Wheat Kings and Little things…
The writer, storyteller and poet of my generation in Canada has left this plane and it is like losing a wise friend who you never really appreciated until something bad hapened because he was always there in music and song and in Canada we had just over a year to figure it out. How do you say good by to someone who you only know through music yet seemed to have a song for every event of your life. Gord Downie was diagnosed with brain cancer in May of 2016, when the news broke we had to look at his life and our own and how many times his words and songs were to cross paths with important parts of our lives. How many times his work was the sound track of our lives. Nights out with friends, summer BBq’s, in dressing rooms before and after practises and games, and it wasn’t just hockey althought Gord’s love of hockey was well know and documented, as is said most Saturday nights, “a good Canadian Kid”, in this case a great Canadian Kid, poet and storyteller.
I had first heard of and seen the Tragically Hip when I was my fourth year of University working at a club that was a stop on “The Hip’s” first tour of Atlantic Canada. That first week at the Crazy Horse Cabret in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia saw a young Gord Downie swaying as became his trade mark stage presence, it was captivating,it wasn’t showy or spectacular, it was pure Canadianna, honest story telling, the music made you move and the words told stories that where truly Canadian. It was to become the sounds that marked and chronicled the lives of many.
I don’t believe there are many 55 year olds or younger that live in Canada that don’t know or have a Tragically Hip song that doesn’t mark solidly an event or occasion in there lives. I honestly doubt there are many that don’t have at least one Hip song that has a special place in their lifes, throught the lyrics and music Gord and the Hip where always part of us, as I have also heard them discribed “Canada’s House Band” I think thats true. So on the day Gord left this plane, I threw on my Hip playlist, “Wheat Kings”, “Courage” included of course and raise a shot of Jack and thank the universe that I grew up to “The Hip”. Thanks Gord , a swift journey to your next gig, I miss you already.