The trailer for the documentary “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Examine My Mind” reveals the songwriting Canadian legend.

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A nationwide treasure in his native Canada, singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot’s recognition with a new generation of American new music supporters could be summed with his recurring name drop in Netflix’s “13 Factors Why” as an ironic textual content concept code phrase for the significant school kids.

They way too arrive to respect the honey-voiced singer of people-pop classics like “If You Could Study My Thoughts,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Sunset” and “Carefree Highway.” The five-time Grammy-nominated music poet will get his film because of with the documentary “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Browse My Head.”

Here are 5 major takeaways from Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni-directed film, opening in digital cinema and theaters Wednesday.

He started out off square dancing on Television set


Singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot talks about his initial qualified occupation in the documentary “If You Could Read through My Head.”

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“If You Could Read My Intellect” charts Lightfoot’s early times as an angel-voiced choir boy in small-city Orillia, Ontario, ahead of he headed to the massive town Toronto to discover his singing fortunes. Lightfoot give up his banking career for his first specialist gig with The Singin’ Swingin’ Eight on the Canadian Tv show “Country Hoedown,” which needed a nightly square dance. 

“I got myself a payday that lasted 2½ a long time,” Lightfoot tells Usa Right now, giving himself high marks for the track record vocals. “but I was not a dancer.”

Elvis Presley manufactured it ‘Rain,’ but Frank Sinatra could not

Modern day and close friend Bob Dylan, who presented Lightfoot with his job Canadian Juno Award, summed up Lightfoot’s obsessively crafted music, expressing that when he heard one particular, he required “it to previous eternally.” Dylan has covered lots of Lightfoot songs, including “Early Early morning Rain.” The like ballad “If You Could Study My Brain” was covered by disparate voices which includes Viola Wills, Johnny Income, Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Neil Youthful and Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (to identify a couple of).

The youthful Lightfoot nearly crashed his vehicle in joy when he heard Elvis Presley’s cover of “Early Early morning Rain.”

“I was not even informed he had done the music,” Lightfoot suggests. One legend who failed to execute a Lightfoot track: Frank Sinatra – who threw down the tune sheets for “If You Could Read through My Thoughts” in the studio, stating, “I won’t be able to sing this.” 

“I usually believed that was very funny,” Lightfoot claims.

The drinking and partying became an issue

A gregarious host, Lightfoot’s dwelling get-togethers had been legendary, with Joni Mitchell and Dylan pulling out their guitars for late evening jam classes. But as his world wide fame took off, Lightfoot’s drinking spun out of control. By the time he appeared in his initial motion picture with Bruce Dern, 1982’s “Harry Tracy, Desperado,” it experienced gone as well considerably.

“I was at the peak of my ingesting and I appear horrible,” Lightfoot suggests in the documentary. He was warned by his record corporation to give it up.

“It was time to pack it in.” he says in the documentary about that time in his daily life. “I don’t know how I created it as a result of.”

Lightfoot give up chilly turkey and threw his power into pursuits this sort of as canoeing and sailing the Terrific Lakes.

Lightfoot had a intricate passionate existence

The a few-instances-married Lightfoot has evolved to the position that he are not able to listen to 1967’s “For Lovin’ Me,” an early strike with dismissive lyrics.

“It was an embarrassment to my wife at the time,” he states now of very first spouse, Brita Olaisson (they divorced in 1973).

At the peak of his fame, Lightfoot had an infamously mercurial affair with singer Cathy Smith, who heavily motivated his moody strike “Sunset,” loaded with suspicion and infidelity. 

“It was a single of these associations in which a feeling of threat comes in,” Lightfoot says in the documentary. Decades later on, Smith invested 15 months in prison after injecting John Belushi with a potent combination of cocaine and heroin that killed the comic in 1982.

Smith is showcased in archival footage talking coldly about Lightfoot: “I took off the edges what I could use, and still left driving the relaxation, and he could not hurt me,” she explained.

Lightfoot nailed ‘Edmund Fitzgerald’ in one consider and keeps rolling

The singer was right away encouraged by the tragic Edmund Fitzgerald, the closely laden ship that sank in a Lake Superior hurricane in November 1975. In the studio months afterwards, he started actively playing “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” with his band and recorded a raw edition in the first take. The ballad went on to be a main hit a calendar year soon after the disaster and an enduring tribute to the 29 useless crew associates.

Lightfoot, 81, has endured and will keep on to conduct with his band when the pandemic will allow.

“I discover I am slowing down,” he claims. “But we’ve got lots of toe-tappers in our show, and I’ve received a definitely excellent orchestra and we appreciate to engage in. Because we are fantastic at it.”

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