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 10-11-2003, 10:40 AM   #1
Char1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: canada
Posts: 173
Default

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/...BNStory/Front/

or www.globeandmail.com
scroll down to pic.

National | International | Sports | Columnists | Entertainment | Tech | Travel | Cars Search Site Search Tips


Finance Careers

Subscribe to Globe
Where to find it

Breaking News
Home Page
Business
Personal Finance
National
International
From the Field
Sports
Entertainment
Book Club
Technology



Special Reports
Ontario Election
Board Games
New Canada
Air-India
Business Travel
Golf Guide




Today's Paper
Front Page
Report On Business
National
International
Sports
Comment
Entertainment
Columnists
Headline Index



Other Sections
Appointments
Books
Births & Deaths
Careers
Cars
Cartoon
Classifieds
Crosswords
Education
Environment
Facts & Arguments
Focus
Features
Health
Horoscopes
Obituaries
Online Personals
Real Estate
R.O.B. Magazine
ROB TV
Science
Style
Toronto
Travel



Services
Newspaper
Advertise
Corrections
Customer Service
Help & Contact Us
Reprints
Subscriptions

Web site
Advertise
E-mail Newsletters
Free Headlines
Help & Contact Us
Make Us Home
Mobile
Press Room
Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions

UPDATED AT 1:56 AM EDT Saturday, Oct. 11, 2003

'The bottom line is the songs'

Gordon Lightfoot gives a rare interview to talk about his upcoming album


Photo: J.P. Moczulski/The Globe and Mail
Canadian songwriting legend Gordon Lightfoot attends the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame awards in Toronto.



By ERIN ANDERSSEN and JAMES ADAMS
From Saturday's Globe and Mail

E-mail this Article
Print this Article




Advertisement




The walls are lined with mahogany, like the hollow of a grand old tree, in the room where Gordon Lightfoot put down on paper the last songs he may ever write. He would stand at the desk, with its plain legs braced up on a pair of speakers, and its surface scarred with the half circles of drinks left too long, and make notes in pencil, with his precise, tidy hand.

The windows of this room look out on the front lawn of his mansion in Toronto's exclusive Bridle Path neighbourhood, but the desk faces the wall. There are a few paperbacks tossed on the shelves, a trio of guitars leaning in stands on the floor, a play list from his annual Massey Hall concert framed in one corner. It is an unpretentious, disordered space fit for a man who dreamt some of his finest music on trains heading west and rivers going nowhere and, as he still remembers in particular, one rainy morning spent with his newborn son.

On this October morning, perhaps to avoid talking more about himself, the most legendary of Canadian troubadours is fast-forwarding through a CD on a small stereo by the door. He finds the song he wants — a sample from a yet-to-be released, unfinished album — and presses play. The guitars strum, the strings swell, that familiar voice drifts unhurried into the words: "Headin' off on a river at peace in the cool of the evening/ Headin' off on a river of light, to be part of a river tonight/ Nice to be on a river sometimes, like a June bug travellin'/ Heading off on a ribbon of song, been away from the river too long."

He listens, his head bent close to the speaker. "This is just a song about life," he says with characteristic simplicity. Then he stops the CD, as if not wanting to give too much away, and starts back to the chair in his living room, down the hall. Under the cathedral ceilings, he looks small and ancient. He walks with the ginger shuffle of someone taking care with his bones, and his face bears the gaunt mark of illness. The hair is slicked back, the moustache flecked grey. He is wearing sweats and a red T-shirt with "Canada" across the chest. When he talks, he folds and unfolds his long, manicured fingers. His voice is low and husky.

But as much as he hopes to get it back, he cannot now sing with this voice, not even, as he jokes without heart, in the shower. He woke up from the edge of death last October with a hole in his abdomen, and his larynx shredded from surgery; 12 months later, he can find the tune, but not the breath to hold a note. The song on his CD player was written in 2000, and recorded, in a stroke of luck, not long before an aneurysm exploded in his belly on the night of a benefit concert in his hometown of Orillia, Ont.

In the last decade or so, there was a tendency to take Lightfoot for granted. True, he kept writing songs and making albums. But the consensus held that his most resonant work was in the past, that he was better placed with the likes of Pierre Berton and Farley Mowat, enduring fixtures on our cultural landscape, present but in the background, crafting those durable songs like well-made canoes.

His sudden illness rattled that complacency, and among those who had not been complacent, his failing health brought a deeper appreciation of what the man had done, and what he might be capable of in the future — should there be a future.

As for that, he doesn't know. Weeks from his 65th birthday — with the recent release of a new tribute album, called Beautiful, as well as his own offering, Twenty, planned for the new year — plus more surgery now scheduled for January, Lightfoot is confronting the prospect of retirement. "I am not pondering retirement," he says with some testiness. "I may have to. I may be forced to."

By spring, he expects, the doctors will have ruled on his voice. If he cannot sing, he says, it's not likely he will write. "To go out and start flogging tunes is not what I am about."

It's just not the Lightfoot way. Here is a man who still likes to watch the planes circle, out through the picture windows of his casually decorated $4-million mansion, where the white couch has a face doodled in blue ink on one arm, and a wall wears a dozen paintings of the Edmund Fitzgerald, with a framed list of the men lost inside her.

As a poet, he distilled a country's spirit but has rarely been comfortable speaking to its politics. "I'll let the songs," he says, "do the talking."

His music ranks among the most covered in history, he has a stack of awards, and yet, after 40 years performing, he still seems uncertain of his own talent. In his study, he carefully hauls out a stack of lead sheets written by hand on onionskin paper — "just to show you that I am capable of it."

Says Lightfoot's long-time friend, Murray McLauchlan, who sings an early Lightfoot song, Home from the Forest, on the tribute album, "Contrary to popular opinion, he doesn't have a huge ego. He's paranoid about things. Basically he's a simple guy from Orillia who's this hardworking craftsman."

The craftsman has been called, unfairly, a recluse — he is not much for public appearances and he hates having his picture taken — but every Christmas Eve for 17 years he played a song for the congregation at Rosedale United Church. His last appearance was in 2001; he performed Bob Dylan's Ring Them Bells.

He rarely gives interviews, dreading the constant pressure to be profound. But in person, even so ill, he is charming and candid. "A lot of people find it difficult to understand what I am trying to explain," he says. "It becomes frustrating — I've been trying to do it all my life. ..... The bottom line is the songs."

Settled in a high-back chair, he speaks about the death he no longer fears, as well as "the job" of writing songs, and the trick of luck in a musician's life. "You can't just be recording," he says. "You have to have a show."

What he doesn't say, though the meaning is clear, is that Gordon Lightfoot wants his show back.

In early September, 2002, he lay down on a piece of foam on the floor of a dressing room at the Orillia Opera House, while his band was warming up on-stage above him, and could not get up. "I just went down like a ton of bricks," he says. He was airlifted to hospital in Hamilton, where doctors performed emergency surgery to stop the bleeding from a main artery that had burst between his pancreas and liver. For six weeks, he lay in a coma. Several times, he almost died.

He does not remember any of it, although he recalls a vague sense of "fading directly into black." It has reassured him about death, he says: "If that's what it's like, you don't know what is going on." But it has also raised questions about God. "The business of heaven was always strong in my mind," he says, imprinted by a mother who pushed her young son to sing in church. "But when you get into a coma, it tends to make you wonder a bit. But then, we'll see. I just try to be a good person. I try to look after my responsibilities."

When he woke up around Halloween, after weeks with a tube down his throat, he could not sing. Until that point, he had been performing about 60 concerts a year — and was about to head down East for a tour.

If age has thinned the baritone, and he's never been truly comfortable with on-stage banter, it didn't much matter: He could sing 15 straight songs and the audience would chant every word.

"Seeing him at those Massey Hall gigs really clarified my own approach. It wasn't about lights and effects with him," says Toronto's Ron Sexsmith, perhaps the most internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter to come out of Canada in the last 10 years, who (along with the Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, the Cowboy Junkies and Bruce Cockburn, among others) has a track on the Lightfoot tribute album. "It's all about the songs. It's never been about jumping up and down."

