Thank you for your efforts to preserve Crads life work!....May he rest in peace...
"Bet the twin blades clog up." He will be missed.
So, we were young ... maybe 16.... and a friend of mine did a double take, turned and walked back to some dude with a sign around his neck.... me, i was cold, and on my way to a used record store too distracted to check the guy out.... i read his sign and figured him a psycho. My friend returned with some book, Pork College. ... i read that book about a day later, it was the perfect antidote to the cesspool of the '80's... from then on i never missed a chance to walk that section of Yonge st., over the years i managed to buy everyone of his titles, straight from him, all signed (they all were)...i can still recite a passage from "Horrible Horrible Salami", and still drop the saying, "Foul Puss from Dead Dogs" way to often....
I knew Crad from 1979, bought World Under Anesthesia from him. We developed a friendship over many years and corresponded, particularly from 2009 on to his death. I have a goodly trove of his works myself---every published book and almost an entire collection of the adult mags he wrote for. I wish I had gotten some of his 'secret tapes' made on the street----THOSE would be priceless!
I had a few interactions with Crad, mostly at his usual spot around Yonge and Charles. He was a drily witty, if studiously dour, fellow, and it was a pleasure to buy his latest twisted tales, either directly from himself or from the old This Ain't the Rosedale Library location on Church. I treasure my many "books" (more pamphlets, really) I have of his, and more than once, the spine of "Lightning Struck My Dick" has started a conversation with dinner guests. He was a true original, and his adopted country has lost a singular personality.
Thank you for the work you are doing to preserve his legacy.
I believe I have at least two of his tapes somewhere.
I miss him already.
I'm just a nobody living in the middle of Bumblefuck, Nowhere, in the Midwest United States, and by chance I became e-mail pals with a fellow in Toronto who introduced me to his works via an unauthorized 'net reprinting of "The Somali Pee-Pee Car", which I found absolutely hilarious, surreal, and original. Thanks to abebooks, I actually tracked down quite a few of Crad's books (mostly anthologies, but I'm especially glad I picked up both his quasi-autobiographies. I'm still desperately looking for Pork College), and will hold on to them till the day I die. They say you should never meet your heroes, but I couldn't resist calling the phone number Crad printed in Putrid Scum. Considering the book was nearly 20 years old, I figured the number had long since been disconnected, but imagine my surprise when I got a generic "Not here right now, leave a message" answering machine, to which I left a somewhat fawning message to a machine I didn't even know was his, and imagine my further surprise when I came home from work and he had left a message on my machine, encouraging me to call back. I did, and since Crad told me "phone conversations are private", I won't go into what happened, let's just say we talked for over an hour, and while I wasn't happy with the direction the conversation went, I could tell he was a man of deep intellect with a wicked sense of humor who didn't suffer the company of fools easily, and since he didn't hang up on me in anger, I guess I did impress him. I really regret never writing him a snail mail letter. I just kept putting it off and putting it off, and now it's too late. :(
There are a couple of copies of Pork College on abebooks. Alternately, get in touch with me at ideafountain at hotmail.com.
I'm glad you got to speak with Crad. He was very pleased when he got calls or notes from readers.
All the best
I was able to find both Pork College and Cathy. Can't wait!
Cathy was Crad's personal favourite of all his books. I'm glad you found copies. Please stay in touch for any reason, and watch this site. It is a labour of love, a grassroots thing that I and other readers and friends will add to as time goes on. Your comments and contributions are always appreciated. Lorette
After sitting on my shelf for so long, I finally got the courage to read "Cathy". I can see why it was Crad's favorite book. So heartrendingly melancholy and relatable, I was damn near tears when I finished it. Brought back my own bittersweet memories of lost loves. This is a book that is required reading not just for Crad fans, but for anyone. If any book of Crad's deserves a republishing, it's this one.
Crad died the same day as my brother, which leads me to conclude that the universe is gathering up its greatets curmudgeons, perhaps to recycle them into one Super-curmudgeon.
I once asked him why he chose to write. He replied, "I'd really like to go around punching people in the face. Instead I punch them metaphorically, with my books." His books were indeed better than a punch in the face.
I first heard of Crad through a friend's roommate, Paul (aka Starky from stark naked and the flesh-tones), They told me about a story Crad wrote which included them. At the time (circa 1989) I worked at the ROM, I was the food services manager, and from my office window I would sometimes see Crad standing in front of the church (of the Redeemer?) I, would buy his books (I have 6- Blood sucking Monkeys, Excrement, Girl on the subway, Junior brain tumors, Malignant Humors, and the charnel house of bad poetry, I also have 3 tapes.). Sometimes I would be able to invite him to the cafeteria, and I'd buy him a coffee or a sandwich, and we would chat. I was somewhat younger than he was, but I really admired his spirit. I am especially fond of the tapes, and the insight they reveal.
My stepfather was an Italian man, who as dementia set in, became the man who died of his opinions.
