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Old 05-05-2020, 08:23 PM   #76
charlene
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Default Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot doc.-interviews/photos/articles-Apr-2019-AND TV viewing info

Streaming on-demand this summer is If You Could Read My Mind, a documentary about prolific Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, directed by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni.

FOR CANADIAN fans - CBC GEM Online streaming available now. (Not viewable for out of country fans)

FOR U.S. fans: THIS SUMMER- INFO on dates and venues yet to come: Greenwich Entertainment Reveals Official Trailer For ‘Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind’ WATCH VIDEO TRAILER at link:

GREENWICH ENTERTAINMENT REVEALS OFFICIAL TRAILER AND POSTER FOR THE UPCOMING DOCUMENTARY ‘GORDON LIGHTFOOT: IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND’ OUT THIS SUMMER
HTTPS://WWW.PRESSPARTY.COM/PG/NEWSDE...0XITBCZP8I6Q04

Geddy Lee, Sarah McLachlan and Alec Baldwin Appear in Gordon Lightfoot Documentary
If You Could Read My Mind arrives this summer
By ANGIE MARTOCCIO

Rush’s Geddy Lee, Sarah McLachlan and Alec Baldwin appear in If You Could Read My Mind, a documentary on Gordon Lightfoot, streaming on-demand this summer.
Directed by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, the film chronicles present-day Lightfoot performing a show and signing autographs as he fondly looks back on his nearly six-decade career — from his coffeehouse performance days in Ontario, Canada, to his rise to international fame in the Seventies.

“He is one of the greatest examples of timeless singer-songwriter,” Lee says in the clip, sitting alongside his bandmate Alex Lifeson. “He’s a Canadian national hero, but he also speaks with a voice for everyone,” adds Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin.

Lightfoot also breaks down the making of his 1966 song “Early Morning Rain.” “I knew that I had to sit down and do the work,” he tells the camera. “That turned out to be one of my biggest, most important tunes.”

Photos from the Seventies — including Lightfoot with Bob Dylan — are interspersed throughout the trailer, with a vintage clip of Lightfoot joking to a talk show host that alcohol helps maintain his prolific career.

“There was a beauty in what he was writing about, but there was a lot of internal pain that none of us would know about,” Lenny Waronker, a long-time record producer and former head of Reprise Records, says. “And it makes you love him, because you just have to listen to his lyrics, and then you get it.”
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:33 PM   #77
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Default Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot doc.-interviews/photos/articles-Apr-2019-AND TV viewing info

PLEASE read this whole post:EDIT: “not available in u.s.” DOCUMENTARY NEWS - it seems you can pre-order the IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND doc at APPLE iTUNES.
It is also at GOOGLE Play to be added to a WISHLIST if you have an account.
BOTH links are below:
I do not know if this is related to the GREENWICH ENTERTAINMENT news that the DOC will be streaming in the U.S. this summer. (already on CBC GEM for Canadian viewers)
****I do NOT know more than these TWO links and info at them. I will find out and post more info asap.****
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/movie/go...d/id1501774247
and
https://play.google.com/store/movies...A23MV&hl=en_CA
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:41 PM   #78
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Default Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot doc.-interviews/photos/articles-Apr-2019-AND TV viewing info

Thanks for the info Char. I watched the trailer and I'm VERY interested in seeing this but I keep bouncing back and forth between the Canadian and USA Apple sites with no joy. And I added it to my google wishlist too.

I would guess (certainly hope) that with the size of the USA market that it will be available to us soon.

