Gordon Downie

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Gordon Downie

Gordon Downie onstage in Ottawa

Place of Birth Kingston, Ontario
Date of birth February 6, 1964
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Bands The Tragically Hip
Solo Records
  • Coke Machine Glow (2001)
  • Battle of the Nudes (2003)
Poetry Collections
  • Coke Machine Glow (2001)

Gordon Downie is a Canadian rock musician and writer from Amherstview, Ontario.[1] He is the lead singer and lyricist of the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. He has released two solo albums, Coke Machine Glow in 2001 and Battle of the Nudes in 2003, and published a book of poetry, Coke Machine Glow.

He attended Ernestown Secondary School (Odessa, Ontario) in Grade 9 and part of Grade 10. He graduated from Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute in 1982, a school also attended by his bandmates. Downie then studied film at Queen's University in Kingston.[2]

Downie was a minor league hockey goalie and played for an Ontario championship winning Bantam level team in 1979. Downie is the godson of former Boston Bruins GM/coach Harry Sinden.[3]

Downie's use of stories and myths about life in Canada, along with his wild antics and rantings on stage has helped enshrine The Tragically Hip as a home-grown and much-loved Canadian band. Band performances are peppered with his seemingly endless and incomprehensible rantings between song verses--a trait that endears him to his fans. One notable rant is the "KillerWhaleTank" rant from the song New Orleans is Sinking.[4]

Comparisons have been drawn between Gordon Downie and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. due to the fact that both are known for writing intelligent, eclectic, and introspective lyrics whose meanings are often difficult to decipher, and also due to the fact that they share similar performing styles.[5] [6] [7] [8]

Downie currently resides in Toronto[9] and is a Trustee of Lake Ontario through his support of the Waterkeeper Alliance.[10]


  • 1 Trivia
  • 2 End material
    • 2.1 Footnotes
  • 3 External links


Gordon Downie has cameo appearances in "Men With Brooms" where The Tragically Hip play a curling team. As well Downie Appears in the Trailer Park Boys movie "The Big Dirty" where he and Alex Lifeson play the cops who Ricky tries to fool saying Julian is deaf and mute.

Downie is mentioned in the second volume of the Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels, 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'. The title character and his friend are listening to one of Downie's solo albums, and repeatedly describe him as being "a genius".

End material


  1. ^ http://www.waterkeeper.ca/content/other/downie_has_his_heart_in_the_la.php
  2. ^ http://alumni.queensu.ca/enewsletter/articles/great_grads/profiles/soundclash.htm
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0970841/bio
  4. ^ Killerwhaletank Rant
  5. ^ http://www.onetimesone.com/concert-reviews/sasquatch-2006.php
  6. ^ http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/d/downiegordon-coke.shtml
  7. ^ http://music.aol.com/artist/gordon-downie/72042/main
  8. ^ http://www.rambles.net/downie_nudes03.html
  9. ^ The Tragically Hip: A biography by John Kendle Oct. 2005
  10. ^ Waterkeeper Alliance Trustees of Lake Ontario
  • The Tragically Hip
  • The Tragically Hip
    Gordon Downie • Paul Langlois • Rob Baker • Gord Sinclair • Johnny Fay
    Davis Manning
    Studio albums: Up to HereRoad ApplesFully CompletelyDay for NightTrouble at the HenhousePhantom PowerMusic at WorkIn Violet LightIn Between EvolutionWorld Container
    EP's: The Tragically Hip EP
    Live albums: Live Between Us
    Compilation albums: HipeponymousYer Favourites
    DVDs: HeksenketelThat Night in Toronto
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