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Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972 [Hardcover]

Dave Bidini
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 18 2011
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 of the most enigmatic figures in Canadian music: Gordon Lightfoot, the reigning king of folk at the height of his career. Through a series of letters, Bidini addresses Lightfoot directly, questioning him, imagining his life, and weaving together a fascinating, highly original look at a musician at the top of his game. By the end of the week, the country is on the verge of massive change and the '72 Mariposa folk fest--complete with surprise appearances by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and yes, Lightfoot--is on its way to becoming legendary.

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Product Description


"An extraordinary book about an extraordinary week. Superb."
—Joseph Boyden
"Bidini is a terrific writer - funny, clever, passionate. . . . Part history lesson, part travelogue, part self-examination, part play-by-play and a whole lot of reminiscing... hilarious..." -- Dave Fuller, Toronto Sun
"We want to be Dave Bidini when we grow up."
Toronto Star
"Dave Bidini is a heck of a good writer. His prose is almost conversational, creating an effect like a guy sitting at a bar telling you a good story, without the drunken rambling usually associated with such a fellow."
Globe and Mail

"I could read Dave Bidini all day. And I have."
—Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated

About the Author

Author and musician Dave Bidini is the only person to have been nominated for a Gemini, Genie and Juno as well CBC's Canada Reads. A founding member of Rheostatics, he has written 10 books, including On a Cold RoadTropic of HockeyAround the World in 57 1/2 Gigs, and Home and Away. He has made two Gemini Award-nominated documentaries and his play, the Five Hole Stories, was staged by One Yellow Rabbit Performance Company, touring the country in 2008. His third book, Baseballissimo, is being developed for the screen by Jay Baruchel, and, in 2010, he won his third National Magazine Award, for "Travels in Narnia." He writes a weekly column for the Saturday Post and, in 2011, he published his latest book, Writing Gordon Lightfoot

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read Jan. 20 2012
I enjoyed this book. The author never really claims to be writing a biography of Lightfoot and he keeps to that claim. I found it a pretty interesting discussion of the Mariposa Festival and how things were changing in the big world and the music world. If you go into it looking for a biography of Gordon Lightfoot you will be disappointed but if you go into it looking for an interesting perspective of Canadian culture and the early 70's I think you'll enjoy it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected Dec 26 2011
I never really looked at the content of this book but was just excited to see a book about Gordon Lightfoot. This author has never spoken to him and in fact thinks that Gordon lightfoot does not like him due to a long ago experience. The book is about a week in the 1970s when Gordon Lightfoot was in the Toronto music scene. The writing is actually quite good, but not what I was expecting. There are some surmises about Gordon Lightfoot's life at that period in time.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible... just terrible Nov. 19 2011
This has got to be one of the worst - no, THE worst - books about a musician that I have ever read. Not sure what Badini is trying to get at, but next time he has a brain fart, maybe he shouldn't drag the one, truly iconic Canadian musician-songwriter into his vortex of despair.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 1.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure Garbage Oct. 25 2011
By Gerald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I do not remember reading a worse book than this. It is disjointed and completely unintelligent. I read each chapter hoping that the next chapter would finally turn into what the book was supposed to be about. Unfortunately, nothing ever happened. In fact, having now completed it, I can honestly say that the book is about absolutely nothing. Worse still, it is an annoying, inarticulate read! The book has little or nothing to do with Gordon Lightfoot and the author's comments about him are marginally accurate and shallow. Don't be fooled into thinking that this book has anything tangible to do with Lightfoot, the Canadian music scene in 1972 or indeed anything else in 1972. If you want to waste your money (as unfortunately I did), this book could be the perfect place! Save the money you would waste on this book and give it to charity.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Waste of Money Oct. 21 2011
By griffondoor - Published on Amazon.com
I'm trying to figure out why I need to read about a prison breakout and what it has to do with Gordon Lightfoot and the Mariposa Music Festival. I'm 35% in and the only thing I found interesting was John Lennon and Yoko's first performance with The Plastic Ono Band and the mention that Gordon had Bell's Palsy. Maybe I'll finish this but I'm not holding out hope.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'd give it zero if i could Jan. 21 2012
By disenchanted - Published on Amazon.com
Without a doubt one of the worst books I have read in the past 10 years. Disjointed, researched on the internet from an author whose only claim to fame was being part of a B grade band.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There are no words Oct. 29 2011
By Jayne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are just no words. Please take advantage of your ability to read a chapter on your Kindle before you buy it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars this book is terrible. March 19 2013
By Dan B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
the author talks mostly about his own feelings about Gordon Lightfoot, with no actual substance that is factual. It should be called "letters I wrote to GL in my head" The book is very poorly written and has distasteful, vulgar language that takes away from any possible enjoyment reading this. It is trash and shouldn't have been published andmarketed as having any connection to Lightfoot. Oh, and nothing not already known about Gord.
I have been a Lightfoot fan for 30 years, have everything he ever recorded, been to more concerts than I can count and perform alot of his tunes...... I threw this book away half way through reading it.
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