A Musical Note Looking Back from North of Sixty

I am not done yet with these reflections Here are a couple of other notes from the past year.

I finally did something recently that I had been meaning to do for awhile. I caught the traditional end of November Gordon Lightfoot concert at Massey hall. I thought it was time I saw him before he retired or died or whatever.

He and his voice are now 76 years old. He has had a tracheotomy. He strains at the high notes. But he was very much worth going to see, finally. He sang most of the songs I liked when I listened to him when...? When I started to listen to music.

He also sang some songs I had not heard. I am a bit disappointed that he did not do probably my favorite Gordon Lightfoot tune, "Rainy Day People". But I got "Cotton Jenny", "Dream Street Rose", and "Early Morning Rain".

I really love Lightfoot's tunes. Some of his lyrics make my brain hurt. I think "Big Blue" is the worst. But there were some incredible song writers around in those days, in Canada and everywhere else.

Much unlike today, when there seems to be a real effort to suppress good music. It might compete with the processed junk they want to sell us instead. But I notice things have got a bit better as the best singers are learning to promote and sell their stuff on the net.

I think old Gordie's compositional brainlobes have withered up with his voice. But his best stuff is now easily available on the net. The seventies was when his voice was at its best and I was listening on the radio and my LPs.

I remember one of my high school teachers talking to her class about attending a Lightfoot concert the previous night. She had injured herself and brought a big pillow to sit on. She sat in the front row and Lightfoot made some jokes at her expense. That is how I first became curious about his music.

Ah, yes. Back when I decided I wanted to listen to music. Rourke Manor by then had acquired a radio and a record player for those old vinyl discs. I usually did not like to play either of these when anyone else was around, but I was frequently alone.

For some reason the RP was in my sister's bedroom so I would have to take my discs upstairs and sit there on the floor, listening to them. I generally did not want anyone to know what I listened to. I was so picked apart then that I did everything possible to not let anyone see what was in my mind.

I had a little money by then and I could buy some stuff. I think I was a pretty good shopper for really original and interesting bands. I liked pop, rock, and folk. I generally did not like hard rock and country.

Then I moved out on my own and the toxic atmosphere of home faded away. I decided I could listen to what I wanted. I got interested in classical music and eventually to many kinds of music.

A couple of times within those times I just about attended a Gordon Lightfoot concert but events intervened.

As I have related in these reflections, things got bad for me after 1982 and by time that passed popular music of all genres had gone mediocre. It was not until the rise of youtube that I started listening to the old stuff again.

However, I missed "Drifters" and as soon as the concert was over I looked that up to see how it sounded in studio and when Gord's voice was still pretty good.

So, that was the Gordon Lightfoot concert. I am never going to hear a Joni Mitchell concert. Watch out for the shifting sands...