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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-18-2009, 08:18 AM   #1
charlene
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,442
Default How Gordon Lightfoot Changed My Life -article-Augusta GA.

http://metrospirit.com/index.php?cat...51705090928890

Sights and Sounds
by Metro Spirit Writers How Gordon Lightfoot changed my life
by Eric Johnson, May 17th 03:34pm

So one day a couple of months ago, Alice, who sits next to me here at the Spirit and assigns the entertainment stories, gets a press release.

"hmm…,” she mutters. “Gordon Lightfoot’s coming to town.”

“Gordon Lightfoot?!?!” I ask, apparently with more than a little gusto. “Gordon ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ Lightfoot?”

Maybe it’s because I sit over here in the corner and never say much, or maybe it’s because when I do speak it’s usually about something no one’s much interested in or about a topic everyone but me seems to realize has come and gone. Whatever the reason, heads start popping up from behind computers like meerkats.

Only Alice, however, seems to know what to say.

“Um…do you want to write that one?”

“Do I?” I reply. “We’re talking ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.’”

In a roundabout way, Gordon Lightfoot’s classic folk song is the reason I’m sitting over here in my quiet corner of the Spirit office.

Back when the Edmund Fitzgerald went down in stormy Lake Superior, I was a little kid living in Eau Claire, Wis., which made the event a regional story that got a lot of coverage. Since sinking ships and the finality of death were both topics of interest to a kid with a dawning awareness of a world larger than his home and the “Daniel Boone” reruns that waited for him along with his after school glass of milk, the story made an impression, and when the song came out a little while later, it was the first time personal recollection and popular culture met.

It was a big deal.

And the song itself — the way the storm builds through the details, the words of the cook, the Captain’s wiring in of their peril — was just so much more than the Beverly Cleary books I was reading.

Those were fun stories that kept you turning pages. These were specific words that painted a particular picture that touched something deep inside. As a kid listening to my little black and white AM/FM radio, I recognized the power in that.

So, being in a position to actually talk to Gordon Lightfoot all these years later — and under the pretext of writing something about him — is the kind of poetry that makes life worth living, and seeing him perform the song from the seventh row of the Bell last night brought a sense of closure to a separate but related issue that I’ve always felt was one of the great injustices ever done to me.

After the song came out, I was at a birthday party at Eau Claire’s roller rink. Toward the end of the evening, the guy running the sound system opened things up for requests, so I skated over, steadied myself by grabbing the blue shag carpeting covering the walls of the booth, and submitted my request for ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.’

Of course, that was a completely inappropriate song for the circumstances. Couples wanted to hold hands and skate around to “Muskrat Love” and “Afternoon Delight,” not a song like that, but the guy told me he’d play it, and being the gullible little guy I was, I believed him.

Once more I went up. Once more he told me he’d play it. And once more he didn’t.

He never did, and it’s bugged me ever since.

Which is why Gordon Lightfoot still matters. No, he probably didn’t win over any new fans with last night’s concert — his voice, while still expressive, is nonetheless shackled by the miles he’s logged and the life he’s lived — but winning over new fans wasn’t really the point.

You watch someone like Gordon Lightfoot perform for the same reason you watch Arnold Palmer play golf — not for what he can do now, but for what he did back then…and to remember how you were a part of it.
charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 08:29 AM   #2
Yuri
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 618
Default Re: How Gordon Lightfoot Changed My Life -article-Augusta GA.

What a wonderful piece. That's what "Lightheadedness" is all about!
__________________
("the river is the melody, the sky is the refrain")
Canoeing - http://missinaibi-yuri.blogspot.com/
Luthery - http://thunderhouse2-yuri.blogspot.com/
Bugs! - http://thunderhouse4-yuri.blogspot.com/
Yuri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 06:01 PM   #3
buzzard
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 164
Default Re: How Gordon Lightfoot Changed My Life -article-Augusta GA.

What a great article! I’ve taken lots of grief for having an affinity for the works of Gordon Lightfoot, but I would never have dreamt of requesting the Wreck at a roller rink. I like this guy, Eric Johnson. I’m so glad he got some resolution on this issue.

Brian
buzzard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 06:14 PM   #4
mnmouse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 225
Default Re: How Gordon Lightfoot Changed My Life -article-Augusta GA.

THAT'S an awesome article.
__________________
"Someday we'll wave hello and wish we'd never waved goodbye..." -- Billy Corgan
mnmouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
Brian 57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Utica NY USA
Posts: 224
Default Re: How Gordon Lightfoot Changed My Life -article-Augusta GA.

Quote:
Couples wanted to hold hands and skate around to “Muskrat Love” and “Afternoon Delight,” not a song like that
"Lake Huron Rolls..." sounds like roller skating music to me.

Terrific story. He captures the imagination then won't let it go till its served its apprenticeship.
__________________
Brian
Brian 57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 10:36 PM   #6
lighthead2toe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: canada
Posts: 909
Default Re: How Gordon Lightfoot Changed My Life -article-Augusta GA.

It really is a nice article and one that I would hope gets read by newspaper people who are slated to write articles on Gordon Lightfoot.

That last line in the article tells a story like a picture..."and to remember how you were a part of it."

A very nice melter to bring the end of the day to a close.

RJ.
lighthead2toe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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
Gordon Lightfoot Looks Back on a Full-Length Life imported_Next_Saturday General Discussion 9 03-17-2011 03:12 AM
True Life Gordon Lightfoot Songs Painter General Discussion 32 09-22-2009 11:32 PM
Augusta article-#2 charlene General Discussion 1 05-15-2009 09:52 AM
Augusta article charlene General Discussion 1 05-14-2009 09:23 PM
"You Lightfoot My Life" article Auburn Annie General Discussion 10 08-31-2006 08:12 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
downleft 1x1.gif (807 Byte) downright