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-   -   LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017 (http://www.corfid.com/vbb//showthread.php?t=28489)

jj 10-12-2017 11:27 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
getting further updated and kicking myself ... had no idea Wayne Francis (!) was going ... GL web long timers will recall how he (Matt Fifer too?) brought Gord to the word wide web ( 23 year ago?? ) and we all started swapping GL thoughts and stories in that old alt.net newsgroup .... the Lightfoot.ca website was launched and it's still ticking .... i have archived favourite musical banter tidbits from he, Richard Harrison and so many others ... that compilation could be published... although less appealing to the masses... thank you Wayne, char, val, florian (who? wheeeere? lol) and all setlist, review keepers and tidbit contributors from throughout the decades... and also to those who have passed on ... was honoured to meet many.... your legends do live on ....safe travels, Wayne .... next time

charlene 10-13-2017 08:36 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
VIDEOS: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...cmC7kRYpbjFV_U


charlene 10-13-2017 08:37 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-13-2017 08:39 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-13-2017 08:40 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-13-2017 08:41 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-13-2017 08:42 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-13-2017 08:44 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-13-2017 08:44 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-13-2017 08:47 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
Playlist of videos - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...cmC7kRYpbjFV_U

paskatefan 10-14-2017 06:34 AM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
Wow! What gorgeous photos & lovely autographs, Char! What an incredible event it was!
Looking forward to watching the videos!


Jim Nasium 10-15-2017 08:39 AM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
I note in the book that "Rainbow Trout" is described as a "Clunker" I think it is a lovely song, I wish I could write one as good. Am I alone?

youngstranger 10-15-2017 09:46 AM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

Originally Posted by Jim Nasium (Post 190631)
I note in the book that "Rainbow Trout" is described as a "Clunker" I think it is a lovely song, I wish I could write one as good. Am I alone?

I laughed when I read that becasue I really like the song and everyone else seems to hate it! It's also seems to be the only song so far (I'm up to '83) that he straight out criticises.

The book really has very little focus on the music though...

charlene 10-15-2017 12:55 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
It's a biography of the musician..not a music book. lol.. :)
maybe that's next on his 'list of things to do'... write a book about the music.. hmmmm.....
I may have to start making that suggestion to him....

DarylK 10-15-2017 03:46 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
Does anyone know, when Nicholas Jennings was writing about the song "Sometimes I Don't Mind", did he have a case of misheard lyrics or did Gord change the lyrics when recording? Jennings quotes the line "When I'm thinking of you ballerina alone", which shows up in the album liner notes as "When I'm thinking of you better leave her alone". Obviously a very minor point, just curious if anyone else picked up on it or knows the story.

charlene 10-16-2017 06:46 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
Nicholas says (and I also heard "ballerina" in the recorded version ):lyrics here and at gordonlightfoot dot com are wrong..

Char, it's not misheard. If you listen to the recording, Gord sings in the second verse"When I'm thinking of you ballerina alone." It's there in the singing, clear as day, if not in the liner notes.

In the book there's info about a ballerina he dated...

charlene 10-20-2017 02:24 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
OCTOBER 20, 2017

TITLE Lightfoot AUTHOR Nicholas Jennings GENRE Biography PUBLISHER Viking Canada PAGES 315 PRICE $35

Nicholas Jennings introduces his biography of Gordon Lightfoot with a seven-page story about Bob Dylan and his Rolling Thunder Revue tour, which in late November, 1975, rolled into Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. The scene was wild and it was mobile. A postconcert party happened at Lightfoot's Rosedale mansion, where a leather jacket was thrown into a fire, filling the house with thick black smoke.

"Bobby was a very enthusiastic partier," recalls Ramblin' Jack Elliott, a folk-music legend and raconteur, referring to Dylan. "Dylan was into drinking carrot juice at the time," adds Ronnie Hawkins, a rock-music myth-maker. Partier or carrot-juice enthusiast – who can recall? It was the seventies. Truth and leather jackets, lost in smoke.

