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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.

1977 Hoodlum Rockers The Ugly

Check out for more Ugly stuff

And the hits just keep on comin’.   For anyone new to this site, you should know that for the past couple of years in Toronto there’s been a bit of a surge of musicians getting together to pound out old tunes from the 1976/77/78 punk era in Toronto and Hamilton.   Some, like The Forgotten Rebels and Teenage Head have been doing it since those times, and have never let up.   Others, like The Screwed, have been having a grand old time ripping it up in various juke joints around Toronto, playing the hits that never were, but shoulda been.  Others, like The Mods have been inspired sufficiently to reform, do a few gigs, and rerecord old material in a new way.  The Scenics, never really understood at all back in the day, seem to be on a mission from the Punk Rock Gods:  they’ve already released one new CD of Velvet Undergound covers to criticial acclaim, and in the spring will venture back into a studio to rerecord some of their old chestnuts, and lay down the tracks for new tunes.  Steven Leckie tried to pull a couple of different versions of the Viletones together in the last year or so, and the results were alternately chaotic, refreshing, weird, disappointing — but rarely boring.  Much like Leckie & Company were way back when.   The Existers have gigged, Kinetic Ideals are floating the idea of playing a bit, and one of the most notorious of the bands back in 1977, The Ugly, have reformed with Greg Dick filling in for the late, great, Mike Nightmare.   The balance of the line-up is Screamin’ Sam Ferrara (Ugly/Viletones), Steve Koch (Demics/Viletones) and Tony Torture (Ugly).

Which brings me to this post.  As you can tell by the poster, The Ugly weren’t exactly politically correct, and I can’t actually recall them calling themselves Hoodlum Rock — yet it’s fitting.  Mike Nightmare and manager/buddy Johnny Garbagecan made many a trip to the hoosegow up in Kingston, and carried guns, which was unheard of back then.   The new version of The Ugly have done a couple of gigs in the last year, and are currently saving up their energy and venom for what could be the aging hipster party of the year:  the 30th Anniversary Bash of The Last Pogo, to be held at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern on November 29th.

It should be a great time.  We’ll be there with the cameras, of course, and will show (for only the second time in 30 years) The Last PogoThe Scenics, The Mods, The Forgotten Rebels, and Steve Leckie will round out the bill.  Be there.  And smile for the cameras.

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