March 2, 2020

A couple of years back I went to see Gordon Lightfoot live at Massey Hall, amongst the group with me was my brother.  He is more of the music guy in the family, and he was always a fan of Gordon.  He also plays guitar too which likely gives him a better appreciation for the skill of the Canadian icon.   I watched upon suggestion the CBC documentary from 2019 Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.  I found out a number of things; I didn’t know Gordon was from Orillia.   I also hadn’t realized how many people covered his songs, including Elvis.

Yea, I didn’t know!  This is a story of his life, and I hadn’t realized just how big he was.  He had it all.  Talent, looks, voice.   He wrote all his own music and did it in solitude.  No collaborators.    He wrote many songs that just drip Canadiana, like the Edmund Fitzgerald.   Beyond not realizing how incredibly famous he was, I also didn’t know his personal life.  The parties in his Rosedale house.   His numerous loves and failed marriages (three wives).  He has six children, and despite a couple pics of them in the show, none of them appeared to talk about their Dad.   I remember after the concert thinking, he doesn’t really have a voice anymore.  I wonder why an 80yo guy is touring, especially after he had a radio story come out a few years back that he was dead.   But why tour?    He didn’t talk about it.  Here is a guy who has played with everyone, knows everyone, written songs that many have sung, been awarded 16 Juno awards and waited until Bob Dylan himself inducted him into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.  I wish I had seen him in his heyday, but instead it remains a memorable night with good people for which I can blog about years later.

I re-watched the fun music movie The Commitments from 1991.  If you see a trend here, it is another movie set in Dublin (like Leap Year earlier in the year).   I am reminiscing about my trip last May to Ireland with great affection.   Anyway, this is a movie about a group of young people organized by an outgoing young man, who puts together a musical group to play soul.  Soul to him is the music of the common people, the blue collar.  He sees an opportunity.  He starts gathering talent and they come together, just not entirely.   They have a cast of characters including three young ladies, The Commitment-ettes!   It’s good fun, with a really good soundtrack that sold well in the 90s.   An interesting note that the one guitar playing bandmate who looks a little like the lead singer of Simply Red is the guy who wrote and starred in Once, another Dublin based musical story, well worth your time.  He has less hair, and more experienced, but still tells a compelling story.  Two quality films that he has been a part of.

Sunday I I ended up re-watching Starship Troopers from back in 1997.  It starred Denise Richards and Caspar Van Dien along with supporting cast like Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Ironside (Top Gun)  and Clancy Brown (Shawshank).  It is a group of young people set in the future who are looking to fight aliens attacking humans.  The aliens are bugs of various kinds and abilities and they are tough to kill.   It is all campy fun, with a TV News-type intro with clips no one would see at least today, or back in 1997.   There is graphic violence and some nudity all of which was meant for the target audience of teenagers back in the day.   It is pure entertainment and not meant to be taken seriously.  But it can be fun escapism for those looking for sci-fi based two hours to kill (so to speak).

Finally I watched the last episode of Season 1 for Succession.     Season 1 has 10 episodes.   It’s basic premise is a rich older media mogul, played by Brian Cox is head of a mega-corporation and he has a health issue.   The question surrounds whether he will survive and his children (and others close by) scramble trying to deal with the fallout.   There is a good cast, and you learn about the various children and how the figurehead views them.   People with money have challenges, just money isn’t one of them.  It doesn’t make them any less problematic for them.  Who is going to succeed the father?  What to do when the stock price plummets, and no direction from him?   How do adult children act around a patriarch, as well as amongst themselves.   Season Two this year won the Golden Globe.   I will continue to watch.  In a day where there is so much content out there, this is a place – now that Game of Thrones has passed – that you can see some intrigue.   No guns.   No blowing up things really, and more drama.  I can offer that the resolution wihin the final episode was a bit of a letdown.   I didn’t see the need to go there, but I guess it helped set up some of Season 2.  I will watch and find out.   I keep being told that Season 2 is better.




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