The 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.
This Friday at Sneaky Dee’s in Toronto; The Hammer on Saturday.
When Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit the New York Dolls in 1975, they started The Heartbreakers, inviting Richard Hell and Walter Lure to join in on the fun. Richard didn’t stick around too long — he started his own band Richard Hell & The Voidoids — Billy Wrath joins up, and they all have a blast in England in ’76, hanging with the likes of Sex Pistols, Damned, Buzzcocks, et al., and release their first album The Heartbreakers LAMF.
Punk Rock legend (and elder-master of the New York tribe) Walter Lure‘s coming to town, and we’re itching to interview him and fill in a few more days of our three-years-and-counting feature, tentatively entitled The Last Pogo Jumps Again: A Biased and Incomplete History of Toronto/Hamilton/London, Ontario Punk Rock from September 24, 1976 to December 1, 1978.
Walter Lure, 2007; photo copyright John Nikolai (check site on the right)
The band he’ll be playing with this week are punk rock royalty themselves. Teenage Head’s Gordie Lewis and Steve Mahon, along with drumkit-meister Battered Screwed and Blue Rodeo’d Cleave Anderson will be backing him up on Heartbreakers and Waldo stuff, and, we’re sure lots more. (Unfortunately, no Teenage Head tunes; speaking of which, wow — it’s been almost a year now…)
Frankie Venom, R.I.P., photo Ross Taylor
And if that ain’t enough, Toronto’s own darling, the legendary B-Girl Cynthia Ross will be killing the bass for her new band New York Junk, check them out on the link on the right. Turning the Wayback Machine to 1978, here’s Cynthia with former main squeeze Stiv Bators along with Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and his main squeeze, the allegedly schizophrenic Nancy Spungeon, not long before her murder and Stiv’s O.D., the inevitable Altamont (or at least a striking puncuation mark) of that first big wave.
Sam Ferrara with Cynthia Ross, B-Girl, New York Junk, ex-Stiv Bators’ main squeeze; photo Kevin Lamb