After spending years being critical of a certain someone, I have now realized that just because someone does something you’re not a fan of, doesn’t make them a _________!

To me this person was just another non talented singer in a band and I hate that I’m such a judge of music. Give me Steve Perry or David Gilmour or Ben Bridwell, not this guy.

I have now learned so much more about this fellow. He was a board member of the Ontario Waterkeeper, played yearly for Indigenous children’s education. Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year 2016, and given the order of Canada 2017.

A husband, father, brother, uncle, friend and brain cancer victim.

After healing from an operation having taken out a big piece of his brain and knowing death was certain, he planned a farewell tour for a Country! WHO DOES THAT? After a quick time re- learning all the songs that he’d written The Tragically Hip went on a cross Canada farewell tour. Time was critical!

They weren’t splitting up, they weren’t fighting, there was however, going to be a death in the family and so did what they needed to do on their terms as a band.

The Tragically Hip went from writing High School finals to playing the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto the same night and then their ride started. Thirty years together, albums galore and worshiped by an entire country.

This singer I didn’t care for encapsulated Canadiana better than Douglas Coupland. Quite an accomplishment. Songs about Northern Ontario towns or the wrongly accused young man, imprisoned for years then freed. About Hockey. In particular Toronto Maple Leafs. A player disappeared on a fishing trip ending the teams run of Stanley Cups. Years later when they found his body, The Leafs won.

That’s the kind of shit I’m referring to. This man didn’t have a shred of vanity either. He wrote, sang and shared just who he was. Maybe not perfect in some eyes but Damn close in others!

My ex-wife selflessly refrained for 13 years playing the Hip around me. And I’m ashamed to say that if Gord Downie had not passed from brain cancer I would still know nothing of him. Except he doesn’t sing very well, to me. Respect

A writer; poet; advocate; singer; Canadian and all around crazy bugger.

*My Aunt Willie Canham was taken from us just as horribly. Brain Cancer affects too many!

Take it easy, s

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