Gord Downie will always be remembered for his influence in the growth of Canadian music and how much input he made in the music industry of his home country. He was a member of the band Tragically Hip for the entirety of the thirty-three years he spent as a professional musician and in that time, he also released his own albums.
Gord’s fans miss him a great deal, some have devoted time to learning more about the man. If you are one of those, this piece covered the type of life that Gord Downie led and his eventual death, keep reading.
Life and Death of Gord Downie
In Amherstview, Ontario, Gordon Edgar Downie, on the 6th of February 1964, was born to Lorna Downie and Edgar Downie. He lived with his family of six with four siblings – Mike, Patrick, Charlyn, and Paula. Their father Edgar was a traveling salesman and in a later part of his life, became a real estate broker and developer.
Gord Downie attended Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute for high school education. For his university degree, he attended Queen’s University in the same town where he was born. While there, he studied Film and graduated in 1986.
It was while he was in Queen’s University that he met the members of his band, Tragically Hip – Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker. Other members of the band are Johnny Fay and Davis Manning, the band was formed in 1983. Manning left three years after and was replaced by Paul Langlois who joined in 1986. The band began their career by performing the covers of songs in bars in the area. Fame came to them quickly and in a short time, they were signed by the president of MCA Record, Bruce Dickson.
Downie’s work in music is not only limited to his work with the band as he also had a solo career in his life that saw him release five albums all to commercial and critical acclaim. He also had collaborations with other musicians such as Buck 65, the Sadies, Fu**ed Up, among many others.
Gord Downie was married to a woman called Laura Leigh Usher; their marriage was kept under wraps and away from the eyes of the prying public. The couple broke up in 2015 and has four children together.
In 2015, Downie found out he had brain cancer, decided to get his life in order by going on a final tour with his band, and released two albums – one was done posthumously and garnered multiple awards. He died on the 17th of October 2017. His death was commiserated by the citizens of Canada, Justin Trudeau the Prime Minister released a statement as a tribute to him and candlelight ceremonies were held in his honor in different parts of the country.
Things You Need To Know About Gord
Tweeting from the Other Side
Before Downie’s death, he had a peculiar Twitter account where he had over twenty thousand followers and followed only on account – the music identification app, Shazam. His followers have doubled since his death in 2017 and the account follows more people, whoever is in charge of the account is making sure Downie’s memory lasts long in the hearts of his fans.
During his lifetime he was very much interested in the state of the environment and how to make the world a much more better place environmentally, particularly in the case of water management and usage. He completed projects to ensure that people got healthy water by working with Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
Gord Downie also helped to create programs for artistic youth as well as the creation of a fund to help create better ties between the indigenes and non-indigenes of Canada.
Gord Downie’s brother, Mike is a documentary filmmaker; his most notable work is the documentary he created for his brother’s work in fostering better relations between the indigenes and non-indigenes of Canada. Also, he shared a relationship with Harry Sinden, the former coach of the hockey team Boston Bruins as his godson.
Throughout all his years as a musician, Downie had the ritual of polishing his shoes by himself the night before his performance which he described as a way to prepare himself. He also believes in looking at each member of the audience in the eyes.
Gord Downie is known as a musician, songwriter, lyricist, and is remembered for his electrifying performances but he did have a role in the show Trailer Park Boys as well as in the movie Men With Brooms.