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 http://www.thehip.com/news/an-important-message-from-the-band/

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Hello friends.

We have some very tough news to share with you today, and we wish it wasn’t so.

A few months ago, in December, Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Since then, obviously, he’s endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard. In privacy along with his family, and through all of this, we’ve been standing by him.

So after 30-some years together as The Tragically Hip, thousands of shows, and hundreds of tours…

We’ve decided to do another one.

This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us.

What we in The Hip receive, each time we play together, is a connection; with each other; with music and it’s magic; and during the shows, a special connection with all of you, our incredible fans.

So, we’re going to dig deep, and try to make this our best tour yet.

We hope you can come out and join us this summer – details and dates will be coming this week.

And we sincerely thank all of you, for your continued love and support,

Paul, GordD, Johnny, Rob, GordS

 

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He's a Canadian icon and a musical hero.  He's classy, unique, smart; a credit to his city, his country and his profession.

That he'll use some of his remaining precious time preparing and performing a tour takes all of these accolades and lays them in front of us all.  I feel privileged as a Canadian and as a music fan that they will do another tour.  All summer plans are on hiatus until the tour is announced.

I will clap and clap and clap.  My applause will only stop when I wipe my eyes, and afterwards I will clap and clap and clap some more. 

I feel deflated.

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Sigh....this really is terribly sad news. Completely admirable and inspiring that they are going to these efforts to connect with their fans once more. I hope it lifts Gord to the fullest. I hope that I am able to be a part of that. Scary stuff.  Yet another reminder of how fleeting it all is....the daily need to be grateful, present and loving.

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I just shared this on FB, I figured maybe should live here too... 

 

This news today of Gord and his illness has left a pit in my stomach, something altogether fetid. A part of me is going with this and I’m not ready to say goodbye. This man and his band are tied to me in way that few other bands could be. For those that know me well, you know I champion a lot of music and how it has developed into a significant driving theme in my life, but this band is different. 

For what felt like a lot of my youth, I was often the new kid with the weird accent. From being the Yank transplanted to UK, to then the kid with the British accent plonked down in Perth, ON (Lawd ‘ave mercy!). As anyone moving from country to country or town to town can attest, being new is not the easiest thing to slide right into, in fact it still gives me anxiety to this day, but there are some equalizers that help the situation. A few things cut across culture, geography and language and among them, my favourites; food and music. 

Perth was a tough transition for me - scrawny kid, brit accent, (and dressing me for school in a snowsuit in April didn’t help either, Mom) but one thing that can make a transition easier is having a common thread. The Hip came to be this to me. 

At age 13, I remember my first Hip encounter… listening to Road Apples at Byron ’ s place, in his tiny room, dancing around like a couple of monkey’s plowing through a case of red bull, to the seizure-inducing atmosphere of the strobe light Byron had recently completed in electronics class. This is forever etched into my brain pan, but it began a relationship with a band that regardless of who you were, or where you were from, at least in my experience, was a band you could pull out of the hat and all could relate to. There was no awkwardness, no uncomfortable things to avoid - just admiration and appreciation for The Hip. Everyone seemed to revel in it.

They also proved to be a great comfort and help to me moving on to Brockville when I was 15. Having this tool in my hip pocket, to play and prove that I had something to relate to these new bunch of people, helped assemble the basis of many friendships to which I still hold dear in my life today. Like many things in life, there’s an ebb and flow. The Hip haven;t been in my musical lexicon regularly for quite a few years but I recognize them for their very foundational place in  the creation of this mixed up being; yours truly. They were, in a nutshell, both a coping mechanism for my chronically newness and spark for my gregariousness and for that I’ll be forever grateful. 

2016 has been a year of upheaval, sadness, shock and awe and it doesn’t appear to be slowing. Today’s news sucker punched me when I wasn’t ready and it’s taking a bit more of a toll than I expected. But this corduroy road isn’t at an end yet. I hope to be out there one last time this summer, with all of you, taking in the sheer brilliance of the best front man Canada ever produced. Calling all to muster that Courage to see Gord off in the fashion he deserves. 

It couldn’t come a worse time. 

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Shocking news.

