I Am A Diamond

Posted June 17th, 2012 by Anna

Kate McGarrigle - photo by Kevin Head circa 1980

The Kate Tribute Concert at Massey Hall was a resounding success. Some are saying it’s the best of the 3 Tributes. I’d have to agree. Of course it would have been even better had Kate floated onto the stage and picked up a banjo. At least she left us her songs. Rufus and Martha were the most charming and gracious of hosts and they sang like archangels. All the musical guests* more than did justice to her work as each successive one revealed yet another facet of the beautiful diamond that is Kate. The platinum band was exquisite. Thanks to all the fans for the wonderfully warm Toronto reception. The press was generous and overwhelming. Check for youtube postings of the event. Special thanks to Jörn Weisbrodt and Luminato, and producers Joe Boyd, Teddy Wainwright and Catherine Steinmann and the sound and stage crews. The concert was a benefit for the Kate McGarrigle Fund for Sarcoma Research, a charity she started 2 yrs. prior to her death.

While in the Queen City, I did a lunchtime Illumination chat with 2 old friends, Michael Ondaatje and Thom Mennier, piano, & surprise guest Lily Lanken, vox. The focus was Kate and creativity. The audience was very appreciative and Thom finally performed his lovely, crazy Gardencourt Waltz composed for Martha and Brad’s nuptials back in Sept 2007 for which he got a standing ovation. He’ll have to record it soon. As soon as it ended I went straight to Ben McNally’s and bought Michael O.’s latest The Cat’s Table which I highly recommend. Sat night at the Hub Rufus gave a fabulous concert featuring songs from his new CD Out of the Game. He’s in the middle of a World Tour. His show was preceded by the Rufus W. Songbook, an homage to his work. His songs are so tuneful and accessible and the renditions by a multitude of very talented Toronto artists were terrific. On Sun. some of us lucky folk got to see the 4.5 hr long Einstein on the Beach, mothballed for the last 20 yrs. Why? It was stunning and it holds up well. Wed night was the screening of Lian Lunson’s filmed homage to Kate, Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You, part bio part live concert (NY Tribute), occasionally joyous but pretty grief-stricken and a bit voyeuristic but Kate was a big fan of Grey Gardens, so..

Campbell Hendery, the St Urbain Oarsman (or in his own words ‘I am a Diamond Taxi’**) not only ferried instruments and Daddy Dane up river but most graciously opened his Sheraton digs+balcony with waterfall and birch forest view to late-night revellers. Thanks Campbie and thanks to Linda Read for making sure we all had fun. Cleo Seminic-Zifkin very kindly cared for Arcangelo bringing him to rehearsals, parks and the big show. Arc thanks you Cleo. Maybe one day he’ll write you a song like Paul Anka did about his babysitter.

On our way home yesterday we heard the awful news about the collapsed stage at Downsview Park. Our hearts go out to the family of the unfortunate stagehand who died and to those injured. Those stagehands, roadies, and techs choose this business because they love the music. The work is hard and schedules killing. The musicians work like hell too. I hope Radiohead can make up the concert at a later date and on a secure stage.

** longtime Montreal cab company.

* Rufus Wainwright
Martha Wainwright
Bruce Cockburn
Peggy Seeger
Calum MacColl
Emmmylou Harris
Krystle Warren
Ron Sexsmith
Teddy Thompson
Robert Charlebois
Chaim Tannenbaum
Ariel Engel
Andrew Wightman
Amy Millan
Kevin Drew
Jane Siberry
Mary Margaret O’Hara
Lily Lanken
Anna McGarrigle
Jane McGarrigle
Sylvan Lanken
Dane Lanken
Joel Zifkin
Brad Albetta
Thomas Bartlett
Michel Pepin
Michelle Joseph
Anna Catherine Dow
Michele Mercure

39 Responses:

  1. Campbell says:

    June 17th, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    In a quasi somnabulistic haze I must add that anna, far too modest as ever, was a wonder. Her Jaques et Gilles was a standout of the show. I, too, would also like to thank Linda Read for vivacity that kept us going. Another big thnka goes to Ruth and Michelle at Artist Check in at the Sheraton Centre. Hal Wilner also for his ineffable sense of humour. And last, but far from least Little Anna Dow who came in from San Francisco to add her innate decency and , well little anna is great. When I went to sleep at 4:00 A.M. Saturday, it was to the laughter of little Anna and Martha and Lily celebrating life. A fitting Coda to the week.

  2. Peter says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Great to see such good press. the line up is amazing. As a long time admirer of Mary Margaret O’Hara I was chuffed to see her on the list. Wish I could have shared this,

  3. Viv says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 6:25 am

    So good to read from your side of the event – lottery didn’t come up for me so will just (im)patiently wait for youtubes and more reviews x

  4. Cate_M says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I’m so glad (and so lucky) that I was at the Massey Hall concert. It was beautiful from start to finish. I wish it had been filmed, but we can’t have everything, and cameras get in the way anyway. It was recorded by CBC Radio 2, and should be available on their website (June 28, I think?) I do hope they’ll make it available to listeners outside of Canada, because I want everyone to be able to hear this and share in the goodness.

  5. Sybilla says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Such awesome press coverage all around, well deserved I’m sure. And this ‘inside’ review is truly the icing on the cake, thank you so much Anna!

  6. annacat says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Aw, Cam(p)bie, that’s a gracious attitude to your no-goodnik guests who wouldn’t/couldn’t leave — we were having such a good time! Thank you for the hospitality. And I echo your sentiments about Ant Anna’s performance(s). Extraordinary, as ever.

  7. Campbell says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    L’il Anna- you guys did make it about life. You And Pounie and Lil and god knows how many others made the whole thing about continuum. Now we must save for the wedding

  8. Lady112 says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Merci Anna, Jane et toute la Famille étendue d’amis et de musiciens pour ce magnifique concert. Anna a été fabuleuse et c’est dommage qu’on ne l’aie pas laissé parler un peu plus . 🙂
    Il y avait bien des joyaux inconnus dans ce concert. Et pas seulement le diamant de Kate et Martha brillait. Nous attendons avec impatience un disque Anna-Rufus-Martha là-dessus.
    Merci encore à vous tous de votre générosité.

  9. Ron Gomes says:

    June 20th, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Wish I could have been there. If my life were a little less complicated I would have made the trip to Toronto. But if the CBC recorded it then I’ll make do. (Not that I have a choice.)

  10. Gregg Osborn says:

    June 22nd, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    The CBC Radio 2 site is not presently yielding clues re. a rebroadcast of the Luminato concert. Please send word as it becomes available. Merci!

  11. Campbell says:

    June 22nd, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    And if you find out let us know- it’s supposed to air on june 28 but no one at Garden Court can figure out how and when and where to hear it

  12. Balconville- Sheraton Centre- Week summary to follow « campbie™ says:

    June 25th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    […] anna, dane, teddy W, linda Read, campbell Like this:LikeOne blogger likes this. Explore posts in the […]

  13. Campbell says:

    June 26th, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    ooops- don’t know how my blog link ended up here. I add, I err, I all

  14. Ron Gomes says:

    June 27th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Still can’t find any real information about this broadcast.

  15. Ron Gomes says:

    June 28th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I don’t know whether or not it was broadcast, but it looks like there’s streaming audio here:


  16. Campbell says:

    June 30th, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for that ron- not the easiest site to wend ones way through

  17. Ron Gomes says:

    July 1st, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    It’s not complete–some performances from the concert aren’t included among these 27 tracks–but it’s two hours of material, so still pretty good.

  18. Campbell says:

    July 1st, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    appears both songs by mm ohara gone as is thames, matapedia, and that song loudon and kate wrote the title of which escapes me

  19. Ron Gomes says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Rufus also did “Walking Song” (I’m told) but that’s missing too. What’s “Thames”, another one of the never-before-performed tracks from Kate’s musical projects?

    Was the Loudon/Kate song “Over the Hill”?

    Who performed “Thames”, “Matapedia”, and “Over the Hill” (if that was the song)?

  20. Anna says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:53 am

    ummm..you’re right. Where is Walking Song? Sweet Thames is a Ewen MacColl song that Peggy S. Calum and Chaim sang together. A favorite song of Kate’s.

  21. Anna says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:57 am

    and Matapedia’s not there. I know CBC was airing it in 2 parts and maybe they haven’t finished mixing. The other thing explanation is they may have had technical difficulties with some songs.

  22. Campbell says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    What I have clocks in at just under 2 hours. With CBC intros outros and voice overs that’s 2 1 hour shows to me. Not so beau domage they 86’d all of MM O’hara. She’s the only artist who’s not represented at all. Over the Hill was sung by Chaim with Syl and Lil doing exquisite Harmonies. This wouldn’t have happened if Clyde Gilmour was still around or at least That’s how i feel

  23. anna says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Apparently MMO’s’ I just want to make it last ‘is part of the broadcast. Swimming song had the teleprompter problem so that’s why it’s not there. Not sure what happened to Over the Hill, Flow Sweet Thames. I can let people have mp3s of those 2. I didn’t see Matapedia in the list of mixed songs, but maybe it’s there. I don’t know, I didn’t hear broadcast. Ruf nixed Walking song.

    So what’s unaccounted for?

  24. Campbell says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    18 minutes of the NIxon tape

  25. Ron Gomes says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Has it actually been broadcast yet? I wish it weren’t so hard to get specific program information on the CBC’s web site. In the extremely old days there was a printed program guide to which you could subscribe, and it was pretty darned good. It had a fancy and slightly affected name but I can’t recall it now.

    If they didn’t put up the MMO song and it’s already been broadcast then I am thwarted, my obsessiveness is to no avail. Plus those other missing tracks. Unless some audience member recorded it and puts it up somewhere. That sometimes happens.