Last edited by imported_Ordinary_Man; 05-16-2020 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 06-18-2020, 07:59 PM   #79
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Pre-order your DVD now for the IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND documentary from AMAZON.COM - release date is August 25, 2020: (at the U.S. site there is an option for GLOBAL shipping)

More info regarding Amazon.ca and Amazon U.K. to come:

https://www.amazon.com/Gordon-Lightf...522967&sr=8-10
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Old 06-19-2020, 12:06 PM   #80
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Default Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot doc.-interviews/photos/articles-Apr-2019-AND TV viewing info

Hoping for free viewing for Amazon Prime members...
__________________
"I'll see you all next Saturday..."
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:06 PM   #81
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It will not be on AMAZON to view: VIRTUAL AND IN THEATRE INFO AT THESE LINKS. SEARCH for your area and info.

https://www.gordonlightfootmovie.com...TwnxkwXAl_kVC8

AND:

https://watch.eventive.org/gordonlig...BXJ_Loxgrs8sKo
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:13 PM   #82
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VIDEO AND PHOTOS AT LINK:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/enter...L4rC3z51itlFSk

Poetry, parties and painful 'Sundown': 5 takeaways from Gordon Lightfoot doc 'If You Could Read My Mind'
Bryan Alexander
USA TODAY

A national treasure in his native Canada, singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot's recognition with a new generation of American music fans could be summed with his repeated name drop in Netflix's "13 Reasons Why" as an ironic text message code word for the high school kids.

They too come to respect the honey-voiced singer of folk-pop classics like "If You Could Read My Mind," "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," "Sundown" and "Carefree Highway." The five-time Grammy-nominated song poet gets his film due with the documentary "Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind."

Here are five major takeaways from Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni-directed film, opening in virtual cinema and theaters Wednesday.

"If You Could Read My Mind" charts Lightfoot's early days as an angel-voiced choir boy in small-town Orillia, Ontario, before he headed to the big city Toronto to find his singing fortunes. Lightfoot quit his banking job for his first professional gig with The Singin’ Swingin’ Eight on the Canadian TV show "Country Hoedown," which required a nightly square dance.

"I got myself a payday that lasted 2˝ years," Lightfoot tells USA TODAY, giving himself high marks for the background vocals. "but I was not a dancer."

Elvis Presley made it 'Rain,' but Frank Sinatra could not

Directors Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni delve into Gordon Lightfoot's world in the documentary "If You Could Read My Mind."

Contemporary and friend Bob Dylan, who presented Lightfoot with his career Canadian Juno Award, summed up Lightfoot's obsessively crafted songs, saying that when he heard one, he wanted "it to last forever." Dylan has covered many Lightfoot songs, including "Early Morning Rain." The love ballad "If You Could Read My Mind" was covered by disparate voices including Viola Wills, Johnny Cash, Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Neil Young and Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (to name a few).

The young Lightfoot almost crashed his car in joy when he heard Elvis Presley's cover of "Early Morning Rain."

"I wasn't even aware he had done the song," Lightfoot says. One legend who didn't perform a Lightfoot song: Frank Sinatra – who threw down the song sheets for "If You Could Read My Mind" in the studio, saying, "I can't sing this."

"I always thought that was very funny," Lightfoot says.

The drinking and partying became an issue

A gregarious host, Lightfoot's house parties were legendary, with Joni Mitchell and Dylan pulling out their guitars for late night jam sessions. But as his global fame took off, Lightfoot's drinking spun out of control. By the time he appeared in his first movie with Bruce Dern, 1982's "Harry Tracy, Desperado," it had gone too far.

"I was at the height of my drinking and I look terrible," Lightfoot says in the documentary. He was warned by his record company to give it up.

"It was time to pack it in." he says in the documentary about that time in his life. "I don't know how I made it through."

Lightfoot quit cold turkey and threw his energy into pursuits such as canoeing and sailing the Great Lakes.

Lightfoot had a complicated romantic life

The three-times-married Lightfoot has evolved to the point that he can't listen to 1967's "For Lovin' Me," an early hit with dismissive lyrics.

"It was an embarrassment to my wife at the time," he says now of first wife, Brita Olaisson (they divorced in 1973).

At the peak of his fame, Lightfoot had an infamously mercurial affair with singer Cathy Smith, who heavily influenced his moody hit "Sundown," filled with suspicion and infidelity.

"It was one of those relationships where a feeling of danger comes in," Lightfoot says in the documentary. Years later, Smith spent 15 months in prison after injecting John Belushi with a powerful mixture of cocaine and heroin that killed the comedian in 1982.

Smith is featured in archival footage speaking coldly about Lightfoot: "I took off the edges what I could use, and left behind the rest, and he couldn't hurt me," she said.

