By Ian Liberman
IN MEMORIAM – Gone Too Soon
GORD DOWNIE – THE TRAGICALLY HIP
If Canada had no anthem, I am sure that the late Gord Downie, lyricist and lead singer of the Tragically Hip, could have formulated one that would reflect the essential spirit of the country. Downie was a philosopher, historian, and poet who used the melodic medium of the Hip to reflect his perceptions of Canadian culture through music.
Tragically Hip became a household name in 1989 with the release of Up To Here. The album featured some of the band’s most popular tunes including: “New Orleans” and “Blow at High Dough.”
Last year, at the age of 53, Downie announced that he had contracted brain cancer. He proceeded to organize and perform the last captivating tour of the Hip before the disease took over and reduced his physical faculties.
Downie died at the age of 53 on October 17, 2017 in Kingston, Ontario. He left behind a legacy of rock music, and a profound interest in assisting with the problems of the Indigenous population whose history of imprisonment in residential schools had fuelled a debate of cultural genocide in Canada.
He was interested in helping with the implementation of The Truth and Reconciliation documents released by the government. Downie’s last musical project, Secret Path, outlined his devotion and reflection of the First Nation`s Canadian History through a plan of stories (graphic novel) and music.
The Tragically Hip left a musical inheritance that absorbed rock, blues and country music in order to summarize and depict the Canadian culture through the framework of their distinctive style of music.
Fellow legendary Canadians, Rush, shared on the following on their website after learning of Downie’s passing…
“It’s a sad day for Canada and Canadian music…Rest in peace Gord…and thank you.”
May Gord RIP.
Tom Petty was an American rock music icon who creatively delved into every harmonious aspect of rock and country music with his writing, producing, vocals, and multiple instruments playing. Over the course of his lengthy career, he sold over 80 million records. Petty was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida on October 20, 1950, and died of a heart attack on October 2, 2007. His major influences included: the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Beatles, and Elvis. He is known mostly for his solo work and work with his band, The Heartbreakers, but began his career with a band called Mudcrutch.
In the ‘80s, Petty was a part of Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup that also featured Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynne.
Success came early for Petty, when he had a hit with “Breakdown” off of the first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album. In addition to his musical achievements, Petty also appeared on television in The Simpsons and The Larry Sanders Show.
Although he died too soon (just before his 67th birthday), he will never be overlooked as a significant American artist who brought pleasure to all that were in earshot of his unique and creative talents.
His funeral took place in Los Angeles’ Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery. Just recently, fans devoted themselves to dressing up in gothic costumes to participate in a Vampire Walk on his 67th birthday.
LOUDWIRE MUSIC AWARDS
Even though rock and its subgenres account for a higher percentage of sales than pop, the mainstream media ignores rock’s awards shows for the most part. This year’s Loudwire Music Awards, which took place on October 24th, are no exception to this rule. The one positive note this year was Apple Music being the leading promoter of the event.
The following is a list of this year’s winners:
BREAKTHROUGH BAND – Beartooth
BEST BASSIST – Steve Harris
LEMMY AWARD – Rob Halford
BEST METAL SONG – “Executioner’s Tax” by Power Trip
BEST HARD ROCK SONG – “Alone” by I Prevail
BEST LIVE BAND – Iron Maiden
VOCALIST OF THE YEAR – Chester Bennington
HUMANITARIAN AWARD – Sammy Hagar
BEST DRUMMER – Mario Duplantier (Gojira)
BEST NEW ARTIST – Greta Van Fleet
DEDICATED FANS PICK – Baby Metal
HARD ROCK ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Stone Sour
METAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Avenged Sevenfold.
Judas Priest announced that they will be releasing a new album in 2018 entitled Firepower. The band will follow the release with a supporting tour, which will feature Saxon as the opening act.
Guns N’ Roses has been recording and filming the concerts during the “Not in This Lifetime Tour.” The band will be releasing it as a movie in 2018. To date, this tour has grossed over $150 million (a record amount of cash for any artist).
Scott Ian of Anthrax will be publishing a book entitled “Access All Areas.” In the book, he reminisces about his meetings with the top rock and metal stars while being on tour, from encounters with David Lee Roth to Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell. The book is due to be released on December 12, 2017.
INFERNO OF ROCK TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
OCTOBER 2017 TRIVIA QUESTION ANSWERS
 Gojira’s name comes from what horror movie? Godzilla
 Name the guest musician on Zakk Wylde’s song “Sleeping Dogs”… Corey Taylor
NOVEMBER 2017 TRIVIA QUESTIONS
 Easy Beat’s guitarist died last month at the age of 70. Who was he, and what super group did he produce?
 What article of clothing did Dave Grohl give a fan on crutches at a Foo Fighter concert this year?