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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.

The Toronto Archives: Just like old times

Voodoo Priest (a hougan) with Last Pogo t-shirt in Haiti;  photo by Frank Polyak

On Monday two Pogo staffers ventured out to get a handful of transition shots of Toronto to use in The Last Pogo Jumps Again.   The first one up was a shot of the city skyline, and so they went to The Docks, and discovered that it was much warmer in the Pogomobile than it was on the edge of the frozen lakeshore in minus 20 degree weather. Their nostrils felt like Trisquits.  The shot was nice enough, but what we think nails it as worthy of inclusion is that the footage is accompanied by said staff members using every variation of the “F” word as they ponder incredulously how stupid they were not to wear gloves or hats.

It was slightly less freezing fucking cold on Queen Street as they shot the building that used to house punk rock hang-out, record store and clothing place New Rose, the legendary joint o/o by Margarita Passion and Freddy Pompeii.   In a neat twist, the Pogo crew were pleasantly surprised to see that it hadn’t been turned into either a Starbucks, fitness center, or condo.   They were a few weeks late to grab a shot of the old Canary Restaurant at Front and Something; when they got there it was all wrapped in plastic, ready for, we’re sure, either sand-blasting and gentrification-in’, or a new exhibit by conceptual artist Christo.  After getting some cool shots of a boarded-up Stem Restaurant on Queen West, they headed back to Pogo H.Q. to view the footage and chill.

The next day, a rep from the R&D division at Pogo H.Q. visited the Toronto Archives, and it was just like old times.  Photos of the original theaters that evolved into the Gary Topp-run Original 99 Cent Roxy and New Yorker were discovered, then scanned, put on disc, and charged a bag of loot for.  Big thanks to Pogoer Patrick Cummins who works there when he’s not shooting his pics for getting everyone rolling.   As soon as we clear the rights, we’ll show you what the old Roxy and New Yorker looked like in the dirty thirties (surprisingly clean!)

To top off the week the gang in R&D finally tracked down a copy of the 1978 film Love at First Sight, starring a young Dan Aykroyd and an aging Roxy Theatre.   The legal division of The Last Pogo Jumps Again are starting up the paperwork.

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