And for what it may be worth- he inspired me, his works still resonate within me.
Thank you Crad- RIP
I'm looking for a piece of krad's that I experienced on an audiotape. I think it was an official and produced tape. It was about Jesus. Quite a dark and masterful piece of satire. Anybody know what I'm talking about?
I know exactly what you're talking about. There was a great bit of video up on myspace or somewhere like that where Crad recited a poem called "Jesus Christ". Sadly, I did not download it, and it's since disappeared. I'd love to see it again, too.
A Last Letter to Crad Kilodney
NB: I am posting this on behalf of the author, who sent it too late to be read at Crad's wake. LCL
Crad lived his life as an individualist and a free man. Now he's shuffled off the mortal coil to ultimate freedom. Maybe he'll come back to haunt Yonge and Bloor as a ghostly figure with a sign around his neck.
Crad's passing signals the end of an era. Only Canada would tolerate a crazy American standing out on the street hating and insulting them for decades—not because they were Canadian but because they were people. Crad disliked people. But instead of climbing the nearest bell tower with an assault rifle he channeled his aggression into stories. What I can say about Crad Kilodney is that although he was never particularly warm, he was never cruel either. For somebody who hated people, that seems to be a singular achievement.
Crad Kilodney is dead. Long live Crad Kilodney.
Tonight, I won't be reciting W. H. Auden's STOP ALL THE CLOCKS in solidarity with all of the good people gathered at the Painted Lady. But I will remember a larger-than-life character, a writer of imagination and verve and wit who, by force of an abrasive personality, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory more often than not.
What I can also say about Crad is that he was consistent. His attention and thoughts never varied from himself unless it was to launch a diatribe about how awful people were. Still, he experienced loneliness. He suffered depression when I knew him in the 1990s in Toronto and he rejected any therapeutic treatment that involved changing his thoughts or behavior. Crad Kilodney was as persistent and unchangeable as the law of gravity or gridlock at Yonge and Bloor.
His writing was sometimes noir, it was "alternative." It was punk, it was schlock, and it was memorable. A story he wrote about a man who craved rotten luncheon meat and ate it until food poisoning killed him was my favorite. Substitute rotten lunch meat for any addictive substance known to man and there you have an aspect of the human condition captured in words. The story has stayed with me for twenty years.
Crad Kilodney did not go quietly into that good night. Because of the good people gathered here to remember him tonight, he doesn't go alone, either. Write into eternity dear friend, I love you.
I was shocked to first read this news in the Toronto Star, five weeks after Crad's death. As a commuting student at U of T in the late 70's, I was a regular target of his random comments as I hurriedly passed by those peripheries of the downtown core that were illuminated by his shadow. I regarded him as a refugee from something, I was not sure what or where. I did talk with him on many occasions and found him to be remote, but warm in spirit. Over several years he and I grew to have certain unspoken understandings, expressed by knowing glances as I passed on the sidewalk. This web site and the foundation are a fabulous effort and I am very impressed to see it take root.
I became aware of Crad's work from reading Chester Brown's "Paying For It" in which he highly recommends "Putrid Scum" and "Excrement"; I bought both and quickly became a big fan. I now own 15 of his books. I only hope his passing helps to expose his incredible work to a much larger audience.
Reilly sorry to hear about Crad.
Every so often I would Google him. I bought several of his works and would speak to him on the streets of Toronto when I was an undergraduate at UoT. Crad was always good for few reciprocal laughs! Glad he eventually did well financially. Crad deserved that! Also pleased to hear that his works are archived in the Thomas Fisher Collection.
Where is Crad buried?
I will push the envelope for you and promote your hard work. you truly was a warrior with a pen. .....
from mark wm Dodd. maxfield McCoy. and navaster twistree
I'm doing amateur radio plays of Crad's Shakespeare For White Trash and the first is up now...free, on line. I recommend going to his Blog and read along with the script as you hear some good and some horrible actors.
MACBETH was our first...More plays coming soon.
You can also check the disclaimer first on You Tube (Crad would be proud...well, at least "Furpo" would be pleased) ;-)
I was browsing the books page and thought i could download the books in digital format. Is there anywhere i can get these books for my e-reader? I am willing to buy some books if they are not available for free.
tnx in advance
Well by' , it was just last night that my story of Crad came out again around the dinner table,and once again it was to an unsuspecting audience because my life inToronto in the 80's predates all of my current friends.
I don't remember if it was Putrid Scum or Excrement on the sign hanging around his neck the first time I saw him on Yonge street,as I strolled away from mediocrity of Photography studies at Ryerson, but i stopped just the same and it was pretty soon into our conversation that I realized that it wouldn't be our last chat. I bought the book.
Nobody at school knew his work. Nobody had noticed him a block from the bloody school standing on Yonge Street selling literature. Nobody.
Well my fellow students and I went off to the Library Pub and drank draft and took turns reading out many pages from the book.I remember now.It was Excrement and he told me jokingly that it was his autobiography.
