all that familiar with Gordon Lightfoot. He didn’t say his grandparents were fans. He didn’t say he had a kindergarten teacher who always played “Pussywillows, Cat-tails” during quiet time. He didn’t say he preferred Flying Lotus. He had no opinion one way or the other about whoever it was I saw going into Ring Music. Because he’d never heard of him.
There comes a point in a newspaper column at which a newspaper columnist can be counted on to say, “There was a time . . . ” That’s because there was. Forty years ago, had I mentioned that I’d just seen Gordon Lightfoot down the street, the teller might have asked me to keep an eye on his cash for a minute while he ran to the door to have a look. For a Canadian, not knowing Gordon Lightfoot would have been like an American not knowing Bob Dylan.
Oh. Right. Sorry.
Bob Dylan was a popular singer and songwriter. Adele covered one of his songs a while ago.
So that’s the lesson. If you’re passionate about making music, or writing songs, or performing — as Lightfoot’s continuing concerts make clear is the case with him — and if you are lucky enough to live a good long life, your passion will eventually outlive your celebrity. Which shouldn’t bother a real musician, or a real songwriter, or a real performer very much. I expect it might even come as a relief.
Not knowing the songs of our past is our loss. Not the singer’s.
After all, the singers still have their music. They still get to sing songs as great as “Early Morning Rain” or “Did She Mention My Name.” All we have is what iTunes suggests we download because we bought something kind of like it.

Gordon Lightfoot in concert in Toronto in 1976. There was a time, writes David Macfarlane, when not knowing who Lightfoot was would be like an American not knowing Bob Dylan.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	gordon_lightfoot.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox.jpg
Views:	257
Size:	25.9 KB
ID:	5982  
charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2013, 06:54 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wallingford, Ct. Not far from what used to be Oakdale Music Theater
Posts: 311
Default Re: Chance encounter with Lightfoot-Toronto Star article

Sad and true here as well. I mentioned on here a couple years ago that I was stopped by a (early 20's age) Ct. state policeman who asked where I was coming from at 11 PM at night, and when I said a Gordon Lightfoot concert, he just said "never heard of him". Sadly that is more likely here in the US, but in Canada, that young guy in the bank should be fined for his lack of Canadian history.
JohninCt. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 13
Default Re: Chance encounter with Lightfoot-Toronto Star article

Excellent piece, but happily, I can report as a fellow columnist for a paper in North Carolina, any mention of Gord draws a pretty big response, as it should! What's the old saying? "There are none so blind as those who will not see." Get right with your musicality, kids! You don't know what you're missing.
Looking forward to seeing Gord in Asheville June 16.
JimJ is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:56 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
downleft 1x1.gif (807 Byte) downright