Lightfoot nailed 'Edmund Fitzgerald' in one take and keeps rolling

"What a run it was. I'm happy for every moment in the 80 years I've been here. I appreciate having been alive," Lightfoot, now 81, says in the documentary.
The singer was immediately inspired by the tragic Edmund Fitzgerald, the heavily laden ship that sank in a Lake Superior hurricane in November 1975. In the studio weeks later, he started playing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" with his band and recorded a raw version in the first take. The ballad went on to be a major hit a year after the disaster and an enduring tribute to the 29 dead crew members.

Lightfoot, 81, has endured and will continue to perform with his band when the pandemic allows.

"I notice I'm slowing down," he says. "But we've got lots of toe-tappers in our show, and I've got a really great orchestra and we love to play. Because we're good at it."
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:31 PM   #83
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https://americansongwriter.com/new-d...gYORf6h1QbYoXY


New Documentary “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” Tells The Full Story Of The Songwriting Legend
Robert Dye
-
July 29, 2020

The long, storied journey of the great singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot receives the big screen treatment in the documentary Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind, which opens today via Virtual Cinema. The film, directed by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, received Lightfoot’s full participation and features exclusive interviews with the legend, weaving his story within the framework of the ‘60s folk movement as one of its leaders, into his status as a ‘70s acoustic rock god.

Fans can purchase tickets to watch the film virtually here: https://watch.eventive.org/gordonlightfoot/

With undeniable classics including “If You Could Read My Mind,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (read our Behind The Song here), “Sundown” and “Early Morning Rain,” Lightfoot is in the pantheon of revered songwriters of our time. The beloved Canadian icon has sold over 10 million albums, received 5 Grammy nominations and, at the age of 81, plans to resume touring once the pandemic subsides.

Bob Dylan once said, “every time I hear a song of his I wish it would last forever.” In the documentary, fellow Canadian musician Geddy Lee of Rush states “he is one of the greatest examples of a timeless singer/songwriters.”

According to the press release, the documentary, produced by Insight Productions, “takes audiences from high school auditoriums in straight-laced, small town Ontario in the ‘50s to the coffee houses of Toronto’s Yorkville and NYC’s Greenwich Village in the ’60s, through Gordon’s turbulent, substance-fueled arena shows of the ’70s, and finally to the artist – older, wiser – in present day. Interwoven throughout the film are Interviews with multiple generations of Lightfoot fans, in and outside the music industry – from Steve Earle and Sarah McLachlan, to Alec Baldwin and Geddy Lee – as well as behind the scenes stories from members of his longtime band.”

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind, a CBC Docs and documentary Channel Original, is presented by Greenwich Entertainment and Insight Productions in association with Canada Media Fund, Slaight Communications, Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds through the Theatrical Documentary Program and with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Rogers Cable Network Fund and the Rogers Documentary Fund. The film’s TVOD release date is set for August 21st.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftmy3...ature=emb_logo
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:26 PM   #84
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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/29/m...nd-review.html

‘Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind’ Review: A Troubadour Looks Back

The singer-songwriter, now 81, is frank about his own work and refreshingly open to today’s music.

If you haven’t laid eyes on the singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot in a while, you may be stunned at the beginning of this straightforward, engaging documentary about his life and work, directed by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni. Now 81 years old, Lightfoot doesn’t resemble the curly-haired, oft-mustachioed, outdoorsy-looking troubadour of his 1970s heyday. Skinny, his clean-shaven face now long and almost gaunt, his hair straight and combed back, he looks like an aged underground rocker.

Lightfoot was anything but underground. A prodigious songwriter and distinctive singer, the Canadian’s 1960s work made hits for other acts, and in the ’70s, he and his moody ballads rode high on the pop charts.

The critic Robert Christgau once called him “a weird new kind of purist: uncompromising proponent of commercial folk music.” Early in the movie, a montage of artists as disparate as the British rocker Paul Weller and Lightfoot’s Canadian contemporary Neil Young singing the great “Early Morning Rain” demonstrates the durability of Lightfoot’s work.

