Gord Downie was 53. He was the lead singer and songwriter for The Tragically Hip, my favourite band of all-time.
I'll never forget the day I heard Blow at High Dough on Q107 back in '89. I picked up Up To Here and never looked back. I've since seen them twelve times, meticulously documenting the setlists each time. I was lucky enough to see them one last time on August 12, 2016, a show I'll never forget.
I'll also never forget watching the final Tragically Hip show in Kingston from Ingonish with my oldest daughter as we openly wept together. Gord wasn't just a rock star, he was our national poet, our conscious. Most importantly, he was ours. Hip fans get it. If you don't, it's probably better for us that you don't understand.
We all knew this day was coming, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. And damn, does this ever hurt.
I didn't know what to do, so I went down to my podcast studio and recorded something for Toronto Mike'd subscribers. Just 26 unscripted minutes of me talking about the Hip while playing some Hip.
I had one more story I wanted to share. This is my Hallelujah story.
John Dunsworth was 71. He was the actor best known as the irreverent trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey on Trailer Park Boys.
Tom Petty was 66. He was the singer-songwriter best known as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but also known as a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.
There was a lot of Tom Petty talk in my recent podcast with Barry Davis who sings in a Tom Petty tribute band. You can hear that episode here.
Barry turned me onto the Petty documentary Runnin' Down a Dream which I've since seen twice. It's excellent and streaming on Netflix right now. Petty was an immense talent.
Monty Hall was 96. He was the game show host best known for co-creating hosting Let's Make a Deal.
Hugh Hefner was 91. He was the editor-in-chief and publisher of Playboy magazine, which he founded in 1953.
Jake LaMotta was 95. He was the professional boxer known as The Raging Bull who was World Middleweight Champion in 1949 after defeating Marcel Cerdan.
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was 73. He was the professional wrestling manager, wrestler and colour commentator I knew best from his years in the WWF. Young Mike watched many a match called by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
Harry Dean Stanton was 91. He was the actor best known for his roles in “Paris, Texas,” “Twin Peaks,” “Big Love,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Repo Man.”
Frank Vincent was 80. He was an actor who appeared in several of my very favourite movies and television shows, including Raging Bull, Do the Right Thing, Goodfellas, Casino and The Sopranos.
Jay Thomas was 69. He was a comic and character actor whose credits include the roles of Carla's husband Eddie LeBec on "Cheers" and obnoxious tabloid talk show host Jerry Gold "Murphy Brown."
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