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Steve 08-27-2020 08:37 AM

Cathy Smith-Inspiration of SUNDOWN and other tunes has passed!
Ran into this today. Thought you might be interested.

charlene 08-27-2020 10:53 AM

Re: "Daylight Katie" has passed!
Cathy Smith-Inspiration of SUNDOWN (not Daylight Katy) and other tunes has passed!

Cathy Smith has died at age 73. Gordon loved her and helped her when he could. I'm sure he is reflecting on their life together so long ago..
In its issue of June 29, 1982, the excitable National Enquirer splashed a story across its front page about the confession of the “mystery woman” who had played a key role in the drug-related death of comedian John Belushi earlier that year. She was Cathy Smith. And although the audacious tabloid has never been known for its enthusiastic embrace of accuracy, a woman of mystery was exactly who Ms. Smith was.
A notorious, colourful footnote in pop culture history and the one-time muse and girlfriend of Gordon Lightfoot, Ms. Smith died on Aug. 18, at age 73. No official cause of death was given. The longtime resident of Maple Ridge, B.C., had been on oxygen and in failing health the past few years.
Ms. Smith had been with Mr. Belushi on March 5, 1982, the day he died of an accidental overdose of heroin and cocaine in bungalow No. 3 at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. She later told the National Enquirer that she had injected Mr. Belushi with the concoction known as a speedball. The confession led to her arrest for second-degree murder. A plea bargain reduced the charge to involuntary manslaughter along with three drug offences, for which she served 15 months at the California Institution for Women in Chino, Calif.
After her release from prison, Ms. Smith kept a low profile and avoided the press. A woman of contradictions, she was hard to pin down. Though hard-eyed and no sufferer of fools, among her friends she was known as a caring person with an infectious spirit.
She was a capable back-up singer who shared a songwriting credit on the Hoyt Axton song Flash of Fire, but was more known in the music world as an attractive background figure who walked in the shadows of the stars with whom she associated, including Levon Helm, the Rolling Stones, Mr. Axton and, most famously, Mr. Lightfoot.
She had an intense, tumultuous relationship with the iconic Canadian balladeer in the early 1970s. “Cathy was a great lady,” Mr. Lightfoot told The Globe and Mail this week. “Men were drawn to her, and she used to make me jealous. But I don’t have a bad thing to say about her.”
Others did. Interviewing her for No Contest, the 1986 documentary about her, the film’s host and co-producer Daniel Richler asked Ms. Smith about her past reputation as a “scary lady.” She replied, “I probably was.”
She supplied and used hard drugs. She lived the high life and the low life, with seemingly little interest in the in-between. Speaking in 1986, Mr. Richler said he saw Ms. Smith as a “very tender woman who has been destroyed by drugs and needs sympathetic attention.”
Ms. Smith lived the last decade or so of her life in an apartment building for senior citizens in Maple Ridge. She moved into the building after a fire destroyed a previous apartment of hers in the same city. She lost most of her possessions in the blaze, but still had a few mementos.
“She showed me a cheque for $25 from Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones,” said James Kennedy, who manages the seniors building. “She was a nice woman who never caused any trouble. I do know she wanted to tell her story.”
Catherine Evelyn Smith, who was born April 25, 1947, was an orphan adopted by a family in Burlington, Ont. She adored her mother, who, according to Ms. Smith’s autobiography Chasing the Dragon, drank heavily and suffered from clinical depression. At 16, she quit school. Her father suggested she try her hand at data processing, but young Ms. Smith went in a different direction: rock ‘n’ roll.
After hearing a band called The Hawks at The Grange tavern in Hamilton, she became smitten with the group’s smooth-talking, Southern-drawling American drummer Levon Helm. The Hawks would later become The Band, a pioneering roots-rock quintet featuring Helm and four Canadians.
By 17, Ms. Smith was pregnant. She claimed the father was Mr. Helm, but he never accepted responsibility for the child. She gave birth to daughter Tracey Lee and moved to Toronto. Ms. Smith initially intended to keep the baby, but later opted for adoption.
Among other jobs, she found employment as a waitress at the popular Toronto coffeehouse and music venue The Riverboat. “She was one of the most beautiful girls you’d ever want to meet,“ club owner Bernie Fiedler said. “We immediately hit it off, and I hired her.”
Sometime in the late 1960s, the chisel-cheeked brunette met the ascending singer-songwriter Mr. Lightfoot. He was married to his first wife, Brita, at the time and his initial romantic affair with Ms. Smith was brief.
By the spring of 1971 Ms. Smith was 24 when she bumped into Mr. Lightfoot in an elevator in the downtown apartment building where the songwriter, separated from his wife, lived in a funky 28th-floor bachelor pad decked out with an aquarium, velvet couches and deep pile rugs. The two reacquainted quickly and began a mercurial relationship that extended into the mid-1970s.
According to Lightfoot, a biography by Nicholas Jennings, the couple’s first date took place at Winston’s, a high-end establishment where they toasted the relationship and the recent success of his breakout single in the United States, If You Could Read My Mind, with a $300 bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild.
More often the pair dined at Harry’s, where the steaks were as rare as the interruptions at the quiet table in the back of the restaurant that was reserved for them. At nearby Maple Leaf Gardens, they regularly cheered on the hometown hockey team. After a post-game nightcap or five, they’d lurch home, “drunk and madly in love,” Ms. Smith wrote.
Mr. Lightfoot, who divorced his wife in 1973, purchased a mansion in Toronto’s tony Rosedale neighbourhood. Parties were had, hosted capably by Ms. Smith. “Cathy was great, but a tough cookie,” said Bernie Finkelstein, an occasional get-together guest who managed singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn and was a business partner with Mr. Fiedler. “We got along fine, though, and it was always pleasing to me when she had a big smile on her face when I came around. Because the opposite would be scary.”

