Jack Bush

Jack Bush
I met Jack Bush a couple of times a week over about 6 weeks before i knew who he was.
In 1965 I was rejected by the OCA, I knew I was an Artist so I read that Artists hung out at the Pilot so I went there and sat at the bar. (mostly too early in the day because of my shift.)So there is a dapper little man in a quiet suit with steel gray hair and neatly trimmed moustache sitting beside me drinking Martinis. We struck up a conversation which rose to a level I wasn't used to. this guy had amazing insights into art etc and I really enjoyed talking to him. I ran into him several times and always had an enjoyable conversation.
It took me a couple of weeks to find out that the artists hung out in the big dark back room and rareley came in before 5pm.
It took me a while to break into the Artist clique in the back. I became friends with Jerry Santbergen who was a bit of an outsider himself at that time.
Jerry and I went into  the Pilot for lunch one day and I passed my friend on the barstool. I said Hi and he said" I see you found some artists." We went up to the back and Jerry said"Wow you know Jack Bush" He is a pretty good artist.
I didn't even know. Anyway I became a good friend of Jacks and we always talked at parties and openings besides the Pilot. He always invited me to his openings and he always had a lot of time for me and was a joy to talk to.

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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.