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  #1  
Old 09-05-2019, 01:33 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Default "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot (cover)



This is my cover of Gordon Lightfoot's well known song of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10, 1975 in a storm on Lake Superior.

I grew up in Lakewood, OH where I could watch the many ore boats coming into Cleveland as I did yard work on properties looking right over the lake. So the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald was quite a shock to me. Many of the crew members lived in areas all around where I grew up, including Lakewood. I did change the words from the original recording to conform to how Gordon Lightfoot sings this now. He removed the reference to the main hatchway caving in since researchers now know that ship ultimately sank because the hull broke in half. My mother's uncles, my grand uncles, were all ship's engineers on the ore boats on the Great Lakes, so I think about the 29 men lost when I sing this song.

For reference, the 12-string is my Guild F512, the electric lead guitar is a Gibson ES-335, the bass is a Carvin.

Thanks for listening.

- Glenn
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Last edited by Glennwillow; 09-05-2019 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:15 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is online now
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I really enjoyed that, Glenn! The intro was spot on. I wondered how you were going to arrange this, as I find itís one of those songs that just really doesnít cut it with a solo acoustic guitar track and nothing else. Bravo
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Old 09-05-2019, 04:34 PM
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Great job Glenn! I love that song. Great arrangement!
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Old 09-05-2019, 04:35 PM
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Love it! Classic song and great job!! Man, there are a lot of verses in that one! Ha.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:53 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by reeve21 View Post
I really enjoyed that, Glenn! The intro was spot on. I wondered how you were going to arrange this, as I find itís one of those songs that just really doesnít cut it with a solo acoustic guitar track and nothing else. Bravo
Hi Bob,

Yes, I recorded this about a week ago just with my voice and the 12-string and I just didn't like it. I tried to add drums after the recording, and that didn't work very well. I ended up just erasing everything I did and decided to start over.

So I built a drum track and then recorded the voice and 12-string with that. I still found that I needed the bass and that lead guitar, so then I added them. It's amazing how much that lead guitar adds. No wonder Gordon Lightfoot had that lead guitar in the original song!

Thanks very much for taking the time to watch and for commenting here! I appreciate the support, Bob!

- Glenn
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:54 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Great job Glenn! I love that song. Great arrangement!
Hi Barry!

Thank you! I really appreciate your thoughts on this! I love the song, too. I have always hesitated doing this song because it's so ridiculously long. But, knowing it was Gordon Lightfoot's big hit, I decided to take a chance on it.

Thanks so much for watching and commenting here, Barry! It's greatly appreciated!

- Glenn
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:58 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Love it! Classic song and great job!! Man, there are a lot of verses in that one! Ha.
Hi Marty!

Thanks so much! It is a classic song and that lead electric guitar is such a signature sound for this song! I'm so glad you feel that this came out well!

But, yes, you are absolutely right -- there are so many verses, so many words! And the song is a tweak over 6 minutes long! I am amazed that this became a hit for Gordon Lightfoot and amazed that the radio stations would even play it when it was so long. But they did and it was a big hit!

So....

Thanks so much for taking the time to listen and then comment here, Marty! Much appreciated!

- Glenn
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:31 PM
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Great job Glenn. That song is still haunting to me especially considering the wreck is still in good condition given the extremely cold water grave it rests in. Itís disturbing to imagine the terror the ill-fated crew experienced the night she sank in that storm.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:52 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
Great job Glenn. That song is still haunting to me especially considering the wreck is still in good condition given the extremely cold water grave it rests in. Itís disturbing to imagine the terror the ill-fated crew experienced the night she sank in that storm.
Hi Bob,

Thanks for your comments... Yes, I think the song is haunting, too. I think the thought of drowning, for any of us, is pretty scary. Terror is probably the right word.

