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It was March of 1987 and 27-year-old budding impresario David Lavin won a 3-year million-dollar sponsorship program from the Toronto Star to promote a series of lectures without any editor

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It was March of 1987 and 27-year-old budding impresario David Lavin won a 3-year million-dollar sponsorship program from the Toronto Star to promote a series of lectures without any editorial caution from the newspaper. Headliners in the program included Hunter S. Thompson, Noam Chomsky, and a ‘70s themed drug culture discussion that imported Eldridge Cleaver, Timothy Leary and Abbie Hoffman as guest speakers. Joanne Smale (seated between Cleaver and Leary) was the lead publicist for the event that was an immediate sell-out. She recalls not remembering too much about the after-show dinner party at an Italian restaurant but listened intently. Lavin is on the opposite side with glasses on and, sadly, Abbie, seated directly across from Smale, is obscured in this picture. Lavin’s account of this night can be found in paras 8 and 9 here.  


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Seated either side of Smale are former political activist turned Republican candidate Eldridge Cleaver and Timothy Leary who by this time had shaken his messianic promotion of LSD and become a proselytizing computer geek.

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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