(First posted on Medium.)
Gord Downey, the singer-frontman of the band The Tragically Hip, lost his battle with brain cancer last week. He was 53.
Last night, CTV here in Canada aired the documentary about his farewell tour across Canada, ending in his hometown Kingston, Ontario.
Many Americans don’t know the band because they are more a Canadian phenomenon.
Full disclosure here: in the past, I wasn’t a huge fan of the band — but as I listened to all of their hits, I realized that I WAS.
Before anybody else points it out: writing songs is hard. I can be poetic in my writings, but I’m not good at poetry… and songwriting is even more difficult. I tried to write some in the past, but I wasn’t very good.
Gord Downey wrote songs for over 30 years — for 14 albums and more EPs and singles.
Even more admirable: his body was failing more and more every day; he still performed a concert tour across Canada — plus he performed 90 songs, where most people sing 45 songs at most.
He was one of the hardest working men in the music industry, and one who used his celebrity to bring more notice to the mistreatment of our First Nations brethren.