I was pretty sure Gordon Lightfoot was going to live forever, but I see on the slowly entropizing Twitter machine that he’s passed away.
So this seems like a good time to tell a story I have from a man I used to work for (also now gone) who used to be the road manager for one Waylon Jennings (RIP, you may have heard of him).
So, my former boss had an awful lot of stories, including the one about Kris Kristofferson going AWOL and stealing a helicopter, which he landed on Johnny Cash’s lawn so he could hand Cash a sheaf of song lyrics before the MPs grabbed him. But his Gordon Lightfoot story was my favorite.
This post relates an off-color story from the 70s when Times Were Different.
You have been warned.
As my acquaintance (I’ll call him Johnna, because that was his name) told the tale, one day in roughly 1972 while Waylon was up in his hotel room with a female fan or two, Gordon Lightfoot (who at that point in time was mostly known as a songwriter, although he had recorded “If You Could Read My Mind”* and a couple of other hits) dropped by with a new song he wanted Waylon to hear. Waylon was busy, and didn’t want to come out, so he asked if Johnna would ask Gordon to hang around for a while.
An hour passed. Two hours passed. Gordon was getting bored. He picked up a guitar and played the song for Johnna.
Johnna agreed it was a good song. He banged on Waylon’s door again. Waylon was still busy with his new friends.
Eventually, Gordon got bored and pissed and said something to the effect of “Fuck this, I shall record it myself,” and stomped out.
The song in question was “Sundown.”
So now it’s for posterity, and that lot are all gone.
Next time somebody you think you need is too busy with their own shit to give you the time of day, go and do it for yourself.
It might work out.
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*The song that gave us the phrase “Gordon Lightfoot Ending.”