“The secret rules of engagement are hard to endorse when the appearance of conflict meets the appearance of force.” – The Tragically Hip: “Grace, Too”
Gord Downie, lead singer of alternative rock band The Tragically Hip, died Tuesday of brain cancer. He was 53.
Downie was born in Amherstview, Ontario and grew up due east in nearby Kingston. He met his bandmates in high school and played shows around town performing cover songs mainly. It was at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto where MCA Records president Bruce Dickinson saw the musicians and offered a record deal.
“I grew up listening to The Hip and I will grow old listening to The Hip.” – Lexi Strate
The Hip won 16 JUNO awards from 1990 to 2017 and scored three diamond albums (representing sales of one million copies each): Road Apples, Up to Here, and Fully Completely. Some of the group’s best-known songs are “Bobcaygeon,” “Ahead by a Century,” “Courage,” and “New Orleans is Sinking.”
“It was a privilege to witness Gord Downie’s creative genius, he was such a force in the Canadian music industry.” – Sarah McLachlan
On the side, Gord Downie began releasing solo works in 2001. He won a pair of JUNOs in 2017 for his Secret Path project exposing the horrors of residential schools. At its center was the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young Anishinaabe boy from the Marten Falls First Nation who died of freezing and starvation in 1966 while trying to return home after escaping from one such school.
Gord was known especially for his thoughtful poetry and energetic performances. He is survived by his four children.
“We will miss you. The legacy will continue.” – Tyler Shaw