Friends of a renowned Toronto piano player who’s been missing for over a month are looking to spread the word about the man’s disappearance.
George Scott Cushnie, also known as Scott Cushnie, was last seen on Aug. 7 at his home, an apartment building catering to seniors, in Toronto’s east end near King Street East and River Street.
The 80-year-old man, who is legally blind, was reported missing on Aug. 29.
LISTEN: Mitch Lewis on the disappearance of George Scott Cushnie
Mitch Lewis, a fellow performer and former bandmate, told Global News Radio 640 Toronto host Tasha Kheiriddin on Wednesday that it was not unusual for Cushnie to not return phone calls right away.
They didn’t know he was missing until around Aug. 20, when another friend, Andrea Reid, showed up at his home and he wasn’t there.
“His Meals on Wheels hadn’t been cancelled, and he was very good about doing that if he went anywhere, and his wallet and most of his personal effects were still in the apartment,” Lewis said. “The only thing that we know that he has is a light, sort of mustard yellow windbreaker on and I would assume his house keys are in the pocket.”
In an interview with Global News, Reid said it was later discovered that Cushnie’s debit card — which he preferred over cash due to his vision — hadn’t been used in about two weeks.
On the night Cushnie was last seen, a rainstorm caused flooding and power outages in the Greater Toronto Area.
Reid said friends have canvassed the neighbourhood to put up posters and search for video camera surveillance that may have captured Cushnie on that night.
“So many people have security now, so did somebody catch him just walking by?” she said. “Even if we got a glimmer of him at some point in that night.”
Cushnie — known as Professor Piano — is a well-known musician who has played with the likes of Ronnie Hawkins and Aerosmith.
“He played on Toys in the Attic, which is arguably one of their premiere records. He played with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks — he’s actually responsible for bringing Robbie Robertson to the Hawks,” Lewis said.
“As a musician, Scott is just — he’s a genius and he’s incredible,” Reid said.
Lewis said Cushnie did not have issues with memory or cognition and is in “fine physical shape.”
“He’s funny and erudite and just the same ol’ prof,” Lewis recalled from a recent meeting.
Cushnie is described as six-feet tall with short, grey hair and a medium build. He usually wears dark glasses.
With files from Tom Hayes