Sunday, August 21, 2016

A brief mention of Gord Downie and Al Wiertz

This has been a topic of some discussion on Facebook, so I thought I would weigh in, perhaps with a useful observation. I'm not sure why Gord Downie made the decision to go public with his cancer before the tour, but it reminds me more than anything else of a concert I attended in the mid-1990s by Vancouver jazz drummer Al Wiertz, who was also dying of cancer. He put on two or maybe more shows - the one I saw was at the Glass Slipper, a jazz club long since gone - to raise money for his daughter's post-secondary education. He drummed his heart out; I only just discovered now that there's actually footage of Wiertz on Youtube, starting at the 4:24 mark, here. That night - though he was emaciated and on pain meds - he played with even more intensity, as I remember it. I totally admired his decision to make his situation public, to give his fans and friends a chance to support him, and to salvage something good out of something awful.

I missed the Hip broadcast last night, actually, but I will probably catch up on it at some point. It's a bit emotionally heavy, for me, right now. But my respect to Gord Downie. The Hip have some fantastic songs; I'm glad I got to see them live a few years ago.

That was all I was gonna say...

1 comment:

David M. said...

We're all on our Farewell Tour, and we should act accordingly.