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More On (Or Off) The TV

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Wayne Francis

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
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Here is tantalizingly vague April 1975 article, that seems to show
Lightfoot, who isn't fond of the television medium, with plans to do a
TV special on his own terms. Of course, this special never materialized.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

LIGHTFOOT TV SPECIAL TO BE CO-PRODUCED BY COURTLY

Network television producers and directors generally don't know how to
handle pop musicians and don't give due respect to their music, according to
Gordon Lightfoot's manager Al Mair.

that's why the Gordon Lightfoot television special, scheduled for shooting
sometime in September, is being done as an independent production. Mair's
Early Morning Productions is co-producing the one-hour program with Courtly
Productions, headed by John Court who will be executive producer on the
project. None of the other personnel or guests had been finalized as of
press time, but a director was close to signing (Bill Davis, maybe?) and a
number of performers had given verbal agreements to appear. The guests, said
Mair, would be powerhouse names to record buyers but seldom, if ever, seen
on TV before, for the same reasons Lightfoot has avoided the medium.

With the show Mair hopes to initiate "a whole new dimension for television
pop music productions." He said that no expense was being spared to assemble
top personnel for the program and although he wouldn't divulge the exact
budget figure he claimed it would be the highest ever for a Canadian TV
show.

The program is being done as an international show with plans to market it
in Canada, the U.S., England, Australia and other foreign countries. There
has already been a sponsor offer and a Canadian air date offer, but Mair
wasn't ready to confirm on either one. Lightfoot will be writing new
material for the show and album possibilities are being considered as an
auxillary project.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wayne

Don Miller

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Oct 27, 1996, 2:00:00 AM10/27/96
to Wayne Francis

Hi:

This really doesn't have anything to do with the subject of Gord's
aversion to TV appearances, but there's also been a fair bit of talk in
the group lately about variation between recorded and live versions of
some of his songs, and this subject line reminded me of this:

Anyone remember that in the early to mid-1980's, Gord would occasionally
substitute that exact phrase for the original words which gave the song
its title, as follows:

I don't remember where she said she would be,
back in the city, or on the TV...

From "On the High Seas",
Dream Street Rose, 1980.

I remember asking him once what the point of the substitution was, but as
I recall, his reply was to instead comment on another line in the same
song, mentioning the trouble he had with the rhyme and meter in the line:

Was it up in Hornepayne, where the trains run on time;
was she drinking champagne when she made up her mind...

(and before anyone asks, Hornepayne is a small town in western Ontario,
~150 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie - no place near Biscuit City, so far
as I know...) :)

I hope someone will find this bit of ancient trivia amusing!

Regards,

Don Miller


Wayne Francis

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Oct 27, 1996, 2:00:00 AM10/27/96
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Don Miller <dmi...@jfku.edu> wrote:

>Anyone remember that in the early to mid-1980's, Gord would occasionally
>substitute that exact phrase for the original words which gave the song
>its title, as follows:
>
>I don't remember where she said she would be,
>back in the city, or on the TV...
>
>>From "On the High Seas",
>Dream Street Rose, 1980.

Well, On The High Seas was originally titled, On The TV, which is why I
chose that particular title for this thread, as I knew many GL devotees
would pick up on that. Well done, Don! Check GL's 1979 Soundstage appearance
for the only publically recorded performance of "On The TV" that I'm aware
of as I described in more detail in FAQ part IV-A.

Wayne

Telekidd

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Oct 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/28/96
to

In article <55023c$l...@storm.cycor.ca>, wfra...@peinet.pe.ca (Wayne
Francis) writes:

>Well, On The High Seas was originally titled, On The TV, which is why I
>chose that particular title for this thread, as I knew many GL devotees
>would pick up on that. Well done, Don! Check GL's 1979 Soundstage
appearance
>for the only publically recorded performance of "On The TV" that I'm
aware
>of as I described in more detail in FAQ part IV-A.

