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Linked simocoe.com article below. All the way back from August, but there's some really cute stuff about Drew's childhood and, to borrow a favorite tag, may induce diabeetus :)


Music has always been in Drew Wright's blood.

Drew Edward Wright was born on Oct. 5, 1979 in Toronto to parents Ted and Anne-Marie Wright but the family moved to Collingwood in 1985. Drew has one sister, Melissa, who is three years his elder.

"Myself and Drew were always best friends," Melissa said.

Anne-Marie said she had plenty of family connections in the community as her mother was a member of the well-known Stoutenburg family and her aunt was a member of the Brock family.

"It was a better place to raise a family," she said.

Ted was a musician, as he had been playing in bands since he was 16 and Anne-Marie was always a singer. She said music was always important in the Wright household, as whether it was her or Ted, or Ted's father, somebody was always singing.

"If Ted wasn't singing to them, I was singing to them," she said.

Ted said two of his son's favourite songs were Sweet little Suzy and We will roll.

Anne Marie recalls that her son - who would later play in the alternative rock band Malleus - always had his favourites. He especially enjoyed the rock n' roll revival act known as Sha-Na-Na.

"When Drew was a little guy, about two years old, his favourite band was Sha-Na-Na and his favourite singer was Bowzer (Jon Bauman)," she recalls.

Anne Marie said her son was also a country music fan when he was a youngster, especially for The Gambler, a song made famous by Kenny Rogers.

"I remember we took Drew to a Canada Day parade when he was about three and all of a sudden, Drew went ballistic. He was so excited, jumping up and down, so excited. There was a gentleman in the parade who looked identical to Kenny Rogers. He just about had a heart attack."

The Canadian Idol contestant's first experience with a musical instrument came when he was two. "For his second birthday, my dad gave him a ukulele and he slept with that thing," she said. "We had pictures of him sleeping on that guitar."

As a youngster, Drew's parents said he was "inquisitive," "interesting," and willing to try anything.

Anne Marie said when she would watch her kids and her nephew she always had to keep a keen eye on her son.

"I could put Drew out in the backyard and it would be all over," she said. "Drew figured out he could get out over the fence with the snow bank the way it was."

She said Drew was never shy about his love for music. Anne Marie said even as a five-year-old Kindergarten student, her son was a performer.

She said Melissa came home after Drew's first day of Kindergarten and told her mother that Drew got in some trouble for standing on a chair and singing Under My Thumb by the Rolling Stones.

"I asked Drew what happened and he said, 'the teacher made me sing the baby songs, I told her, only if I could sing one of my songs.'"

Even as he got older, she said Drew was always drumming or singing in class.

Anne Marie said he wasn't really bothering any of the other students and it wasn't going to take away from his work, so she wasn't going to tell him to stop.

"I didn't want to ruin his spirit," Anne Marie said.

Ted said while his son played hockey and other sports, his focus was music. Anne Marie can recall her mother looking at Drew staring out a window and she asked him what he was thinking about.

"Grandma I only ever think of music," he said.

Drew attended Admiral Collingwood Public School and was a member of the school band under the tutelage of Brian Hamlin.

He took up the drums at about age 12, but was always involved in the arts, including taking tap dance lessons for a year.

"We tried to encourage, but we never pushed it," she said. "We offered him everything and let him make his own choices. He is very arts-minded. Drew listens to everything from opera to heavy metal. One of his favourite singers is Nat King Cole. He appreciates the quality and clarity of his voice."

It wasn't until he was 15 that he picked up the guitar.

"He was about 15 when I taught him a few basic chords," said Ted.

Terry Geddes is a former principal of Admiral Collingwood Public School. He said his son John and Drew were good friends and he remembers him as a talented kid, who was very reserved and "non-controversial."

"I've got extremely fond memories of Drew Wright," he said. "Drew, in many ways, is a shy individual. When you deal with someone like that it makes you appreciate their efforts."

After leaving Admiral Collingwood, Drew attended CCI and enrolled in Annie Chandler's drama class. She said Wright always had his guitar with him in class.

"I remember that he always incorporated songs and music into his dramatic work," she said. "Drew would bring his guitar and we would put aside the lessons for the day and listen to him."

Chandler said one of her most memorable moments was his year-end monologue.

"I'll never forget that," she said. "He was sitting on stage with a guitar and talking about how he wanted to write music. He wasn't playing himself. He was playing a character."

Chandler says Drew has a strong stage presence and had the ability to play a host of different characters. He participated in two school plays including one based on a Dr. Seuss book and he also played the character Smee in Peter Pan.

"He's shy, but in a polite way. He was able to transform into a comic character," she said.

Chandler can remember seeing him on stage and thinking "this guy is going to go places."

"There are only a handful of those in the school," she said. "I still think he hasn't shown Canada all of his personality. I wish they would let him say more."

It was around this time that Drew started performing with a local band called Clean Dirt. He later performed in a quartet called Malleus, which won the Rock 95 Local and Loud Contest in 2006.

While at CCI, Drew was also on the school's wrestling team. Former coach and history teacher Ralph Sneyd - according to Drew's parents - called him "wiry."

Sneyd said the teenager was strong and quick.

"He had the perfect body for it," said Sneyd.

Sneyd said most of his memories were of Anne Marie covering her eyes when Drew would wrestle. "She was dead set against him wrestling," Sneyd said. "She was a basket case every time he went out on the mat."

Sneyd said Drew's love of music took him away from wrestling. He said Drew was a good student, sometimes quiet, but always felt he had talent.

"I'm watching and still voting my 500 times every week," said Sneyd. "I've watched this skinny little kid, turn into an absolutely charismatic talent."

After graduating high school, Drew got a degree in music engineering and continued to play on the local scene.

Melissa said it was after seeing him play at the Village at Blue Mountain that she felt he was going to make it.

After plugging along on the local scene, Drew decided to try out for Canadian Idol.

He felt, win or lose, it would be a good opportunity to showcase his talent to a large audience and get noticed as the show is seen by about two million viewers a week.

"I thought I'd give it a go," he said in an interview with Simcoe.com on June. 11. "It's a good way to promote yourself."

His mother gives him credit for having the courage to try.

"He has a lot to offer the music business," she said.

Melissa said it is still surreal seeing him on television every week.

"It's very strange," she said. "If it was all to do with talent, I'd say number one for sure."

Anne Marie said Drew has always had a love for music and is excited to see what he will do next.

"I remember getting up in the morning and going 'Drew, wake up,' and the next thing I would hear, is his guitar," she said. "He was laying in bed, playing his guitar. He would play, laying flat on his back and it sounded amazing."

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
hatemetoday_xx
21st Oct, 2008 18:34 (UTC)
"When Drew was a little guy, about two years old, his favourite band was Sha-Na-Na and his favourite singer was Bowzer (Jon Bauman)," she recalls.
I totally just "awwwwwwwwww"ed. xD

Anne Marie said her son was also a country music fan when he was a youngster, especially for The Gambler, a song made famous by Kenny Rogers.
etfbgjlrbdsfkgc v,42WEghsdlvbxj ejlrbdfoight54rbgfdvj b!!!!
THAT'S MY FAVORITE SONG OF ALL TIME EVER. *DIES*

She said Melissa came home after Drew's first day of Kindergarten and told her mother that Drew got in some trouble for standing on a chair and singing Under My Thumb by the Rolling Stones.
*GIGGLESNORT*

"Grandma I only ever think of music," he said.
*wibbles*
That. That right there. That is what I want my kid to be like.

he also played the character Smee in Peter Pan.
I. WANT. PICTURES. XD XD XD XD
I will call him Smee forever now.

While at CCI, Drew was also on the school's wrestling team. Former
ewtlfordjlkcxb v DAMMNIT, DREW. STOP GIVING ME REASONS TO LOVE YOU. HOLYFFFFFF.WRESTLERS ARE SO HOT. AND SO GAY. xD <3333

Thanks for posting this, bb! <3
timeofdying
21st Oct, 2008 18:52 (UTC)
So what I got from this:
-Drew is hardheaded.
-He has a perfect body (IAGREE).
-He loved a sport involving pointless contact with other males.

Sounds just like I imagined :P.
hatemetoday_xx
21st Oct, 2008 18:54 (UTC)
LOL. The 'perfect body' comment pretty much killed me.
timeofdying
21st Oct, 2008 18:56 (UTC)
Hey, at least they recognize ~~~perfection~~~. And yes, the ~'s were necessary.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )