Gord Downie's songs 'drip with Canadiana:' Tragically Hip fans react
Local fans react to news Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer
Fans in Waterloo region reacted with shock and sadness after hearing Tuesday that frontman Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip has terminal brain cancer.
"It didn't really sink in right away," said Craig Dougan, the lead singer of Almost Hip, a Tragically Hip cover band that has been playing shows since October 1990.
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"It was devastating news, obviously, but I wasn't sure how to react," he said after receiving the news via Facebook Tuesday morning.
Dougan, a self-described groupie, has seen the band several times including tours in Europe and the United States. But the first time was in a club called Ballingers in Cambridge, Ont.
I don't think there's too many people writing lyrics like he does.- Craig Dougan, lead singer of Almost Hip
He said the club was wall-to-wall with people, it was hot and the performance was tense.
Downie, he said, was "incredible."
"I don't think there's too many people writing lyrics like he does. A lot of music comes out of Canada, but you don't see the same style of writing," he said. "Everybody will interpret it their own way and that's great. Even myself, as a lyricist, I want people to interpret my music in their own special way."
'Still the best concert'
Other fans took to social media to share their thoughts on the news and their memories of seeing The Hip live.
I've lost count of how many shows I've been to, highlights include Guelph Lake, every Canada day and Massey hall <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GordIsGreat?src=hash">#GordIsGreat</a>—@B_Fish29
Fully completely saddened by <a href="https://twitter.com/gorddownie">@gorddownie</a> news this a.m. of terminal brain tumor. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UptoHere?src=hash">#UptoHere</a> is my perennial summer soundtrack. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GordIsGreat?src=hash">#GordIsGreat</a>—@mcphersoncomm
A Canadian moment: fell asleep in Guelph in undergrad, woke up to friends screaming At the Hundredth Meridian at 5:30 a.m. out their window—@timkiladze
Sad news about Gord Downie.Seeing <a href="https://twitter.com/thehipdotcom">@thehipdotcom</a> at Fed Hall in Waterloo 25 y ago still the best concert I've seen. <a href="https://t.co/4FW6XxNtlz">https://t.co/4FW6XxNtlz</a>—@pjvilleneuve
I saw the Hip in the late 80's at Fed Hall at U of Waterloo. Very sad news about one of the best bands Canada has ever produced.—@GraemePerrow
<a href="https://twitter.com/67sound">@67sound</a> 1st heard of the Hip when I started dating my gf who lives in Kitchener. It blew my mind that I never heard them before.—@CoolHipsterName
People also reacted on the CBC KW Facebook page.
Dougan said The Hip are icons in the Canadian music industry.
"Their music and their lyrics drip with Canadiana," he said, adding the plan for the Tragically Hip to tour this summer is unsurprising.
"It's like saying good-bye," Dougan said. "It's definitely him being able to go across the country one more time."