Was it really *officially* originally titled "On the TV"? The reason I
ask is that, in watching the concert, GL kind of smiles when he announces
the song, almost as if it were a private joke between him and perhaps the
band, or the producer or whatever. So I always sort of figured the song
was always called "On the High Seas", but GL decided to have a little fun
with it for the show.
Derek


Wayne Francis

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Oct 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/29/96
to

In article <552f0i$7...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

tele...@aol.com (Telekidd) wrote:
>In article <55023c$l...@storm.cycor.ca>, wfra...@peinet.pe.ca (Wayne
>Francis) writes:
>
>>Well, On The High Seas was originally titled, On The TV
>
>Was it really *officially* originally titled "On the TV"? The reason I
>ask is that, in watching the concert, GL kind of smiles when he announces
>the song, almost as if it were a private joke between him and perhaps the
>band, or the producer or whatever. So I always sort of figured the song
>was always called "On the High Seas", but GL decided to have a little fun
>with it for the show.

Interesting observation Derek, but I heard them in concert twice that fall
(1979) and he was still doing it as "On The TV". Sometime between then and
the recording of the album, it was retitled "On The High Seas."

Wayne

MSamp16453

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Oct 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/30/96
to

With regard to the "On The High Seas" vs. "On The TV" song titles, I once
heard that Gord said the orginal title was "TV," but that some friends had
told him that "High Seas" sounded more like him, so he went with it.

????????

Telekidd

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Nov 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/1/96
to

In article <555h1m$r...@storm.cycor.ca>, wfra...@peinet.pe.ca (Wayne
Francis) writes:

>Interesting observation Derek, but I heard them in concert twice that
fall
>(1979) and he was still doing it as "On The TV". Sometime between then
and
>the recording of the album, it was retitled "On The High Seas."

Thanks for the clarification, Wayne (I missed the tour that year, alas!).
Now that I know that, perhaps the reason for GL's smile when announcing
the song was that, simply, here he was singing a tune called "On the TV"
on the TV, and the humorous irony of it just hit him.
Derek

SteveAitch

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Nov 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/3/96
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my two cents worth on the "TV - High Seas":

I loved that song when I first heard it on Soundstage. The song has a
lovely melody and imagery of scenic and romantic places. I didn't really
understand the "on the TV" line but I imagined a scenario of the narrator
being "dumped" by a TV actress or even one of the talking heads on the
six o'clock news. I thought it could even be based on actual events in
Lightfoot's life.

Anyway, "Dream Street Rose" comes out and what do I hear but "on the high
seas". Now, to me, those words not only don't sound right in the line of
the song, but evoke images of pirates or U-boats in a Saturday matinee.

I wish he hadn't changed the line and I still sing "on the TV" when I
strum the guitar and sing it to myself.

For what it's worth,

Steve Hanewinkel

Wayne Francis

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Nov 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/4/96
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In article <55cdrs$1...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

Yea, I'd say that's exactly why he gave that little grin, Derek. You know, I
tend to think this is another song written about Cathy Smith. After she and
GL split up, she started doing background vocal work thanks to her break
from singing on High And Dry. She was in Hoyt Axton's band for awhile and
several other projects. That is probably why GL used the line, "I don't
remember where she said she would be, back in the city or on the TV,"
because since she was pursuing a career in the music biz, that was
Lightfoot's clever way of saying where she might turn up.

Wayne

Wayne Francis

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Nov 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/10/96
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In article <55jcis$g...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

steve...@aol.com (SteveAitch) wrote:
>I loved that song when I first heard it on Soundstage. The song has a
>lovely melody and imagery of scenic and romantic places. I didn't really
>understand the "on the TV" line but I imagined a scenario of the narrator
>being "dumped" by a TV actress or even one of the talking heads on the
>six o'clock news. I thought it could even be based on actual events in
>Lightfoot's life.
>
>Anyway, "Dream Street Rose" comes out and what do I hear but "on the high
>seas". Now, to me, those words not only don't sound right in the line of
>the song, but evoke images of pirates or U-boats in a Saturday matinee.

I must admit that I prefer the "On The High Seas" version because I find it
more mysterious and romantic, but you make an interesting case, Steve. I've
speculated that the song is directed toward Cathy Smith, who after her and
GL's separation, hooked up with Hoyt Axton, among others, as a backup
singer. Hoyt was pretty popular in those days and turned up on TV quite a
bit and Smith was on the road with him, so...?

Wayne

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