banner.gif (3613 Byte)

Corner.gif 1x1.gif Corner.gif
1x1.gif You are at: Home - Discussion Forum 1x1.gif
Corner.gif 1x1.gif Corner.gif
round_corner_upleft.gif (837 Byte) 1x1.gif (807 Byte) round_corner_upright.gif (837 Byte)

Go Back   Gordon Lightfoot Forums > General Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-06-2003, 03:55 PM   #1
Big Blue
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 69

What songs do you think Gord very likely composed while he was under the influence? I think All the Lovely Ladies was among them. I have been very drunk in a bar before and had such warm feelings toward all humanity, particularly the people in the bar. When I hear the song, it makes me think of those times.
Big Blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2003, 04:30 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,803

from what i've read he seemed to be pretty pissed on stage in the early 80s
joveski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2003, 06:32 PM   #3
Auburn Annie
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,113

The only one I've heard him say (sorry, can't remember where I read it) was, ironically enough, "Stone Cold Sober". From the SONGBOOK liner notes about this song:


Quite personal. There's a feeling of fact about it. It makes me feel good, and a little sad, when I do it. Some losses are more painful than others when it comes to love, and this one is very heartfelt and true. The circumstances of my life at the time matched the song. I think it sounded a little too sad to make it on the record.

The copyright on it is 1974 but I can't say when it was actually written. By 1974 Gord had had a couple of tumultuous years, what with the Bell's Palsy attack in 1972 and his divorce from Brita in 1973 (and correct me if I'm wrong but I think his Dad died in early 1974.) He quit drinking for good in 1982. Among the albums released in those ten or so years are Don Quixote, Old Dan's Records, Sundown, Cold on the Shoulder, Summertime Dream, Endless Wire, Dream Street Rose, and Shadows.

I don't know if this link will work for you but it's a reprint of a January 1976 SONGWRITER article on Gord and includes a description of his (then) writing method:

An excerpt:

"All except one small room on the second floor. Bare walls, bare floor, bare
bones. No softness to muffle the music, no illusions to temper reality. And
this is where he writes.

Barefoot and blue-jeaned, he sits wrapped around a six-string Martin in
front of his "writing table" - the same one he's used for the past decade.
The table is awash with paper, pencils; notes on scraps of Holiday Inn
stationary, hand-scribbled charts, scratched-out lyrics, an overflowing
ashtray and near-empty bottle of Molson's ale. Time for a break.

"I'm working on a song right now that I'm probably not going to finish until
tomorrow morning at daylight," he says, standing and stretching. "But for
all intents and purposes it will be done - except maybe for a couple of
"I'm into my 'season' right now, actually. This is the time I would be
starting to write songs, and I've already got a lot of stuff underway. This
one I'm working on right now, I had the idea for the title of it perhaps
three or four months ago. But I haven't had time to sit down and work it

Lightfoot has a few fetishes, and the ritual of songwriting is one of them.
The "writing table" is part of that ritual. And so is the gradual withdrawl
into himself during the two or three months preceding each new album - his
songwriting "season."

"You've got to make time to do it," he explains, taking a quick sip of the
Molson's. "You're so busy the rest of the time. This is a touring band, you
know, and I do seventy dates a year now, which is less than I used to do. It
takes time to recuperate between trips, and all that sort of thing. So
you've got to take time off to get yourself into the right space to do it."

For Lightfoot, the "right space" is an empty room like the one upstairs,
where reality is reduced to basics and where the Martin can ring with
crystal clarity. "That's how I've always done it," he says simply. In 1969
he moved into an empty house in Toronto; and working twelve hours a day for
four straight weeks, emerged with all the songs for his If You Could Read My
Mind album. The ten songs for Sundown were written during the few months he
locked himself up in a rented farmhouse north of the city.

"It's the only way to do it," he insists. "You just sit down and do it. I
mean, these songs don't just pop off the top of your head when you're
walking down the street. They just don't. You can get a thread of an idea,
but you can't sit there and devlop it and work out the lyric and work out
the melody and the chord progession and all that stuff. You've got to sit
down and write it down, and work it out. And this sometimes takes maybe a
couple of days."

There have been notable exceptions, however - and the stories about
Lightfoot's songwriting have already become legend. I'm Not Saying, the
legend goes, was written while he watched a hockey game on television. For
Loving Me came together on the short trip back from a gig near Toronto.
Carefree Highway was inspired by an Arizona road sign he saw en route to the
Phoenix airport - and was completed by takeoff. Bitter Green was conceived
in the backseat of a London taxicab.

But legend or not, they are exceptions - for Lightfoot is still very much a
man who works hard at his craft. "It just takes work, and that is sitting at
the table. Like I said, you've got to sit down at the table and work it
out." If there's a Lightfoot formula for success...that's it."

[This message has been edited by Auburn Annie (edited October 06, 2003).]
Auburn Annie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2003, 10:12 PM   #4
Big Blue
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 69

Thanks Auburn Annie! That was very informative. I think that he probably also wrote The Circle Is Small while he was intoxicated. It has a kind of drunk-y feel to it.

ps. lest anyone misunderstand, I mean no disrespect toward Gord.
Big Blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2003, 04:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Phoenix,Arizona -America
Posts: 4,429

"Hang-Dog Hotel Room." What do most restless travelers do alone in a room? That's right and anything else to aleviate boredom.

Borderstone - AZ's answer to GL! (but what was the question?)
Borderstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2013, 05:38 PM   #6
Shade of a Maple Tree
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 14
Default Re: Drunk and Inspired or CUI (Composing Under the Influence)

Originally Posted by joveski View Post
from what i've read he seemed to be pretty pissed on stage in the early 80s
I saw him at Alumni Hall in London, Ontario in the fall of 1980. When he came out on stage, he definitely seemed well on the way to being half-cut, although he put on a pretty good performance.
Shade of a Maple Tree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2013, 11:37 PM   #7
Shutup and Deal, I'm Losin'
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Somewhere U.S.A.
Posts: 936
Default Re: Drunk and Inspired or CUI (Composing Under the Influence)

He definitely was drinking something in the song Cabaret, as you can hear him open a bottle and take a swig.
Shutup and Deal, I'm Losin' is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
blog about Lightfoot concert/influence charlene General Discussion 3 08-19-2007 11:09 PM
Gord's Influence on Other Artists balaguy General Discussion 19 10-31-2006 06:53 PM
Harmony- "Creative" "Inspired" Masterful" Shelty General Discussion 7 08-13-2004 10:28 PM
Gordon Lightfoot Inspired Travel General Discussion 26 02-16-2003 12:28 AM
Gord's Influence WillieMaysFan General Discussion 8 11-07-2000 09:13 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
downleft 1x1.gif (807 Byte) downright