Last night we were given a brief excerpt, and tonight on “The National” we saw Peter Mansbridge’s full interview with Gord Downie, with the Tragically Hip singer speaking candidly about facing terminal brain cancer.
“I’m doing good,” he tells Mansbridge at the start of the interview. “I say that on purpose — ‘I’m doing good!’ — because I am. Everything sort of seems to make sense. I am learning how to do it, because I’ve never done it before. And it’s tricky.”
He also says that he feels “grateful” that he’s been given time to say goodbye, instead of experiencing a more abrupt end. “I think I got lucky with this. If it has to be terminal, then I got a good …” he says. “I didn’t get hit by a train. It’s giving me this long kind of way to do some of these things that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m grateful.”
And while he’s “resigned to the direction this is heading,” he tells Mansbridge: “I don’t want to die, because my son is 10, my youngest son, Clemens. And that really scares me, obviously. But I sure want to do this right on the way out, so he’s not worried.”
“You’re fighting it though? You’re fighting what’s in front of you?” asks Mansbridge.
“Yeah. For sure,” Downie answers. “Yeah, I can get more time. More time. If I try this, I can get more time.”
And if he is given more time, Downie says he’s not ruling out making more new music with The Tragically Hip.
“So I’ve got, I don’t know, two or three or four records sitting in the can. You know, a record The Hip are working on,” says Downie, prompting Mansbridge to ask if we may be hearing more from him and the band.
“Yeah,” quips Downie. “To the point where it’ll be like, ‘Jesus, is that guy not dead yet?’ Canadians can be funny.” Watch: