Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

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Obituaries, Books

The Band - And The Band Plays On

For defunct rock groups, 1983 has become the year of the reunion. Among the acts from rock’s golden years re-forming are The Guess Who, The Animals, The Hollies and Simon and Garfunkel. But the most unexpected return is that of The Band, Canada’s most celebrated rock ensemble. Its farewell concert seven years ago was so lavish and final that it made any suggestion of reunion seem dishonest. Now, with a two-week, 11-city Canadian tour that included a July 4 stop in Toronto (at the CNE Bandshell), The Band is back, although without the services of guitarist Robbie Robertson.From the heady days of the southern Ontario bar circuit in the 1960s to Martin Scorsese’s touching movie tribute, Th...
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Ray Materick - Coming into focus

The photographer was posing Ray Materick, his band and some promotion types for a casual group shot in the dressing room of Toronto's El Mocambo. They sat themselves around a table strewn with cigarette butts, guitar picks and a half-drained 40 ouncer of whiskey, waiting to be focused. Materick and his musicians had just finished a well-received first set downstairs and now, on cue, everyone began hamming it up for the benefit of the camera.“Just one more,” promised the photographer. Ironically, the walls behind them sported a colourful collage of assorted rock star faces. All the most successful performers, the Lightfoots, the McLauchlans and the Dylans were up there, staring out from the w...
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Lightfoot, the Hawk and the Rolls-Royce

By the mid-1960s, Gordon Lightfoot was spending more and more time drinking and hanging out with Ian Tyson and Ronnie Hawkins. Bar crawls on Yonge Street weren’t always possible, since the three would often be working. But Hawkins, who pretty much had the run of Le Coq d’Or, kept the place open and made sure the club’s go-go dancers stuck around so he and his buddies could trade songs and party with the girls long after closing. Lightfoot had even written a wistful lament about one of the dancers, “Go Go Round,” which became a hit record for him in early 1967 and was ultimately featured on his album The Way I Feel.Friendship with Hawkins led Lightfoot to write another song. It all stemm...
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