Art Stories

Typical me
A few years and many Art Shows later I was dating an Artist (I tried but can't remember her name) who was showing at the Roberts Gallery. She was part of the Christmas group show and had two paintings in the show so she invited me to go to the opening with her. The show was at 8pm and at 7:30 we are in a large line waiting for the doors to open. It was cold and I had never seen anything like it. At 8 the doors open and everybody runs. So I run too  ?? to the bar. Nobody there. Everybody ran to the walls and had their hand on a painting. They sold every painting in minutes. Girl was a bit pissed at me.  But in all my years of going to Art Openings I never saw another one like this.They had a great bar.

I went with Nancy Hazelgrove.
She was a really good artist and a very nice person. I was living at the commune at 127 Hazelton. Nancy kind of fell for me and kind of moved in with me. she gave me a great painting that hung at the foot of my bed. I really liked her we got along well lots of the same intersts and great sex too. But she sort of took over my life and scared the shit out of me and with great difficulty I broke it off. So one morning I wake up kinda stoned as usual and my eyes wont focus on the painting. Then I realize that Nancy had replaced the painting with a collage of pigs. I laughed and laughed I got the point. I sure wish I had that painting. Hell I wish I had the collage. I really liked her she was just too much for me at the time. I am really sorry she died so young. 
Nancy Hazelgrove remembered
On Thurday, September 7th at 3 pm, UTM’s Blackwood gallery held a memorial service and solo exhibition to honour artist and former curator Nancy Hazelgrove, who passed away on June 7th at the age of 54.

Nancy Hazelgrove was a professional artist, and served as curator of the Blackwood Gallery between 1979 and 1984, and from 1988 to 1998.
As curator of the Blackwood, Nancy Hazelgrove was responsible for the formation of the art gallery advisory board, enhancing the Blackwood gallery’s permanent collection, and organizing traveling exhibitions across Canada as a part of the Grassroots programme.

In 1970 AGO put on Group of Seven show to celebrate their 50th anniversry. of the Group Of Seven. A bunch of us got together David Bolduc Greg Curnoe, Robert Markle , Mike Snow etc to help pay for T-shirts which I made. I got paid with artwork sometimes still got a few and owed a few.
Anyway we all wore our T-Shirts to the opening in homage to the Group A.Y Jackson was there and i think Arthur Lismer. I presented A.Y. with a Tshirt and I heard he wore it proudly at McMichaels on Sundays. I felt really good about it.

I was at a Michael Snow retrospective at the AGO and went back to a party at a huge house in Rosedale. I was wandering around upstairs looking for a washroom to smoke a joint in, when this guy grabbed me and pulled me into a room where we talked and smoked a couple of joints. I soon realized the guy was George Eaton. We were soon joined by his brother Thor with his wife and we smoked a bunch and went downstairs real giggly. We got drinks but I found out they didn't like to smooze. We sort of hid out in this big alcove under the stairway. Soon we were joined by their mother who basically went and got us drinks and sandwiches. So I am smoking dope and drinking with the Eaton boys and getting served by Lady Eaton. Waved at Michael  once in awhile. Good one Mike.

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Hi I am Gary LeDrew
And I am writing a book
I was lucky enough to be in the middle of most things in sixties and seventies and got to hang out with some of the greats and near greats and characters of that time.

I was involved in the Art scene and was friends and hung out with Jack Bush, Harold Town, Gord Rayner Robert markle, Mickey Handy, Gerry Gladstone, Gershon Iskowitz etc. etc. and I have stories about all of them.
I was in the music biz and managed a few bands like Kid Bastien and hung out with most of them. I was a close friend of Murray McLachlan for years, and hung out with Mike McDonald, Danny Marks, Praire Oyster, Irish Rebels, Downchilds, Ian Tyson, Tom Cochrane, Burton Cummins etc. etc. of course I was the Lobsterman and sang with McLean and Mclean. I hung out with Cannonball and Nat Adderly whenever they came to town.
I was Toronto's leading bootlegger for 5 years everybody came to my afterhours club from the Rolling Stones to the premier of New Brunswick. And Joanie Mitchell sang there.
I won an Actress in a poker game, Helen shaver cooked me supper and I went out with a bunch of models and actresses.
Lesley McDonnell introduced me to Leonard Cohen , Rod Steward and Paul Shaffer for a few. I hung out with Leonard for a while. I survived a night hanging out with Hunter S. Thompson (sitting with tom Waites)I basically had backstage passes to Maple Leaf Gardens and Massey hall whenever i wanted and Bonnie Rait kicked me out of her dressing room.
In the Movie biz I was friends with Mike Ironside for years and Winston Reckert, Catherine O'Hara, Michael Sarrazin,I have lain on Elizabeth Ashely's belly while she shoved coke up my nose. I showed Johnny Hart and Jack Caprio a good time. I took Howard Duff to Lunch everyday for a six weeks and was on his xmas card list until he died. I drank with Richard Burton at least a couple of times a week for 3 months and he told me everything.
I lived on a lighthouse as a kid and took off sailing in the caribbean for 15 months. I took and sold all manners of drugs and in the seventies I was The guy to know in Toronto.
I was one of the few white guys go to the Elephant walk club. If there is one thing I hope to dispel is Toronto as a dull place.
To business I am getting old and not in great health, I am living on a basic pension and I have to Hustle with my art and web sites most of the month to get by. I am afraid I might die before I get all these stories down
My friend Richard Flohil is also raising money to write his book so far over ten thousand and well deserved Richard was instrumental to the folk and blues and jazz scenes in Toronto and tells a good story too. In my own way I was too, I helped a lot of people along the way and I never really cared about money , you wouldn't believe the people that never paid their bar tabs for starters. i just might be a little more fearless in my admissions. For I am not ashamed of anything I did there is lots I wish I had never done.