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Books for Folk Festival Season

By 49thShelf
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It's that time of year again, folk festival season, when music lovers gather on hillsides to hear the strains of their favourite folk tunes, which are usually incredible stories set to beautiful song. This post was originally supposed to be a list of novels that made Canadian folk festivals as their setting. Kind of obscure, right? Right. Which is why the excellent works of fiction that anchor this list are joined by biographical and autobiographical works about Canadian folk stars and legends, fact and fiction blended in the truest folkish form.
The Mariposa Folk Festival

The Mariposa Folk Festival

A History
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

A history of the Mariposa Folk Festival, from its humble roots in Orillia in 1961 to international acclaim and legendary status as a premier folk music gathering.

Mariposa began in the heyday of the early 60s “folk boom.” In its more than fifty-five years, it has seen many of the world’s greatest performers grace its stages: Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jann Arden, and Serena Ryder.

The festival has long held a musical mirror to popular cu …

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE
In the Beginning
Club Pavalon, more commonly known as “the Pav,” was an old-time dance hall situated on the edge of Couchiching Beach Park in Orillia. It had a reputation for bringing in great bands and was a popular hangout for teens, who would dance to the likes of Bobby Curtola, the Stitch in Tyme, the Downchild Blues Band, and the Guess Who. The Pav also doubled as a community meeting hall.
On a cold January evening in 1961, John Fisher took to the Pav’s stage to address the local Chamber of Commerce about tourism and, specifically, how to promote it in small towns. Fisher had been nicknamed “Mr. Canada” for his enthusiastic and influential CBC broadcasts about Canadian culture and history. He would go on to be a key figure in putting on Expo 67 during the centennial year. But in 1961 in Orillia, he had come to town to speak about what would make Orillia a desirable tourist destination. Little did he dream that he was planting the seed of an idea that would lead to the creation of a Canadian institution — the Mariposa Folk Festival.
In the audience that night was Ruth Jones, a young, community-minded mother, who was a folk music enthusiast. She and her husband would often make the trek south to Toronto to hear the traditional and the new sounds coming from the coffee houses and folk clubs in the city. Ever since the Kingston Trio had topped the popular music charts with their 1958 hit “Tom Dooley,” folk music had gained increasing popularity, especially with young people. The folk boom — some wags have called it the “folk scare” — was well underway in the winter of 1961. A number of folk clubs already existed in the city, especially in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto. Ruth was intrigued by what Fisher said about the growing number of arts festivals around the country and how Orillia might benefit from staging something of that sort.
The wheels were set in motion. Several days later, as she lay in bed with a nasty flu bug and time to think, Ruth came up with the idea of putting on a folk music festival in town.
Orillia at that time was a quiet place of about fourteen thousand residents. Situated between two lakes, its summertime population allegedly doubled with the arrival of cottagers and nearby resort guests. Orillia’s biggest employer was the Ontario Hospital School, one of the largest mental institutions in the country. That was also the workplace of Ruth’s husband, Dr. Casey Jones. The rest of the town’s economy was based on its moderately sized factories and depended upon the tourism business in the surrounding area. The sleepy demeanour was not all that far removed from the quirky fictional village of Mariposa that Stephen Leacock had described in his 1912 novel Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Leacock, a summer resident of Orillia, based many of his characters and events on real people and real incidents in the community. The book propelled Leacock into stardom as an international humorist, and it put Orillia on the map as the archetypal small Canadian town.
A few days after Fisher’s speech, Ruth made a call to Pete McGarvey, a local broadcaster and a town alderman who was also interested in promoting Orillia as a travel destination. Only a few years earlier McGarvey had almost single-handedly saved Stephen Leacock’s home from the wrecker’s ball. By 1961 it had become a local museum and a tourist attraction, thanks to Pete’s efforts and hard work.
“She had this glorious idea that we could stage a folk festival in Orillia that very summer. She thought that would be the dimension that John Fisher was calling for,” recalled McGarvey. “I agreed wholeheartedly that it should be done; nobody else was doing it; the talent was near at hand; Orillia was, of course, a resort community accustomed to summer visitors; and we had plenty of places to show their talents — the Opera House, the community centre outdoors, or the Oval [the town’s sports arena]. So that was it.”1
The name Mariposa was suggested in tribute to Leacock’s literary invention — his satiric jab at the Orillia he knew in 1912. Why he chose the Spanish word for butterfly has never been documented. He may simply have scanned his Ontario map and noticed that there was a Mariposa Township near Lindsay, Ontario, and liked the name. We’ll probably never know. What we do know is that no attempt to mock Orillia was intended in the naming of the festival! Pete, Ruth, and her husband Casey all laid claim to having come up with the name. Ruth’s notebook history credits Casey.
* * *
Ruth and her husband had been folk music enthusiasts for a number of years and they had an insider’s knowledge of the folk community in Toronto. Ruth boldly and confidently approached many of her contacts in the city. An important group on that list was the Toronto Guild of Canadian Folk Artists. Among its somewhat radical left-wing members were people like Estelle Klein, who would eventually become artistic director of the festival, and Sid Dolgay, a member of the folk group the Travellers. Sid’s band had recorded its own version of Woody Guthrie’s folk classic “This Land Is Your Land” in 1955 and had a reputation as Canada’s top folk draw.
The first meeting of the board of directors for the fledgling festival took place at the Jones home on Bay Street in Orillia. Ruth became president; Pete was elected vice-president, and Casey would act as secretary-treasurer. It was appropriate that Casey be treasurer: he contributed $5,000 of the Jones’s own money, a sizable amount in 1961, indeed (the equivalent of about $40,000 in 2016).
The trio got the approval of Orillia town council and was even given a small amount of money — $250 — to help fund the festival. Ruth and her team solicited advice from what was then the only other modern folk festival in North America, the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island.2 A date in August was selected, and even though it was still a snowy February, that summer weekend loomed ominously.
Much of the work and direction over the next few months came from Toronto. Under Ruth’s leadership, an informal group of advisors from the city helped to bring in the acts, organize the minutia, and set in motion the procedures that would make her dream into a reality. In addition to Estelle Klein and Sid Dolgay, Syd Banks, who was a renowned television and music producer, helped out. Ed Cowan was asked to be the first producer of the festival and Ted Schafer was named the first emcee. Edith Fowke, host of CBC’s Folk Song Time and a renowned folklorist in her own right, also chipped in. Edith — who was the quintessential expert on Canadian folk music at that time — pushed for an all-Canadian flavour. Ruth’s brother David Major did a lot of the legwork “in the trenches,” according to Ruth. Emerging musical star Ian Tyson used his early training as a graphic artist to design the first poster and the initial Mariposa logo. Many of the meetings were held in Ian’s downtown-Toronto apartment. In his 2010 autobiography, The Long Trail: My Life in the West, Tyson makes mention of the fact that the poster for the first Mariposa Folk Festival still hangs in the kitchen of his home in rural Alberta.
Innumerable phone calls and hectic meetings took place in those months between February and August of 1961. Ruth and her helpers put a lot of wear and tear on their cars as they drove up and down the 125 or so kilometres of highway between Orillia and Toronto. Decisions were made on a lineup, on how to advertise and sell the new concept, and on where to actually hold the event. Numerous solutions had to be found for problems that no one had ever encountered before. Where would visitors stay? Where would they house the performers overnight? How would they recruit the necessary volunteers to man all aspects of the actual staging of the festival?
Ruth became something of a publicist for the festival as she travelled all over Ontario touting her new “baby.” She gave numerous radio, TV, and press interviews and made the pages of Chatelaine and Maclean’s magazines. In an unpublished manuscript Ruth recalled, “I arranged that all milk delivered to summer cottagers would have a promotional collar attached…. Every piece of mail that went through the Orillia post office for the month preceding the event got a special cancellation stamp. I travelled all over Ontario doing newspaper, radio, and TV interviews and made a trip to my hometown, Halifax, for a special media event…. We sent out hundreds of news releases — every one sealed and stamped by my four children, David, Bruce, Nancy, and Barb, while they learned and sang folk songs.”3
Ruth sent out letters to people such as Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Ed McCurdy and Alan Mills, inviting them to come and play at the festival. Few replied (Bikel, for instance, said he was “busy”), but she remained determined. Her goal was to teach Canadians about their own musical heritage, to give some of our homegrown musicians the publicity they badly needed, and to supply her hometown with a tourist attraction that was both exciting and wholesome. The lineup eventually took on an all-Canadian flavour, showcasing both established and new acts on the Canadian folk scene. The Travellers, Alan Mills, Quebec chanteur Jacques Labrecque, and fiddler Jean Carignan were among the established names hired. Younger performers such as Bonnie Dobson, Mary Jane and Winston Young, and the up-and-coming team of Ian Tyson and Sylvia Fricker were hired to draw the college crowd and show that folk had bright new faces to present to the world. Ruth asked Ian and Sylvia early in February, and both had responded enthusiastically.
There were definitely struggles. The Y’s Men, a local service club, initially pledged $1,000 in exchange for the right to sell 750 tickets at a reduced price. A similar arrangement with the Jaycees, another service club, failed to materialize. Nevertheless Ruth remained optimistic and enthusiastic, as demonstrated by remarks in her journal: “They liked Finvola’s tape — we are trying for LeBreque [sic] again! Oh — this thing is BIG!!”4 Orillia’s town council finally discussed and approved the event on May 1, and the Oval was rented for $150. Ruth even approached the army at nearby CFB Borden about a tent for the Oval grounds.
One of the key figures in the organizing and especially in the programming of Mariposa was Edith Fowke, though her contribution is often overlooked. Her input for the fledgling and later Mariposa Folk Festivals would be invaluable. She held strong views that Canadians should be exposed to traditional Canadian songs, and it was thanks to her that a number of traditional singers made their way onto Mariposa stages.
* * *
On August 18 the initial Mariposa Folk Festival was launched on the green space at the Orillia Oval. The festival’s souvenir pamphlet described it as “Canada’s FIRST National Folk Festival,” but the designation of “first” can be debated.
The Miramichi Folksong Festival in Newcastle, New Brunswick, lays claim to being the first “folksong” festival and predates Mariposa by a number of years. Ruth had contacted that festival, but the only advice given was that they relied on grants from the New Brunswick provincial government.
Purists would argue that neither festival can claim to be the first since there were a number of folk festivals — many sponsored by Canadian Pacific Railway — staged in places like Vancouver, Banff, Regina, Toronto, and Quebec City during the 1930s.
Whatever the case may be, the Mariposa Folk Festival was certainly one of the first, and its size and influence make it by far the most important folk festival in Canadian history.
From the beginning the festival, though smaller than it would later become, was a success, drawing large crowds. Its first home was at a site in Orillia known as the Oval. This area, home to Orillia’s community centre and arena, was tucked between the imposing limestone Roman Catholic church, the local armoury, and modest, middle-class homes along the side streets. It served as the location for local trade shows and the annual Orillia Fall Fair, and it included a somewhat rickety set of bleachers for the local baseball teams and their fans (the baseball diamond was transformed into a concert venue for the festival, the stage an elaborate model of a medieval tent — a nod to Casey Jones’s fascination with the pageantry of the Middle Ages). The entire property was surrounded by a secure high fence, likely a factor in selecting the venue when “nicer” but less secure parks in town could have served the same purpose.

