no dress rehearsal this is our life: the passing of canadian legend – Gord Downie ūüė≠

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‘We Are Less As A Country Without Gord Downie In It’ – Prime Minister Trudeau

I had to wait a few days to write this, I just watched the documentary Long Time Running two days ago … so I needed to collect my thoughts and emotions before I got to it.

I want the WORLD to get to know Canada’s musical secret – the man for whom an entire country mourned, for whom our Prime Minister publicly shed tears¬†before caucus on Parliament Hill – a patriot who loved and sang about our great land – Gord Downie.

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I am not going to lie – like most people I know and most Canadians across our vast country I cried when I found out Gord had succumbed to his illness¬†on October 17, 2017. He put on such a brave front during the band’s final tour – Man Machine Poem – deciding to thank their fans after having undergone an extensive lobectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. ¬† I was on my way to Philadelphia and was listening to Q107 (a Toronto rock station) and the DJ says “Q107 remembers Gord Downie” at the same time my youngest texts me saying “Gord Downie died”. ¬†Ugh, say it ain’t so – I mean we all knew it was coming but hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. ¬†Most of the way to Philly we listed to their tunes.

“First thing we’d climb a tree and maybe then we’d talk
Or sit silently and listen to our thoughts
With illusions of someday casting a golden light 
No dress rehearsal, this is our life‚ÄĚ – Ahead By a Century

The first time I heard The Hip I was in grade 11 – someone was playing¬†their¬†Up to Here album. This album produced four singles, “Blow at High Dough”, “New Orleans Is Sinking”, “Boots or Hearts” and “38 Years Old”. ¬†It was summer, we loved going to the beach or driving around in the car blaring our Hip tapes (yes tapes, I am that old). ¬†That’s what their music means to me – it’s summers by the beach or at the cabin with cold pint belting out Courage or At the Hundredth Meridian. ¬†My old Infiniti QX4 was even called Cordy – after their song Cordelia. ¬†

I’ve never really understood why they weren’t bigger outside of Canada than they were. ¬†But, here at home, in Canada, we got it – we knew they were our greatest treasure – they’re in our DNA – ¬†so uniquely Canadian.

They’re my #1 fave band, even in front of U2 and The Killers! ¬† I’ve seen them 3 times – At The¬†Ovation Music Festival in Stratford in 2006.¬†¬†The Fully Completely tour in Kitchener in 2015 and in Winnipeg last year during their “farewell’ tour – Man Machine Poem.

I was in complete shock when I found out that he had such a huge choice to make. ‚ÄúWhat would you prefer: living without being able to speak, or have new memories, but have more time with your family,¬†or should we limit things and ultimately give you less time on Earth, but have higher quality?‚ÄĚ He chose a full temporal lobectomy, which gave him a best case scenario of five years of survival.

He knew he had limited time left on this earth and instead of feeling sorry for himself, or spending all of his last minutes on earth with his dear family and friends, he chose to be the voice of our First Nations people and to go on one final tour to say thanks to a nation whose adored them since 1985. ¬†I have to be honest, facing the ¬†same situation and given the same choice, I’m not sure I would have made the same decision in his shoes. ¬†But, as a nation – we’re sure damn glad he did. ¬†Not only did he do that – he did ¬†an entire solo album called The Secret Path and an accompanying animated film/and graphic novel about the long-suppressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system here in Canada. ¬†About Charlie¬†Wenjack, a 12 year old¬†Anishinaabe boy from the Marten Falls First Nation¬†who died of exposure on October 22, 1966 while escaping from¬†the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ont. ¬†He was trying to return¬†to the family he was taken from over 600 kms away. ¬†This was the¬†final album he released during his lifetime.

Let’s swear that we will
Get with the times,
In a current health to stay
Let’s get friendship right
Get life day-to-day – It’s a Good Life if you Don’t Weaken

The final¬†show in Kingston, Ont was a¬†poignant farewell for the hometown heroes. So many people wanted to thank him that CBC decided to air a live broadcast called¬†‚ÄúThe Tragically Hip: A National Celebration‚ÄĚ it¬†drew an average of 4.04 million viewers. ¬†I¬†can’t remember another time in history where a concert was aired live – well maybe except Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii. ¬†But, that’s how much The Hip means to us. ¬†

Kingston has a pretty small venue and tickets sold out in minutes.  I debated heading up to Kingston (about 2 hours away) to join the 20+ thousand other Canadians celebrating outside the Rogers K-Rock Centre.  Thousands of venues all across the land aired the concert LIVE (movie theatres, concert halls, pubs, public parks on big screens) and many of us were partying at home signing along.  I decided to stay in Toronto and go to the Danforth Music Hall to rock with about 1,500 other Hip fans.  It was quite the night Рnot one that I will soon forget.  