I loved it.It was exactly where and how I was feeling ,in and about Toronto.
It didn't catch on for my class mates, even though they all wanted something different to read in this time of Ronald Reagan. No, they mostly went back to pablum.
I kept going back and buying more books and now tonight , in the bay ,in the archives of my home on the water in Newfoundland I've rounded up only a few book ; Putrid Scum , Excrement, Girl on the Subway, and Suburban Chicken Strangling Stories. I will search for the rest in the morning.There's got to be more here but I know that Crad never did find me that copy of Terminal Ward I wanted.
I'm bringing them back to Town to share with last nights dinner guests because , they just gotta read them. It is the jazz of literature. Don't worry, you're head won't explode. It'll just expand a little.
I will also dig through my photographic archives and pull out any photos I can find of Crad. I took at least one picture every time we talked.that must have added up.
I hadn't thought of him in a few years now and I've never thought to look him up online. I have no idea why.
Tonight I did, and learned that he had passed on 2 years ago.
I would love to have one more side by side chat with him, back on Yonge street , as we both leaned our backs against the building smoking our pipes and mocked the mockers who cast scared insults his way because they were just too afraid to stop. Boy, what they missed out on.
I must go
I just now saw that you had posted my eulogy for Crad on this site and I'm most grateful. I have a few letters Crad wrote to me here in California, alng with pictures, and he mentioned your name. Would you like me to scan them and send them to you for posting? Please let me know.
Crad would be so delighted with this website and the work you are doing on his behalf.
Wow, I am sad to hear that Crad passed away. I was thinking of him because a guy in Grand Island, NY just became president of Somalia, after his son almost hit my car.
Thank you for memorializing his life and work. I knew Crad for a number of years before he retired from publishing. Although all of our mutual acquaintances warned me not to associate with him, Crad was always a perfect gentleman when I brought his duty free pipe tobacco from across the border, cooking me dinner in his tiny apartment, then bobbing his head contentedly to some industrial hellnoize as he puffed on his pipe after. He was one of the most interesting people I have ever met.
WOW - I am so happy to see all the comments here! I still have a few more Crad Kildoney "Shakespeare For White Trash" plays to edit and post and I'm dedicating my book of poetry (Poetry On The Go - out in April) to him. He continues to inspire. All I have to do is pick up on old book! :-)
I just decided to google C.K. after reading a recent article about a former squeegee kid who is churning out some street stories etc. and mentioned Crad as his idol. I used to seek down to Yonge and Bloor from the leafy neighbourhood of my parental home as a barely 20 year year old . I remember being drawn to this somewhat creepy guy selling his little soft cover books. He had a hint of a smirk on his face sometimes and was crabby other times. I bought at least 4 books from Yonge at Bloor street and stops along the way south to Sam the Record Man. He stood out amongst the hookers, winos and tourists. My mother found out I was venturing downtown and tossed out his books. Reading these articles really brought back the vibe and character of the street scene, too bad it's more or less gone with the death of Crad Kilodney.
I should have proof read the previous comment because I meant to say I "used to sneak" down to Yonge and Bloor. st. when I was 16-20 years of age and was likely 17 when I first noticed Crad, that would be 1979 but not certain. I went into the Church of Scientology building just prior to meeting Crad, so that was a double whammy of weirdness and intrigue. Nothing like getting years of Ron Hubbard junk mail and crank calls for the next 15 years, much to my mother's chagrin and well after I had left the family nest. One thing about Crad, was he never asked for anything except to look at his work., and hoped to sell some.
I met Crad back around 87, I was a student and he was a cliche fixture that my classmates snickered about and gave a wide berth. when I finally went over to see what this madman was flogging I found a decent guy who was tolerating no fools and would have held his own in my family home. I remember looking at excrement and teenage brain tumours and the two were 12$ I asked him if he would give me a deal if I bought both and without missing a beat he said "sure, 15 dollars".... I gave him the eyebrow... he gave me a grimace and started to twinkle about the eyes. He got his money and I got a lot of good conversations... often while on pub crawls with classmates and the one conversation I remember best was when he said something like ... "I have met the real you, he was more interesting, and sober." ... :/
That was Crad and I admire that he was able to live life on his terms.
I am thrilled that so many people share the same type of story I had with Crad. Jask (who posted 4/24/17) also discovered once you stopped to talk to him and show an interest in literature he would give you a quick smile and always give a deal to a student who was a fan. I tried to "tip" him and he'd have none of it so I'd tell him I was buying extra books for friends. I still think about Crad several times a week...Between Crad Kilodney, Ben Kerr, Gino Empry and Don Francks...Toronto has had its fair share of incredible eccentric and brilliant people. I miss them all.
so great to see so many responses - that Crad managed to touch so many people while being a thorough misanthrope! and yes--he was one of those people who makes a city unique and memorable. What a shame on City Hall they prosecuted him for it--
great blog and nice one tor ead