By Ben McCully
"Just as I finished drying my tears from the loss of one of my all time favourites Tom Petty, we learned that we lost Gord. We, being Canada. And really the world, sure. But Canada specifically. While there are lots of similarities between Tom Petty & Gord Downie, not limited to their power as poets, their gritty music, & how their songs can hit you on a multi layered mass of several layers; Gord Downie had a uniqueness that is unparalleled anywhere. He was ours. He wasn't just Canadian, but he was Canada. Sure, we've got some mega music stars that have come from up here, including Justin Bieber, the Wknd, Drake, even Celine, Shania
& dare I say Nickelback. But they are all international superstars and am I wrong that they don't have that feel anymore that they're 'ours'? While it's noble to want to share your treasures with the world, and we celebrate the success of Canadian artists, Gord Downie allowed us to be selfish. The Tragically Hip may have been critically recognized elsewhere, but they didn't really burn bright beyond our border. But instead of lamenting about that, it's as if that's how it was supposed to be. Right? Gord & the boys were ours. Will always be ours. A shared secret among Canadians that was almost magical. The wall of fog that their career hit outside this country was fate & destiny that makes Gord Downie MORE special, and his loss more tragic. He was Canada. He was ours. And he will never, ever be equaled. Sorry, not sorry.