May 27, 2011

Gordon Lightfoot


I went to see Gordon Lightfoot last night at Toronto's Massey Hall. Lightfoot plays Massey Hall every spring and he's played there now over 150 times. Lightfoot is 72 now, gaunt and thin and from where I was sitting, resembles Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture show - although not as bad I assure you. His voice is weak now and has lost its elasticity. But by the second set he was warmed up and in much better shape.

Among his new songs that I dubbed Robert Bateman songs - with lyrics that paid tribute to the loon on his lake, a clutch of brown snails etc - were some of Lightfoot's greatest numbers; Beautiful, Sundown, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Canadian Train Trilogy, Rainy Day People and Cotton Jenny. I didn't mean to cry during If You Could Read My Mind...

photo: The Globe and Mail

8 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello:
A role model for us all. How wonderful to be able still to command an audience at the age of 72, and to have many loyal and appreciative followers.

Have a very enjoyable weekend.

amourissima said...

awww.. I love this.

Kat Mortensen said...

That must have been wonderful to see. There won't be many chances left, I suspect.
I love so many of his songs. I would have cried too.

Kat

Hels said...

You know how a person remember all the words and tunes of songs he learned in adolescence? Well, I remember the words and tunes of Gordon Lightfoot's songs perfectly still, even though his peak popularity here in Australia would have been in the late 1960s.

How strange and wonderful that a Canadian could touch the hearts and minds of young people 10,000 ks away. And that it would stick.

James P. Walsh said...

He certainly was the true troubador for a large part of the sixties and due to his good writing is relevent still today. I saw him in Texas in the 80's and really enjoyed it. However during the sixties and seventies I listened to him all the time. Hard to believe that he is 72 and still performing. I believe he was in bad health for a while.

Tess Kincaid said...

I love that you cried. I'm such a crier.

A.Decker said...

Love that he's still at it. Your comment about his weak voice getting warmed up reminded me of the last concert I saw, some years ago now, Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks seemed to have a similar problem on the first verse of "Rhiannon"(sp?), but from the second verse on she found her pipes and made up for it. I didn't cry but it made me happy when she showed us she could still do it.

A.Decker said...

PS: He looks pretty determined in that pic. :-)