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Old 04-19-2003, 04:30 AM   #1
crashman
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Default TODAY - Interview with Gord-TORONTO STAR

see next post in this thread.
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Old 04-19-2003, 04:30 AM   #2
char
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I spoke with Bernard Heydorn last August and September. He was to interview Lightfoot just before he became ill but was not ready and the date was set for the following week. In the meantime Gord became ill and his interview has finally been done. It is an EXCLUSIVE and there's a wonderful pic on the front page and an old pic of Gord and a new one on Page 26. He looks wonderful!
Char
i am going back to bed now. I will sleep like I haven't in ages!
www.torontostar.com
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=968793972154


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Apr. 19, 2003. 01:00 AM

>ADVERTISEMENT<



PETER POWER/TORONTO STAR
Legendary folksinger Gordon Lightfoot has bounced back after a rare illness ruptured an artery near his liver last fall. Today, he says he's not afraid of death anymore.

The comeback from death's door
Singer was in a coma for six weeks Now he's working on a new albumDoctors say his conditioning saved his life

Singer hop


BERNARD HEYDORN
SPECIAL TO THE STAR

A frail but determined Gordon Lightfoot is working on a new album and hopes to begin touring again in 18 months, the legendary singer told the Star this week in his first interview since falling seriously ill last September.

"I plan to fight my way back," said Lightfoot, 64, who now faces two more operations in the wake of the abdominal hemorrhage that nearly killed him.

"I probably won't get to play again until the fall of 2004," he added. "My goal is to get out there and do it again, whatever that takes.

"The most important things to me now are: Don't spin your wheels! Keep trying! Don't give up! There's always hope," he said.

Lightfoot, the Orillia-born folksinger whose international hits include "Sundown" and "If You Could Read My Mind," shocked the Canadian music world when he collapsed in pain in his dressing room before a charity show in his hometown on Sept. 7 last year.

He was airlifted to hospital in Hamilton, where he remained for three months. His family and friends kept a tight lid on information about his condition, revealing only that he had suffered internal bleeding from a blood vessel in his abdomen and that he was not fully conscious for at least two months. He walked out of the hospital in mid-December.

Lightfoot, who was candid, humble and engaging throughout the 75-minute interview, now says an artery ruptured near his liver as a result of a rare disorder, and that he was in a coma-like state for 6 1/2 weeks.

"On the second morning of my two-night stand (in Orillia), I felt a little off," the singer recounted in his Yonge St. office. "It got worse, with pain in my lower abdomen. By sound-check time at 4 p.m., my band was waiting for me on stage and I was on the floor of the dressing room.

"We didn't know what was happening. We went to emergency in Orillia, and there I became unconscious. I did not wake up for 6 1/2 weeks. I was out cold. It was around Halloween by the time I came to."

While he was unconscious, Lightfoot was operated on several times to stop the bleeding, and he doesn't remember any of it.

"It was peaceful in my sleep," Lightfoot said. "It was fine. If there was any post-operative pain, I didn't feel it."

When he was released from hospital, his doctors credited his excellent physical conditioning for saving his life. The singer had stopped drinking in 1982 and had started exercising.

While Lightfoot was in hospital, his band mates revealed that the singer ran 16 kilometres a week and worked out four times a week. The black T-shirt he wore to the interview this week revealed his wiry and muscular frame.

But the rare ailment has taken its toll, Lightfoot said frankly. "It has affected my voice and hearing, as well as my legs and feet. I also had to have a tracheotomy (an operation to create an air passage by cutting open the patient's throat and inserting a tube into the windpipe). I had a strong heart and good lungs, and that's why I'm sitting here.

"I'm on the road to recovery. I have two more operations scheduled one in three weeks and the other in five months.

"Most people die from what happened to me."

Lightfoot admitted that he briefly contemplated retiring after waking up from his ordeal, "but that only lasted a minute or two. I thought, `No spinning wheels allowed! I never allowed spinning wheels in my life!'"

The singer, who has won 17 Juno awards and the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, as well as the Order of Canada in 1970, said he decided to talk candidly about what happened to him as a way of thanking fans for their support. The hospital in Hamilton received a deluge of best wishes and sympathy cards that, according to one nurse, was more than it had ever received before for any other patient.

Lightfoot also wanted to acknowledge the support of Elizabeth, his wife of 14 years, and his five children.

During the interview, he not only revealed that he was continuing to work on an album the 20th of his career that he had begun early in 2000 and for which he has written 23 songs, he also played recordings of a few of them during this interview.

He admitted any songs he writes from here on might have a new perspective. "In the past I had a fear of death," Lightfoot said. "I've lost that fear. I feel much better about accepting death now."

He was also sanguine about his place in history as a folksinger who helped define the music of the 1960s and '70s, and whose songs have been covered by Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley.

"It's not really important to me. It's even less important after you've been out for 6 1/2 weeks. You actually know how it feels not to be here. I learned that."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernard Heydorn is an author, freelance writer and a former member of the Star's community editorial board. He can be e-mailed at bheydo0172@rogers.com



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Old 04-19-2003, 05:21 AM   #3
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Thanks, Char.
Great news! And from Gord himself.

Hang on to those Massey tix. See you there!
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:30 AM   #4
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Thank you, Char! Since he's scheduled for one op in about three weeks, how about we all send 'thinking of you' and 'get well wishes' to the office for him?
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:08 AM   #5
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Humble, grateful, steadfast. Can't do much better than that. My esteem for Mr. Lightfoot just went up a notch. (Thanks for sharing the terrific article.)