I challenged myself to narrow down my top 10 Hip songs – I wasn’t successful – I could only do 15 and even that was tough.

(in no particular order)

  1. Wheat Kings
  2. At the Hundreth Meridian
  3. It’s a Good Life if You Don’t Weaken
  4. Dire Wolf
  5. Long Time Running
  6. Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)
  7. 50 Mission Cap
  8. Ahead By a Century
  9. Grace, Too
  10. Scared
  11. Pigeon Camera
  12. Poets
  13. In a World Possessed by the Human Mind
  14. Gift Shop
  15. Bobcaygeon

RIP “Gordy Baby”, we will miss you terribly – but we’ll always have your music ūüéľ

If you’re at all feeling weepy – don’t listen to the part of the At The Hundredth Meridian where Gord sings If they bury me some place I don’t want to be, You’ll dig me up and transport me, unceremoniously Away from the swollen city breeze, garbage bag trees Whispers of disease and the acts of enormity And lower me slowly and sadly and properly Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy”

So, I’m curious – what are your top 5 Tragically Hip songs? I’d love to hear (ok 10 if you must) lol.

Namaste

T xo


Published on Jun 16, 2009

Music video by The Tragically Hip performing Bobcaygeon. (C) 1998 Universal Music Canada

 

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concert count

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Brett Kissel Р The Watson Art Centre Р2015

In my last blog (Who Am I Now?) I mentioned that I’d try to write down a list of all of the concerts I’ve been to. ¬†As I sat down to write the list and came to the final tally, I was surprised – I thought I’d been to more than this … but 44 isn’t too bad!

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Kid Cudi – Air Canada Centre – 2014

And here they are in no particular order:

  1. Metallica –¬†Exhibition Stadium – Toronto
  2. Faith No More –¬†Exhibition Stadium – Toronto
  3. GNR – Exhibition Stadium – Toronto
  4. U2 – Air Canada Centre Toronto
  5. Coldplay – Air Canada Centre Toronto
  6. Default – Kitchener
  7. Grapes of Wrath – Waterloo
  8. Alan Jackson – Windsor Casino
  9. Tim McGraw – Casino Rama – Orillia
  10. The Killers – T-Mobile Centre – Vegas
  11. The  Tragically Hip РStratford
  12. The Tragically Hip – Kitchener Auditorium – Kitchener
  13. The Tragically Hip – Winnipeg
  14. Danko Jones – Stratford
  15. Disturbed – Hamilton Coliseum
  16. Theory of a Deadman – Guelph
  17. Elton John – Air Canada Centre Toronto
  18. Billy Joel РAir Canada Centre Toronto
  19. Kenny Rogers – Centre in the Square – Kitchener
  20. Randy Travis – Casino Rama
  21. Simple plan – Stratford
  22. Sum 41 – Stratford
  23. Brett Kissel –¬†Watson Arts Centre – Dauphin
  24. Jordan Macintosh – Watson Arts Centre – Dauphin
  25. Shaggy Р Kitchener Auditorium РKitchener
  26. Justin Bieber РAir Canada Centre Toronto
  27. Big Sean РAir Canada Centre Toronto
  28. The Steve Miller Band – Canada’s Wonderland
  29. Neil Young – ACC – Toronto
  30. John Mayer –¬†Molson Amphitheatre ¬†– Toronto
  31. Philip Philips РMolson Amphitheatre  РToronto
  32. Joe Satriani – Canada’s Wonderland – Vaughn
  33. Michael Buble – Budweiser Arena – London
  34. Kid Cudi – Air Canada Centre Toronto
  35. Naturally 7 – Budweiser Arena – London
  36. Sean Kingston РAir Canada Centre Toronto
  37. Dr Hook – Kitchener
  38. Nazareth – Kitchener
  39. Pink Floyd – Exhibition Stadium – Toronto
  40. Big Sugar – Kitchener
  41. Marianna and the Diamonds РAir Canada Centre Toronto
  42. Elton John – Cesar’s Palace – Las Vegas
  43. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Casino Rama
  44. Danny Michel – Kitchener
  45. David Wilcox – Kitchener
  46. SOON – June 25th – U2 – The Joshua Tree Tour – ACC Toronto
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The Killers – Grand Opening of the T-Mobile Centre in Vegas 2016
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Michael Buble – London – 2014

Get Out The Covers!

