I first met Alex at the Vancouver WordCamp Dev conference (circa 2012) and we chatted about his username, his impressive number of open source plugins that he manages and how unlike the other bond he drinks beer and not martinis (shaken not stirred)
We became friends across the internet and saw each other at WordCamp Seattle a number of times.
When I headed off to Europe we chatted about visiting the famed Nurburgring ring.
We had a good chuckle about the Dacia Sandero Bet I made with my brother that completely backfired on me.
How he introduced me to Glove and Boots a puppet cartoon I watch on YouTube and laugh at while I eat my lunch.
I never did get down to Portland to take him up on that ride in his beloved Viper he offered. I regret that.
“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.
I like to make a short post and say rest in peace David Bowie we were better to have you creating art in our lives. From your style, to your music, to your the movie characters most of which I remember from the labyrinth and I just wanted to say farewell.
I think it would be fitting for this Canadian to share another Canadian’s passion for David Bowie’s music by a embedding Chris Hatfield version of Space Odyssey which was recorded and performed on the International Space Station and went on to critical acclaim around the world. I hope the licensing powers that be find compassion in hearts to allow Chris Hatfield’s version on to play opened everyone on YouTube for many many years to come as a memorial to Mr. Bowie.
And while I know we will survive after his passing. I can’t imagine what our tech life would be without his influence. I will certainly be wearing my black turtleneck tomorrow (I own three).
I recently listen to a NPR fresh air interview from 1996 while he was still the CEO of NEXT and PIXAR and well before the big comeback of Apple with Steve at the helm. He talked about how the mouse was brought to the Macintosh and the graphical interface that we all think is common place. I’ll leave you with this quote from the interview…
“Our goal was to bring a liberal arts perspective and a liberal arts audience to what had traditional been a very geeky technology and a very geeky audience.”
~ Steve Jobs speaking about the invention of the Macintosh