Red Shea, Gordon Lightfoot's Former Lead Guitarist, Dies

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Red Shea
Red Shea

Red Shea, Former Lead Guitar Player for Gordon Lightfoot, Dies at 70

June 11, 2008 - I am sad to report the sudden death of Red Shea from pancreatic cancer, on Tuesday, June 10th.

As lead guitar player for Gordon Lightfoot from 1965 through 1975 (he toured only sporatically in the 70s, and shared lead with Terry Clements), he was the man responsible for the stirring and memorable lead riffs on some of Lightfoot's most famous songs. Listen to If You Could Read My Mind, Don Quixote or Song For A Winter's Night for a sample of his masterful guitar playing. He played on every album from The Way I Feel through Gord's Gold.

Although he left the band in 1975 to stay closer to home, he was occasionally called upon by Lightfoot to come into the studio and add his wonderful leads to songs on later studio recordings. Red's playing can even be heard on Lightfoot's most recent album, Harmony.

In recent years, he taught guitar to a number of very lucky guitar players. Always recognized by his peers, but perhaps not a household name in the world-at-large, Red's genius will live on through others.

According to the death notice published in the Toronto Star, visitation is at Thompson Funeral Home, 530 Industrial Pkwy. S., Aurora, on Thursday from 7-9 p.m, and a memorial service will be held at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Bloomington Side Rd., Aurora. on Friday at 11 a.m. (link to death notice).

He is survived by his wife, Lynn, three children, and four grandchildren. An acknowledged master of fingerstyle guitar playing, Red Shea will be missed by family, friends and former bandmates, and fans worldwide.

The Toronto Star has an obituary of Red that you can read here.



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