On the night before he collapsed, Lightfoot played to a sold-out crowd in Orillia, at one point even sprinting downstairs for the 12-string guitar he needed to play Cotton Jenny, requested from the audience.

"He looked a little tired at the end," says Toronto lawyer Dan MacDonald, who saw him that night. "But the show was great. You wouldn't have been able to tell anything was wrong with him."

He was in excellent shape then. At this time, he had largely recovered from Bell's palsy, the facial-nerve disorder that had plagued him in the seventies. And he had famously given up the bottle cold turkey in the early eighties after years of heavy drinking. "It was hard to do because alcohol was like fuel for me, for the writing. But I began to do irrational things toward the end of that stretch of time."

He declines to elaborate, though much of his private life was public then: his long, losing court battle over a drunk-driving charge, his crumbling relationship with the mother of his fourth child. He turned to running, pounding out a regular 16 kilometres a week (though he still smokes). "I wanted to be strong for the work that I did," he says. The doctors think the new regimen saved his life.

When he came to last fall, he says, the first thing he thought of was the collection of songs that were waiting for him. His musicians had been planning to go into his Hamilton studio with a five-piece band at the end of November to lay down the final tracks. He had his voice already on tape; he had recorded the 18 songs earlier with guitar, to test them out.

They would have to form the final product now. From the hospital, he began co-ordinating the overdubbing; each night, someone would bring a CD to his room with the day's results. "It's as good as I can make it," he says of the new album, which ultimately came to include 11 tracks. "I had a job to do, and my job was writing songs."

This is how he speaks of it, as though he were a plumber fixing the kitchen sink. When he talks about songwriting, he focuses on the mechanics, not the product. As for his career success, he credits luck, specifically when, in 1965, Peter, Paul & Mary made a hit of his song For Lovin' Me. "All I can tell you is that songwriting is the key to everything," he says, naming Avril Lavigne as an example of a "brilliant little songwriter. ..... All the great ones do it."

He took his cues early on from Bob Dylan, who established, as Lightfoot puts it, "that you could crank out songs" even when maybe you didn't feel like it. He takes pride in the fact that he can write his own music and arrangements, skills he picked up during three semesters at the Westlake School of Modern Music in Los Angeles, where he moved when he was 19. "He writes like Mozart," McLauchlan says. "He writes down actual notes. Everybody else just gets a bottle of Scotch and hammers away."

Westlake was his choice over university, and the only time he lived outside the country. "I missed my relatives," he says. "I was just that kind of guy."

He grew up typically middle-class in Orillia, a blue-collar town located north of Toronto on Lake Simcoe, and was raised by a strict father who managed a dry-cleaning plant, and a homemaker mother who encouraged her son's musical side. His older sister, Bev, helped manage his career for a while. Lightfoot's roots, in many ways, define him; he's been known to call himself a "cosmopolitan hick."

He has written more than 250 songs, a sweeping catalogue of storytelling ballads and love poems. He's penned them on trains travelling across England, and after canoe trips in the wilderness. Sometimes he finds a new melody practising his guitar in front of the television. "It comes to you," he says, "and you gotta get it down."

He can write a song in a few hours, or work on four or five over several weeks. When he wants inspiration, he consults a file of about 300 ideas — snippets of lyrics, and chord sequences — that he has filed away "like a comic collecting jokes."

He writes what he sees as much as what he feels. And he often combines the two: As one of his protιgιs, Aengus Finnan, puts it, Lightfoot has a knack for "mapping the landscape of a love affair."

Certainly he has had plenty of personal fodder. McLauchlan recalls Lightfoot's "darker periods" in the glaring celebrity of the mid-seventies, when "he was a troubled guy, having a hard time with relationships, with his wealth, with wondering who his friends really were."

Lightfoot himself is blunt about his past: "My emotional life has been a roller coaster. I have six children with four women." He declines to talk specifically about where things have gone wrong, but he is not ready to blame his career or travel schedule. That may have been part of it, he says, "but then you reach a point when your conduct can change. My conduct changed in 1982 when I gave up alcohol."

Before that, his first marriage had ended with what was then reported to be the largest alimony payment in history. He also had a stormy romance with Cathy Smith, believed to be the subject of his hit Sundown, and who was later sentenced for delivering a lethal dose of heroin to actor John Belushi.

After more than a decade of marriage, he and his current wife have now separated. "We're living under separate domicile," he volunteers. "But we won't overplay that."

One of his most famous songs, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, was born from a Newsweek article, which now hangs on his wall, detailing the tragic 1975 sinking on Lake Superior. Early Morning Rain came to him while he was caring for his five-month old son, but it is really about his days in L.A., when, short on cash and missing home, he would go out to the airport and watch the planes land. After the morning with his son, he wrote the song in two hours. "Songs have to be like that, they have to flow," he says. "They have to create themselves."

Still, he says, it is exhausting — and he has not been writing since his recent illness. "Sometimes it's easy, and a lot of the time, it isn't," he says. "You have to keep pressure on yourself all that time, and right now I don't want that pressure."

Since the Orillia concert, he has had another round of major surgery. Two weeks ago, he had to go to the emergency room because his saline IV became infected. In January, he is looking at several more months in hospital, while surgeons try to graft tissue from his thigh to reconstruct his abdomen. But at least, he says, he can still eat on his own, and he even jokes about his frequent bathroom breaks, which keep his public appearances short. "I have to be close to a washroom all the time," he grins. "I prefer if it is my own."

One of those brief appearances came last month, when he stood in the back of the room for the release of the tribute album. He has listened to it several times. "I give that thing a whole lot of stars," he says. He has a hard time, though, identifying his place in Canadian music history. "I've embodied something," is about the closest he gets. "I gotta say, I have never taken myself too seriously." When asked why he thinks Canadian artists admire him so much, he credits his work ethic and longevity — the same example Bob Dylan once set for him.

When it is pointed out that he was the first to prove that a Canadian could build an international career while remaining in Canada, he shrugs it off. "Maybe [they'll say] he wasn't talented enough to make the move, and he's making an excuse about it. But I really sincerely wanted to live in Canada."

It would seem incredible to young singer-songwriters, such as Finnan, that Lightfoot would doubt his standing. On the night Finnan heard about the musician's collapse, he pulled out every Lightfoot album he owned and started playing song after song alone in the dark. The 30-year-old thought of the way Lightfoot's songs "had shaped my sense of the country, my sense of romance, my masculinity."

He recalled listening to Affair on Eighth Avenue ("The perfume that she wore/ Came from some little store/ On the down side of town") with the headphones on when he was just seven, and how "in that moment, I knew I was learning something I wasn't old enough to know." And he thought of the first Lightfoot concert he ever attended, when he was 21, at Place des Arts in Montreal, and how he went backstage and waited outside and got to shake Lightfoot's hand.

When Finnan, at the time a theatre student, told Lightfoot that he liked to "chop out some of your songs, Gord," Lightfoot told him, "Y'know, you should write your own songs." Which is what Finnan proceeded to do.

In fact, when morning brought an end to Finnan's recent all-night salute, he pulled out his guitar and began to compose "a get-well song" to the ailing musician — which became the only original composition included on the new tribute album. "Ever will your name be strong," he wrote. "Ever will the true north ring/ With the glory of your song."

This would be Lightfoot's take on the subject of his own legacy: "My classification is contemporary. My handle is I'm a singer-songwriter. Let's put it that way, and whatever comes out, that's the result."

It is his songs, after all, that always said it best.


Char1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 11:10 AM   #2
Restless
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 333
Default

Many thanks! That's one of the finest (perhaps the very finest) articles I've ever read about Lightfoot.
Restless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 01:38 PM   #3
Gord
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I was saddened to hear that Gord and his wife have split up. It was a great article otherwise, I'm eager to snap up " Twenty" when it comes out.

Additionally now that just about everything is coming out on DVD these days, I'm just wondering if there is anything else that is in the can that might be released on DVD. Surely if they can release old series from the 70's, there must be old Massey shows sitting collecting dust somewhere.

At this point, the main thing is Gordon Lightfoot is alive, I absolutely cannot imagine this world without him in it. Him returning to the stage will be gravy on the meat.