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Festival Man

Festival Man

A Novel
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

Maverick music manager Campbell Ouiniette makes a final destructive bid for glory at the Calgary Folk Festival.

Travel in the entertaining company of a man made of equal parts bullshit and inspiration, in what is ultimately a twisted panegyric to the power of strange music to change people from the inside out.
At turns funny and strangely sobering, this "found memoir" is a picaresque tale of inspired, heroic deceit, incompetence, and – just possibly – triumph. Follow the flailing escapades …

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Mountain City Girls

Mountain City Girls

The McGarrigle Family Album
edition:Hardcover

The first book and definitive family memoir from Anna and Jane McGarrigle, sisters to Kate McGarrigle and aunts of Rufus and Martha Wainwright. This book is truly a classic in the making.
     The McGarrigles are known around the world for their touching, insightful songs about love, loss and family. But where and how does a family so rich in musical luminaries take root? In Mountain City Girls, Anna and Jane recount their childhood in Montreal and the Laurentian Mountains, and go further back …

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Cadillac Couches

Cadillac Couches

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Winner of the Gold Medal for Western Canadian Fiction at the 2012 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards

 

Cadillac Couches is a picaresque road trip novel that journeys from prairie to big city and back again. A quixotic tale set in the late nineties and framed by the popular Edmonton Folk Music Festival, it follows two music-smitten twentysomething women as they search for love and purpose. Annie Jones is trying to put her big love, Sullivan, behind her and squash her demons of anxiety and com …

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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

In Her Own Words
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover

When singer, musician, and broadcast journalist Malka Marom had the opportunity to interview Joni Mitchell in 1973, she was eager to reconnect with the performer she’d first met late one night in 1966 at a Yorkville coffeehouse. More conversations followed over the next four decades of friendship, and it was only after Joni and Malka completed their most recent recorded interview, in 2012, that Malka discovered the heart of their discussions: the creative process.

In Joni Mitchell: In Her Own W …

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Writing Gordon Lightfoot

Writing Gordon Lightfoot

The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover

From acclaimed musician and author Dave Bidini comes a brilliantly original look at a folk-rock legend and the momentous week in 1972 that culminated in the Mariposa Folk Festival.

July, 1972. As musicians across Canada prepare for the nation's biggest folk festival, held on Toronto Island, a series of events unfold that will transform the country politically, psychologically--and musically. As Bidini explores the remarkable week leading up to Mariposa, he also explores the life and times of one …

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Excerpt

Hey, Gord. Or Gordon. Or Mr. Lightfoot. No, I’m going to call you Gord, and I hope that’s okay. You don’t know me, but I know you. We all know you. You’re in our heads. You’re in the walls of our hearts. Your melodies hang and swerve over the great open skies and soupy lakes and long highways and your lyrics are printed in old history and geography and humanities textbooks that get passed down from grade to grade to grade. When people say “Lightfoot,” it’s like saying “Muskoka” or “Gretzky” or “Trudeau.” I dunno. “Lightfoot.”
 
Your name says as much as these things, maybe more. Gord, I am writing this book even though you won’t talk to me. It’s a long story, but this is a long book, so here goes. You won’t talk to me because of a song that my old band covered, a version of your nautical epic, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” Back in 1989, we contacted your late manager, Barry Harvey – a good guy; at least he was to us – to ask for approval, and he gave us his blessing. But then he said that he probably wouldn’t play our version of the song for you. What he actually said was, “If I play it for him, it’ll just piss him off.”
 
A few months later, something else happened, which is maybe the real reason why you won’t talk to me. You see, after coming home from a tour of Ireland – an ill-fated tour; we broke up there, only to re-form and record your song, though you probably wish we’d stayed broken up – a music writer asked about our rendition. Because I was young and dumb and feeling disappointed that you – one of my heroes – refused to recognize our interpretation of what is surely one of Canada’s most famous, and best, songs, I punked out. I told him that, “well, everyone knows that it’s based on an old Irish melody. It’s not his, not really.” What I didn’t tell the writer was that a guy in a bar in Cork had told me this, nor did I tell him that there were several beers involved – in Cork, Gord, this is a given. Later on, when Barry Harvey read what I’d said, he asked me to recant my statement. I might have just grunted and hung up the phone. Barry asked again and again, and, having grown a little older and less punked-out, I said I would, but then the story appeared on the Internet (the goddamned Internet). Barry was gentlemanly about the whole thing, but he said that I’d upset you, which is what I’d wanted to do, at least in the beginning, but not anymore. You were mad and I don’t begrudge you that feeling. After all, the same guy who’d desecrated your song had called you a phony, even if he hadn’t really meant it (Cork plus beer plus being rejected by one’s hero plus an encounter with a drunken storyteller equals impetuous rant. It’s a weak defence, I know, but it’s all I’ve got). I tried taking the story down, then forgot about it. Barry called a third time, then a fourth time, asking nicely. Then he passed away. And now I am writing a book about you. And you won’t talk to me.
 
Last year, when my publisher asked if I wanted to do this book, I explained the situation. He said, “Do it anyway,” and so we proceeded to figure out a way to create a book without the contribution of its central figure, which is you. At first, I thought about using stories that other people had told about you, but the biographical holes were too great (turns out you’re a bit of a mystery, Gord, although it’s not like you don’t know that). Then, as I started to look back through your life, I came across an event that I remembered reading about years ago in a Peter Goddard-edited seventies Toronto pop magazine called Touch. The event was Mariposa ’72. Because it was a great event – maybe one of the most important in Canadian musical and cultural history – I was given a starting point from which to talk about your life, without actually talking to you. I also thought it might be a way of telling the story of Canada. But I tried not to think too much about it. Instead, I just sat down and started writing.
 