  26. Campbell to ron says:

    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    go to yr youtube message inbox

  27. Ron Gomes says:

    July 3rd, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I got a recording of the CBC broadcast. It’s true that the Birthday Song was included, but three of the posted tracks were NOT part of the broadcast: “First Born”, “I Don’t Know” (Krystle Warren), and “Prends ton manteau” (Charlebois).

    So the final tally (for now) of “missing” tracks is “Walking Song”, “Matapedia”, “Flow Sweet Thames”, “Swimming Song”, and “Over the Hill”.

  28. Campbell says:

    July 5th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    The CBC ended for me with the death of Clyde Gilmour in 1997. None of this would have happened on Gilmour’s Albums. We’d also be treated to a song by Jerry Colonna.
    This bit of irrelevance brought to you by the dog daze of summer

  29. Ron Gomes says:

    July 9th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    That kind of entertaining eclecticism is still to be found on WFMU, which is online at wfmu.org and also has streamable archives of almost all shows that have aired since the year 2000 or so.

    Not all programs and DJs are wonderful (how could they be?) but check out Irwin Chusid’s program in particular, which is far and away my favorite.


  30. Campbell says:

    July 9th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks- Rufus’ keyboard player told me of WMFU last week. Now twixt you & Him I’m gonna give it a listen

  31. Anna Granfors says:

    July 22nd, 2012 at 2:08 am

    I know, I know…I’m bad. Evil. A woman of no discernable virtue. But I found Ron Gomes’ URL (thanks, Ron!) for the CBC stream of the show upstream in the comments, and went (and enjoyed immensely) immediately.

    Safari, as many of you know, is an inferior browser, but it *does* have at least one redeeming value. In the top menu, if you go to Window>Activity while the song (or YouTube, by the way) is playing, you’ll see one line that (usually, if not copyguarded) is growing–ie., 1.5 of 4.5 MB, then 1.6 of 4.5 MB, ad infinitum. (In this case, the name of the song is even next to it.) If you double-click on that line, a new Safari window will open, first with the QuickTime logo on it, then a mini-QuickTime player that the song will load into. When it’s fully loaded, if you click on the far right pulldown arrow on the player, it will offer to save the file for you as “source” (mp3) or as a QuickTime .mov, which, since there’s no video, is rather foolish. So “save as source”, and the mp3 file will download.

    Needless to say, especially given my self-assessment in the first line of this comment, I now have the entire concert (well, missing the songs mentioned above), and am listening to it for the third time and loving it all more each listen.

    (Some of you–hell, probably all of you–were already aware of this lil’ trick, in which case forgive me for boring you. And Anna–if you’d rather not have people downloading it, PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE remove my comment, and a gazillion apologies.)

  32. David T. says:

    July 22nd, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    As of now, 3 more songs have been added to the CBC concert coverage: “Over the Hill”, “First Born” and “I Just Want to Make it Last”. There is also the possibility of a 4th being added, according to someone at CBC (see comment toward or at the bottom of the page there). So, 30 songs, and maybe one to come.

  33. Anna Granfors says:

    July 25th, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Sweet Jeebus, I guess I’m acquiring some small discernable virtue…

    After listening to this wonderful show for almost a week now, that part of me that niggles until it’s negotiated with started screaming “hey! HEY! It’s KATE (and her marvellous family and friends), not just some stupid mp3 you’ll never listen to again!”

    So I just made a donation to the Kate McGarrigle Fund at the MUHC Foundation. I’d suggest that anyone else who followed my instructions above do the same, but it’s up to you, although I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already donated earlier (from a purer place than my niggling guilt), or might think it’s a good idea.

    To Anna and all the McGarriglettes, and especially to Darlin’ Kate, love over and over…

  34. Peter says:

    July 25th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Yep pretty bloody marvellous! The additional mp3s would be the icing on the cake.

  35. David T. says:

    July 25th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Ewan MacColl’s “Sweet Thames Flow Softly” has now been added.

  36. Campbell per GCT™ says:

    July 25th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    If anyone Finds those mp3’s pass ’em on-please
    and so to bed
    No Peeps or Pepys

  37. Ron Gomes says:

    August 1st, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    All right. This means that the only “missing” songs from this concert are “Walking Song”, “Matapedia”, and “Swimming Song”.

  38. Gregg Osborn says:

    May 25th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Re. Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: The film plays twice this Memorial Day Weekend at the Seattle International Film Festival. We had good seats at the 2011 tribute; looking forward to the big screen incarnation. Bringing extra handkerchief.

  39. Nick says:

    October 25th, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Hi. I was online looking for more info and any recordings (other than the Sing Me the Songs YouTube) about “I Just Want to Make It Last and I came across this.

    Looks like there is a CBC recording. Does anyone have that and/or other info on this song? Thank you. Nick

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