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Greg Bond: Bio

BIOGRAPHY

  • Greg was born on January 31, 1954 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • He attended Spruce Cliff Elementary School, Vincent Massey Junior High School and Ernest Manning High School. 
  • His earliest performances were lip-synching to The Beatles' "She Loves You" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" with his sister, Beverly, followed by several years of piano lessons and recitals.  
  • In his early teens, Greg began to learn the guitar, as well as the recorder and the saxophone. With Beverly singing back-up harmonies, the basement of the Bond home became a mini-recording studio. They practiced endlessly, learning the current hits of the day, by artists such as Peter, Paul & Mary, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Simon & Garfunkel, and Gordon Lightfoot. 
  • It was during this time that Greg began composing his own songs. Through all his years as a performer, his signature song was one that he wrote while daydreaming in class, "Funny Day Saturday." He played it at every gig.
  • Greg soon coerced his closest friends Ian Hemphill, Don Jones and Bill McCormick into acquiring their own instruments...bass guitar, flute and drums. Along with Beverly, and later another back-up singer, Bonnie Hall, they started the group PIPER. After Beverly and Bonnie moved on, the band became known as WALTER. 
  • This was the era of coffee houses and gigs at school. Greg had a lot to learn about having a large enough original repertoire to fill an evening, as well as the ups and downs of transporting sound equipment and instruments in borrowed cars. 
  • While in high school, he also got his first taste of musical theatre, starring in a 1971 Ernest Manning production of ANYTHING GOES. 
  • In 1972 he started at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Music, studying Voice with Paulina Szavredi. Ian Hemphill also attended U of C, majoring in Flute. Greg started the LONDON FOG PHILHARMONIC with Barb Hankins (who has since gone on to actual philharmonic-level performance), Keith Hunter and other talented musicians.
  • In 1973, Greg followed his high school sweetheart to Sydney, Australia, where he lived for three years, taking drama at the University of Sydney, performing in the COSMIC ENSEMBLE and touring with Jeannie Lewis.  
  • After he returned to Canada, Greg auditioned with the Calgary Theatre Singers, winning the part of Curly in OKLAHOMA and performing in several other musicals, such as JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS.  
  • In 1979 he attended the Banff School of Fine Arts in the music theatre department. The main production was CAROUSEL and he also workshopped NEIGHBOURS, a David Warrack production. 
  • In the fall of 1979 Greg made the move to Toronto and worked in many productions there, returning to Banff Centre briefly in the summer of 1980 as the first recipient of the Warrack Award (in memory of David's mother). 
  • In 1980 he met the love of his life, Irene Drazumerich; they were married in 1982.  
  • Also in 1982, he won the audition for Charlottetown Festival, where he appeared in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: THE MUSICAL and SINGIN' & DANCIN' TONIGHT, contributing an original song to the latter. Greg returned to P.E.I. for two more years, adding JOHNNY BELINDA and several other productions to his repertoire. 
  • Greg's biggest part was that of the "rock-and-roll" cat, Rum Tum Tugger in CATS (1985 to 1987), where he was a huge hit, but his popularity really soared when he starred in the POLKA DOT DOOR television series.  
  • Throughout all his years in musical theatre, Greg continued to write songs, hoping to someday produce his own full-length show. His dream finally came true on February 18, 1989, when he performed his completely original one-man showcase, HEROES, at the Factory Theatre in Toronto. Tragically, only three weeks before the show, Greg had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, and the well-received HEROES would be his last production.  
  • Less than two months later, on April 10, 1989, his family and friends were stunned when Greg lost his short battle with brain cancer. He faced his death the same way he lived...with grace and courage.  
  • Greg's last wish was that his music would be remembered, and his mother, Ruth, was determined to make that happen. She enlisted the help of Greg's old friend, Keith Hunter, who produced an enhanced master from Greg's original recordings at Keith's Breakthrough Studios in Kelowna, B.C. (We owe him a big debt of gratitude; it was no easy task, as many of the originals were recorded in Greg's home and needed a lot of work!) 
  • The resulting CD, entitled FUNNY DAY SATURDAY was released in September, 1999, in honour of a beloved husband, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend and castmate. "Good on ya, Greg...we promise we'll never forget!"