I am music buff. ¬†I love music, and I have a eclectic range ¬†… classical, country, classic rock, alternative, 80’s rock ballads, heavy metal, blues, hip hop, rap, indie, pop, R&B, raggae, raggaeton, latino and accoustic etc. ¬†There’s probably not a genre I don’t like … well maybe screamo … I don’t like screamo, but I do quite like bands like Disturbed. ¬†Actually come to think of it I’m also not fond of Jazz and show tunes, I don’t like show tunes!

I’m happy, I listen to music. ¬†I’m sad, I listen to music. ¬†I need inspiration, I listen to music. ¬†I go to sleep, I listen to music (Stingray Spa). ¬†I love how one song can bring you back years, decades – ¬†to a moment in time, just like it were yesterday.

The one thing you wouldn’t find me listening to much of were cover songs. ¬†The original (or at least the version I thought to be “original”) was the version I liked … I didn’t like much deviation … I’m still that way at times. When I go to concert, I like when the artist sings the song as they did on the album, not put on their special concert twist and it sounds nothing like it did when it was recorded. ¬†Like, how can I belt along when you’re going and changing it up on me? lol

I’ve made a list (in no particular order) of some of my favourite cover tunes. ¬†Check ’em out and see if you do too.

1.Artists of Then Now & Forever, Forever Country (John Denver, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9gAXwYZtfk

2. The Killers, Bad Moon Rising (CCR) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL7QTCkrD9s

3. Ryan Adams, Wildest Dream (Taylor Swift) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVCme_D7pV4

4. Futuristic & Devvon Terrell, Love Yourself (Justin Bieber) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcqmdLwj94Q

5. Willie Nelson, The Scientist (Coldplay) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v525UGbA448

6. Disturbed, Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkle) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

7. Jordan McIntosh ft George Canyon, Story of My Life (One Direction) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2PVZgKISjg

8.Michael Buble, Feeking Good (Nina Simone) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7NENSbrSl4

9. Usher, Pumped Up Kicks (Foster the People) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMEuA7HbiiY&list=PLXnQbf9inlDFXnvEIMikfPOepu4zc2f9I&index=8

10. Kid Cudi & Dot Da Genius, Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Nirvana) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiWH5KxMy2M

11. U2, Yellow (Coldplay) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHdfEtczmWM

12. Josh Turner, Three Wooden Crosses (Randy Travis) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa2iBFQ1cxU

13. Johnny Cash, Hurt (Nine Inch Nails) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1Pwfnh5pc

14. Alexandra Kay, Jolene (Dolly Parton) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeatqoUNwVk

15. Alien Ant Farm, Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDl9ZMfj6aE

16. Boyce Avenue, Wherever You Will Go (The Calling) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw6eD4Z74GQ

17. Tori Amos, Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB2c7_vyBSM

18. Darius Rucker, Wagon Wheel (Bob Dylan/Old Crow Medicine Show) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvKyBcCDOB4

19. Joe Cocker, With A Little Help From My Friends  (The Beatles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCrlyX6XbTU

20. Rufus Wainright, Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR0DKOGco_o

21. Erich Church/Chris Stapleton, The Weight (The Band) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOgJBgR0ySA

22. Ingrid Michelson, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (Elvis Presley)¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2U8_vR3yUI

23. Justin Bieber, Fast Car (Tracy Chapman) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWdKwYKUe1M

24. Demi Lovato, Take Me To Church (Hozier) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysv84KEZXWw

25. Brian Justin, Creep (Radiohead) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8AlxrwhY30

I definitely like covers songs now … My iPod sometimes contains 2/3 versions of one song, because I appreciate what each individual artist brings to their rendition.

What do you think of the list?

Are any new to you that you like?

What are some of your favourites?

Namaste

T xo

~ ‚ÄúOne good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.‚Ä̬†Bob Marley