Going Down the Road.
When I was living at Hazelton Ave. in Toronto (we had a commune) there was a premier or preview of 'Going Down the Road' at the New Yorker.
I went with Melinda, Carla ad Helen and Pauline. Pauline and i were going together at the time.
We were knocked out by the movie and afterwards we went to the Pilot and we all raved about it. we felt it was a big step for Canadian Movies. Pauline really liked it. anyway they wanted to go back to Hazelton and i stayed on for a few more drinks.
so I am sitting there and who walks in but Paul Bradley. We hit it off we were friends from almost the first moment we met. We had a couple of hours of drinking and story telling and somewhere in
this haze i got a great idea. it was Pauline's birthday on Friday and we were having a party. So I talked Paul into coming and to play his character of Joey from the movie (this was not difficult). This was my idea of a crazy birthday present for Pauline.
Friday night Paul showed up with a friend (who kinda looked like McGrath) Introduced as Joey and just blew Pauline and the girls away. Paul is a traveling roadshow by himself and after a couple of hours went into entertainment mode. we had lots of drugs and booze and food and he ended up staying for a couple of days and we were good friends for ever more. Over the years we would get to gether every once in a while and have a good get together.
Cayle Cherin was Salina. She went off to Hollywood and Dennis Hopper etc. Anyway just after i opened my after hours club about 5 years later. Cayle showed up on the scene I didn't recognize her to me she was this mysterious beautiful girl who started hanging around the 22 and Grossmans etc.
Then one night she shows up at my bar with some guy. Didn't like him much but ended up playing poker dice with him. I won about $300 off him. it was late and we all had a bunch of drink into us. When he said he didn't have any money left. I said half joking I will play you one more game. you win you get your $300 dollars back I win I get your girlfriend. He said ok and we rolledthe dice as Cayle looked askance. When I won Cayle went into a bit of a tirade and told guy to get lost who did he think he was etc.I guess she though i was a better deal because she paid off and we dated for a while but even better became really good close friends. for the rest of her life we were really good buddies and enjoyed our friendship. I skyped her just a few days before she die. I really miss her. She was an extremely brilliant writer, actor and producer.
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.