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pogo2posterFINAL2The Last Pogo Jumps Again studies the evolution of Toronto from small town to big city and it’s pop/counter-culture lifestyle during the early and mid-70s.  It centers around the first wave of Toronto punk rock and new-wave music, from the Ramones playing the New Yorker Theatre in ’76 through the police shutting down Teenage Head and causing a riot at the Horseshoe Tavern’s infamous “The Last Pogo” concert in December 1978.

London had the Sex Pistols, New York had the Ramones, but Toronto had a punk movement all it’s own.  The Toronto landscape by the late ’70s was forever changed with the infusion of the DIY/Punk/Alternative Culture(s) movement.  Six years in the making, The Last Pogo Jumps Again successfully explores the whys and wherefores of what was arguably one of the most exciting but misunderstood movements in Toronto’s history.

The DVD contains the 204 minute documentary, plus over a 100 minutes of added material, and a snazzy 24-page booklet.  Check the Shop for details on where you can purchase it.

The Last Pogo (1978) is the documentary that chronicled the last punk rock show at the Horseshoe Tavern when it was run by legendary Toronto promoters The Garys (Topp and Cormier) featuring The Scenics, Cardboard Brains, The Secrets, The Mods, The Ugly, The Viletones and Teenage Head. The Last Pogo was released on DVD in 2008 to great reviews.  Available at the Shop.

1976’s okay

1976 was the year that Toronto finally started to shake off its lingering image as a conservative, boring small town trying to be a big city.  For lack of a better phrase, it was the year that Toronto began to feel — here it comesworld class.   Think back on the things that happened then:  The Worlds Largest Phallic Symbol, the CN Tower was completed…

The Festival of Festivals, which would later be called TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) started.  One of the theatres used was the New Yorker, run by promoter Gary Topp.  On the first day of the Festival, the big-wigs phoned all the theatres and told them that due to unanticipated demand, the special $50 Student’s pass was no longer valid after 6:00 p.m.  True to his nature and integrity, Gary Topp basically told them to piss off.  Theatre manager (and now co-filmmaker of The Last Pogo Jumps Again) Colin Brunton recalls getting a phone call from Henk Van der Kolk, head of the Festival (along with Bill Marshall and Dusty Cohl) and simply reiterated what Topp said:  “Hey sorry, but you advertised that students could get into any screening, so that’s what we’re doing.”  The Festival of Festivals never asked The New Yorker to participate again.

1976 also marked the year that The Toronto Blue Jays would be welcomed into the MLB.   But the best that year?

The best was on September 24, 1976 when New York’s The Ramones hit the stage of the New Yorker for the first time, playing three blistering sets over two nights — about 40 minutes each, 20+ songs each set — and kick-starting a new music scene that rivaled those of London and New York.  We’d argue that Toronto’s scene was more interesting, because no one expected anything so cool to come of this sleepy little burg.

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