The story continues. Lightfoot and Dylan, mutual admirers, were alone upstairs trading songs. The conversation between them was not vibrant. A lion meets a tiger. Wariness and confusion.

They were "too guarded, or maybe competitive," author Jennings suggests.

The reason for the Dylan-Lightfoot stage-setting isn't instantly apparent. Which is okay. What isn't okay is that the reason to link the two great artists never does fully present itself. Although Jennings will thread the theme throughout his book, he never does tie a knot on it. The best he comes up with is "For Lightfoot, as for Dylan, it was about the song."

That seems like a cop out – thin soup.

Lightfoot is an informative, highly readable book, but it has to be seen as a minor disappointment. In the acknowledgments, Jennings, a long-time music critic for Maclean's and the author of the essential Before the Gold Rush: Flashbacks to the Dawn of the Canadian Sound, writes of his extensive interviews over the course of a dozen years with the musician. The book jacket hails the author's "unprecedented access" to his subject. Yet the access results in not enough revelation.

The book was originally intended to be a memoir, as told to an excellent music journalist by an iconic Canadian songwriter. Such was Lightfoot's reticence, however, that a personal story became a well-researched chronicle, with some Lightfoot-told passages but also with plenty of third-party accounts, some facilitated by microfilm diggings.

The tone is respectful; the detail is great and never pedantically presented. All sorts of album-and-concert-review quotes. Lightfoot fans should rejoice and accept the fine info on their man.

The Rolling Thunder yarn spun, Jennings takes the reader back to Lake Couchiching – the idyllic, edge-of-wilderness spot near Orillia, Ont., where the boy Lightfoot fished for rock bass and searched for wild mushrooms. We get an account from Lightfoot of an incident involving ice fishing and a near drowning with his cousin. "It was such a close call," Lightfoot remembers. "I'm still amazed we survived."

To Jennings's mind, young Lightfoot's escape from peril was indicative of "the kind of dogged determination that would carry him out of Orillia and into international stardom, seeing through all the ups and downs of a large, messy, wonderful and sometimes troubled life."

With Lightfoot, we get snapshots of mid-century Canadiana. The man who would grow up to tunefully offer history lessons on shipwrecks and railways and who as an adult would sing some of the greatest brooding relationship songs ever poured out of a whisky bottle – "Pickin' up the pieces of my sweet shattered dream" – started out as performer in barbershop quartets as a schoolboy.

Apparently a cappella haircutting was all the rage. Fans paid money to see and hear the genre at great venues such as Toronto's Massey Hall. That they did so with no irony whatsoever can perhaps be attributed to a psychic-trauma hangover from the Second World War.

Lightfoot moved on from bow-tie balladry to folk music and, eventually, top-10 troubadouring. Jennings offers an invaluable if unexciting portrait of a superstar: Driven, oft-depressed, a one-time alcoholic, a lover and loser of women, a father who missed his children, a rugged outdoorsman, a hit-maker and Massey Hall filler, a man of great loyalty, a do-the-right-thing dude, a perfectionist, a performer who lives for the stage and a survivor (of a near fatal ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm in 2002 and otherwise).

I've met Lightfoot. I like him. Jennings does, too, and so will the reader (if the reader is any right kind of human – and the fact they are reading this particular newspaper is a persuasive argument that they are).

At one point, a snippet of an interview with Lightfoot in 1991 by CBC Radio's Peter Gzowski illustrates the frustrating reticence of the former. "The world is clamouring to rap with you, and you insist you don't have anything to say," Gzowski said.

"That is precisely correct," the shy Sundown singer answered.

And, so, Lightfoot, who owes us nothing but words, voice and melody, frustrates us (and probably Jennings, too). Read between the lines – that's the great songwriter's answer and our recourse.

Dylan offered us a deal: "I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours." It was no bargain. But he offered. Lightfoot? Not so much. If we could read his mind, we wouldn't need a contextual memoir. One that, despite Jennings's great effort, we still need.