charlene 08-27-2020 10:54 AM

Re: "Daylight Katie" has passed!
The relationship between Mr. Lightfoot and Ms. Smith was beset by infidelities on both sides, with their arguments turning physical on at least one occasion.
In 1973 the couple retreated to a rented farmhouse north of Toronto where Mr. Lightfoot could write songs in peace (if one could call it that). One night, Ms. Smith went out to a concert with her girlfriends. Alone, jealous and with a suspicious mind, that night Mr. Lightfoot wrote one of his biggest hits, Sundown.
“I can see her lookin’ fast in her faded jeans,” the song went. “She’s a hard lovin’ woman, got me feelin’ mean.”
While Mr. Lightfoot’s career was heading up, his on-and-off relationship with Ms. Smith was breaking down. “We weren’t getting along,” said Mr. Lightfoot. “Our lives were going in opposite directions.”
In 1974, Ms. Smith contributed backing vocals to Murray McLauchlan’s song Do You Dream Of Being Somebody. Though Mr. Lightfoot and Mr. McLauchlan were friends, as working musicians they were competitors. Mr. Lightfoot saw Ms. Smith’s singing on Mr. McLauchlan’s recording as an act of betrayal.
After her final break-up with Mr. Lightfoot, the ambitious Ms. Smith split for California, perhaps with the words of Mr. McLauchlan’s song still ringing in her head: “Do you dream of being somebody, so the world will love you?”
In Los Angeles, the model Lesley St. Nicholas (a close friend from Toronto who married Steppenwolf bassist Nick St. Nicholas) set up Ms. Smith with a job as a personal assistant to lawyer Edward L. Masry, who was portrayed by Albert Finney in the 2000 Julia Roberts film Erin Brockovich.
According to Ms. St. Nicholas, Ms. Smith, a highly intelligent high school dropout, was “over-qualified” to manage Mr. Masry’s affairs. “They hit it off right away, but ultimately he had to let her go,” Ms. St. Nicholas told The Globe. “He told her she wasn’t subservient enough.”
While in Los Angeles, Ms. Smith also worked for the Rolling Stones and dealt drugs – two gigs not mutually exclusive. “I was at the top as far as vicarious living went,” she wrote about her association with the world’s biggest rock band.
As for the drug peddling, she was small time. “I never thought of her as a dealer, just well connected,” said Mr. Finkelstein, whose job co-managing Toronto singer-songwriter Dan Hill often took him to Los Angeles.
In California, Ms. Smith comfortably fell into a crowd that included, among others, Leonard Cohen, actor Seymour Cassel (who dubbed Ms. Smith “Butch” because of her husky voice) and Mr. Belushi.
Ms. Smith was with the bingeing, downward-spiralling actor-comedian for the last five days of his life. Visitors to his bungalow on the night he died included actor Robert De Niro and comedian Robin Williams. In her interview with the National Enquirer, Ms. Smith admitted injecting Mr. Belushi with a speedball dose before leaving the bungalow.
“I killed John Belushi,” she said. “I didn’t mean to, but I am responsible.”