I'm just glad I was thought of during the bulk of Gord's tenure in the music scene, I would hate to be born long after he is gone not ever seeing him live or getting to meet him and the guys in the band.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 01:43 PM   #4
Carly
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks for posting the article. It was well done and thoughtful. I have a question: I've only ever heard five children mentioned in references to GL's family. Does anyone know who the sixth child is, when he or she was born and who the mom is?
I was also sorry to find out he is separated. Thought he had been married about 17 yrs. now.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 02:14 PM   #5
DMD3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I'm glad he's not blaming his divorces and other troubles in the past on his career.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 04:06 PM   #6
BILLW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Salisbury, MD, USA
Posts: 2,559
Send a message via AIM to BILLW
Default

Char,

Thanks for posting, what a comprehensive and sensitive article, just great reading. I believe he's gonna make it through this one too. Ya gotta love this guy!

Bill

[This message has been edited by BILLW (edited October 11, 2003).]
BILLW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 05:00 PM   #7
Scott Mac
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Caldwell ID USA
Posts: 91
Default

Great article. Like many of you...I wanted to cry when I heard that he and Liz were separated.
Scott Mac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 05:18 PM   #8
Borderstone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Phoenix,Arizona -America
Posts: 4,431
Default

Well,even though I could only get a short term computer here,I read that whole article and now,a lot of questions we all had have been answered. I could actually picture the room described at the beginning. I knew friends or acquaiences of my parents that kept such order. Lightfoot's Canada and my PA hometown are not that far removed and I can quite relate to his statements about a sentimentality about where you come from. If I leave Phoenix one day,I just may return to Pennsylvania and live there,once I've finally made my accomplishments.
Also,in the article,were reconfimed that he's the regular man we know him to be. That kind of thing is rare in people who become famous for whatever reason. I almost wept. Good day folks!
Borderstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 06:23 PM   #9
Auburn Annie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,113
Default

God bless the man, I wanna send him a group hug or something. Suggestions?
Auburn Annie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 06:58 PM   #10
Rob1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Hickory Hills, IL
Posts: 443
Default

I'm really stunned to hear about the separation. I guess I just have the mindset that when someone is 65 and has been married for almost 20 years, it would stick, even if one spouse is somewhat younger. Gord has been down this "I may have to quit" road before. When "Salute" failed to get the sales he had hoped for, he went into the studio to record "East of..." thinking it may be his last album ever. I think the truth is that even if he can't sing, and must retire...he will keep pulling out the onionskins and jotting down songs...once it's in your blood, it only dies when you do. I've read that same feeling expressed by way too many songwriters to ignore it. But here, in 2003, Gord finds himself in the same place he was for a decade and a half back in the late 70's and early 80's, alone, by himself in a big house...he's angry at being sick, angry at facing more surgery. I dont blame him a bit. The stage is his real wife, and if he cant have her, he's going to have trouble facing the rest of his life. Let's hope and pray he finds his way back, and if he has to modify what he wants, let's hope he has the strength to do it.
Rob1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 07:33 PM   #11
Gord
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I think if Gord retires, you will find more of his unreleased songs become available. Look at Elvis, he's been gone 26 years and they have found rarities in the vault they are now releasing on CD.

Pleasures of the Night should be the first one to be released!


  Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 08:06 PM   #12
Auburn Annie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,113
Default

quote:Originally posted by Rob1956:
I think the truth is that even if he can't sing, and must retire...he will keep pulling out the onionskins and jotting down songs...once it's in your blood, it only dies when you do...

Exactly. If he can't sing/perform again, he can still write, and I don't necessarily mean songs. After all, he's been storytelling for decades, just in verse and to music. A writer's a writer - you take a snatch of conversation, a phrase, an idea, and "what if?" it into a vignette or short story.

And there's always his autobiography, if he decides to write one. Even if he chooses that it never see light of print, it'd be a great gift for his grandkids (when they're mature enough to read all of it): what it was like growing up in Orillia, playing with the neighborhood kids, school, barbershopping, getting his foot in the changing music business, etc. And hey, Gord, if you're in need of a 'ghost' writer or editor, I volunteer <g>

Auburn Annie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2003, 09:50 PM   #13
Char1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: canada
Posts: 173
Default

Lightfoot married Elizabeth in 1989.
char
Char1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 03:16 AM   #14
SilverHeels
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,526
Default

Annie,

I'd be only too happy to deliver the 'group hug' ...

SilverHeels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 06:53 AM   #15
BILLW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Salisbury, MD, USA
Posts: 2,559
Send a message via AIM to BILLW
Default

I agree that it's terribly sad that Gord finds himself without the support of his wife at such a time. But one spouse going through a life-threatening situation, and surviving of course, is a major cause of divorce in the western world. I wonder who left whom? Now I expect many of you will tell me I should be minding my own business but after reading a story like that I think that's a critical detail. And if the question offends you I suggest you just ignore it.

Bill
BILLW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 07:37 AM   #16
Gord
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Obviously none of us are privy to what goes on in Gord's house, all I can say is that I hope she didn't leave because he got sick and the money tap was shut off or severely restricted.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 08:04 AM   #17
Auburn Annie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,113
Default

quote:Originally posted by SilverHeels:
Annie,

I'd be only too happy to deliver the 'group hug' ...



Only if *I'm* part of the group
Auburn Annie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 08:32 AM   #18
TheWatchman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Posts: 944
Default

Speculation is a dangerous game with marital troubles. But I must admit, when I first read that in the article, well, I won't say what first came to my mind because it's none of my business and I'll just get myself into trouble. It is indeed a sad thing that he is alone, trying to recover physically and mentally from his illness and the effects it has had on both states.

Bill you are too correct with that statement about divorce in the US. I knew a guy from when I was in high school and he was in a very bad motorcycle accident last year. As he lay in ICU in a coma, his bitch of a wife went and got an attorney to sue the truck driver that hit him, and also started to get divorce papers going just in case he was a vegetable. She said that she will not spend the rest of her life taking care of a vegetable, but felt she was entitled to money from the law suite because she was suffering from his state. It's a "me comes first" attitude all too often.

Bill, nothing wrong with your question because it's answer directly relates to his recovery, one way or another. I too wondered the same thing.

Excellent article and much more insight into what makes this musical genious tick. It is sad to read how me must be horribly depressed, not being able to sing etc.

He is from the old school. I bet the same one that Johnny Cash went to because these men keep going despite big mountains blocking their paths. 2 guys we all can take a few lessons from.

I just hope that he does decide to write an autobiogrpahy. For all we know, one could be well underway...
TheWatchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 09:38 AM   #19
Auburn Annie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,113
Default

quote:Originally posted by TheWatchman:
Speculation is a dangerous game with marital troubles. But I must admit, when I first read that in the article, well, I won't say what first came to my mind because it's none of my business and I'll just get myself into trouble...

I agree, Watchman. I try to keep in mind that one or more of his kids may drop by from time to time to read the messages in this forum (and that's speculation on my part, but who knows?) Put yourself in Gord's mocs and think about how the kids might feel reading our guesses about their marriage etc. It may not be tabloid fodder but probably doesn't feel much different to them.
Auburn Annie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 09:57 AM   #20
TheWatchman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Posts: 944
Default

Besides, everybody has their stuff that they have to go through. For all we know, they could just be taking a breather for a bit. Knowing how guarded Lightfoot has always been, I was surprised that it was even mentioned. We now even know the final verdict straight from the man himself as to what the official diagnosis was of his illness last fall. Lot's of personal info. that we have not gotten before.

After reading this article, it gave me the impression that he is alone, struggling with his faith, not feeling very well and trying to get through one of the scarest and most serious issues that he has had to face. At this stage in his life, he should have his wife by his side, if that is what he wants. It's a big load for one person to shoulder. Without a doubt, Lightfoot is going through some very tough times. Definitely not the usual "everything is fine" comments that are usually in these articles about him.

