Published Feb 28, 2011One of the key figures in the creation of Canadian music legend Gordon Lightfoot's signature sound has died. Guitarist Terry Clements, who first joined Lightfoot's band in 1971 and remained part of the group from then on, passed away on February 20 as a result of complications from a stroke he suffered ten days earlier. Word of his death was not released to the media until late last week. Clements was 63 years old.
Although Gordon Lightfoot was already an internationally renowned artist when Clements was hired, it was his distinctively subtle lead guitar parts that played a crucial role in Lightfoot's string of hits during the 1970s, including "Sundown," "Carefree Highway" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
According to Wayne Francis, creator of Lightfoot.ca, Clements was born in Detroit and began his music career in California in the mid-'60s, working as a songwriter for country star Buck Owens and also L.A. scene fixture Lou Adler, producer of the Mamas and the Papas and other folk rockers.
Lightfoot and Clements first met in 1970, and Lightfoot soon requested his services when his original lead guitarist, Laurice "Red" Shea, expressed a desire to get off the road. At the time, Lightfoot was experiencing his biggest success in the U.S. to that point with the single "If You Could Read My Mind."
Lightfoot's 2011 touring schedule begins March 15 in Greensboro, NC with dates in southern Ontario slated for May, including his traditional multi-night run at Toronto's Massey Hall. You can see the complete schedule here.
There is no word yet on who will be taking Clements's place in the band.