Last night I had the opportunity to MC the Tom Jackson “Christmas 150” show at Casino Regina. I used to be a big fan of “North of 60” and had seen Jackson in a few other movie roles over the years. I had never met him before and was surprised at how tall he was when I finally got to shake his hand backstage. Another thing that surprised me was how gentle he seemed to be. He wanted me to explain what was going to happen before he got on stage. He draped an arm around my shoulder and spoke so softly I had to pay close attention to what he was saying. He certainly made a wonderful first impression.
That was a little different than my last MC gig at the Casino when Gordon Lightfoot rolled through Regina on his latest tour. My brother had played on a few of his albums and had toured with him for a couple of years. I just wanted to say hi to Mr. Lightfoot and let him know who my brother was. When I approached his manager backstage and mentioned that I would like to speak to Lightfoot for a couple of minutes I was told that he doesn’t like speaking to anyone before any of his shows. He wants to be totally focused. Hey, I can understand that, to a point. It’s not like I wanted to take him to a bar to chat for hours on end about things, I just wanted a minute of his time. I didn’t press the issue. What he wants to do before his shows is his business and I respect that.
It’s no different backstage at Craven every summer. Some artists are very friendly and approachable, while others just want to be left alone until it’s show time. I understand that 100%.
I’ll always love Gordon Lightfoot music and I now have a new appreciation for Tom Jackson. That’s the kind of impression he made on me.