Writing Gordon Lightfoot

Writing Gordon Lightfoot

The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972

Book - 2011
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A brilliantly original look at the folk-rock legend Gordon Lightfoot and the momentous week in 1972 that culminated in the Mariposa Folk Festival. Dave Bidini explores the remarkable week leading up to Mariposa and the series of events that will transform Canada politically, psychologically and musically. Through a series of letters, Bidini addresses Lightfoot directly, questioning him, imagining his life and weaving together a fascinating portrait of the musician at the top of his game.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2011.
ISBN: 9780771012624
Characteristics: xix, 267 p. :,ill., ports. ;,22 cm.


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Oct 21, 2018

Weird .... and also excellent. This is not your typical biography! But, in my opinion, that's actually a good thing. Basically, Bidini focusses on one week in 1972, the week before the Mariposa Folk Festival. His approach is scatter-shot with references of various Canadian and world events happening in '72, during that week in particular, and asides to Lightfoot himself, who evidently has a long-standing dislike of Bidini (who's also a musician, from roughly the same era... sort of...) Anyway, I really enjoyed the book! But I can see where others would be disappointed, thinking they were going to read a regular bio about Lightfoot as a kid, and his parents and hometown, and how he became the icon he is.... this is NOT that kind of book, but if you are interested in something a lot more seat-of-the-pants, you might want to try this take on '72, Lightfoot, a bunch of other musicians, times past, etc..

Oct 26, 2013

Very disappointed in this book. Thought it was suppose to be about G.L. Didn't like books content or author. Got half way through, didn't know WHAT I was reading about and stopped reading the book. Don't waste your time with this garbage.

Jul 16, 2012

Agree with sunshine444. This book is mostly about the Mariposa Folk festival of 1972, and other unrelated events of the summer of 1972. And some of that is interesting.. However, it is NOT about Lightfoot. Almost as much time is talking about the 1972 NHL-Russia hockey series (I refuse to call it Canada-Russia) Only about 1/4 of the book is about Lightfoot, and much of that is invented by the author (which he certainly admits). Much of the"factual" information the author relates is frankly, incorrect, which really makes one wonder about any authenticity whatsoever.. As a "so-called" musician and writer, Bidini should have done better research into his musical comments, innuendo and implications. The book is filled with musician's names spelled incorrectly; song titles wrong, and timeline of happenings incorrect. While some of this may not be of utmost importance, he uses examples that are totally out of date. For example, he talks of Lightfoot having depression issues and problems in the mid-1970s, and implies this is partly because of the slipping sales of his album "Back Here On Earth". The problem however, is that "Back Here On Earth", and it's hit single "Bitter Green" was actually releassed in autumn 1968, so it is perfectlly understandable that its sales might be slipping by the mid 1970s! He also talks of Joni Mitchell at Mariposa, and how Tom Rush was about to record one of her songs (which is incorrectly named), and which Rush had recorded 4 years previously. Neil Young is implied to have always been a "folkie", until after Mariposa 1972. I guess he's never heard of Buffalo Springfield, or heard Young's albums from 1969-1971 with Crazy Horse, such as "Everybody Knows This IS Nowhere". And this guy Bidini is a columnist for the National Post?

sunshine444 Jan 05, 2012

lots of interesting information about the time period, but the overall tone of the book is snarky, insolent and condescending. book is more about author than Lightfoot. read book about Lightfoot published in 2010 (which this author doesn't seem to know about) for a better, more fully developed story. author is upset that Lightfoot won't talk to him !? seems to feel entitled to pry into his life.

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