The Dancing Hippy, Don Holyoak.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 thoughts on “The Dancing Hippy, Don Holyoak.

  • Bembo Davies

    I was one of the crowd of exiled dancers pushed to the periphery of the great halls of Toronto. For some reason I’m now holed up at Selma’s little homestead on the Doric Peninsula – writing a mini memoirs about My Dance Floors — see two contributions on the webpagething.

    In among the dregs of ideas, I’d pencilled your name as a street dancer brother. The google gives me both the man in person and the reference to Markson’s film (you could insert the name of John Sinclair of the White Panther party of Ann Arbour as a cooler reference than John Lennon — in his interview he recites the 10 point program through a cloud of pot smoke — of course he loses track and repeats himself.)

    It also supplies a photo worth something — may I, in the spirit of the time, put it on a short list should I seek to illustrate a snippet?


  • Julian Ayrs / aka Don Holyoak

    Heh folks!

    Yes, I was a student at Rochdale.

    My nickname was “The Dancer”.

    I was well-known for having been arrested for dancing on a police car on Baldwin Street the summer I attended Rochdale.

    Well-known lawyer – Clayton Ruby – represented me in the legal proceedings.

    It was determined that the police caused the disturbance; consequently, the charges against me were dropped.

    The whole incident was captured on camera by Morley Markson who promptly inserted the footage in his film:

    Breathing Together
    Revolution of the Electric Family

    The footage also appeared on CBC News (with a Beatle’s hit playing in the background)

    The documentary, which also featured John Lennon and Buckminister Fuller, won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

    But, I did not simply “crash” at Rochdale.

    I was a tenant and I rented a room on the 6th floor which is a well-known fact to management at Rochdale.

    My “black” room (which I decorated) was featured in “TIME” Magazine (Raquel Welch was on the cover).

    Reporters from the Canadian issue of “TIME” visited Rochdale and penned a feature on the controversial “Free College”.

    My murals also graced the walls of the 6th floor!

    My good friend Judith Merril (the little “Mother” of Science Fiction) was a well-known writer who also resided there during that time frame.

    While I attended Rochdale, Coach House Press published some of my prose. The respected book outlet had a workshop at the rear of Rochdale in the alley and was run by Victor Coleman (Editor).

    My “murals” also graced the walls in the 6th floor foyer.

    The photo above was one of thousand that photographers took of me in the streets of Toronto when I was a street performer.

    One day, Gerome Ragni – the writer for HAIR – spied me dancing on Bloor St. West and asked me to join the cast for the Toronto Production which he was directing.

    When I moved to California, I changed my name to Julian Ayrs, because casting had difficulty remembering and prouncing my last name which was Holyoak.

    I am now a well-known blogger on the Interent and a Los Angeles film critic.

    Thanks for the mention!

    Julian Ayrs
    8424 Santa Monica Boulevard
    Suite No. A251
    West Hollywood, CA


  • Max Post author

    Sounds like the name Bob used too.

    Yeah i’v seen the neg sheet these came from, It’s right right out front of my old apartment in fact, there’s a shot where you can see the old kosher dairy shop that’s where John’s Italian expanded into now. 🙂

  • Arna S

    His name was Hollyoak …I am almost sure of that, and I don’t remember his first name. He crashed in Rochdale where he was a benign exuberant personality. This shot was taken during the Baldwin Street festival, near Baldwin and McCaul. Probably 1969.