There’s been much written about Gord Downie as of late, too much to process, moments paraded like possessions. We were there. Yes, we were.But as intense and real as so much of this seems, it’s more a madness, everyone searching, clicking and posting…for what? Looking for a place to happen?
With all of this emotional outpouring toward Gord Downie, the musician, I thought I might give a few reasons to love the guy for things other than his music.
1. He’s got a lot of fingers scratching on his hull. I once made the mistake of telling him he’s a very sensitive guy, to which he replied, “I’m not sensitive. Why would you say that?”2. What’s this river that I’m in? I doubt he would admit to being funny, but it’s actually his reactions that are the funniest, falling over silently, choking a laugh into himself.
3. We’d climb a tree and then maybe we’d talk. Late, after a party, Gord was getting ready to go to bed and was being followed around by Bill, all through the house, up the stairs, into his bedroom, talking all the time, story after story. Gord never told him to leave, instead just turned off the light, laughing here and there, and let Bill talk on in the dark.
4. There’s nowhere that he’s really been. His dream of dreams is not to be on stage, but to be sprawled out on the ground, his children crawling all over.
5. He’s not from downtown. He knows what he knows. Not what he doesn’t.6. He worked it in to look like that. He does the work, a fourth line player, the guy you want on the ice with a few seconds on the clock.
Yeah, Gord’s a good guy, all right. Angst on the planks, spittin’ from a bridge.
Gord Downie and The Sadies played at The Sinclair in Cambridge on Saturday. The opening song, Crater, is the kind of music that comes over you and drives hard, perfect for sitting back and imagining that life might not be that bad, that there is joy in the night. View concert clip here.The band offered a superabundance of terrain – rock, punk, surfer, country, folk – melding their new-found energy with sincerity, talent and screams. And all of this, only the band’s third show together. Their cover of Guided By Voices, I Am A Scientist, makes one wonder what might be next, the hot summer nights ahead, when they will get deeper into their groove.