Gord, I know you know all of this, but, at this point, I should tell the readers a few things. Okay. Readers: the 1972 Mariposa Folk Festival (the sixteenth year of the event) was unlike any that came before it. It took place on a small isthmus at the bottom of Toronto, on Centre Island, now the site of a popular kids’ amusement park. At the time, Mariposa was one of the most progressive festivals of its kind – only the Newport Folk Festival and a similar event in Philadelphia had better reputations – bringing attention to marginalized folk, blues, and traditional music. It steered clear of emerging chart music – pop and rock and even folk-rock – instead scheduling time for forgotten blues masters, Inuit throat singers, and local tubthumpers (Gord, I do not mean to disparage local folksingers by calling them “tub-thumpers,” but it’s kind of what they were. Still, I know that a lot of them are your friends, and I don’t need to piss you off any more than you already are). In 1971, excitement over the event resulted in ticketless fans swimming across the harbour to get to the island, further dissuading organizers from booking big-name talent for fear that the grassroots festival would lose its way. Such was their monastic commitment to a toned-down event that, in 1972, evening performances were cancelled, in keeping with the philosophy established by artistic director Estelle Klein, who, in 1972, was out of the country, holidaying in Greece and taking a break from the festival.
 
By 1972, the music scene had changed. In Toronto, it had moved from Yorkville’s coffee bar idyll to scabrous Yonge Street, with rock clubs being born every day alongside strip joints, pinball arcades, and gay taverns. These new places catered largely to the younger music fan, blessed by the drinking age in Ontario having been lowered, a year earlier, from twenty-one to eighteen. Also, because of 1971 federal legislation that required radio stations to play 33? per cent Canadian music, the nation’s sonic palette widened and there was room for new bands driven by fuzz-toned guitarists and wild-haired singers who felt empowered after hearing themselves on the radio for the first time. The city’s musical culture moulted. New sounds were being heard everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except at the largest and most stubborn-minded music festival in Canada.
 
When Mariposa organizers sat down to program the playbill for that year’s festival, they pencilled in Murray McLauchlan and Bruce Cockburn as the de facto headliners. Gord, I’m sure that you would have headlined the festival had you not been suffering through your shittiest year ever. By ’72, you’d stopped touring, and you were dating Cathy Evelyn Smith, the same woman who’d conceived Levon Helm’s love child in the Seahorse Inn on Toronto’s southern Etobicoke lakeshore and who was later charged with murder in the speedball death of John Belushi. You had also suffered the first symptoms of Bell’s palsy during a performance at Massey Hall and, in 1971, had waged a trying battle with Grammy organizers, who demanded that you shorten “If You Could Read My Mind.” Anyway, because of your stasis, the responsibility for headlining the bill fell to two of your Yorkville proteges, both of whom, because of the new CanCon rules, had usurped a musical territory that, before the new law, had been almost exclusively yours. I don’t know if that cheesed you, Gord. I don’t even know whether, because you were lost in a deep fog of booze and drugs and pain, any of this registered. Maybe it did. It’s one of the things I hope to figure out.
 
Anyway, what happened on that island that weekend was an unexpected confluence of the greatest songwriters of their age, each of them – like yourself – emerging from difficult times. That it happened in my city – in your city, in our city – puts me close to the memory, although I would have been way too young to go there myself. Because it’s one of these great events that hasn’t been written about, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Writers live for this sort of thing: an untold story. The same could be said for you, Gord. It’s been over thirty years since anyone wrote a book about you. It is time. Still, the ideas didn’t end there. After poring over newsprint and microfilm about Mariposa ’72 at the Toronto Reference Library and other places, I found that the story grew and grew. What I learned was that, over the seven days leading up to Mariposa, there occurred some of the era’s most memorable and profound moments in music, politics, sports, and culture, both at home and abroad. What happened from July 10 to July 17 eclipsed any single story, including your own. In Canada, the Canada–Russia hockey teams were announced; the largest jailbreak in Canadian history occurred at Kingston’s Millhaven penitentiary; and, through a combination of forces, Trudeau mania fell fast and hard. The summer of 1972 was also when The Rolling Stones staged one of the most important – and notorious – rock and roll tours ever, in support of their important and notorious album, Exile on Main Street. As it turns out, they were also in Toronto during the Mariposa weekend, playing two shows at Maple Leaf Gardens. Stevie Wonder opened and filmmaker Robert Frank and writer Truman Capote were in tow. On Sunday in Montreal, their equipment truck was bombed in a loading bay behind the Forum. Some said the separatists were responsible, but no one knows for sure.
 
