There is no way in this lifetime that I will pretend to be something that I am not. I’m not a Tragically Hip fan. Not because they aren’t an awesome band, they clearly are. In the same way that Rush is, whom I’m also not a fan of. I like other types of music, neither of the above mentioned bands play the music that resonates with me. Based on this fact, I didn’t buy tickets to any of The Tragically Hip farewell shows, and I also didn’t try to stream their final concert, which took place in Kingston tonight. Tons of my friends, since May, when the news about Gord Downie’s cancer was announced, questioned me five ways from Sunday as to why I’m not a fan. Or why was I not going to “just go to a concert.” I would tell them, “Why would I do that? That would be so fake, I don’t know a single song, and I’m sorry, but I don’t like the music.” And before anybody even thinks about sending me hate emails, about not being respectful to a man dying of brain cancer…please read on.
While chilling at home tonight in Cali, babysitting Dominique’s best friend’s dog, and staying up WAY TOO LATE, for somebody getting up at 5:30am to catch a flight, I did what anybody does when they don’t want to think about stuff, I scrolled through my twitter feed. What I came across was a plethora of Tragically Hip videos/tweets, and the like. Being curious, and feeling like I was being a bad Canadian by not participating, I watched clip after clip of Gord pouring his heart and soul, LITERALLY into his lyrics. Songs that have, over the years resonated with people the world over. I watched him yell at cancer, with rage, justifiably. Cancer is the fucking pits. There is no way all these research companies have collected BILLIONS of dollars, but can’t figure out how to kick cancer’s ass. It doesn’t make sense to me. They can clone sheep, they can spin out sperm, and only inject female or male, based on your preference of baby that you would like, but they can’t spin out the cancer gene? They have satellites that can pinpoint my houses on google map, just hanging out up there, suspended in air, but they cannot figure out cancer?
I don’t buy it. In fact, working with Childhood Cancer Canada, and Camp Ooch, this not figuring out cancer thing, disgusts, and enrages me. Too often loved ones are taken too soon due to this disease. It’s brutal, it’s heart wrenching, and it is unfair.
So tonight, this non-Hip fan, discovered both a deeper respect for the band that has had such a tremendous impact on the musical fabric of Canada. Tonight, I saw a fellow human with still so much to live for, disappointed by his fate, but determined to live every single day to its fullest. I saw a man who loved his bandmates/friends, his country and his life. And even though I wasn’t a fan before, it’s never to late to jump on a bandwagon…
Blessings to Gord Downie, his family, his loved ones, and his country. Clearly you will be deeply missed. Thank you for bringing our great country to a standstill on Saturday August 20th, 2016 and for uniting us all through music.