Sunday, May 29, 2011

Crazy David's T-Shirts on Yonge Street.


Yonge Street 1974. Crazy DAvid's T-Shirt store is just to the left of Clockwork Orange.
Photo by Bob Whalen. Detective work by Mark Moore.
You don't see girls like that hitch hiking much these days....
Back in the 1970's there was a shop on Yonge Street that sold t-shirts and would make a custom shirt while you waited. Here's an ad from National Lampoon 1972. Note the Toronto address at the bottom.
Crazy David was David Keller formerly a member of a band called the Preachers.

An article from Billboard 1974.
An add from the Toronto Sun 1973.

22 comments:

  1. Hah, amazing. My parents knew Crazy David and we had stuff in the basement with that hippie face all over it.

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  2. Summer of '74 there was a transit strike. We were all hitch hiking.

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  3. how do i contact the person who makes this blog? I have an interesting Crazy David bit to share.

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  4. reply with your email.Or just post your story as a comment.
    I'd like to what you've got to say..

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  5. hey, sorry for such a long delay.
    can you contact me through my user name?

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  6. A viewer writes:
    So, i'm 44 now, so i was a like 5 or something when i first started to know about Crazy David Tees. I had one - said 'keep on streaking' and had a very Robert Crumb like piece of art with a streaker and a long scarf (wish i still had that) but, i wore it... a lot. Like a little kid trying to be cool might.

    i remember the Crazy David shirts came in plastic bags with a picture of a hippie on top and the slogan 'Crazy David loves you.'

    Anyway, over the years i looked for some evidence of the whole thing on line and failed. Started to wonder if i was just making it up. It had been a while since i looked.

    this summer, my wife and i were at a garage sale and bought some 1973 TORONTO SUN newspapers. They were full weekend editions and in great shape. I was loving the classifieds when i came across the attached ad.

    So, i looked the whole thing up on line and found your blog. You're free to add it to you page. It's pretty great and for, was a break through. I was wasn't crazy in thinking this whole thing was TRUE.

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  7. I worked for Crazy David's at 185 Yorkville, back when the coffee shops were big, I don't even remember having a Yonge St store, maybe that came after? David's girlfriend Marilyn appeared to be running everything back then, David kept a very low profile at the time... there was myself and Joanne working and we had a blast! We opened an ice cream parlour on the front yard, candles, t'shirts, paraphanelia, greatest head shop in the world! We had a ton of Americans coming to shop there and I remember charging 7 cents on the weaker American dollar! As I remember it, one of our best selling shirts EVER was the double faced picture of Richard Nixon with the caption "Stick with Nixon in 72, don't change dicks in the middle of a screw!
    I'd love to join this group, how do I join?
    Margot Hall

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  8. by the way, when I mention coffee shops, I'm not talking Tim Hortons! I'm talking Yorkville, poetry, Folk Singers, Ken Tobias, Joni Mitchell...

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  9. Hi,
    I have been trying to post a comment on this site but it appears it is no longer active. Is this true. I am looking for more information about Crazy David.

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  10. I have what seems to be a one of a kind Crazy David's shirt still in its original packaging, could it be worth something ?

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  11. I was the part of the inside art department making the designs and printing Davids T-Shirts. If you want to read about Crazy David after T-Shirts there is a great book just released. I am also in the book as Dinghy O`Rielly on page 196 and more. It`s a fun read for anyone,but if you lived in your 30s in 1970s,then it is a must .Better than Keith Richards` LIFE.

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  12. Sorry the book is.
    http://www.amazon.ca/Because-We-Could-Unauthorized-Story/dp/0993681905/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

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    1. I remember Russell fine work. David and I became close friends when he arrived in TO in 1971 until he left in 1976. I was the GM of his business. The stories I could tell could fill a book. Ever hear of Crazy David airline? Or JAWS the 32' Chris Craft?

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    2. jim, where is david now? last i heard he was in the keys.
      jim pyle

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  13. I remember the t shirt the Crazy Dave had that was two birds fucking in the air the Caption "Fly United"

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  14. I worked for Crazy David in a store - a victorian row house on Charles and Yonge. He had a seamstress sewing applica's of stars and crescent moons on t-shirts in the back room. His partner who's name I can't remember (maybe you Jim Reid) had your Great Dane dogs upstairs shitting all over the floors. Davids girlfriend was constantly travelling by bus between Buffalo and Toronto smuggling pot. The display tables in the store were old wine barrels that were stuffed with garbage bags full of the stuff. I worked in the store a while before I new what was going on. This was in '71.

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    1. The guy who owned the great danes was Jack Gunn. He and his wife lived in Sutton. We were all friends. Another person that worked at Crazy Davids on Yorkville was John Roberts {draft dodger from Madison Wisconson] My husband Mike designed a lot of the tshirts. Not sure what happened to Jack Gunn...he would be pretty old now. John Roberts moved to BC

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  15. I worked for DAVID in his silk screen shop on Peter Street then I went and managed the store on Yonge St it was right across from the Gas Works great location!
    In the basement at Peter Street he rented out to a couple of hippies and they made awesome candles Huge mushroom candles and the sold them on corners by the university of toronto
    It was a fun time!

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  16. I remember in 1977,I ordered the famous Farrah Fawcett bathing suit T-shirt from Crazy David! I was the first kid on my block to own one!

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  17. I had the central t-shit on the ad above ... the big red screw. I remember wearing it once and then, two weeks later, found my dad waxing the Ford XL with it... Prick.

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