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It was indeed sad news that The Tragically Hip’s lead singer Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer. It may not be as earth-shattering as the death of Elvis, David Bowie or Whitney Houston, but certainly for Canadians, it’s right up there.

The news that the group is doing one last tour is inspiring for their many fans. What greater tribute to a band than to have fans clamoring for tickets from the moment of the announcement of tour dates?

Oops, too bad. Nobody can get tickets. Ticketmaster has spoken! The scalpers have been hard at work seeing to it that fans are gouged, disappointed and angry.

Gill and her siblings as well as many other friends have tried to buy tickets to no avail. They had planned a reunion of sorts with friends from high school all joining together for the concert, a last chance to relive their fading youth.

Are they bitter? You bet. Once again, ‘The Man’ has connived to make sure that the little guy, the true fans, are locked out. It is a shame that such a noble endeavor, the idea to  give fans one last hurrah, has turned into a nasty battle — the big league ticket grubbers apparently winning. Fans are grateful to the band for doing this last concert. It is a way for the band to thank and celebrate their loyal fans. Now, not so much. I know that if I had terminal brain cancer, I wouldn’t be on any stage singing and rockin’. I’d likely have crawled in a hole wanting to be alone in my misery. We should all have the courage and strength that Gord Downie is showing. It is a sad note about human nature that the scalpers, the crooks, have turned it into a money-grubbing, shameful, disgraceful enterprise.

Gill and her friends have floated several ways to counteract this situation and still honor The Hip. One suggestion has been to find a large venue, play Hip tunes, watch their videos and send the ticket money to help fund brain cancer research. Another, and I have a feeling this is more likely to happen, is to have a huge party, reminiscent of the ones they had as teens, in someone’s backyard (mine??!!) to have a last blast, a Hip tribute. Oh, the memories. Oh, the shambles! Oh well, we have access to several dogs that could help keep order. Not that my offspring and their friends, all entering middle age, would be partying the way they did in their teen years. They’d all be too tired, have children to look after, or jobs to return to in the morning. It’s not quite as bad as my geriatric generation going to rock concerts with their wheelchairs or walkers…but not that far off either.

Crazy D took me out on an outing for the day yesterday. We did indeed discuss The Hip and their final concerts. He commented:”Yeah, I briefly considered trying to get tickets. But then I thought about it. I hated concerts when I was young. They were just something to get through. So why would I go to one now? I want to be in bed by 10.”

Really? Really? You hated concerts and yet you made me drive you and a couple of friends to the other side of Toronto for a Black Crowes’ concert when you were too young to drive?

You cheerfully boarded the bus Gill hired to take you three and dozens of your closest friends to a Lollapalooza event hours away? Okay, so you came home dirty, tired, sunburned, probably stoned and on the verge of puking, but what was not to like? That’s what teenagers do.

And I went to one of your band’s gigs here in town and suffered through some less than  stellar performances?

And suffered through many nights, cowering in my bedroom, trying to turn the television up loud enough to drown out the noises of your band practicing in the basement?

As a parent who suffered through your teenage years and a lot of loud music, I demand that you and your siblings try to get tickets to The Hip concert…or at least have one last bash with your friends to celebrate something…your misspent and now lost youth, The Hip’s bravery, loud music…something! I mean, if I can go to my first and last concert to see Tina Turner when I’m in my 60s, you can pull it together and go see The Hip. Somehow, somewhere. You owe it to me and parents everywhere!

 

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