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Lightfoot on death’s door?

The Story

Canadians across the country are in shock as Gordon Lightfoot is hospitalized in Hamilton, Ont. The 63-year-old folk singer was airlifted to McMaster University Medical Centre and underwent surgery after complaining of stomach pains prior to a concert in Orillia. Details are sketchy and in the ensuing media rush, long-time Lightfoot bassist Rick Haynes provides few details on the singer's condition. "I'm representing Gord and his family," says Haynes in this CBC Newsworld clip. "He's been a fairly important figure in Canada for a long time." 

Medium: Television
Program: Newsworld Live
Broadcast Date: Sept. 8, 2002
Guest(s): Rick Haynes
Host: Helen Mann
Duration: 3:18

Did You know?

• After a few days, details finally emerged that Lightfoot underwent emergency surgery to control stomach bleeding from a rare weakness in a blood vessel. Dr. Michael Marcaccio, the chief of surgery at McMaster University Medical Centre, revealed that Lightfoot could have died if he hadn't otherwise been in good physical shape.

• Because of Lightfoot's illness, all of his remaining concerts scheduled for 2002 — including his annual Massey Hall stand in November — were cancelled. After spending three months in the hospital, Lightfoot was released in December 2002 to continue his recovery at his Orillia home.
• Rick Haynes' first appearance on a Gordon Lightfoot album was 1969's Sunday Concert, recorded that year at Massey Hall. The two have played together ever since.

• In an April 19, 2003 interview with the Toronto Star, Lightfoot revealed that he hoped to complete a new studio album before making his return to the stage in the fall of 2004.


Gordon Lightfoot: Canada's Folk Laureate more