For years the tragic episode haunted Ms. Smith, who felt if she had stayed with the comedian for the whole night, things would have turned out differently. “That was her remorse, her self-persecution,” Ms. St. Nicholas said. “If she had any regrets in her life, that was it.”
Ms. Smith attempted to turn her life around in prison, where she taught computer skills to fellow inmates that included three members of the Manson Family, a murdering hippie-cult. “She got along with Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian, but Susan Atkins freaked her out,” Ms. St. Nicholas said. “Cathy was very tough, and she had a tongue on her. Atkins, though, scared her.”
After her release from prison in March, 1988, Ms. Smith was deported to Canada. In Toronto she did volunteer work speaking to teenagers about the dangers of drugs. In Vancouver, in July, 1991, she was arrested with two grams of heroin in her purse, for which she received a $2,000 fine and a year’s probation. “She struggled at times,” Ms. St. Nicholas said. “There were slip-ups.”
In 2014, after not seeing Mr. Lightfoot for some 20 years, Ms. Smith attended a concert of his at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. As he sang his 1972 song Beautiful, Mr. Lightfoot glanced her way. “Our fingernails were embedded in each other’s forearms, trying not to sob,” said Ms. St. Nicholas, who sat with her friend in the front row. “I truly believe they were the love of each other’s life.”
That night Mr. Lightfoot also sang Rainy Day People, a poignant 1975 song about “high-stepping strutters who land in the gutters.” He had written it on a drizzling day, with Ms. Smith in mind: “Rainy day lovers don’t hide love inside, they just pass it on.”

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...1a8528ea_o.jpgcathy smith-bernie fiedler-arthur usherson photo by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...b158438c_o.jpgcathy smith-gl.oct.21-2017.hard rock casino.lesley st.nicholas pic. by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...fd3842ae_o.jpgcathy smith-b.greenspan.e.christensen pic.globe&mail by char Westbrook, on Flickr

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...a9d4856e_o.jpgcathy smith-arthur usherson photo by char Westbrook, on Flickr


paskatefan 08-28-2020 06:10 AM

Re: "Daylight Katie" has passed!
OMG! I have no more words!

Char, not to change the subject, but I though the song "Daylight Katy" was about the other Cathy (Eric's mom) in Gordon's life.


charlene 08-28-2020 07:25 PM

Re: "Daylight Katie" has passed!
Cathy Coonley, mother of Eric was the subject of DAYLIGHT KATY ..

Cathy Smith was inspiration for: SUNDOWN, RAINY DAY PEOPLE, YOU ARE WHAT I AM.
Cathy Smith sang background on HIGH AND DRY. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundow...ightfoot_album)

Much of the Cold on The Shoulder LP is about her and their relationship and breakup. COLD ON THE SHOULDER, NOW AND THEN, A TREE TOO WEAK TO STAND, SLIDE ON OVER.
JACKIE Ward singers on COTS LP - The Jackie Ward singers sang on COTS album - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Ward_(singer)

The band did some background singing in some tunes back then.