Lightfoot is frank about sizing up that work — the movie opens with him expressing disdain for the sexism of his early hit “For Lovin’ Me” — and he’s refreshingly up-to-date in his perspectives about today’s music. Driving around Toronto, he sees a billboard of the hip-hop artist Drake and starts enthusiastically praising his countryman. He also speaks candidly about his relationship with Cathy Smith, a singer who was, years later, imprisoned for her involvement in the death of John Belushi.

Much of the remainder of the movie features musicians and performers, some Canadian, some not (Alec Baldwin got in here somehow) praising Lightfoot — his voice, his work ethic, his facility (he knows musical notation and writes his own lead sheets).

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind

Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 31 minutes. Information on viewing is at www.gordonlightfootmovie.com.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:40 AM   #85
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Default Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot doc.-interviews/photos/articles-Apr-2019-AND TV viewing info

Thanks for the article link, Char. We can't wait to order the DVD later in August!



Gail
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:41 PM   #86
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NEW - (previous was a bad translation/ripoff) https://variety.com/2020/film/review...XuK5QRatPVEsas

‘Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind’: Film Review
The Canadian folk-pop legend is well-served by a documentary that understands his melancholy mastery.

By Owen Gleiberman
In the opening scene of “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind,” a companionable and highly entertaining documentary about the folk-pop troubadour of Canada, Lightfoot, now 81, sits at home with his wife, Kim, and watches clips of himself on Canadian television singing the 1965 song “For Lovin’ Me,” an ode to the arrogant adulterer he once was. Back when he wrote the song, Lightfoot was married, with a couple of kids. “At the time,” he recalls, “it just came out of my brain. I didn’t know what chauvinism was.” He chuckles, sheepishly, at his insensitivity. Yet looking at the clips, we see the brashness that made Lightfoot a star. In those early days, he resembled Ryan O’Neal with a hint of Nick Nolte; he had the kind of squinty rugged golden-god looks you’d see on the hero of a television Western. And even then, what he could do with a note was extraordinary. It would ring out, soft and shimmering but clear as a bell, with that quickened vibrato that could melt you.

Some pop songs are inescapably happy, like “Give It Up” by KC and the Sunshine Band or “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and some are sad, like “Eleanor Rigby” or Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” But then there’s the kind of song that’s happy and sad at the same time, like a gorgeous splash of late-afternoon sun glinting through the rain. That’s the sound of Gordon Lightfoot. In the ’60s and ’70s, the words and melodies poured out of him, and they often expressed an indelible melancholy, yet there was a rapture to it all, a feeling that Lightfoot was transported by the things he was singing about. His most famous lyric (addressed to the woman he was married to when he wrote “For Lovin’ Me”) was, “If you could read my mind, love,/What a tale my thoughts could tell…” And listening to Lightfoot’s songs, you just about could read his mind. He wrote with the sincerity of Dylan (who he was friends with), in a style that merged folk and country and pop, but the liquid-gold lilt of his voice turned every ballad into a confession.

In “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind,” Lightfoot looks like a different person than the wavy-haired preppie cowboy he was in his heyday. He now has a been-around-the-block Chet Baker gauntness, with long hair combed straight back and falling down over his shoulders and features that are aged but sharp and lean, giving him the slithery look of a rock ‘n’ roll wizard. He’s a survivor of excess — battles with the bottle, three marriages, plus two other relationships in which he had children (he has six kids in all). Yet he was the kind of obsessive songwriter who turned that trauma into incandescence.

We hear testimonials, from people like Sarah McLachlan and Steve Earle, about his immaculate quality as a musician: the way his 12-string guitar was always perfectly tuned for that impeccable ringing sound (he was such a powerful and propulsive guitarist that for a long time he didn’t need drums), the way he wrote his songs out on music paper, notating the melodies like cantatas, and the way the tunes themselves were built like intricate pieces of cabinetry. From the start, his songs were covered by a dazzling array of artists, and we see versions of the heartbreakingly beautiful 1966 ballad “Early Morning Rain” sung by Peter, Paul and Mary, Ian and Sylvia, Judy Collins, and Elvis in his white suit. (The film then jumps decades ahead to versions by Paul Weller and Neil Young.)

