Comrie Smith: 1945 - 2009
Comrie Smith: 1945 - 2009
Comrie Smith, Neil Young's childhood friend and musical collaborator, passed away earlier this month.
Smith played on such key early tracks with Young such as “Hello Lonely Woman”, “Casting Me Away From You” and “There Goes My Babe”.
From interview in Uncut.co.uk:
UNCUT: Tell me about you and Neil before he moved away in 1960. Was he already into music?
SMITH: I remember when we were kids I’d meet Neil everyday on the corner to walk to school together and he’d have his white bucks on and his transistor radio just blaring out. He’d say, “Hey Comrie, listen to this one!” He loved the Fendermen with “Good Morning Captain”. I had a Go Bo Diddley album which had the greatest funky guitar song that we used to listen to a lot. He liked Gene Vincent and Link Wray. I had those albums and we’d listen to them all the time. We used to buy records from this little elderly lady at Robinson Radio. Once they were off the hit parade she’d sell them for 39¢. So you could get an Everly Brothers 45 and there’d always be an interesting song on the B-side and we’d listen to those. Neil and I both loved Roy Orbison. We would listen to “Only The Lonely” and “Candy Man” in my living room. We had both started playing earlier with Neil on his baritone ukulele and me with my acoustic guitar. We had thought we would form a group together when we were in junior high but then, of course, he left. I knew Rassy, too, before she and Scott split up. She was a great mom for us in that teenage time. She was very supportive of our musical interests and I understand she did the same for Neil in Winnipeg.
From Toronto Star obituary:
SMITH, Comrie Gillbert - September 29, 1945 - December 11, 2009 Peacefully, surrounded by his family, after heart failure. Dearly beloved by his partner Carol Susko. Loving father of Leslie and Michael. Dear brother of Sheila Edgar (Harry). Longtime friend of Lynda Smith. Also affectionately remembered by many relatives and friends. Cremation has taken place. A memorial and celebration of Comrie's life will be held at a later date. Donations in Comrie's memory to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. Thanks to the wonderfully kind, supportive and efficient staff in Ajax Hospital Emergency and ICU Departments. Arrangements entrusted to The Simple Alternative, Ajax.
Also, see Broken Arrow Magazine - May 2009 (#114) "A Conversation with Comrie Smith (Neil's Toronto friend) by John Einarson.