Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Frazier Mohawk / Barry Friedman Dies – a Remembrance

June 3, 2012

frazier mohawk self portrait

frazier mohawk self portrait

Yesterday Frazier Mohawk, born Barry Friedman, died of complications from illness related to his liver, at the age of 70, in a hospital near where he lived north of Toronto, Canada. Born in Los Angeles, Frazier had moved to Canada in the early 1970s to escape and recover from the second part of his remarkably interesting career, and to return to a path he had set out on in his first short career. Frazier went from being a teenage circus performer and television producer to producing records and putting together some of the top musicians of the 1960s and 1970s – like the Buffalo Springfield, Nico, Paul Butterfield, Jackson Browne and many others – and then back again to the circus as he set up Puck’s Canadian Travelling Circus in Canada, before founding Puck’s Farm, and creating a music studio on the farm.

I met Frazier in Toronto when I was 18 and he hired me for his circus. I dropped out of that quickly, but we remained lifelong friends, and he was an influence up to today, including with my return to music in recent years, which led to the existence of this blog and my worldwide musical adventures.

I have written a personal remembrance of Frazier, outlining his life, and drawing together the threads that joined our paths over the years. Located here on this link in the same area of this web site as the story I wrote about Frazier for the International Herald Tribune in 1997, it is a personal look at one of my closest friends, Frazier Mohawk / Barry Friedman. It can also be accessed in the menu above by clicking on “Blog Articles (As Opposed to Posts). Written very quickly today to get it up immediately, I will no doubt return and add links and clean it up a little occasionally – so keep posted, and please share your own memories of this remarkable man, if you are lucky enough to have any.


  1. As a space cadet in the 70’s I landed a gig with “Puck’s Canadian Travelling Circus” as cook for the circus acts. Frazier was my boss. There were so many emergencies and beurocratic difficulties with low level government regulators and outright uprisings with the circus acts themslves, it was unbelievable. Frazier was unperturbed always. He was the most fearless and amazingly self confident person I have ever met. He believed in personal ethics even if they violated those of the smug majority. He was a heroic character and while thoroughly intimidated by him at times, I realized I was in the presence of a totally unique and indisputably brave personality.

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