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail.

BendRick 10-22-2017 11:02 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

Originally Posted by Jim Nasium (Post 190631)
I note in the book that "Rainbow Trout" is described as a "Clunker" I think it is a lovely song, I wish I could write one as good. Am I alone?

My brow did furrow when I read that paragraph in the Biography. As a U.S. Westerner, I just assumed "Rainbow Trout" was just another Canadian ditty, a sing-along song. My friends and family never disliked this song. There was a brother-in-law who hated "Cold Hands from New York" for its plodding repetition. Overall I loved reading Jenning's Lightfoot biography, it was so full of details and research. I read it in two days, couldn't put it down. That's great that Jennings mentioned the Reno, Nevada concert in 2000. I was there in front row. At the time I lived in Reno, that was such a great concert!

Martyn Miles 10-23-2017 05:03 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
I have just finished 'Lightfoot' and it's been strange reading about GL's life and songs. Not an easy read with all the revelations about his failed relationships. Also, the book puts some of his songs in a different place for me. When I hear them now they have a different 'slant' than previously.
I am seeing/hearing many of them with a new perspective.

charlene 10-23-2017 06:58 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-28-2017 10:36 AM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 10-31-2017 09:40 AM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
VIDEO interview; http://www.chch.com/lightfoot/

charlene 11-02-2017 04:36 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

If you could read Gordon Lightfoot’s mind, this is the tale his thoughts could tell
By Don McLeese
If you could read his mind, what a tale his thoughts could tell. So claimed Gordon Lightfoot in his 1970 breakout hit, the song that would launch his career as one of the most consistently satisfying singer-songwriters of the decade and would subsequently be recorded by some 300 other artists.
There was a lot of musical confession in those days, with James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and so many others wearing their hearts on their lyric sleeves. Yet Lightfoot generally kept his mind to himself. A reserved Canadian, he played his emotional cards comparatively close to his vest, rarely granting interviews and rarely saying much when he did. Even in live performance, he came across as a tight-lipped stoic, the troubadour as rugged northwoodsman.

So, it’s a revelation here to find Lightfoot opening up at all. Not surprisingly, the biographer to whom he has confided is a fellow Canadian, veteran music journalist Nicholas Jennings, who enjoyed his subject’s full cooperation. Not that this is a kiss-and-tell book. But, regrets, he has a few, and Lightfoot airs them. He has paid a price for keeping his feelings to himself, for letting his career consume his private life, for drinking himself numb. It took him three marriages and assorted relationships (at least one of them borderline toxic) to give him a sense of how to be a husband and a father.
We learn that the smooth surface of his signature sound belies the turbulence that has inspired some of his most memorable material, such as the enigmatic “Sundown” (an obsessive jealousy corrodes the soul) and even “If You Could Read My Mind” (a beguiling melody that finds a marriage on the rocks). In Lightfoot’s songcraft, still waters run deep, or at least deeper than you’d expect for someone who became branded an easy-listening artist.

He first showed promise was as a schoolboy soloist in the church choir and then as a harmonizer in barbershop quartets. He served an apprenticeship on a corny TV show called “Country Hoedown,” where he became nicknamed “Gord Leadfoot” for his inability to master the choreography. His first songwriting effort was “The Hula Hoop Song” (1957).

Inauspicious beginnings, but Lightfoot was determined to make music his career. He studied theory and notation and became more interested in jazz than rock. He moved to Toronto, where he found a burgeoning folk scene. Ian & Sylvia were the leading lights, and their blend of folk and Canadian country showed Lightfoot a path forwardHe also found his manager through the duo, the notorious Albert Grossman, whose top clients were Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary, all of whom would record Lightfoot material. He found success as a songwriter through early efforts such as “Early Morning Rain,” but it took much longer for him to establish himself as a recording artist, particularly in the United States.

