Watch: RUSH's GEDDY LEE And ALEX LIFESON Perform At GORDON LIGHTFOOT Tribute Concert In Toronto

May 24, 2024

RUSH's Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson made a surprise appearance Thursday night (May 23) at the Gordon Lightfoot tribute concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The longtime bandmates and best friends joined BLUE RODEO at Massey Hall to perform the Lightfoot original "The Way I Feel".

After the show, Lee explained to The Canadian Press why he and Lifeson got involved in the star-studded "Celebrating Gordon Lightfoot" event.

"Gordon Lightfoot was to musicians of my generation a true Canadian musical hero — and to boot he was a really sweet person," he said. "Both Alex and I really wanted to pay tribute."

Also appearing at the concert were folk singer Meredith Moon, Tom Cochrane, Dallas Green of CITY AND COLOUR, Sylvia Tyson of 1960s folk duo IAN & SYLVIA, among others.

When Lightfoot died in May 2023 at the age of 84, Geddy took to his Instagram to write: "The first time we met was outside a local award show at a club in Toronto - a legendary poet, a songwriting inspiration - a gem of a man - I loved him. He used to bring his daughter who was a fan, to our shows, and he'd sit with her in the audience getting blasted with volume for three hours.

"A few months back he phoned me out of the blue, for no other reason than to say he'd just watched one of our concert films and really loved it. Every time I ran into him the first thing he would ask was how many gigs we'd done that year – he'd then proudly counter with the fact that he had played even more!

"RIP Gord - you are the man - the greatest Canadian. #gordonlightfoot".

Lightfoot died of natural causes at 7:30 p.m. on May 1, 2023 at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, his spokesperson Victoria Lord said.

His death came less than a month after he canceled his 2023 US and Canada concert schedule. That cancelation was due to "health related issues", according to a Facebook post.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau described the folk icon as "one of our greatest singer-songwriters" in a tweet Monday night expressing his condolences.

"Gordon Lightfoot captured our country's spirit in his music – and in doing so, he helped shape Canada's soundscape. May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever," Trudeau wrote.

Lightfoot has recorded more than 20 albums and has five Grammy nominations. His songs have been aired regularly for more than 50 years, earning him radio singles chart positions in North America achieved by few others.

Aside from his success in writing, singing and performing his own songs, Lightfoot has found fortune in having his songs recorded and performed by other great artists, including Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jr., Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Judy Collins, Johnny Mathis, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Sarah McLachlan, Barbra Streisand, Peter Paul & Mary, Harry Belafonte, JANE'S ADDICTION, Richie Havens, Glen Campbell, Toby Keith and George Hamilton IV.

After more than 50 active years of hit song making and international album sales well into the multi-millions, it's safe to say that Lightfoot resides with some very exclusive company atop the list of all-time greats. His song catalog is incredibly vast and includes such immortals as "Early Morning Rain", "If You Could Read My Mind", "Carefree Highway", "Sundown", "(That's What You Get) For Lovin Me", "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald", "Canadian Railroad Trilogy", "Ribbon Of Darkness", "Beautiful", "Song For A Winter's Night" and "Rainy Day People", to name a few.

You never know who you'll see at a tribute to Gordon Lightfoot. Geddy and Alex from RUSH were surprise guests at the...

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