We also hear about what a revolutionary figure Lightfoot was in his native Canada — which sounds quaint and a little dull, but isn’t, because what he did, in effect, was to invent pop stardom for a country that was seeking its identity. In 1967, Canada celebrated 100 years of existence, and amid the centennial its citizens were asking themselves, “Okay, we’re here. But who are we?” That’s a question that popular culture was put on earth to address, and Lightfoot arrived at the perfect moment to answer it. In the documentary, Geddy Lee, the lead singer of Rush, says, “He sent the message to the world that we’re not just a bunch of lumberjacks and hockey players up here. We’re capable of sensitivity and poetry.”

Lightfoot’s rise to stardom channeled the excitement of the era. There are marvelous clips of him performing in the coffee houses of Yorkville (which was then the bohemian district of Toronto), and in the folk clubs of Greenwich Village, and it didn’t take long for him to attract the attention of Bob Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, who signed him. He recorded his first album for Warner Bros./Reprise, “Sit Down Young Stranger,” in 1970, and the record bombed. But the song that would become its breakout smash inspired Warner Bros. to reissue the album after changing its title to “If You Could Read My Mind,” at which point it leapt onto the charts and ignited Lightfoot’s career.

“If You Could Read My Mind” has been directed, by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, in a conventional, let’s-show-the-warts-but-not-get-too-close-to-them style, but the film could still be seen as a companion piece to “David Crosby: Remember My Name” — another documentary about a fabled counterculture rocker looking back on his demons. Lightfoot’s were less dramatic, but they provided their pleasures and took their toll. A vivid section of the film sketches in his post-divorce life in a Toronto apartment complex, an experience he chronicled in the song “The Circle is Small.” His girlfriend at the time was Cathy Smith, the woman who (years later) injected John Belushi with a speedball the night he died, and Lightfoot addressed his relationship with her in the delectably ominous “Sundown,” the closest thing that he (or maybe anyone) ever wrote to a folkie film noir.

His drinking, on the other hand, had a slow-creep effect, dramatized by his appearance in the 1982 music video for “Blackberry Wine,” where he looks as depressed as he is bloated. But Lightfoot ultimately got sober, taking canoe trips to the Canadian wilds as his refuge, and the film tries for something poetic by saving “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” for its last chapter, as if that majestic sea shanty about the mysterious and tragic sinking of a bulk carrier on Lake Superior expressed Lightfoot’s own propensity to hit bottom. The song was written and recorded in 1976, well before he conquered his alcoholic demons. But it’s presented as a kind of mystical deliverance, right down to the fascinating story of how on the recording that was put out, what we hear is Lightfoot’s band playing the song for the very first time; they could never again attain the transcendence of that performance. “If You Could Read My Mind” celebrates how Gordon Lightfoot turned his own wreckage into something sturdy and sublime.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:01 PM   #87
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DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: https://www.onlineathens.com/enterta...ger-songwriter

By Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times

For our neighbors to the north, the documentary “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” reaffirms the Canadian singer-songwriter’s position as a national treasure. U.S. audiences will be reminded of the power of an artist who was once a radio staple and regularly sold out shows at the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre and Universal Ampitheatre whenever he came to L.A.

Written and directed by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, the film is smartly structured around notable songs in the Gordon Lightfoot catalog, charting his journey from small-town, post-World War II Ontario to the coffee houses of 1960s Toronto and his chart-topping run of hits in the 1970s, as the gifted musician found success across the folk, country, rock and pop realms.

Known for his distinctive baritone and emotion-rich songs about heartbreak and betrayal (“If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown”), isolation (“Early Morning Rain,” “Song for a Winter’s Night”) and trains and ships (“Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”), Lightfoot connected to Canada’s roots in a way that holds few analogs.

Canadian musicians, including Ronnie Hawkins, Ian and Sylvia Tyson (the former folk duo, now divorced), Anne Murray, Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush, Tom Cochrane and Sarah McLachlan, attest to that connection in the documentary, along with observations from Americans Steve Earle, Greg Graffin of Bad Religion and (somewhat inexplicably) Alec Baldwin. Bandmates and Lightfoot’s contemporary, Murray McLauchlan, offer insights into his creative process, but it is the man himself who reveals the most about his work ethic and the price he paid for that devotion.

