We've always admired Gord Downie for his mind, writing, music and the peculiar, but singular relationship he had with the world. The news of his terminal brain cancer today is heartbreakingly sad but we’re uplifted and inspired to see him taking the band on the road for another tour and laughing death in the face. All of us are wishing him a long, happy and continued life of performing and making the most of it. We’d thought we’d share a story of one of our most memorable moments with him…until the next.
During a cold winter in 2014 we had the privilege of performing two spots earlier on a bill with Gord in Buffalo, NY for a charity event. It turned out myself and Gord are both mutual friends with the promoter who’s wife had tragically fallen into a coma. The promoter Bruce put together this charity event to raise money for the ever increasing medical bills to keep her treatment going. Us Canadians have it so lucky that most of those health expenses are covered. But of course, it’s not the same in the home of brave. Mary was one of the sweetest, more genuine and loving people you could ever hope to meet. From all the thoughtful clothes, tools or food she gave us when we’d stop in Buffalo on tours to just getting the most invigorating hugs. She was a radiant beautiful spirit.
When I got news of the charity event, we of course had to be there to support. We all showed up for soundcheck that day and after we were done it was Gord’s turn to get checked. It hadn’t really sank in that we were just about to watch someone who we’d admired so much until he started plugging in his guitar. I remember all of us stood quietly and watched as he shuffled into position. The moment he began to sing Bobcaygeon to check it felt unbelievably intense - a highly emotional experience that had nostalgic memories of just about everything flooding into to my brain. It was beautiful, and one of the best solo performances we'd ever seen. Here's to Gord continuing to share his gift and spirit with the world.