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.

Beatlemania and the Toronto Sound

The Beatles changed the world in countless ways, but they also dramatically changed Toronto over three consecutive years of performances (1964 to 1966) at Maple Leaf Gardens. Almost overnight, the city was hit with a cultural shift of seismic proportions: Boys grew Beatle bangs, girls pinned photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo on their walls and parents worried about the sanity of their teenaged children. Canada’s folk darlings Ian & Sylvia had ruled up to that point, but as the male half of that duo, Ian Tyson, remembers, “the minute the Beatles arrived, it was over—well and truly over.” The folk boom slowed, as every kid on the block rushed to form rock bands. Toronto’s music scene ...

Continue reading
  1682 Hits

Obituary: Beatles visionary, talent scout Paul White

Capitol Records Canada executive Paul White (second from left) with the Beatles, Toronto, September 1964. Photo by Lynn Ball.

He’s the man who first brought the Beatles’ music to Canada—almost a full year before America embraced Beatlemania. He then opened the doors for other British Invasion acts and went on to sign the first wave of Canadian pop artists during the 1960s, including Anne Murray and Edward Bear, in his capacity as Capitol Records’ artists & repertoire executive in Canada. When Paul White died on March 13, after a cardiac arrest, the music industry mourned the loss of a jovial gentleman and creative trailblazer. Along with issuing Beatles’ singles, beginning with “Love Me Do” on February 18, 1963 and hitting number one with “She Loves You” by the end of the year, White designed and compiled sever...

Continue reading
  2092 Hits

Music Review: Paul McCartney - Egypt Station

At 76, Sir Paul could be forgiven if he slowed down and kicked back in his slippers with a nice cuppa. But that’s not Macca’s way. In fact he’s as busy as ever, going viral with James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke and launching another world tour Sept. 17 in Quebec City. On his 17th solo studio album, McCartney sounds still in his prime—feisty, frisky and having fun. The flirtatious “Come On to Me” is a delirious rocker, while “Fuh You,” produced by hitmaker Ryan Tedder, is sexy and infectious. The rest of the album, produced by Greg Kurstin (Beck, Adele), ranges from the Latin jazz of “Back in Brazil” and the bouncy “Happy With You” (about his wife Nancy Shevell) to the cautionary political...

Continue reading
  2013 Hits

Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire

It’s not easy being the son of the deified Beatle—just ask Julian who, despite (or because of) his eerie resemblance to his father, rode a ticket to obscurity. Sean, who actually sounds more like Paul, has fared better, largely due to his alt-rock connections. His long-awaited followup to 1998’s Into the Sun is a promising collection of piano and falsetto-filled songs about failed romance. But the most moving number is the stark hidden track that recalls the day John was murdered, leaving five-year-old Sean tragically fatherless. Sept. 26

  1661 Hits

John Lennon - John Lennon Signature Box

Few rock musicians have shone as brightly as John Lennon. Before he was killed at the age of 40 in December 1980, the former Beatle was revered as a pop star, a songwriter and a peace advocate. Since his death, his fame has continued to grow, as new generations discover the man who instilled rock with both wit and a conscience. To mark what would have been his 70th birthday, Lennon’s record company is reissuing eight of his solo records, plus a greatest hits collection and a four-disc anthology. Available separately or packaged together with bonus material in the John Lennon Signature Box, they serve as a fitting tribute to the “Imagine” singer. Says his widow, Yoko Ono: “I hope this will he...

Continue reading
  1881 Hits