Sunday, May 29, 2016

Gord Downie Battling Brain Cancer

Gord Downie, lead singer and creative genius behind the Canadian rock group The Tragically Hip has recently announced that he has terminal brain cancer.  For those of you unaware of The Hip, they're Canada's version of U2 - slightly similar style and slightly similar tenure.  Unfortunately for the band and for US music fans, they never really crossed over to any extent.

Too bad.  The Hip has a masterful library of work, and I'd encourage any music fan to delve into it.  Regardless of tastes and genres, you'll be likely to find something that resonates with you.  They are that diverse and that good.

For Downie, the news has to be devastating.  How could it not be?  So what does he do with his last days, with cancer eating ever further into him?  He goes on the road.

Concerns about his heath also translate to concerns about his ability to perform.  However, a neurologist familiar with the case weighed in: 

The tumour, lodged in the left temporal lobe, interferes with the area of the brain that controls both speech and short-term memory. But Perry explained that lyrical memory — which controls the ability to sing and remember songs — are stored differently, and he said he did not anticipate any problems in those areas.

That's why my Dad, mired in Pick's Disease and unable to speak, could clearly belt out "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" when prompted.  Amazing.

For music fans, there has been so much loss of late.  Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey.  Hence, get out and see Gord and the boys before it is too late.  As a three time Hip show veteran, I guarantee it will be on of your "favourite" concerts ever.

In the mean time, keep fighting, Gordie.  You're a treasure, and we're praying for you.

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