------------------
And I will always love
that sound until the day
I die.
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:59 PM   #6
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I, too, am so thrilled! Now we have something to hang onto and hopefully look forward to. I have subscribed to the online TORONTO STAR for months now and watched each day for some word--and today it came!! I emailed Mr. Heydorn to thank him for the story. Let's continue our prayers--but it looks like Gordon will make it on his own (with God's and the doctors' help). What an inspiration he is!
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Old 04-19-2003, 02:20 PM   #7
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This is good news, I guess we will have to wait and see what his new voice sounds like.
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Old 04-19-2003, 06:10 PM   #8
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Super! He seems to be doing quite well. At last, we have heard from Gord!! Great news that he did this interview!!!!
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Old 04-19-2003, 06:22 PM   #9
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I think it shows that Gord, or members of his family, or his support staff do read the comments we make on this site. I find it hard to believe that what we all had to say here did not make a difference. Yes, lots of cards and letters came in to the hospital, but here, it was all "compressed" into one easily accessed place. Thanks, Gord for sitting for the hour-plus interview. We can leave you alone now to go about your business at your own pace. When you're ready, so will we.
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Old 04-19-2003, 06:22 PM   #10
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I think it shows that Gord, or members of his family, or his support staff do read the comments we make on this site. I find it hard to believe that what we all had to say here did not make a difference. Yes, lots of cards and letters came in to the hospital, but here, it was all "compressed" into one easily accessed place. Thanks, Gord for sitting for the hour-plus interview. We can leave you alone now to go about your business at your own pace. When you're ready, so will we.
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Old 04-19-2003, 09:00 PM   #11
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great news!

are there any other pictures from the article that can be scanned/uploaded?
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Old 04-19-2003, 09:09 PM   #12
char
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i have scanned the pics on page 26 if you want to see them just e-mail me.
lightfootfan@rogers.com

Char
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:00 AM   #13
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Thanks Char, great Easter gift.
GSS
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Old 04-20-2003, 12:45 PM   #14
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This has certainly made my day!
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Old 04-20-2003, 09:32 PM   #15
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Bless you for taking this trouble, Char. What a wonderful gift--and to think I almost didn't check in on Corfid tonight!

He does look fine and sound better, doesn't he?
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Old 04-21-2003, 07:29 AM   #16
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Well this is a big relief to us all, even though he has a long road ahead...but then hey! HE HAS A LONG ROAD AHEAD!
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Old 04-22-2003, 11:54 AM   #17
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Thanks for posting, Char!!! What an amazing interview. Sure made my day!
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:56 PM   #18
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This has been a wonderful bit of news and has
made my day!!!!
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Old 04-23-2003, 01:35 PM   #19
LAM3346E
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Char,

Yes, thanks for the wonderful Easter gift!
Indeed, there is life after death in more than one respect.

It was so reassuring to hear from Gord, himself, that he is doing as well as he is.
At the same timing it is very heart wrenching
to hear all he and his family have endured.

As much as we would LOVE to hear him again in concert, we would hope most of all that he may have a restored quality of life with his family. God bless them all.

But, probably, knowing Gord, he would be lost without music as an integral part of his life.
P.S. - He looks good.

------------------
lam
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Old 04-23-2003, 03:07 PM   #20
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I would've responded sooner but writing my GL story on another thread took up my whole session last time. When I read this I wanted to shout YA-Hoo! right here in the library. Also,seeing his picture on the other thread gave me a great feeling of relief to see him looking even better than he did when I saw him in concert. Keep up the fight Gordon,we're all rooting for you!

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Old 04-25-2003, 05:42 PM   #21
Auburn Annie
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The same article (different picture - Gord in a suit, date unknown) was posted in the Orillia paper at www.simcoe.com. The link is http://www.simcoe.com/sc/orillia/sto...-1218623c.html

I don't have a way to scan the photo, so hopefully the link will be there for a while.
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Old 04-28-2003, 05:51 PM   #22
gwen snyder
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Thanks Auburn Annie, nice picture of Gordon. I think, other than the one album cover in a white suit, I have never seen him in a suit.
GSS
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Old 04-29-2003, 05:32 AM   #23
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Oh well, better luck next time
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Old 04-29-2003, 08:34 AM   #24
char
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info on where pic came from: http://www.operahouse.orillia.on.ca/naming.htm
or: http://www.operahouse.orillia.on.ca/ and click on NAMING THE THEATRE>
char
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Old 05-01-2003, 06:36 AM   #25
Auburn Annie
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And from today's Orange County Register (rehashing the Toronto Star article):

HERE'S THE SCOOP ON LIGHTFOOT

A loyal Gordon Lightfoot fan asked for an update on the singer's status and health. This being a full-service People column, here it is, a portion at least, from www.gordonlightfoot.com: In an interview last month with the Toronto Star - the first since falling ill last September - a frail but determined Lightfoot says he is working on a new album and hopes to begin touring again in 18 months.

"I plan to fight my way back," said Lightfoot, 64, who now faces two more operations in the wake of the abdominal hemorrhage that nearly killed him.

"I probably won't get to play again until the fall of 2004," he added. "My goal is to get out there and do it again, whatever that takes. The most important things to me now are: Don't spin your wheels! Keep trying! Don't give up! There's always hope."

Lightfoot, whose hits include "Sundown" and "If You Could Read My Mind," collapsed in pain in his dressing room before a charity show in his Canadian hometown. He was airlifted to a hospital, where he remained for three months. His family and friends kept a tight lid on information about his condition, revealing only that he had suffered internal bleeding from a blood vessel in his abdomen and that he was not fully conscious for at least two months. He walked out of the hospital in mid-December.

Lightfoot now says an artery ruptured near his liver because of a rare disorder, and that he was in a comalike state for 61/2 weeks.

"Most people die from what happened to me."


People is compiled and edited by Steve Eddy. Copyright 2003 The Orange County Register

########################################

A loyal Gordon Lightfoot fan ... is there any other kind? lol
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