The five-time Grammy nominee and 2012 inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, who studied and learned to write music at an early age, earned perhaps his strongest endorsement from the peers who have covered his songs. Attracted by the poetic lyrics and strong craftsmanship, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Peter, Paul and Mary are among the many who have recorded Lightfoot compositions.

The thrice-married Lightfoot is an affable, introspective and frank subject, acknowledging mistakes made along the way in both art and love, and the intertwined nature of the two pursuits. In the film’s opening scene, after watching a vintage television performance of the 1965 confessional “For Lovin’ Me,” he declares, “I hate that (expletive) song,” dismayed not by the quality of his writing but the revealing content about his first marriage.

Kehoe and Tosoni weave together a bounty of archival footage and photographs to visually capture Lighfoot’s performances across his almost six-decade career. Any detail lost in the documentary’s nontraditional narrative is more than made up for by the powerful emotions it churns up, particularly during a 2018 concert at Toronto’s venerable Massey Hall just before it closed for renovations (nicely established with ghostly imagery during a striking opening titles sequence).

“Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” is a thoroughly engaging retrospective of a hard-working, hard-living performer who survived to tell the tale. Overcoming alcoholism in his 40s and a near-death experience in 2002, Lightfoot learned to embrace life, accept regret and at age 81, is ready to get back out on the road.

“Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind” is now available for streaming rental via athenscine.com.
Carl Samrock photo - 1974 by char Westbrook, on Flickr
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:12 PM   #88
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucewe...s#b50a16a4e39d

Lead Like Gordon Lightfoot And You Will Not Only Endure But Prevail
Bruce Weinstein

If You Could Read My Mind, an absorbing, lovingly crafted new documentary about iconic singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, presents seven leadership lessons you can’t afford to ignore. Whether or not you’re a fan—but how could you not be?—this essential film by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni reveals the secrets behind Lightfoot’s sustained success.

Follow even a few of these lessons, and—to borrow a phrase from William Faulkner Nobel Prize acceptance speech—you will not only endure but prevail.

Do The Work

Gordon Lightfoot Before 1977...

How many times do you get a pitch for a so-called fast track to riches? Every week my inbox and LinkedIn messages are rife with come-ons for making millions quickly and with little effort.

Lightfoot developed a passionate following by performing constantly in the early 1960s. Still, he knew singing and playing guitar weren’t enough to build a career on. “If I’m going to earn a living doing this, I’m going to have to write some songs...I knew I had to sit down and do the work,” he says early in the documentary.

As a result of this intense focus, ”out popped ‘Early Morning Rain,’ and that turned out to be one of my biggest, most important songs.”

Lead like Lightfoot. Sit down and, as Larry the Cable Guy says, git ‘er done.

There’s No Substitute For Talent

Working hard is necessary but not sufficient for being an exceptional leader. Lightfoot wouldn’t be where he is today if he were a hack songwriter and unable to bring his songs to life in the studio and in concert. Yes, he got better as he went along, but his talent was always there, waiting to unfold.

There’s a reason Lightfoot’s song “If You Could Read My Mind” continues to be played widely and covered by artists: it’s marvelous. There’s also a reason why thousands of songs written and recorded at the same time are forgotten: they were mediocre.

Whatever your own field is, if you don’t have a talent for it, you won’t go very far. Perhaps that’s not a goal of yours to begin with.

But if you want to soar, there is no substitute for having talent. No matter where you are in your career—just starting out, well into it, or winding down—it’s never too late to switch over to something you’re better suited for.

Lead Like Lightfoot. Nurture your talent or find a different field you’re better suited for.

Be A Servant Leader

Decades after he wrote his hit songs, he still gets a kick out of playing them for fans.

When your focus is on serving people rather than yourself, you can’t help but smile, no matter how tired you might be of doing the same thing over and over. I can’t speak to working on an assembly line, of course. No amount of reflection on my customers would make me smile, I reckon.