I'm already thinking back to when the Tragically Hip played a school dance at my highschool when I was in grade 10.  I didn't know them at the time and I think they may have still been primarily a cover band.  The only song I remember was their cover of "Money" in the style of the beatles,  I was big into the beatles so that made me really like them.
The times when my friends and I would sneak on some private property near lemoine's point in Kingston with beer, build a fire and play Up To Here and Road Apples all night on a ghetto blaster.  
The time a friend and I went on a last minute road trip to brockville in my crappy first car to see The Hip play a little music festival and saw how much the band had changed, and had become rock stars.  
The time I volunteered at the first Another Roadside Attraction in Kingston at a Queens U stadium. While working the artist entrance back gate, let Gord Downie in after busting his balls and pretending I didn't recognize him and asked for ID.  He didn't have any and said he's late for soundcheck.  I laughed and let him in.  He laughed,  then he asked for a smoke and a light. I gave him one, but I didn't have a light and wanted to smoke too.  Gord takes off to the stage, thanking me.  5 minutes later, he's running across the field back to the gate.   He arrives and says "Hey, I got you a light!". He lights my smoke, and heads back for soundcheck    I learned how swell of a guy he is that day.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Victoria, Jul 22. Save-on-foods Memorial Centre
  • Vancouver, Jul 24. Rogers Arena
  • Edmonton, Jul 28. Rexall Place
  • Calgary, Aug 1. Scotiabank Saddledome
  • Winnipeg, Aug 5. MTS Centre
  • London, Ont., Aug. 10. Budweiser Gardens
  • Toronto,  Aug 10 and Aug. 12. Air Canada Centre
  • Hamilton , Aug. 16. Firstontario Centre
  • Ottawa, Aug. 18. Canadian Tire Centre
  • Kingston, Aug. 20. Rogers K-Rock Centre

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Gut-wrenching. We are losing a national treasure. Like many of you I latched on to the Hip in high school, and latched on hard. Theirs was the first "scene" I was really a part of, and even though I haven't been an active fan for a long time, I love that they are an inextricable part of my musical DNA. I'll be at the Ottawa show, for sure, and it looks like I'll be in London for work when they play there, so I may try to make that happen as well.

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If Gord is as fit to tour as they say his is, this is a pretty weak tour.  I hope it's just the first dates announced.  

 

Some good things to add:

1.  Canada Day on Parliament Hill

2.  Montreal / Quebec City. Maybe Plains of Abraham?

3.  Eastern Canada - I imagine Magnetic Hill or the Citadel would be good places to hit if this is the last tour. 

4. More western dates - 6 shows in southern Ontario, 5 shows to the west of there?  Doesn't seem right   

 

I dunno.  They're a massive massive Canadian band, and if he's healthy enough to tour, they should try to hit massive crowds.

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You're right of course, but the rhetoric from the press conference implied they don't intend to half ass this.  The words were "mind blowing."  Probably doesn't seem mind-blowing for anyone outside a 4-hour radius of Toronto.  

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2 hours ago, AD said:

If Gord is as fit to tour as they say his is, this is a pretty weak tour.  I hope it's just the first dates announced.  

Or if he's as terminal as they say he is, maybe he wants to maximize time with friends and family, while still going out for one last jaunt. It's not an exhaustive tour, but I'm just glad they're making one final go of it.

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I was debating if he needed the off day between shows (no shows 2 days in a row, even in Toronto) because of the illness or are they leaving the dates open for when the tickets sell out in minutes and they add on second shows everywhere.

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11 hours ago, c-towns said:

I was debating if he needed the off day between shows (no shows 2 days in a row, even in Toronto) because of the illness or are they leaving the dates open for when the tickets sell out in minutes and they add on second shows everywhere.

I doubt second shows will be added; I think they know these will be instant sellouts.

My guess is the unpredictability of Downie's stamina/condition is the reason behind the days off, and is probably part of the reason the tour is short.

I wonder if they tried booking something like Magnetic Hill in Moncton but were brushed off?  I can see their booking guys saying stuff like: "Really, we can promise people will be really excited about the show but we can't tell you why."

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I personally think it is quite ambitious all things considered.  My biggest challenge is all of the dates are right around Peach Fest which I am committed to and looking forward to.  That's also my "free from parental and otherwise responsibilities" stretch so it will be pretty tough for me to go to another show right around then.  Unless I bring my son...which might be a great idea though admittedly I haven't really exposed him to The Hip.  Maybe it's time to change that...

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