07 March 2006

My father, Ivor Cutler, and you

The yahrzeit candle I lit yesterday for my father just flickered out an hour ago. Today was an extraordinarily lovely day in Toronto. Anne and Ben and I drove up to the United Bakers Dairy Restaurant, where my dad and I used to meet each week after my mother died. I like Bathurst and Lawrence. Does the name "United Bakers" have a union backstory?


I just got a message from my old friend Michael Richardson, who, when I was a teenager, introduced me to all the best music and all the best prose. Apparently, Ivor Cutler died last night.


I first became aware of Ivor Cutler on the last track of each side of Robert Wyatt's album Rock Bottom (back when albums had sides). I ran out and got every Ivor Cutler album I could find, and a few books too, including the classic Cock-a-Doodle Don't. What an incredible voice. What wit. Ivor died very old.


I get some really interesting comments on this blog. As a rule, I don't respond to them. I mean, I respond, but I don't write anything on my blog to them and only rarely write back the (non-anonymous) correspondents. I really appreciate when people take the time to comment. So, to those who have commented, you rock. And you rox. "The whole landscape flushes on a sudden at a sound." (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Over and out.


At March 08, 2006 11:45 am , Blogger dfb said...

i have had scraps of cutler in my head for years

"mostly tins"
"nothing gets wasted round here"
"look a bush"
"where are my fleas, filthy little parasites"

sorry to hear about this

At March 09, 2006 12:52 pm , Blogger torontopearl said...

Founded by Aaron Ladovsky, grandfather of current proprietors, siblings Philip and Ruthie Ladovsky, UB first opened its doors downtown at Bay and Dundas streets. In 1920, it moved to 338 Spadina Ave., and just over 20 years ago relocated to its current location...

“When our grandfather ran the restaurant, he attracted everyone from business leaders to workers. UB became a link to the new world. Newcomers would come to find others,” said Ruthie.

“It became the extension of people’s homes. If someone didn’t have money, our grandfather made sure they were fed. He wanted them to get a good foothold in the new world,” said Philip.

Stuart, there's some background for you...

At March 10, 2006 12:28 am , Anonymous rox. said...

From 1961 to 1970, Ivor Cutler taught music, African drumming, movement, drama and poetry to seven to 11-year-olds.

It was his workaday exposure to children which led to his belated discovery of his self-respect: he became an author and poet whose guiding principle was: "Let your unconscious do the dirty work, like a child blurting out the first thing that comes into its head.

"The words I use are not the message," he further explained, "they are the vehicle. When I'm creating poetry, the trick is to get the intellect out of the road because it censors and tries to stop people getting a message from the unconscious."

David Belcher, The Herald (March 8, 2006)


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