As Jennings points out, Lightfoot’s breakthrough was something of a fluke. He had signed with a new label to release his fifth album, initially titled “Sit Down Young Stranger.” Despite his reputation as a songwriter, the first single from the album was the only song he didn’t write, an early cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” On the flip side was “If You Could Read My Mind,” a track that Reprise Records hadn’t considered very commercial.

“It’s a highly sophisticated, beautiful song, but it didn’t have a conventional structure, so I assumed radio wasn’t going to accept it,” the label’s Lenny Waronker told the author. But one DJ played the flip side, and then everyone did. The album was reissued with the hit as its title, and radio subsequently accepted pretty much everything Lightfoot released through the ’70s, including “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” an even less likely popular favorite. Lightfoot wasn’t an artist who followed formulas or trends; he was a significant artist with a singular sound.

He was also an increasingly troubled man, very conflicted, not comfortable with the glare of the spotlight in a hype-riddled industry. He had trouble with women — not attracting them, but sustaining a fulfilling relationship. And it’s a weakness of the book that we never hear from any of these women — the wives, the girlfriends. This is very much Gord’s story, his version. The more successful he became, the harder he worked, the more he drank, the less he stayed home, the more vicious the circle became.

Inevitably, the hits stopped coming, the marriages and relationships fell apart, and his voice, his health and his performances all suffered.

But there’s a happy ending of sorts, because he sobered up, married happily and survived a couple of serious hospitalizations. He has channeled his obsessiveness into exercise and performing, transforming himself from has-been into something of a mythic icon, certainly in Canada.

How great is he, or was he? Not as great as Dylan, the biography suggests, but the two are mutual admirers who understand each other better than most.

“They’re both reclusive and eccentric, so to some degree they’re kindred spirits,” says singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan, who knows them both. “Except Gord’s life is not a fabrication. He is who he is. Bob Dylan is a complete myth.”

Don McLeese is a journalism professor at the University of Iowa and a veteran critic of music, books and popular culture.

charlene 11-12-2017 09:46 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

charlene 11-13-2017 05:23 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
1968: The year of Lightfoot’s U.S. breakthrough

Featured Monday, 13 November 2017 PHOTOS AT LINK:

Gordon Lightfoot became a star at home during Canada’s centennial year. South of the border, he was still mostly known as the composer of hits for others, including Marty Robbins and Peter, Paul and Mary. All that changed in 1968.

Why it didn’t happen earlier had a lot to do with the delayed release of the Canadian artist’s debut album, Lightfoot! Although recorded late in 1964, it didn’t appear until over a year later, by which time the folk boom had largely gone bust, thanks to the twin forces of the Beatles and an electrified Bob Dylan. Lightfoot was working hard at playing catch up, releasing The Way I Feel and touring relentlessly throughout ’67.

By early the following year, the tide was beginning to turn. Armed with his third album, Did She Mention My Name, Lightfoot found himself getting booked into bigger and better venues with the help of Albert Grossman, the powerful manager he shared with Dylan. The first prime gig came in early April, when Lightfoot appeared at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

Owner Doug Weston opened the 350-seat Troubadour on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood in 1961 and the club quickly became the premier music showcase on the West Coast, a place often packed with agents, managers and record company people. Along with blues artists and standup comedians, it served as the launching pad for folk, rock and country acts ranging from Judy Collins, Tim Buckley and Tom Rush to Nina Simone, the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. Linda Ronstadt made her debut there with the Stone Poneys and went on to become one of the Troubadour’s most popular solo acts.

When Lightfoot made his debut at the Troubadour on April 2, 1968, accompanied by guitarist Red Shea and bassist John Stockfish, Chuck Mitchell was there to see it. The American folksinger and ex-husband of Joni Mitchell knew Lightfoot from their days together in Detroit. Backstage at the Troubadour, Mitchell witnessed his friend’s nerves up close. “Like all of us, Gordon had genuine self-doubt and wasn’t totally secure,” says Mitchell. “And the Troubadour could be an imposing room. But when Gordon walked out on that stage, he saw that the place was packed. He sang his set and the people knew his songs. In the end, he got several encores, and when he came offstage, he virtually broke down. It was very emotional.”

