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Old 10-07-2007, 09:23 AM   #1
charlene
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Default blog about Lightfoot-liner notes and Too Many Clues in This Room

http://driftwoodsingers.blogspot.com...ut-gordon.html

The Driftwood Singers Present
Liner notes ... for lovers.
Friday, October 05, 2007
There's Something About Gordon
As we approach the second anniversary of The Driftwood Singers Present (!), I've started to suspect that this site will ultimately evolve to become a decades-long referendum on the power, glory and lyrical vision of Gordon Lightfoot. At the end of the day, a whole helluva lot may in fact come down to Gordon.

Why is that?

It's hard to articulate exactly, which is why it could take decades. He's the one folk/rock 60s/70s Hippie Enlightenment Era figure the modern hipster class have been unwilling to unearth and grapple with, the one figure none have attempted to reference for some boutique indie amalgam. That's because The Foot can't be co-opted. A folk purist, purely Canadian, vaguely Native American, aloof and prideful yet almost haughty in his humility, vocally monolithic and monotonous at the same time, there's something about Gordon that simply can't be replicated. He's sui generis. Also, his cyclical folk style makes him so lyrically verbose, he's almost a pure creation of vinyl LP's, a man whose image- and metaphor-crammed songs require a 12" inner sleeve for printed lyrics and at least an hour of free listening time (not to mention a lifetime to comprehend), a man who doesn't really emerge properly in the small-world CD-liner-note universe we've come to know, let alone in the digital age. He's Vinyl-American.

This all gelled for me while sitting down and listening to Summertime Dream, his 1976 album on Warner Bros. On the surface, this was very radio-friendly, a big, sleek production with Moog synthesizers and crystaline steel guitars, every knob fussed over by Lenny Waronker. It sounds exquisite. But here's the deal: it's one of the best folk-rock albums ever made. First off, I shouldn't have to sell you on "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Mr. Poncho will gladly set you straight in some future series of posts, as I believe he's got a fan fiction novella based on it sitting in a drawer somewhere. But there's also "I'll Do It Again," a proto-rap-rock number that predates the Aerosmith/Run-DMC collision by more than a decade.

"I'll Do It Again" - Gordon Lightfoot

What finally knocked me out is the last song on the record: "Too Many Clues in This Room." The lyrics are almost bizarrely prophetic, cryptic and mystical, so much so that I suspect William Butler Yeats, John Ashbery, Dennis Kucinich, Jesus and every participant of the Burning Man festival from 1997 to present would agree that something truly visionary is happening in this song. That's why I've included the lyrics exactly as they appear in the liner notes of the original vinyl LP, from which this mp3 is recorded. Gordon Lightfoot, we hardly know ye.

"Too Many Clues In This Room"
by Gordon Lightfoot

The space shuttle ends where the subway begins
there's a tear on the face of the moon
from dusk until dawn they have searched all day long
but there's too many clues in this room
At best it is said we've bin [sic] locked deep inside
of an old seaman's chest full of charts
where maps are contained and what's left of his brains
when his crew threw his balls to the sharks

And around the looking glass
dancing to a tune
Sweeping out the house with a fine tooth comb
which history's shown
leads to ruin

In a word it is said that at times we must fall
but the worst of it all was the lies
We died for the cause just like regular outlaws
in the dust of an old lawman's eyes
In times best forgot there was peace, there was not
in her pains mother earth came to bloom
Her children were born in the eye of the storm
and there's too many clues in this room

The pow'er that is stored in this no-man's land of chance
is there Someone who knows what they're doin'?
The old soldiers say in their own crusty way
We've got too many troops in this room
All around the looking glass
dancing to a tune
Sweeping out the house with a fine tooth comb
which history's shown
leads to ruin

The space shuttle ends where the subway begins
praise the Lord there's a train leavin' soon
From dusk until dawn they have searched all day long
but there's too many clues in this room
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
Auburn Annie
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Default Re: blog about Lightfoot-liner notes and Too Many Clues in This Room

"The Foot" - lol
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:10 AM   #3
charlene
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Default Re: blog about Lightfoot-liner notes and Too Many Clues in This Room

I much prefer "The Man"..
lol
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:18 PM   #4
gwen snyder
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Default Re: blog about Lightfoot-liner notes and Too Many Clues in This Room

My best friend from 5th grade was looking at some pictures from the Zoo with my grandchildren the other day... they were on the end of a disposeable camera from the Louisville/Indianapolis concerts that I had developed the other day. She got to the end and said "You never told me you were going to a concert, you could've taken me with you" and I said "I totally forgot", and she saw the picture of me and Gord and said "you look like you are in seventh heaven" and I looked a had this dumb grin from ear to ear (it coulda been part of the GREAT Pinot Grigio from the bar---). Funny picture, I have cute pictures of the whole band except Rick, he seemed like his mind was elsewhere. There were some very funny people out there waiting for Gord, we had fun talking about our Gord experiences.... that's my wandering point, we all have some memory of the music or the man or a combination when we get as luckt as DSR and CHar.
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