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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Lightfoot, Mitchell, Young and L.A.'s famed Troubadour nightclub

The Troubadour is one of the most storied venues in popular music. Beginning in 1961, owner Doug Weston ran the club, located in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard, as a showcase for folk and country artists. Later, it featured rock musicians as well.The Troubadour is where Elton John made his triumphant U.S. debut, where the Byrds, who met at a Monday open mic, first performed their classic take on Dylan’s “Tambourine Man,” where Buffalo Springfield made their live debut, where the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey met in the front bar and where Led Zeppelin famously played with Fairport Convention in a three-hour jam session.But more than anything, the Troubadour became synonymous wi...
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The thrilling blues of Luke & the Apostles

Starting in the mid-1960s, Luke & the Apostles—a quintet fronted by the Mick Jagger-like Luke Gibson—were packing Yorkville’s Purple Onion night after night. Although guys were drawn to the Apostlesʼ raw covers of songs like “Crossroads,” “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “You Canʼt Judge a Book,” girls were drooling over the sight of Gibson.Off-stage, Gibson was shy and quiet, but on-stage, he was transformed into a writhing, shaking, screaming package of pure sexual energy. With his curly hair and boyish good looks, Gibson was the bandʼs biggest asset. But the Apostles—guitarist Mike McKenna, keyboardist Peter Jermyn, bassist Jim Jones and drummer Rich McMurray—sounded good enough t...
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Mod Club memories

Far too many Toronto music venues have been dying, with owners falling victim to the double whammy of prohibitive rents and crippling taxes. The covid pandemic is just the latest nail in the coffin. First hit were the clubs; now it’s concert halls.The news that the Mod Club is closing has hit the music community especially hard. The 700-capacity concert hall in Little Italy,  at the corner of College and Crawford streets, was the perfect size for mid-level international acts and local artists whose stars were on the rise. It boasted brilliant sight lines, state-of-the-art lighting and exceptional sound and became one of the venues of choice for the Canadian Music Week and North By North...
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Remembering Toronto's Colonial Tavern

The illustrious history of Toronto's famous Colonial Tavern, once one of North America's top music clubs, is now etched into the sidewalk at 203 Yonge Street on a fabulous granite disc, thanks to the Downtown Yonge business association and MOD Developments. The disc, which features the names of over 130 artists who performed at the Colonial, was unveiled on Oct. 29, 2020.So many Canadian artists—of all genres— played Toronto’s storied Colonial, from Cy McLean & his Rhythm Rompers (who broke Yonge Street’s colour barrier in the late ‘40s) to The Viletones (who simply tore up the place in the ‘70s).Through the 1950s and into the '60s, the world's top jazz artists played the Colonial, inclu...
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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 f...
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