The Tragically Hip on their final tour.

RIP Gord Downie

“I looked up to the GORD above and said, Hey man, Thanks”  ~ Gordon Downie /  Adelle Chabot

This little edit one of the great lyrics of New Orleans is Sinking by family relative Adelle Chabot showed up on her facebook feed and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you Gord.

I wanted to tell my own little Gord Downie story of the time I met him. It was in Yellowknife. I was convinced to move to Yellowknife by my second cousin Art Wolfe as I would never stop telling stories of my time up there. Art was right.

Gord Downie came with his Coke Machine Glow Tour to Folk on the Rock in 2001. Not surprising Gord was the Sunday Night headliner for the northern capitals largest music festival of the year.

At that time there was a bar in the basement of a building on Franklin Avenue called the The Cave in the Gallery Building. It has a Monday Night open mike a jam session.

I think Gord was asked by every 20 and 30 something if he and his band would come to The Cave and join in. It was the worst kept secret in Yellowknife that day.

The Cave was packed for a Monday night, shortly after 10pm Gord and “the Goddamned Band” showed up and listen to a few songs and had a few beer. He was already a few drinks in but weren’t we all that night.

Gord went up to stage with  said, anyone have a guitar, three appeared magically. Julie Doiron got a bass handed to her. Dave Clark got behind the house drums. But the piano player (who’s name I have forgotten and can’t find in my research) didn’t have his keyboard. Their was one at the other end of the bar and I had never seen it played much less moved. The over capacity crowd almost immediately lifted the piano and crowd surfed over to the stage in what felt like an instant. It was a pretty magical moment to say the least. Gord played a few tunes… did one of his signature rants and did some impromptu jamming. It wasn’t perfect (neither was the piano) but it was very memorable and many beer was had and many thanks for said for Gord Downie showed up to open mike night at The Cave in Yellowknife, NWT.

Also here is a favourite photo of Gord Downie by friend and Toronto photographer Ernest Doroszuk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *