It’s hard to believe, but I have wanted to write Davy the Punk for nearly 50 years. My father, as I knew him in the 1950s, was a quiet, conservative man who booked acts into night clubs around Ontario. But before that, in the 1930s and 40s, he had been “Davy the Punk,” his nom de guerre in the gambling underworld. Sufficeth to say, Davy was not a man who kept a diary; “Bobby, what you don’t say can’t be held against you,” he warned me. But the Attorney General of Ontario and the cops, who doggedly pursued my father from the late 1930s on, wrote volumes about him. Bad for him, good for me.
Davy died in 1963 when I was 17, but after a chance encounter in a Toronto deli alerted me that my dad had once been Davy the Punk, I began to follow his trail. I talked to his old pals, tracked down old bookies, cops, judges. I haunted newspaper morgues and archives, placed Freedom of Information requests. It is amazing what you can find out about a secretive man who died 50 years ago. In the course of following Davy’s trail, I discovered the dark side of Toronto the Good and a missing chapter in Canadian Jewish history. And all along the way I uncovered outrageous scams and schemes perpetrated by characters straight out of Damon Runyon or The Threepenny Opera.
Now, at long last, Davy the Punk, the book, is in print. You will find an exerpt of the book here.
Meanwhile, Songs and Stories of Davy the Punk, my one-man musical, is up and ready to go. You can watch a trailer for the show here. For upcoming performances, check the calendar, or contact me, and I will let you know when Davy is coming your way. If you would like to present the show, or put me in touch with someone who might want to, click here.
After writing Davy’s story for the last half-dozen years, I am delighted to present it. I figure it’s a probable 5 to 7 you will be glad you met Davy the Punk.