- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Viking (Sept. 26 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0735232555
- ISBN-13: 978-0735232556
- Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3 x 24.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 590 g
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lightfoot Hardcover – Sep 26 2017
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Shortlisted for the 2017 Legislative Assembly of Ontario Speaker's Book Award
Nominated for the 2018 Heritage Toronto Award - Historical Writing: Book
“Perhaps the greatest gift of. . .Lightfoot is that [it leads] you right back to [his] music. Feels like you never left, only better.” –Maclean’s
“an informative, highly readable book. . .Lightfoot fans should rejoice.” –The Globe and Mail
“Jennings as always is a master storyteller . . . His deft manipulation of narrative, told in clear language, draws the reader in immediately . . . Jennings’s true gift might be his ability to slowly reveal Lightfoot to us – over the course of the book, the complexity of his character emerges, through a peeling away of the many layers the notoriously reticent singer has kept hidden. . . the best reward for Lightfoot fans who have waited for so long: Lightfoot is your chance to finally know him deeply.” –National Post
“This is the definitive book on Gordon Lightfoot's life and lengthy career.” –FYI Music News
“To read this book is to come away with a greater understanding of how a young choirboy from Orillia became one of Canada’s most revered songwriters and performers, and beloved among music fans around the world and across genres.” –NOW Magazine
“Acclaimed Canadian music historian Nicholas Jennings presents the definitive biography of a national musical treasure.” –Zoomer
“. . .the biography for which the songwriter’s fans have been patiently waiting. Jennings investigates the music and the man.” –Toronto SUN
“If you could read Gordon Lightfoot’s mind, this is the tale his thoughts could tell. . .This is very much Gord’s story, his version.” –The Washington Post
“This portrait of a stoic, deeply talented and driven man is an engaging and moving one. An essential read for anyone who cares about late 20th century troubadours.” –The Buffalo News
"Thorough and generous, without ignoring the singer's warts." –Winnipeg Free Press
“Nicholas Jennings’ fascinating biography solidifies [Lightfoot’s] legend…readers discover the two sides of the man who has told Canada’s story to the world in song.”–Montreal Times
Other Musicians on Gordon Lightfoot
“I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Everytime I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever . . . Lightfoot became a mentor for a long time. I think he probably still is to this day.” —Bob Dylan
“An extremely fine piece of songwriting.” —Johnny Cash on “Canadian Railroad Trilogy”
“What a song—that’s my favourite on the record.” —Neil Young, about covering “If You Could Read My Mind” on his A Letter Home album
“Gordon had a real loyal following all over the place, including over in Europe. When he’d play in L.A., they would come out in droves. It was a ritual that, whenever he’d do his tour, all these people would come and see him. They loved him. A very talented guy.” —Robbie Robertson
About the Author
NICHOLAS JENNINGS is one of Canada's most respected music journalists. He was the music critic and feature writer for Maclean's from 1980 to 2000 and his work has appeared in many of Canada's top magazines and newspapers. His acclaimed book Before the Gold Rush became the basis for a four-part CBC documentary series on the history of Canadian music. He lives in Toronto.
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The only reason I did not rate it 5 star is that there were some minor inaccuracies--inconsequential really-- which in no way
detract to Mr. Jennings splendid creation!
( I was Gordon's road manager all through the 70s and into the 80s.)
The author (obviously a devout music aficionado) did a wonderful job considering how private and shy Lightfoot is. The fact that Lightfoot even agreed to have his life story exposed like this is a huge accomplishment in itself.
Jennings delicately explores Lightfoot's demons (women, booze etc) while simultaneously praising the man for his unbelievable work ethic and dedication to his craft. What I really enjoyed and impressed me is how well this book was constructed. It takes the reader from the very beginning of his life to the present. Unlike many biographies I've read, it doesn't jump all over the place. It's all nicely laid out in chronological order, chapter by chapter. As a result, this book is a great page turner. Great job by the editors.
Lightfoot is arguably one of the greatest songwriters of all time. I highly recommend this book to all the "Lightheads" out there.
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