World news of that week is also filled with remarkable events large and small, including the beginning of the Bobby Fischer–Boris Spassky chess summit and the journey of Pioneer 10 towards Jupiter. The week started with a total eclipse of the sun, and when the bells rang out on the evening of December 31, 1972, they ended the longest twelve months in history – three seconds having been added to international time – and something about music, something about Canada, and something about the world was different than it had been before. Gord, before I started writing, I talked to people who know you. I was given advice on how to handle the situation, which proved to be no advice at all. When I announced my intentions, some folks told me to steer clear. “Whatever you do, don’t park outside his house,” said one person. “The last guy who did this had his car pissed on by him. He’s a grumpy old man. He’ll never talk to you.” Others were more encouraging.
 
“Gord is a beautiful person,” said Dan Hill. “After Paul [Quarrington] died, he really helped me get through my period of grieving.” Eventually, I was left with two impressions. From what I gathered, you were either a loner or you were everybody’s good time. You were either a tough guy or a sweetheart who could break down at a moment’s notice. You were either a shit-kicking cowboy or an angel; a drunk or a saint. You’d either steal someone’s girlfriend or give him the shirt off your back. You were either Canada’s Townes Van Zandt or a Roger Whittaker wannabe in a plaid shirt. You were either hell on your band or loyal to a fault. You either loved Canada or had tried as hard as you could to get the hell out. Your small-town roots were either the driving force of your art, or the small, airless pepper box in which your life was confined. You were either here – showing up at Leafs games or attending industry banquets – or not here – disappearing to go on long canoe trips, or hiding out in a friend’s apartment in Detroit.
 
Because you won’t talk to me – I’ve called your record company a bunch of times, written emails, all of that, and still nothing – I decided to write you a letter, which, by now, is kind of obvious. I should also tell you that this book alternates between a letter to you and a description of the events of that week in ’72, leading up to Mariposa and a wild prose crescendo that will leave even the crustiest old critic lachrymose and braying from his knees.
 
There’s one other thing, Gord. It’s actually a big thing.
 
You see, in the letter sections, I’ve made stuff up. Some of it might have happened; some of it might not. Because you won’t talk to me, I’m left having to imagine your life. Because I’m a musician, too, I wanted to use all that I’ve seen and heard and done in my own rock and roll life to help piece together your story; to understand how you – a small-town choirboy – ended up creating this country’s most formidable body of song. The lawyers don’t want me to write this book, Gord. They think you will come and find me and drag this book down. My wife doesn’t want me to write it. She doesn’t want our car pissed on. But no artist ever did anything based on whether a lawyer liked their idea or not. Well, maybe some did, but not me.
 
Still, if you won’t talk to me, Gord, I’m going to talk to you. I mean, it wouldn’t be the first conversation that started without both people listening.
 
So, okay, Gord.
 
I’ll start.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Rumours Of Glory

Rumours Of Glory

A Memoir
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook Hardcover

Cockburn's life has been shaped by politics, protest, romance and spiritual discovery. For more than five decades he has toured the globe, visiting such far-flung places as Guatemala, Mali, Mozambique, Afghanistan and Nepal, performing and speaking out on diverse issues, from native rights and land mines to the environment and Third World debt. His journeys have been reflected in his music and evolving styles: folk, jazz, blues, rock and worldbeat. Drawing on his experiences, he continues to cre …

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Fallsy Downsies

Fallsy Downsies

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : urban life

Lansing Meadows has one last shot to get it right. With the clock ticking, he sets out on the road one last time, to sing his songs to anyone who’ll listen, and to try to right his wrongs, before it’s too late.

Fallsy Downsies is a novel about aging, art, celebrity and modern Canadian culture, told through the lens of Lansing Meadows, the godfather of Canadian folk music; Evan Cornfield, the up and comer who idolizes him; and Dacey Brown, a young photographer who finds herself along for the r …

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