At any rate, I can't wait to hear his new CD when it gets completed.
TheWatchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 12:00 PM   #21
brink
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 1,388
Default

So the new CD is going to be named Twenty? I too am sorry that he is alone now. My personal opinion is that if you love your spouse before they get sick, then you love them after they are sick, does in sickness or in health mean anything? I don't know how much younger Liz is but what did they expect as they got older, wheather he wanted her to leave or if she left because he was ill, it had to be something to think about with the age difference. Might not have had anything to do with the illness either. I understand the concern about maybe the kids reading this, but there is rarely anything written about Gord and his family that isn't totally positive. We all are entitled to our opinions and we feel bad that he is alone. If the kids want to say something about this they are welcome to just like the rest of us. I don't mean to sound heartless, if I do, but consorship is not a pleasant thing. I can't help but wonder if he was so candid in this interview telling about what happened physically, the separation, what is coming up as far as surgery if he wasn't reaching out, and looking for support from his friends and fans. I imagine he is a deep depression not being able to sing, he needs support. The group hug would be a great idea, sign me up.

[This message has been edited by brink (edited October 12, 2003).]
brink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 02:20 PM   #22
Auburn Annie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,113
Default

quote:Originally posted by brink:
I understand the concern about maybe the kids reading this, but there is rarely anything written about Gord and his family that isn't totally positive. We all are entitled to our opinions and we feel bad that he is alone. If the kids want to say something about this they are welcome to just like the rest of us. I don't mean to sound heartless, if I do, but consorship is not a pleasant thing. [This message has been edited by brink (edited October 12, 2003).]

Sorry, Brink, it wasn't meant as a call to censorship; just trying to be a little thoughtful. Having had a parent in the public spotlight myself - though nowhere on the same scale as Gord - you do develop a hide when it comes to stuff in the local papers and crackpot phone calls. But it takes awhile to thicken the skin. Meanwhile it can be puzzling and at times hurtful.

I do hope he has *somebody* nearby he trusts so he can unload on without worrying about them taking it personally - when you've got that much sh*t fallin' on you, you need to vent. Somehow, the lyrics to Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" fit the bill.
Auburn Annie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 04:04 PM   #23
Rob1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Hickory Hills, IL
Posts: 443
Default

I think we can all be respectful and still discuss the situation as you all have done above. I think we have to remember this:
once Gord told a reporter that he was separated, then it enters the world of public consumption. If Gord said "I perfer not to discuss that right now," then we would be wrong to speculate. I just thought of this: maybe Gord told the reporter because he felt some bitterness towards Liz, or just being in marital limbo.
Rob1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 04:12 PM   #24
autumn leaves
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

How dare ANYONE in here suggest that Elizabeth Lightfoot is the one who 'caused' the separation? HOw easy to say 'if you loved your spouse before he got sick...'? You, I, we are not privy to any of the information about what happened. We DO know that she was there for him when he collapsed and was by his side all the time he was in hospital. Is it possible that this wonderfully talented man, faced with loss, was next to impossible to live with and there was no choice but separation? I know as much as we would all like to see a 'happy ending' for Gordon, we also know that in the best of times he was sometimes difficult to deal with. He's introspective and moody, to say the least.

I hope he continues to recover. I hope he and Elizabeth solve their problems.

And I really think that some of you should be ashamed of yourselves for even suggesting such things about Elizabeth Lightfoot.


  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2003, 04:35 PM   #25
roseanna
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12
Default

I'm going to go out on a limb on this one and defend Elizabeth also. My first thought was perhaps she gave him the ultimatum to quit smoking, which the article suggests he has not done. I read somewhere that she asked him to go to the hospital the day before he collasped and he declined. Maybe she can't bear to watch him self-destruct.
roseanna 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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fom Globe and Mail imported_Next_Saturday General Discussion 7 11-21-2009 04:52 AM
Globe and Mail review-Nov.2006 Auburn Annie General Discussion 0 11-18-2006 12:30 PM
Globe and Mail article -Nov.17-05 charlene General Discussion 4 11-17-2005 01:17 PM
The Globe and Mail Review Auburn Annie General Discussion 4 05-20-2005 12:56 AM
Globe and Mail article Auburn Annie General Discussion 2 05-19-2005 04:46 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:16 AM.


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