The woman on the cover of COTS was a fan he dated - Jan Stephenson.

DREAMLAND from Endless Wire LP was rooted in the jealous nature of his relationship with Cathy Smith.

paskatefan 08-29-2020 05:57 AM

Re: "Daylight Katie" has passed!
Thanks for clarifying all of that, Char.


JohninCt. 08-29-2020 06:02 AM

Re: "Daylight Katie" has passed!
Ok, I get Daylight Katy was Cathy Coonley, but who are you talking about who sang on all those songs you listed. Was it Jan that you mentioned at the end of the line? Things kind of ran all together.

charlene 08-29-2020 11:07 AM

Re: "Daylight Katie" has passed!
Clarified it in the post for you John. -

JohninCt. 08-30-2020 12:53 PM

Re: Cathy Smith-Inspiration of SUNDOWN and other tunes has passed!
Thank you, I'm just old.

charlene 08-30-2020 02:35 PM

Re: Cathy Smith-Inspiration of SUNDOWN and other tunes has passed!
LOL!! Join the gang! :)

lighthead2toe 09-02-2020 11:13 AM

Re: Cathy Smith-Inspiration of SUNDOWN and other tunes has passed!
Yes, I too am a member of that gang. It takes a while longer these days to process stuff I've found. Just another aging dude issue I write it down as.

charlene 09-04-2020 09:36 PM

Re: Cathy Smith-Inspiration of SUNDOWN and other tunes has passed!

Cathy Smith, Who Injected John Belushi With Fatal Drugs, Dies at 73
After giving an interview to The National Enquirer, she was convicted in Mr. Belushi’s overdose death and served time in prison.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...d90399cc_o.jpgcathy smith 1988-after jail time-c.millar pic-toronto star-getty by char Westbrook, on Flickr
Cathy Smith in 1988, after serving time in jail for injecting the comedian John Belushi with a fatal dose of heroin and cocaine.Credit...Cal Millar/Toronto Star, via Getty Images

By Neil Genzlinger
Sept. 4, 2020
Updated 5:49 p.m. ET

A headline on the cover of The National Enquirer in June 1982 became the defining element of Cathy Smith’s life.

“‘I Killed John Belushi,’” it read, alongside a large photograph of Mr. Belushi, the boisterous comedian. Below the picture another headline added, “World Exclusive — Mystery Woman Confesses.”

The headline and accompanying article were the catalyst that ultimately landed Ms. Smith in jail.

Before the Enquirer article, the circumstances surrounding Mr. Belushi’s death the previous March, at 33, had remained murky, and it was simply labeled an accidental drug overdose.

Mr. Belushi, who became a television star on “Saturday Night Live” and a movie star in “National Lampoon’s Animal House” — and whose heavy drug use was later documented in Bob Woodward’s book “Wired” — went on a days-long drug binge in a bungalow of the Chateau Marmont Hotel in West Hollywood with Ms. Smith, who had been a fringe figure on the music scene first in Toronto and then Los Angeles.

Ms. Smith would admit to injecting Mr. Belushi with a combination of heroin and cocaine during her interview with The Enquirer, for which she was paid $15,000. The article resulted in a renewed investigation and, in 1983, her indictment by a grand jury in Los Angeles County on one count of second-degree murder and 13 counts of administering a dangerous drug.

Ms. Smith, one of pop culture’s most notorious footnotes, died on Aug. 16 in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. She was 73.

The British Columbia Coroners Service confirmed her death but said it had not yet determined a cause. The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported that Ms. Smith had been in failing health for several years.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...889779f5_o.jpgcathy smith-1986-h.weitzman.L.McLendon pic:AP by char Westbrook, on Flickr

Ms. Smith, center, with her lawyer, Howard Weitzman, in 1986. She pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and three drug counts and was ultimately convicted.
Credit...Lennox McLendon/Associated Press

Before Mr. Belushi’s death, Ms. Smith occasionally sang backup on records and traveled in the hard-partying orbit of groups like the Band and the Rolling Stones. The Globe and Mail once described her as a “rock ’n’ roll courtesan to the likes of Levon Helm, Gordon Lightfoot, Keith Richards et al.”

