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Old 12-02-2003, 06:46 AM   #1
Auburn Annie
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From this morning's Toronto Sun:

Tuesday, December 2, 2003


Gordon Lightfoot on the rebound
Canuck music legend on his brush with death and long road to recovery
By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun
If the last year and two months of Gordon Lightfoot's life were a song, "what a tale" it would tell.

First and foremost was the 65-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter legend's well-documented brush with death last September.

As he was preparing for an afternoon soundcheck for a concert at the Opera House in his native Orillia that night, he suffered an abdominal hemorrhage.

"I was lying on the floor of my dressing room and I swear I could not get up," Lightfoot told The Toronto Sun in an exclusive interview prior to his induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame tomorrow night at the Glenn Gould Theatre. "Once I was down, I was down for good. I don't remember anything after 6:30 in the evening. For six weeks I was like that. I did not come to until the middle of October. The rest is just total to black."

Lightfoot was rushed to McMaster Hospital in Hamilton, operated on, subsequently fell into a coma for six weeks, and spent a total of three months in a hospital bed.

At the time doctors credited his excellent physical condition -- he had taken up running -- for his miraculous survival.

"I think I did too many situps," he said, not sounding like he was joking at all.

"I did a lot of situps because I always wanted to strengthen those abdominal muscles, because they made me sing better. And the better I could sing, the better I loved it."

Lightfoot's recovery was also helped along by messages from many well-wishers, including one of his musical heroes.

DYLAN CALLED

"Bob Dylan called me, and you know, he's sort of at the top of the heap for me, so it was as good as it gets."

Incredibly, a mere two weeks after he awoke from his coma, Lightfoot began work on the post-production of his forthcoming album, Harmony -- his 20th original record and named for the opening track -- due for release next spring.

Before his health crisis, Lightfoot had recorded vocals and guitar on nine of the new songs.

Two additional ones were live recordings from his last three Massey Hall appearances.

"When my mind started to recall what I was doing and thinking about the future, I said, 'I have all these tracks available to me,' " said Lightfoot, who listened to overdubs by his band with the help of a headset and a CD player in his hospital room.

Still, while Lightfoot is "feeling pretty good," he still has another major stay in the hospital ahead of him in either April or May following more surgery.

"I'm not quite through with the ordeal yet, " said the singer, who's undergone two operations already. "This is the case of mechanical breakdown, you see. I had a burst artery in my lower abdomen."

And contrary to an earlier story, Lightfoot maintained he still has his voice.

'LARYNX NOT DAMAGED'

"They did not spoil my larynx as was earlier stated, that was a misinterpretation," he said.

"The problem is that the lower abdomen has to be reconstructed and that's where the muscles are that drive the voice. But the larynx is not damaged. There's a voice in there. I tried it out a couple of days ago, I had a couple of the guys over, we had a rehearsal, the first one we've had in 15 months, and there is a voice in there. So I'm not worried about that."

Also helping Lightfoot's recovery was the release two months ago of Beautiful: A Tribute To Gordon Lightfoot, an all-Canadian effort that saw acts ranging from Ron Sexsmith to The Tragically Hip interpreting Lightfoot songs.

"I was really impressed with it," he said. "I tell people, like person to person, I gave it 10 stars. And that way I don't have to single anybody out. It's a real solid content."

Next in the adulation department is tomorrow night's inaugural Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame affair, which will see Tom Cochrane perform Early Morning Rain, Blue Rodeo tackle If You Could Read My Mind, and The Dexters interpret Song For A Winter's Night.

"I've had a little bit of feeling of trepidation about that, but I'll probably be pleasantly surprised," Lightfoot said.

He actually sounded more anxious about his formal attire.

"I had to run out, in the middle of all this, and have a tuxedo made," Lightfoot said. "I mean, can you can get the humour of that? I will be at this function and participate proudly, as a proud Canadian, and if it requires a tuxedo, I shall have to have one.

"But the only problem is that I can't wear a stitch of any of the clothing that I own. And that is the truth. I have two pairs of pants, they are sweats. One pair of shorts. And a whole bunch of T-shirts. Like four or five sets of suspenders. And a lot of running shoes. And a lot of socks and support hose.

"I was trying to figure out a way to get away with these black sweats at the gala." (More on Gordon Lightfoot)

*******************************************

LOL LOL LOL - hey, guys, should we take up a collection for the poor guy and get him something other than sweats??
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Old 12-02-2003, 07:09 AM   #2
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lol, yeah. George Costanza is the only one who can get away with wearing "sweats" in public.

Thanks for the post Annie. It's good to see that he is coming along just fine.
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Old 12-02-2003, 08:33 AM   #3
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Thanks, Annie.

I'll bet you've started off everyone's day with a big, big grin!
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:59 AM   #4
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Thanks Annie !

Bill
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Old 12-02-2003, 11:32 AM   #5
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Once again...Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2003, 11:32 AM   #6
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Once again...Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2003, 01:41 PM   #7
Auburn Annie
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Excerpt -
"...But the only problem is that I can't wear a stitch of any of the clothing that I own. And that is the truth. I have two pairs of pants, they are sweats. One pair of shorts. And a whole bunch of T-shirts. Like four or five sets of suspenders. And a lot of running shoes. And a lot of socks and support hose."

Sweats, suspenders, t-shirts and running shoes -- does anybody else think this sounds like Mork? At least his kids know what to get him for Christmas this year
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Old 12-02-2003, 02:10 PM   #8
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Suspenders? Is GL moonlighting as a lumberjack?

