259 Cowley Ave, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1Y 0H2

Hear the Old Whistle Blowing

Gord Downie has died. The front man of The Tragically Hip and Canada’s Shakespeare has left a hole in our nation that you could drive a truck through. You’d think I would have so much to say about it, and I do. Yet I don’t. I don’t know what to say. I just know how I feel.


So many people reached out to me. My mom, my brother-in-law Stu, my wife and friends and cousins. A whole bunch of you who read the blog, even more who are connected to me via LinkedIn, to let me know that they knew I was hurting. Strangers.

I’ve been trying to get to the other side of this. But I’ve got nothing. I’m coming up empty.

Me. I’m such a Hip fan that I am the first person most people think about when they think about Hip fans.

I’ve got nothing.

So here it is, what I have, as good as I’ve got.

We are all going to die, but some of us will never live.

The question is when, and how would you live differently if you found out, as he did, that your deadline, your drop-dead date, your best-before was 18 months from now.

What would you do?

Who would call?

What would you want to tell them?

Gordie found out he was dying and he did a national tour to say goodbye. See this.

Gordie found out he was dying and he dedicated the last months of his life to call out the Prime Minister to make First Nations reconciliation a priority for us as a people. He said we couldn’t be a real country until we fixed this ugly problem. See this.

He released a solo album. See this.

He released a second one. See this.

He was given the Order of Canada. See this.

He was honored by the First Nations, and he wept. See this.

“When it starts to fall apart man, it really falls apart.  Like boots or hearts, oh when they start, they really fall apart.”


Live, people. You’re taking your time for granted.

I’ll be back, better, later.





Comments (2)

Thanks for introducing me to the Hip Dennis. In the short time I’ve been listening they’ve become meaningful to me. Though Gord Downie has left our time and space, he’s planted so many seeds and left so many bread crumbs for us to follow that it feels like an end and yet a beginning…my heart goes out to you.

Thanks Dave. I’m delighted that you’re a Hip fan, and I’m on the mend. Its been a non stop Hip Love in in Canada over the last few days – the place is pretty much closed down and Gordie is omnipresent.
Here is 5 minutes of my favourite hip ever. The band is ripping. Gordie is frantic. The song a classic, the tease of songs to come, and then the crowd explodes right after the bridge. Sigh. Sometimes you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR8gvzIlkkM

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