Gallery: Gordon Lightfoot in Zoomer, Photographed by Bryan Adams

Gordon Lightfoot
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A portrait of Gordon Lightfoot shot by Bryan Adams for the cover story of the March 2011 issue of Zoomer magazine. Photo: Bryan Adams

“To quote my friend Bob Dylan,” Gordon Lightfoot told Zoomer in 2020, “‘Work while the day lasts because the night will come when you can no longer work.’ I’ve simply never wanted to retire.”

Lightfoot stayed true to that sentiment until the end, with plans for touring put on hold only shortly before his passing at age 84 in Toronto on Monday night. 

Zoomer magazine was fortunate to feature Lightfoot in two cover stories, where he was photographed for both by another Canadian music legend, Bryan Adams (hit the “View Gallery” button on the image above to see the gallery of Adams’ photos of Lightfoot). 

In the first cover story, from Zoomer’s March 2011 issue, Lightfoot, then-72, discussed his life and music, addressed false rumours of his demise and noted that, despite his reputation as a brilliant songwriter, he’s not one to speak in poetic terms. 

“I can’t do that. I can only do that when I sing and play. I’m just a normal, everyday person.”


Gordon Lightfoot on the cover of Zoomer’s March 2011 issue. Photo: Bryan Adams


Nine years later, Lightfoot, then-81, again graced the cover of Zoomer for the magazine’s March/April 2020 issue. In the story, he spoke at large about his relationships with his children, ex-wives, current wife and former lovers, as well as the process of learning to love himself. 

“I guess I’m doing okay, but I always think I could do better. I don’t think I try hard enough with my kids. I’m still trying to make up for the way I treated their mothers,” he explained.

Lightfoot added, “Have I learned anything? Yeah, I’ve learned to control my emotional self better when arguments occur. Anger can kill you — kill you right where you’re standing — with a stroke. I try to listen when I talk with people, try to get them talking about themselves. But with wives and mates … I sometimes find it hard to get my point across.”


Lightfoot on the cover of Zoomer‘s March/April 2020 issue. Photo: Bryan Adams


Bryan Adams reminisced about his admiration for Lightfoot following the troubadour’s passing while sharing a behind-the-scenes image from the 2020 Zoomer Lightfoot photoshoot on Instagram. 

“This one is really hard to write. Once in a blue moon you get to work and hang out with one of the people you admired when you were growing up. I was lucky enough to say Gordon was my friend and I’m gutted to know he’s gone,” Adams shared. “The world is a lesser place without him. I know I speak for all Canadians when I say: thank you for the songs Gordon Lightfoot. Bless your sweet songwriting heart, RIP dear friend.” 

Photo: instagram/bryanadams
A moment behind the scenes at the 2020 Zoomer cover shoot with ZoomerMedia founder Moses Znaimer, Bryan Adams and Gordon Lightfoot. Photo: Suzanne Boyd


As well, Zoomer Editor-in-Chief and publisher Suzanne Boyd shared an image of Adams, Lightfoot and ZoomerMedia founder and CEO Moses Znaimer enjoying a laugh during the same shoot.

The joy expressed in the photos mirrors the happiness that Lightfoot’s music brought to Canadians and fans around the world for decades — many of whom felt a kinship with the beloved troubadour through his words and melodies.

As Lightfoot himself wrote in the song “Beautiful”: “And I know that I won’t ever change / ‘Cause we’ve been friends / Through rain or shine / For such a long, long time.”


Gordon Lightfoot: A Tribute to His Incredible Life and Musical Legacy

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