Through this summer’s Tragically Hip Man Machine Poem tour, it was all about THE MUSIC. Now, we have a chance to hear more about Gord Downie’s battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive, terminal type of brain cancer.
He agreed to a one-on-one with Peter Mansbridge from CBC’s The National at a friend’s home in Toronto, to speak bout about his illness and his new project, Secret Path.
According to CBC:
Downie’s treatment has involved a couple of surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy and constant MRIs. He doesn’t remember the whole list himself.
His memory often fails him, so he writes notes on his hands
Memory used to be his “forte.”
“And now I can’t remember hardly anything. I have, I have Peter written on my hand. I have things written, a few things written on my hands. And I say that, just to be up front. ‘Cause I might call you Doug,” he told Mansbridge.
He has good days and bad days. On the bad days, Downie, 52, struggles to remember the names of his four children.
“I am resigned to the direction this is heading, yes I am. I really am and because I can see it and feel it doing some, not doing some good, but it’s creating, it’s creating something,” he said.
One creation is Secret Path, a solo album, graphic novel and animated film, inspired by a 12-year-old Ojibway boy named Chanie (Charlie) Wenjack who died from hunger and exposure after trying to find his way home from a residential school.
Proceeds from Secret Path will go to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.
The album and graphic novel, illustrated by Jeff Lemire, will both be released Oct. 18 and the animated film will be broadcast on CBC on Oct. 23.
Here’s a preview of tonight’s interview with Gord Downie, which you can watch on The National, 9pm Eastern Time.
Here’s the first chapter of music from Secret Path: