Posts Tagged ‘kate mcgarrigle’

I Am A Diamond – sung by Georgia Mooney

Monday, October 28th, 2013

A lovely version by Australian Georgia Mooney.

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Visit to Kate’s monument at St-Sauveur Parish Cemetery.

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

This past week was all about Kate, and what a week it was. The family got to see the new monument for the first time on Sun Aug 4. The simple white stone designed by Rufus and Martha and executed by the Brunet family of Ormstown is a fitting tribute to the lovely talented Kate. Her drawing of ‘Skigirl’ graces the front of the stone and on the back is a banjo incorporating lyrics from Kate’s Talk to Me of Mendocino drawn by Rufus.

On Aug. 7 the Place Kate-McGarrigle, a new parkette, on Laurier near Querbes in Outremont, was officially opened and amidst all the speeches and tributes was a special one by Kate’s old friend and piper Ken Mackenzie. Upon hearing the stirring pipes, the President of the Outremont Historical Society turned to me and said ‘I thought you were of Irish and French descent?’ Well, we are mostly, but our paternal grandmother was Joanna Gillis of Fairville, N.B. and for sure we’ve also got good old Native Canadian blood on my mother’s side, like most French-Canadians.

On the evening of Aug 8 the family along with special guests, Robert Charlebois, Marie-Michele Desrosiers, Michel Rivard, Fanny Bloom and Pierre Lapointe did two pretty amazing back-to-back concerts at the Outremont Theatre on Bernard Ouest, in aid of the Kate McGarrigle Fund for Cancer Research. This was followed by an all-night party at Campbell Hendery’s place in the Mile-End..I’m still recovering. Merci, mercy…thank you.

A video I shot at the cemetery intercut with Ken at Place Kate.

Unveiling of Kate’s monument in St Sauveur Parish Cemetery Aug 4 2013. from a. lanken on Vimeo.

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Kate McGarrigle * obit in Time by Rufus

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

A lovely tribute from Rufus to Kate in Time Magazine. It is a hard time of year. She held on through last Christmas, leaving her bed temporarily to great old friends, Michèle Forest, Jack Nissenson and Peter Weldon, all of whom we sang with in the Montreal coffee-houses of the 1960s. We sat around the fireplace in St Sauveur and sang a couple of the old songs. It think it was during Shenandoah that Kate looked at Jack and said, ‘you’re making me cry.’ She wasn’t the only one.

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Linda Thompson’s funny, sad recollections of Kate the Great in the Guardian’s Observer.

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010


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I bid farewell to the State of Old New York, my home away from home..

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Was my sister in the battle? Yeah.

On New Year’s Day 2009 a bunch of us were getting ready to go for an outdoor skate at the park in St Sauveur. Kate, who wanted to go, had been on strong anti-cancer drugs for the past 2 years and these in combo with the disease had greatly weakened her body. The year before she and Rufus had done a 4.5 hrs cross-country ski trek and as a result she suffered terrible hand-foot syndrome that landed her in the hospital for 5 days with cellulitis. We reminded her of that. But she insisted on going for just a short skate, and it was short, with Martha and Brad before they left to return to NYC. She was tentative on her blades and before long she went down like a bowling pin, breaking the fall with her left arm. An X-ray and blood test revealed a serious compound fracture of the shoulder and upper arm plus a non-functioning thyroid. They ruled out pinning it because her bones were like powder and instead fitted her for a sling that kept her arm tightly in place against her body and gave her some synthroid. I should mention that she looked quite dashing in her navy sling with her big grey russian military coat, picked up 10 years before in Anchorage, thrown over her shoulders the left sleeve tucked into the pocket like a war hero.

In early March of 2009 she was strong enough to travel to NYC to oversee the editing of the Knitting Factory Xmas video that was shot in Dec 2008 and to meet with our new publishing people at Kobalt. The Sun was going down just as we were leaving the Big Apple to return to Montreal in what is normally a 6 hr trip. I was driver because Kate’s arm had not yet healed besides her car was a BMW Mini with a shift. We were 2 hrs outside of Montreal, still in the mountains, when she said she really felt like driving. She was anxious to get home and would push it a little harder than I was. Kate with one good arm was a better driver than most two-armed, besides she could drive the 87 blindfolded.

We were back out on the road for only minutes and going well over the speed limit of 65mph when we were pulled over by a state trooper who appeared out of nowhere. The cop was young and courteous but he had a serious job to do here. After taking forever checking out her license on the cruiser computer he returned to the Mini and said ‘Catherine McGarrigle, you are under arrest by the laws of the State of NY.’ Turns out she had 2 outstanding speeding tickets dating from 1990 that she had not paid because the notices were going to a house she had vacated in 1990 and they had suspended her license in the state of NY without her knowledge. We were incredulous. Many’s the time Kate’s been pulled over for speeding on the 87 over the last 19 yrs and this had never happened. ‘Was there no statute of limitations?’ we asked. Not where driving offenses were concerned. The trooper then made her get out of the car into the cold so he could cuff her (with her still broken arm and shoulder) and led her to the backseat of his cruiser, locking her in. She looked ticked-off but resigned whereas I was frantic and crying, ‘You can’t do this to her, this woman is very sick. She has terminal cancer.’ The trooper was unfazed but polite (I guess he’d heard that one before) and told me to drive to such and such a town where she was to be arraigned at the courthouse. When I arrived at the sorry one-story prefab building some miles away Kate and the trooper were waiting for the judge to show up. I was expecting a wire-rimmed somebody in a white wig and black robe when in walked this self-important little geezer in a shirt with no jacket who was being addressed as ‘your honor’ by the cop and clerk. After much back and forth legal banter twixt trooper and judge, laced with inanities about what the judge had had for dinner, my sister was given a court date in May. Our interjections of ‘How much do you want?’ or ‘Do you take Visa?’ were ignored. We knew a shakedown when we saw one. But first they had to book her. I imagined her in an orange jumpsuit. Again the trooper led the cuffed plaintiff back out into the cold to his cruiser. This time he drove to the jailhouse in a neighbouring town and I followed dutifully in the Mini. The trooper took her in through the jail entrance for a mugshot and a search while I was told to enter the building by another door and wait for her to be discharged. You get booked then you pay them 650. bail which is the sum of your outstanding fines and they take Visa. Good old ‘mountain’ due process.

It was midnight when they released her, her license now reinstated. She looked strangely liberated. She’d been in Purgatory and now she was free. I can’t help but wonder in retrospect if she’d thought of this as a dry run for what was certainly coming. What would the fine be then? and would they take Visa?

So when a request came in recently from our publisher wanting to know if we would approve the use of Kate’s epic ballad ‘Talk to Me of Mendocino’ in a radio/TV ad for of all things the NY State Board of Tourism I was struck by the irony. A fan saw the song’s commercial potential and rewrote the lyrics making them more upbeat and lauding the state. I commend her on her nicely sung version. Of course she doesn’t know the story. It goes without saying, we could not under the circumstances approve the change in lyrics to suit the NY Tourist Board but here they are anyway. There’s something really funny about all this, now.

Talk to Me of Mendocino
by Kate McGarrigle

I bid farewell
To the state of Old New York
My home away from home
In the state of New York
I came of age
When first I started roaming

And the trees grow high
In New York State
And they shine like gold in autumn
Never had the blues
From whence I came
But in New York State, I caught ‘em

Talk to me of Mendocino
Closing my eyes I hear the sea
Must I wait?  Must I follow?
Won’t you say, “Come with me.”

Amended Lyrics for the NY State Tourist Board

I bid “Hello”
To the state of Old New York
My home away from home
In the state of New York
I came of age
When first I started roaming

And the trees grow high
In New York State
And they shine like gold in autumn
Found I had the blues
From whence I came
But in New York State I lost ‘em

Talk to me
Of mountains and meadows
A place where the ocean
Meets the stream
Must I wait?  Won’t you join me?
We’ll make memories of our dreams!

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il lance, elle compte.

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

The Cedars people sure know how to put on a fundraising gala. First of all get Lance Armstrong and a bunch of wealthy cyclists committed to cancer research, plenty of excellent food and drink, outstanding entertainment which included Martha and Rufus who were joined on stage by Brad and Kate, and you have the makings for a wonderful event. The setting for Heroes Night at the Mt Tremblant Casino and in the massive adjacent tent was worthy of Fellini, or a ceremony atop Mt Olympus? Little cedar trees instead of laurel crowns. I can hear Kate who knows her mythology saying ‘heroes are but fallen gods’.. whatever. I was impressed. Riding the silent gondola across the dark mountain under a beautiful starlit sky and alighting at the other end in the centre of ‘the village’ was the perfect conclusion to a most memorable evening. And they raised a ‘lot’ of money for the Cedars Cancer Institute of the MUHC.