At 17 she had a child, whom she gave up for adoption, and whose father she said was Mr. Helm, best known as the drummer and singer for the Band. (Mr. Helm, who died in 2012, did not acknowledge paternity.) In the 1970s she spent almost four years in a volatile relationship with Mr. Lightfoot, the Canadian singer-songwriter.

“It was one of those relationships you get a feeling of danger comes into the picture,” he said in “Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind,” a recent documentary by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni.

Ms. Smith tried to escape that Enquirer headline.

“I didn’t kill John Belushi,” she wrote in “Chasing the Dragon,” a memoir published in 1984 while her case was still in progress. “I do suffer guilt, but it is the guilt that comes from not being aware of what was really going on.”

That explanation, though, never earned her much sympathy. Nor did her efforts to express remorse.

“It should have been me in the pine box, with a tag on my toe,” she said in a documentary made for CITY-TV of Toronto in the mid-1980s. “My name is Smith, who cares?”

Catherine Evelyn Smith was born on April 25, 1947, in Burlington, Ontario, on the western end of Lake Ontario. She dropped out of school at 16 and found her way to the Yorkville section of Toronto, which was then a magnet for bohemian musicians and literary figures. A 1982 article in Rolling Stone quoted Bernie Fiedler, owner of a folk club called the Riverboat Coffee House, as calling her “absolutely beautiful, one of the ladies who had everything a man always wanted but was afraid to confront.”

Mr. Lightfoot took up with her in the early 1970s. It was a tempestuous relationship. His song “Sundown,” a 1974 hit about a dark sort of possessiveness (“I can see her lookin’ fast in her faded jeans/She’s a hard-loving woman, got me feelin’ mean”), was inspired by her.

In 1978 Ms. Smith left Toronto for Los Angeles “to graduate from folk-music groupie to the more dangerous world of rock ’n’ roll,” as Rolling Stone put it. She sang backup for Hoyt Axton for a time, and also hung out with Keith Richards and other members of the Rolling Stones. And she began using hard drugs, and sometimes providing them.

The Enquirer said she was known as “Cathy Silverbag” because she carried a metallic purse filled with dope — or “poison,” as the judge who sentenced her in 1986 after she pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and three drug counts called it. The judge, David A. Horowitz of Los Angeles Superior Court, said Mr. Belushi’s own recklessness did not absolve her.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...49b422a4_o.jpgcathy smith 2002-lyle stafford image.Getty. by char Westbrook, on Flickr
Ms. Smith in 2002. After she was released from jail she was deported to Canada, where she was born, and largely stayed out of the public eye.Credit...Lyle Stafford/Getty Images
“You were brought into the action with Mr. Belushi’s circle of friends because you were the connection, the source of that poison,” the judge said. “You knew how to use the needle.”

Ms. Smith was paroled after serving 15 months of a three-year sentence and deported back to Canada.

The Globe and Mail said that in prison Ms. Smith taught computer skills to fellow inmates. After her release, she stayed largely out of the public eye. The newspaper said she sometimes spoke to teenagers about the dangers of drug use but also continued to have substance abuse problems, citing a 1991 charge of heroin possession.

Information on Ms. Smith’s survivors was not available.

When Ms. Smith’s memoir came out in 1984, before she had been sentenced, Mark Breslin gave the book a harsh review in The Globe and Mail. But he also found a sadness in her account, underscored by the fact that, though the book contained various pictures of the famous and semifamous men she had been involved with, she appeared in just one of them.

“In all the rest, she is noticeably absent,” Mr. Breslin wrote. “The message is clear. Stars are forever blessed by the beat, while fans are expendable, ephemeral commodities best suited to holding the bag and taking the rap.”
Neil Genzlinger is a writer for the Obituaries Desk. Previously he was a television, film and theater critic.

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