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Edmund Fitzgerald anniversary highlights our desire to have Gordon Lightfoot behave badly

November 10, 2010 | 12:02 pm

Edmund Fitzgerald anniversary lighthouse Would Gordon Lightfoot just make a sex tape, or go to rehab, or adopt a baby from a developing nation or something? Because we really hate invoking his name only on sad Gordon Lightfoot
occasions, such as a death hoax, or today's 35th anniversary of the wreck of the ship the Edmund Fitzgerald, a tragic story immortalized in the Canadian singer's signature ballad of the same name.

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," which hit No. 1 in 1976, chronicles the deaths of 29 sailors during a massive storm on Lake Superior on this day in 1975. If you recall, the last time Lightfoot was gossip fodder was because of an erroneous report of his own death.

"I stay in touch with some of the people who lost relatives on that ship," Lightfoot said recently. "It was a tragic event [that inspired the song] but the families seemed to be honored that I wrote it."
The memory of the Fitz was in the news in recent weeks when storms brought Minnesota record low barometric pressures -- even lower than the number recorded during the storm that claimed the massive freighter and its crew.
That said, we sincerely hope the next time the 71-year-old's name scrolls by on the interwebs, the only destruction he's linked to is maybe something he did in a hotel room while on tour. Lightfoot trashing the Plaza's Eloise Suite would be an infinitely more charming story than Charlie Sheen predictably doing the same.

Incidentally, the Ministry isn't the only one with an eye on the singer: Toby Keith just covered Lightfoot's "Sundown" for his October release, "Bullets in the Gun."


Gordon Lightfoot: This is your death on Twitter

Gordon Lightfoot's death hoax: a post-game wrap-up, with an apology to Twitter

Charlie Sheen and his adverse allergic adventures in the Eloise Suite

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Left photos: The Split Rock lighthouse in Two Harbors, Minn., shines its beacon to mark the great Minnesota storms on Nov. 5. Usually the light is illuminated only on Nov. 10, in memory of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Credit: Paul M. Walsh / Country Today / Associated Press

Right photo: Singer Gordon Lightfoot.