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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-17-2015, 06:04 PM   #1
charlene
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,536
Default HUNTSVILLE, AL-Feb.23-2015 article/interview

http://www.al.com/entertainment/inde...s_elvis_a.html
Gordon Lightfoot does not own a cellphone. "I don't have any technology," the 76-year-old Canadian folk-music icon says, checking in by landline from his Toronto home.

Lightfoot still writes his song ideas down by hand, even the chord symbols. No laptop plinking for him.

"I even write my own arrangements to manuscript. I used to have to do that in the beginning to copyright all my songs. You'd have to write them out to get then registered with the Library of Congress," Lightfoot says.

Lightfoot's right hand has been one of the folk idiom's most prolific and successful. His catalog includes songs "If You Could Read My Mind," "Ribbon of Darkness" "Early Morning Rain," "Carefree Highway" "Rainy Day People" and many more. He scored gold and platinum albums of his own in the '70s. But perhaps most impressive is the list of artist who've recorded covers of Lightfoot songs: Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Barbara Streisand, Eric Clapton, Harry Belafonte, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash to name a few.

A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Lightfoot will perform at Von Braun Center Mark C. Smith Concert Hall (700 Monroe St.) 8 p.m. Feb. 23. Tickets ($39-$64) are available via the VBC Box Office, ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 800-745-3000.

Gordon, so what's it like to have artists that are super-revered for their own songwriting, like Bob Dylan, record versions of your songs?

You know I was really surprised when that began to happen. I started getting cover recordings back when I was with United Artists Records, for whom I made five albums in the late-60s. And a lot of those songs got covered. I was really surprised because I wasn't sure those songs had what it takes to climb up the charts you know. And yet some of them did. I had a couple that went right up to number one for other artists. I was sort of glad because by this point I was raising a young family and trying to start a career in music and of course it helped me a great deal to have these cover recordings by some of these people.

Do you have a cover of one your songs you're most fond of?

Yeah, I love Peter, Paul & Mary doing "Early Morning Rain."

Do you remember what was going on in your life when you wrote that song?

I was married and my first son was five months old and I was babysitting. I remember the afternoon I wrote the song. My wife was out shopping and I was babysitting and the baby was right in the room with me in his crib and I was writing at a table when I wrote that song. And I played it for my manager later that afternoon over the telephone. It was written very quickly.

Sam Smith and Tom Petty recently settled out of court, due to the similarity between Smith's 2014 song "Stay With Me" and Petty's 1989 tune "I Won't Back Down." "The Greatest Love of All," most famously recorded by Whitney Houston in 1985 (and also George Benson in 1977), bore more than a passing resemblance to your 1970 song "If You Could Read My Mind" As an artist, what's it like to go through something like that?

The first time I heard it ("The Greatest Love of All") was on an elevator. What I finally figured out was there was a total of about 24 bars that were just really, really ... [Laughs.] It was really obvious and I noticed it. So what I did was I actually initiated a lawsuit for plagiarism but three weeks later I let it go because I understood that it was affecting Whitney Houston who had an appearance coming up at the Grammy Awards and the suit wasn't anything to do with her. The suit was against her producer (and the song's co-writer), Michael Masser. Now they're dragging Whitney into this and I withdrew it. I said, "Forget it. We're withdrawing this."

What's the last song you heard by another artist that made you think, "I wish I would have written that"?

I tell you there are a few of them but I have to say that Kris Kristofferson is one of my favorite writers. I like "Sunday Morning Coming Down." I think that's just a dandy song.

What got you interested in music in the first place?

I really got interested when I got into high school, about grade nine. The first thing that I loved was Louis Armstrong quickly followed by Elvis Presley. [Laughs.] I heard "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley and I went and bought a guitar and so did a friend of mine. We both bought guitars and we practiced Elvis impersonations, way back when we were 15-years-old. And that was how I learned how to play the guitar by listening to "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley has a great recording of my song "Early Morning Rain" as well.

That had to have been awesome and surreal. To have a person who'd made you want to start playing music eventually record a song you wrote.

It was very awesome. Very, very much so. He did such a good job on it too. It was a really good recording. He sung it on his first television show he did when he came back from the Army.

Did you see Elvis perform his version of "Early Morning Rain" on TV when it originally aired?

Uh huh. Well, it was a ballad. One of the few ballads he did and the rest was rock 'n' roll but he needed a couple of ballads and that was one of the ones he chose. I almost got to meet him one time and I just missed him at a concert in Buffalo because I had to get out of there and didn't get back in time. I had a chance to meet him one time in Los Angeles at an office meeting with the people who were promoting his concerts at that time. He was coming in and they wanted to know if I wanted to meet him and I said, "Oh, I don't know I think I'm going out of town to Nudie's to buy some clothes. Tell Elvis I said hello." I was sailing pretty good too at the time myself.

But I was really impressed with the recording. It was probably the most important recording that I have by another artist. He did another one too. He did a rockabilly version of another one called "For Lovin' Me."

lightfoot.ca, vonbrauncenter.com
charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 10:33 AM   #2
johnfowles
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: NJ U.S.A.
Posts: 4,843
Send a message via AIM to johnfowles
Default Re: HUNTSVILLE, AL-Feb.23-2015 article/interview

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
many thanks Char for posting that interesting article and its link
on the page is an extremely slow loading slideshow feature that I found eventually sported four very nice photos of Gord each suitable after cropping as the basis of a CD jewel case front cover insert
Whilst the first three were familiar, here is the fourth one that I am fairly certain I have never seen before

(as its file name includes 2015/02/17 it may very well have been taken at the concert at Huntsville's Von Braun Center and that's not rocket science!!)



__________________
I meant no one no harm

"Sir" John Fowles Bt
(where Sir does not signify that I am a fully benighted Knight just a Bt which signifies a humble Baronet)

Last edited by johnfowles; 02-18-2015 at 11:08 AM. Reason: "rocket" comment added
johnfowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 11:16 AM   #3
johnfowles
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: NJ U.S.A.
Posts: 4,843
Send a message via AIM to johnfowles
Default Re: HUNTSVILLE, AL-Feb.23-2015 article/interview

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfowles View Post
that's not rocket science!!)
for the origin of that expression I will refer you to
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/i...t-science.html
__________________
I meant no one no harm

"Sir" John Fowles Bt
(where Sir does not signify that I am a fully benighted Knight just a Bt which signifies a humble Baronet)
johnfowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
Bluerain1986
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 7
Default Re: HUNTSVILLE, AL-Feb.23-2015 article/interview

I am going to this show
Bluerain1986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 04:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
downleft 1x1.gif (807 Byte) downright