Once Upon a Red Eye is a compelling memoir that offers rare insight into the behind-the-scenes life of a Canadian musical icon. Here are the colourful recountings of Richard Harison, who spent a dozen years serving as Gordon Lightfoot’s road/stage manager, concert sound engineer, and lighting designer/director. In the time of his employ with Lightfoot, Harison enjoyed all manner of adventure. He accompanied the famed singer/songwriter and his band on concert tours of the world, celebrity meetings, thrilling performances in halls grand and small, and travel mishaps, including three bomb scares and two consecutive aircraft engine failures.Woven expertly into the background of Harison’s stories of music, tours and elaborate pranks, history plays out in iconic bursts. The Vietnam War, an encounter with the Black Panthers, and a UK tour during the serious political/religious upheaval in Ireland all provide context to Lightfoot’s international presence in this epic stretch of time.
Between 1970 and 1981, Richard Harison was part of Lightfoot’s remarkable story, serving as a source of friendship, personal, and practical support for Lightfoot and basking in his special glow.