I know that Gordon Lightfoot has stayed in touch with many of the families of the victims of the Edmund Fitzgerald tragedy for just this reason. I thought it was really interesting that he changed the words of the song to accommodate the latest findings and the concerns of a couple of families who felt that their son (or brother) was being unfairly blamed for this tragedy.



- Glenn
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:03 AM
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Wonderful rendition Glenn. If you ever want to lighten up the mood, sing the words to the "Gilligan's Island" theme using the Edmund Fitzgerald accompaniment.

Not original, I saw it on (you guessed it) . . . the AGF.

Whenever I try it, I always begin to laugh!

best,

Rick
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:06 AM
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Super job, Glenn! And....what a ton or work you put into this one. Your technical/engineering background certainly provides an assist with all of this! the finished product is really excellent and a treat for the ear!!
All the best,
Fred
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:15 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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Thanks, Glenn, for taking this song on and managing it so successfully. Great playing and I am glad that you gave us a bit more info about your process. Congrats on not giving up on it and persisting in finding what worked for you. I really enjoyed listening to it.

Best,
Jayne
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:34 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by srick View Post
Wonderful rendition Glenn. If you ever want to lighten up the mood, sing the words to the "Gilligan's Island" theme using the Edmund Fitzgerald accompaniment.

Not original, I saw it on (you guessed it) . . . the AGF.

Whenever I try it, I always begin to laugh!

best,

Rick
Hi Rick,

Thanks so much for your comments!

Gilligan's Island? Wow, that would be a change of pace! I guess that would be pretty effective in turning a haunting song into something humorous.

Thanks for listening!

- Glenn
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:52 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by islandguitar View Post
Super job, Glenn! And....what a ton or work you put into this one. Your technical/engineering background certainly provides an assist with all of this! the finished product is really excellent and a treat for the ear!!
All the best,
Fred
Hi Fred,

As always, I appreciate your thoughts and comments, Fred!

It was a fair amount of work, but I enjoyed the process, at least once I recovered from the disappointment of trying this once, disliking the result, and then blowing that version away into digital never, never land.

I am not a drummer, though I have learned a lot about what makes a decent drum track from programming drums. And it takes me a few hours of work to come up with something that really works. Then I have to practice with that drum track so that I can get a decent recording. It seems I always have too many or too few measures and have to modify the program repeatedly until I finally get something I can use.

I just assumed that I could figure out the lead guitar part, but when I actually got to the point of recording that part, I realized that a whole lot of those notes played are the result of bent strings. I had to work at it a little bit, and then I realized that I just had to play that lead part by feel. If I had to teach someone what I was doing, it would take some time to actually break it down to figure out what I did.

Ironically, the acoustic 12-string part is incredibly simple. https://www.lightfoot.ca/wreckof.htm

Regarding technical background, I worked with the nuclear navy for a number of years on testing submarines and surface ships at one of the Navy shipyards in Washington. That is how I ended up out here in the Pacific Northwest in the first place. So I had a lot of experience in various ships' engine rooms, working with a ton of great navy people. So I think that background also provides some kind of feel for a song like this, even though the Edmund Fitzgerald was Merchant Marine, rather than military. Of course, this is technical background in addition to what's required to make a recording and video of a performance like this. I have been making YouTube videos for 3 years now and have learned a great deal. I'm sure to a lot of people, my efforts seem way over-the-top.

Thanks so much for your thoughts and comments Fred!

- Glenn
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Last edited by Glennwillow; 09-06-2019 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:59 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by jaymarsch View Post
Thanks, Glenn, for taking this song on and managing it so successfully. Great playing and I am glad that you gave us a bit more info about your process. Congrats on not giving up on it and persisting in finding what worked for you. I really enjoyed listening to it.

Best,
Jayne
Thank you Jayne!

I'm so glad you appreciated the effort, the background, and the end result. It was a fairly significant project.

I do appreciate your taking the time to listen and then comment here! I very much appreciate your support on a project like this.

I hope all is well for you Jayne. I'm doing pretty well...

- Glenn
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