We are regularly told that we are all unique. We are like snowflakes in that no human being is exactly the same as another (and how do we know that about snowflakes anyway, wouldn’t they melt when you got them to the lab?). The exceptions of course are identical twins or triplets or quadruplets etc., who are exactly the same and are therefore great subjects for medical testing and horror films.
But is that really true; is there no one who looks just like us? When I was in university there was a guy that I saw occasionally at a pub and he looked just like me, and he held his beer just the way I did and he slouched against the wall holding his beer just like I did. The Germans have a word for this – doppelgänger – meaning someone who isn’t a twin but looks just like you (and so since we have words for this too why are we using a German word anyway, especially one with that annoying umlaut over the ‘a.’)
I’ve been a doppelgänger myself. When I was younger people thought I looked just like 1970’s Cat Stevens (check out his pics and you’ll see what I looked like in my 20s). More recently, I have regularly been mistaken for David Suzuki (really, this happens to me all the time). I would think that this is some kind of doppelgänging record as this means I have morphed from an English folk singer of Greek descent to a Canadian environmentalist of Japanese descent. It has also led to a handsome sideline business for me as a David Suzuki double. I’m getting lots of money from oil companies to pose driving big SUVs, burning leaves and answering the door in a house with all the lights on.
In fact, as I’ve got older I seem to have turned into a generic doppelgänger. A couple years ago at a party someone told me I looked very familiar to her. After she thought about it she asked if I was her dentist (that hurt). I was in Vancouver recently and entered a restaurant where the owner greeted me warmly, which I thought was nice, and then asked how I’d been since I was last there. I had never been in the restaurant before but as I have a rule that it is never a good idea to antagonize or embarrass anyone who is preparing food for me I played along.
It is possible that I am not becoming just some generic doppelgänger but rather that I look just like a Toronto dentist who also hangs out at a particular Vancouver restaurant but the odds of that are, I would think, pretty slim. Interestingly however, there is a dentist named Jonathan Rudin who lives in San Diego and people think he looks just like Yusuf Islam which is Cat Stevens’ name since he became a Muslim (actually that last bit about Jonathan Rudin the dentist looking like Yusuf Islam isn’t true, I made it up because the fact that there is a person named Jonathan Rudin who is a dentist isn’t actually very interesting at all).
One thing I can assure you however is that Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room (you know I had to get here sooner or later) has never been mistaken for any other musical group. And that’s not really surprising since there are 10 of us, we play a huge array of instruments (and also the bagpipes), and play all kinds of music from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
We will be offering up our unique musical melange on Sunday, June 19, at the Free Times Café (College just west of Spadina). In honour of Father’s Day we’ll be starting at 8 pm – so dad can get to bed well before midnight. Also in honour of Father’s Day there is no cover – but if you want to bring dad we’ll pretend there was a cover and you can say you paid it and that was his Father’s Day present and he’ll love you even more for this and tell you that this was so much nicer than those crappy ties you used to get him or those books he never read and then you can buy him a drink and some nibblies because after all, you haven’t actually spent anything and he’ll love you even more than he did when he thought you paid his cover charge, if that’s possible (don’t thank me, it’s not necessary, it’s just what I do). And of course you are welcome to attend on a non-Father’s Day basis as well.
Hope to see you there.
P.S. if you don’t recognize me, I’ll be the guy before the show signing David Suzuki posters and books for $10 a shot.
|June 19th Set List (highly inaccurate):|
|Set #1:||Set #2:|
|John Patterson’s Mare
I Wish I Was Your Mother
Don’t Let The Stars
Mine ‘Till I Go
Neil Gow’s Lament…
Across The Border
Save The Last Dance
Down In The Boondocks
|Water Is Wide / Glasgow City
How Will I Ever Be Simple
(Alan’s Solo Piece)
Orange Blossom Special
When The Night