I know he used to hang around in bars, but........
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Old 12-02-2003, 03:20 PM   #9
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lol, funny. Poor guy, can't any of you guys donate some duds fer the fellar? lol.
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:23 PM   #10
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quote:Originally posted by Auburn Annie:
Sweats, suspenders, t-shirts and running shoes -- does anybody else think this sounds like Mork?


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Old 12-02-2003, 06:33 PM   #11
Auburn Annie
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quote:Originally posted by TheWatchman:
Quote:
Originally posted by Auburn Annie:
Sweats, suspenders, t-shirts and running shoes -- does anybody else think this sounds like Mork?

Yep, that's the image I remember. Sounds like Robin Williams' castoffs <g> (and hold the hands upright instead of sideways and they're saying "Live Long and Prosper!")

[This message has been edited by Auburn Annie (edited December 02, 2003).]
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Old 12-02-2003, 07:10 PM   #12
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I used to imagine we all had romantically mispent youths. Now, it's obvious, we just slouched around, watching the box.
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Old 12-03-2003, 08:06 AM   #13
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Does anyone know the songs that will be included on this album?
Maybe I don't want to know, it might spoil the surprise.
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Old 12-03-2003, 08:27 AM   #14
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quote:Originally posted by Gaby:
I used to imagine we all had romantically mispent youths. Now, it's obvious, we just slouched around, watching the box.

Nanu-nanu
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Old 12-03-2003, 09:00 AM   #15
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Zibby-dibby-do-wap-wee!
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Old 12-03-2003, 10:21 AM   #16
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" Harrrrrrrmony and meeeeeeeeeeeeee are pretty gooood compaaaaaaanieeeeeeeeeeeee" With apologies to Elton John I was kinda surprised to hear there might be some recent Massey Hall live cuts on this new CD... makes kinda wonder what else is in the can that we the public have no idea about lol
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Old 12-03-2003, 01:29 PM   #17
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quote:Originally posted by brink:
I like the name Harmony better than Twenty.

I agrrrrrrrreeeeeeee that harrrrrrrrrrrmony izzzzzzzz betterrrrrrrrr thaaaaaaaaaaan tweeeeeenty!
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Old 12-03-2003, 04:30 PM   #18
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Nanu-Nanu & Shozbot! T-Shirts! Suspenders! Boy do I feel like a clone!

Personally,I think he should be able to wear whatever he likes but that's just me.

I'm so glad his voice is okay! I thought we had another "Julie Andrews" incident on our hands! She lost her voice to surgery. I;m glad GL is well on his way back. Best wishes to him,and thanks Annie! (Annie,nanny be bo banny. Bananarama fo fanny,Annie! ) Later!

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Old 12-03-2003, 04:48 PM   #19
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I had wondered about that report of a shredded larynx since I'd heard him (October?) on the CBC radio interview with Shelagh Rogers and his speaking voice sounded like it always does. While saving his life came first, I was reasonably sure the doctors would do whatever they could to preserve the vocal cords for any patient, let alone Gord.
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Old 12-03-2003, 04:48 PM   #20
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I had wondered about that report of a shredded larynx since I'd heard him (October?) on the CBC radio interview with Shelagh Rogers and his speaking voice sounded like it always does. While saving his life came first, I was reasonably sure the doctors would do whatever they could to preserve the vocal cords for any patient, let alone Gord.
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:16 PM   #21
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NANU-NANU!! LOL!

I used to love watching that show (Mork & Mindy).

That is great news that he is still able to sing. I can't wait till his new album comes out.

My aunt goes in sometime next month to have her third and final surgery done to get rid of two hernias she developed after her last surgery to repair a part of her lower intestine that bursted. So, in a way she is going through something almost similar to what Gordon is going through. She had a colostimy bag for almost six months and aropped over 50 pounds. But she is doing much better and is gradually gaining some of the weight back and taking things easy till after the surgery. They told her( the doctors) that she may need to stay in for 1-2 weeks after the surgery to make sure their are no complications or infections.

But, I am so excited that Gordon is doing much better and that he is still able to sing. I don't know what I would do if I lost my voice.
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Old 12-04-2003, 01:51 PM   #22
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Hey, christinefrommichigan!

Wish your aunt good luck from me. My husband is home this afternoon recovering from a double hernia repair this morning; he had a colonoscopy simultaneously since he recently turned 50. Good thing, too - they found one small and two very large polyps, premalignant. So he's dozing on pain meds and channel surfing as I write.

Now if we could just get Gord up to fighting weight. If the doctors could figure a way to transplant subcutaneous fat from one person to another, I'd donate my excess gladly.
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:18 PM   #23
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All we need to do now is find a way to make him appear as he looked in 1970! (Nah! He'd never go for that!) I forgot to say,I like the new CD title better!

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[This message has been edited by Borderstone (edited December 04, 2003).]
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Old 12-05-2003, 10:55 AM   #24
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subcantaneous??? Geez, I feel like I am reading my daughters writing... man, now I have to go ask her wht the **** does that mean. Cause I know I am too lame to know these medical terms stuff. Thanks Annie, does anyone have a dictionary for medical terms out there? But, really it sounds cool to donate stuff like that (whatever it is). I am just kidding. Where is the list to donate?
Hope Christines' aunt and Annies' husband both make speedy recoveries.
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Old 12-05-2003, 10:55 AM   #25
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subcantaneous??? Geez, I feel like I am reading my daughters writing... man, now I have to go ask her wht the **** does that mean. Cause I know I am too lame to know these medical terms stuff. Thanks Annie, does anyone have a dictionary for medical terms out there? But, really it sounds cool to donate stuff like that (whatever it is). I am just kidding. Where is the list to donate?
Hope Christines' aunt and Annies' husband both make speedy recoveries.
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