Thanks to all who made this possible.

And don’t forget this year’s Xmas concert, A not so Silent Night, to be held Dec 9 09 at the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK. The Kate McGarrigle Fund within the MUHC.

Having trouble loading pics to this site. If you want to see Kate and Lance go to gardencourt

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Kate to be honoured.

Friday, September 11th, 2009
self-portrait on the road to compostella

self-portrait on the road to compostella

The Cedars Cancer Institute of the MUHC is honouring some local notables this evening at their Heroes Night Gala which is being held at the Casino Mont-Tremblant, QC. Kate along with hockey stars Jean Beliveau and Saku Koivu among others are to receive their honours from the great Lance Armstrong who is leading a pack of 50 bike riders on a 100 km course before the dinner and ceremony. Rufus and Martha Wainwright will grace the stage along with their mum during the post-dinner concert.

Congrats.

For further information please contact the Cedars office at 514-843-1606 or go to Tour de Lance

Kate also has her own charity, The Kate McGarrigle Fund within the MUHC.
Go here if you want info on ‘A Not So Silent Night’ this year’s Christmas Show to be held at the Royal Albert Hall, London UK, Dec 9 09.

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Kate does the Hamptons.

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

As mentioned on an earlier gardencourt blog, the singular Kate, intrepid Rufus and passionate Martha and the fab Norah Jones performed last weekend at the Watermill Foundation fundraiser “The Last Song of Summer” and they wowed the crowd as reported here at Vanity Fair. By the looks of it Jörn wowed them too! And Brad and Thomas B.norajonesrufuswainwright1-1

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Dink’s Song aka Fare Thee Well

Friday, July 31st, 2009

We didn’t make the cut for the 90 min. version of the Seeger 90th show that PBS is airing this Sunday night, so here we are doing Dink’s Song, our contribution. Kate, Bruce, Martha, Rufus, Chaim and Anna. We frankly thought it was beautiful but I guess it didn’t have enough star power. We first heard Dave Van Ronk sing it in Montreal in the early 60s. P.S. This performance was included in the 2 hr special that was aired in some markets. It’s also on the Seeger 90th DVD.

Dink’s Song aka Fare Thee Well from a. lanken on Vimeo.

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McGarrigle/Cockburn/Wainwright/Tannenbaum – Fare Thee Well or Dink’s Song

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Still dwelling on the Seeger event. Couldn’t find a youtube that had both visual and sound performance of Dink’s Song♥ aka Fare Thee Well which features Kate McGarrigle vocal & guitar, Bruce Cockburn vocal & guitar, Martha Wainwright vocal, Rufus Wainwright vocal with Chaim Tannenbaum echo harp and Anna McGarrigle accordion. Somebody has posted just the sound on youtube, better than nothing at all. Thank you.
Fare Thee Well/aka Dink's Song.

♥Story has it the song was collected in 1908 by John Lomax who heard a woman (presumably Dink) sing it. Dink was living in a tent on the banks of the Brazos River in Texas and she was doing her laundry. (Kate: take note) It’s utterly heartbreaking. “If I had wings like Noah’s dove, I’d fly up the river to the one I love, Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well… Maple Byrne, who works with Emmylou, when asked to name his favorite songwriter, replied: “Dink.” We first heard Dave Van Ronk do it in Montreal in the early 60s. Pete S. sang the song with banjo accompaniment and Barbara Dane had sort of a hit with it. Don’t know if there’s a recording of Dink singing her song (1908?) but she will live forever as long as people call it by its name, Dink’s Song.

Read down this article to where the reviewer calls our performance the musical highlight of the evening, no less..we thought it was too. It is the Irish Times and they may be just a little biased…There were many great moments. I think Amazing Grace did it for me.
IRISH TIMES REVIEW OF SEEGER 90TH

BEFORE TOMORROW – LE JOUR AVANT LE LENDEMAIN
Also putting in a link for BEFORE TOMORROW/LE JOUR AVANT LE LENDEMAIN this film Kate and I have some music in. It was released in late March and we didn’t have our new site up then. Here is a poster for it.354339

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