But if you’re fortunate to be doing something you love, Lightfoot’s attitude is worth keeping in mind when the going gets tough.

Lightfoot is a servant-leader.
Robert K. Greenleaf coined the term to refer to someone who “focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.” The servant-leader “is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…”

“It’s always about the songs,” Lightfoot says. “That’s all I think about when I’m performing—to make them as good as I can.”

Lead like Lightfoot. Find joy by focusing on service.

Come To Terms With Your Past

Early in If You Could Read My Mind, Lightfoot bemoans the lyrics he wrote for his song, “For Lovin’ Me.” Those lyrics include these lines: “So don't you shed a tear for me / Because I ain't the love you thought I'd be/ I got a hundred more like you/So don't be blue / I'll have a thousand 'fore I'm through.”

He now says bitterly, “I’ll never write another song like that for as long as I live. It was a very offensive song for a guy to write who’s married with a couple of kids.”

Who among us wouldn’t want to redo something—or a lot of things—we did years ago? It’s not possible (yet) to get into a time machine and undo them, but like Lightfoot, we can acknowledge our sins and move forward accordingly.

Lead Like Lightfoot.
Take responsibility for past mistakes and do what you can avoid repeating them.

Perfectionism Has Its Place

5 Star review

There’s a reason why albums like Sundown, Summertime Dream and Salute hold up years after they were made: there’s a baked-in excellence that makes them sound fresh every time you listen.

That excellence didn’t happen on its own. It had a taskmaster behind it. “I was in the studio around the same time when Gordon was re-recording all of his hits” for the Gord’s Gold album, says singer Anne Murray. “I heard some rumblings from some of the musicians...about how particular he was about everything and how many takes he would insist upon.”

Of course, perfectionism can be counterproductive. Captain Queeg in John Huston’s The African Queen and Ace Rothstein in Martin Scorsese’s Casino are perfectionists to a fault. They’re tyrants. But Lightfoot’s approach to recording is perfectionism at its best: a commitment to excellence that results in albums that stand the test of time.

Lead like Lightfoot.
Know when it’s important to be a perfectionist.

Address Your Drinking Problem

Psychology concept, Stop Addiction or Dependence

Lightfoot developed a drinking problem that interfered with his performances and relationships. Mo Ostin, the president of the label where Lightfoot was under contract, pulled him aside one day and said, “Gord, you better stop your drinking.” Beverly Lightfoot, Gordon’s sister and office manager, told him the same thing. He paid attention and quit.

You can see the difference it has made when you compare performances of his drinking- and post-drinking days. In videos of the former, he’s not only much heavier, but he doesn’t smile much. After he gave up drinking, he became lighter physically and spiritually. His joy in performing is visible and palpable. He looks happier.

“If you plan to face tomorrow, do it soon,” he sings in “Race Among the Ruins.” Indeed.

Lead like Lightfoot. When you’ve got a problem, there’s no shame in admitting it. Then comes the hard part: moving beyond it.

Motion’s The Potion

Giving up alcohol wasn’t the only thing that helped Lightfoot become healthy. Exercise made a huge difference too. Canoeing was difficult at first but eventually became routine. “After about four or five days of paddling, you even don’t even have think about it. You just keep doing it.”

One of the trainers at his gym told him, “Motion’s the potion.”

“I’m just about 80 years old and I’m starting to live off of that little idea,” he says with a smile. “Just don’t stop”

A nice side benefit: canoeing in the Canadian wild gave him ideas for songs that “manifested themselves later.”

Lead like Lightfoot.
Move your body regularly.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank Gordon Lightfoot for the many years of listening pleasure he has given me. His recorded songs, with their elliptical, poetic lyrics and memorable melodies and brought to life by a crackerjack band, have been a constant companion since the 1970s.

Along with millions of fans around the world, I owe Gordon Lightfoot an enormous debt of gratitude.
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:09 AM   #89
paskatefan
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Default Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot doc.-interviews/photos/articles-Apr-2019-AND TV viewing info

Wow! Great article! Thanks, Char!



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