While in Los Angeles, Lightfoot appeared on The Skip Weshner Show on KRHM-FM, performing songs and discussing them with Weshner. Like the Troubadour, Weshner’s radio program was an important West Coast showcase. Having turned heads at the Troubadour, Lightfoot stayed in California to appear at the 7th annual Folk Music Festival. Held on the campus of San Francisco State College, the festival featured a mixed bag of performers, from country legend Merle Travis and singer-songwriter Dino Valenti, of “Let’s Get Together” fame, to blues-rock-soul group the Electric Flag and folk-swing/gypsy-jazz adventurists Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks. Also on the bill was Gale Garnett, a Canadian singer-actress who’d moved to LA after winning a Grammy for her album We’ll Sing in the Sunshine, beating out Dylan’s The Times They Are A-changin’. At the time, Garnett was fronting a psychedelic folk group called the Gentle Reign.

Backed by Shea and Stockfish, Lightfoot performed at the festival’s two evening concerts, and took part in a songwriter’s workshop with Garnett and Travis. In keeping with the free-love atmosphere of the times, Lightfoot and the vivacious Garnett wound up sleeping together. As Garnett later recalled: “Gord was a very straight Scottish Presbyterian guy. It was very sweet, very innocent.”

Lightfoot’s appearance at the festival focused attention on his Did She Mention My Name album, which began attracting rave reviews. “A work of rare beauty and sensitivity,” commented one California newspaper. “His voice is wonderfully expressive, and whether a song is light or serious, he is able to sing it with honesty,” it continued, adding “Lightfoot can communicate his emotions with eloquence.”

Later that spring, Lightfoot was in Washington, DC, to perform for a week at the prestigious Cellar Door club. It was an intense time to be in the States, with frequent race riots and Vietnam protests. Lightfoot, Shea and Stockfish arrived as a transit strike coincided with the Poor People’s March, organized by Martin Luther King Jr. Despite gridlock, the club was filled every night.

Grossman continued getting Lightfoot prime bookings, including a spot at the Hollywood Bowl opening for Peter, Paul & Mary, a night at New York’s Bitter End and a return LATimes 1engagement at the Cellar Door. He even booked Lightfoot into the Fillmore West, San Francisco’s hippie auditorium. Rather incongruously, Lightfoot would share the bill with two rock bands, Cold Blood and Canned Heat, and his name was woven into the psychedelic design of the poster advertising the show. Nonetheless, Lightfoot delivered a confident 17-song set that included selections from his second album released that year, Back Here on Earth, and he was called back for an encore, performing “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” to an enthusiastic (and likely very stoned) audience.

But none of those gigs compared to Lightfoot’s second appearance at the Troubadour. His first time there was his introduction to American audiences; his return felt like something of a coronation. Word had spread about this singer-songwriter from Canada who sang poetic lyrics without a trace of artifice. Doug Weston’s club on Santa Monica Boulevard was packed with actors, agents, record executives and beautiful women. Also in the audience that week were DJ Skip Weshner, who had Lightfoot on his radio show for a second time, and Robert Hilburn, the influential music critic from the Los Angeles Times. Lightfoot impressed Hilburn enough for him to write a lengthy “star is born” profile headlined “Lightfoot Arrives.”

Before the year was out, Hilburn’s east coast counterpart, Robert Shelton of The New York Times, had followed suit, hailing Lightfoot as a bright new talent. There was even a Time magazine profile praising Lightfoot as “that rarity in the folk field: a well-schooled singer.” From then on, Lightfoot could do no wrong in America. All he needed now was a hit song.

Adapted from Lightfoot by Nicholas Jennings. Copyright 2017 Nicholas Jennings. Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Photographs used are courtesy of Gordon Lightfoot unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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