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HomeNewsRemembering Gord Downie and his ties to the Kawartha Lakes

Remembering Gord Downie and his ties to the Kawartha Lakes

KAWARTHA LAKES-A little piece of Peterborough and the Kawartha’s travelled with Gord Downie for years after a Lakefied man loaned the band a mic stand.

John Milton, was the Technical Director for Showplace in Peterborough and he was there when the Tragically Hip brought the Bobcaygeon Tour to town in 1999. “One of the techs asked me for a straight mic stand so I gave him one of my good ones.” Milton told Kawartha 411.  “He told me that I will not be getting it back because Gord rides around the stage like a pony. Gord always breaks a stand at every show,”  he was told. 
This show was different though, Downie didn’t break the stand. “Funny, he never managed to break mine and on a few television promos after that I noticed he still had it. That’s a nice feeling for me.” recalls Milton. 


Gord Downie passed away Tuesday night after a two year battle with brain cancer. He was 53 years old.

Milton says the icon frontman and the band were different from many of the other bands he’d worked with. “They where one of those groups that had an eclectic or quirky side, but in my opinion contributed greatly to the Canadian Music Scene by the diversity of their music.”

He says he found Downie very down to earth.  “I found all the band (and crew members) very approachable and keen to put on the best show possible. It wasn’t just about playing the music, it was about telling the story.”

The song Bobcaygeon was released in 1999 putting this small town of about 3000 people on the map. When Downie was diagnosed with brain cancer the town decided to give back.

The origins of the song Bobcaygoen are mysterious but local resident Doris Cicci told the Toronto Star that the band bought pots and pans off Pete Cziraky, who told them about the stars at some point during the sale. There’s also a rumour that one member of the band had family with property in Bobcaygeon, so they rented a houseboat, cruised around, saw the constellations.

Whatever the origin of the song, we will miss you and the sound of your voice Gord Downie. RIP

Photo courtesy: Youtube

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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