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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.

A Las Vegas Saskatchewan Smackdown!

Anywhere, Saskatchewan.

Co-director Colin Brunton is holed up for a month in an hotel in Regina, Saskatchewan meticulously grinding through the current six-hour cut (!) of The Last Pogo Jumps Again:  A Biased And Incomplete History Of Toronto Punk Rock And New Wave Music Circa September 24 1976 To December 1 1978, while counterpart and co-director Kire Paputts is living large in lurid Las Vegas with lady friend Liz Worth. (Wow! So many ells!)

Drunk photography, Las Vegas, Nevada.

While Kire takes a breather from what seems to be a never-ending quest to interview everybody who was part of the Toronto/Hamilton/London, Ontario punk/new-wave/alternate music scene slash this slash that, Brunton is alternately guzzling tap water and ordering room service, determined not to glimpse the light of day this weekend, scheming up plans for a couple of hired-gun TV series this fall, catching up on some reading (Jack Reacher rules!) and trying to stick to his Toronto body clock, which means hitting the sack at ten and getting up at six.  It almost makes him feel like he should go jogging or something, but that ain’t gonna happen.   And frankly, the sight of a 55 year old man with a Viletones t-shirt huffing down past the endless big box stores of Regina is not something you’d want engrained in your memory.   With fourteen fourteen hour days of location shooting on a TV series looming, quick evenings are devoted to making notes on the edit, and whittling down the list of Those Who Still Need To Be Interviewed.  Yes, there’s still a few more.   Hey — we want this to be complete, okay?!

Last week Kire hit London Ontario and chatted with NFG frontman Scott “Steve R Stunning” Bentley, who talked about forming NFG in late ’78 (therefore fitting into to our strict timeline) and getting a couple of opening gigs for that other band in London, The Demics.   During the shoot, they ran into Mike Niderman (sp?), who pretty much got The Demics started by convincing them to play their first gig at his loft in 1977.

Torme, not Torment.

That evening Kire set up shop at the apartment of Joey Hardin, former spiritual advisor to The Swollen Members, where he interviewed Joey and SM lead-singer Evan Siegel, a.k.a. Mel Torment, a pseudonym we’ve just discovered that John Lennon used once.   Joey slipped on his thirty-year-plus old leisure suit and demonstrated a few dance moves, and he and Evan cracked wise for a couple of hours.  In a way, The Swollen Members are a big part of why we’re taking so fucking long to make this movie.  Yea, there’s the thing about doing this on weekends, and agonizing over people’s schedules, and convincing others that they are Completely Worthy and are necessary to tell this story.  And this all costs money, yo, so some of us have to work to buy tapes and gas and transfer grainy footage and rent cars and buy lunches and all the other things that go into making a feature film project.  But what has always bugged us here at Pogo H.Q. is that when people think of “Toronto Punk”, they immediately think Viletones Curse Diodes Teenage Head Mods Poles Dents, and you fill in your personal blanks.  There was so much more.  And bands like Swollen Members just seem to be forgotten.   And they shouldn’t be.  They were audacious and awesome and alarming and always, always antertaining (wow! so many ays!)

And speaking of alarming and audacious and awesome, more respect yo, for The Scenics.  For those of you who are into porn, but are scared to buy real porn, and instead buy those “Man’s Magazines” that are, well, mostly soft-core porn — check out the latest issue of UMM (Urban Male Magazine — sorry guys in rural areas, you can’t relate apparently), and you’ll see a tasty review of The Scenics’ 2010 release Sunshine World.  They said this:  “One of Canada’s unsung heroes of first-gen punk, The Scenics reacted to slinky art-rock made popular by New York acts such as Television, The Velvet Underground, and other Warhol-esque colleagues. However, with their sublime understanding of pushing boundaries without sacrificing grooves, their low-fidelity creations are exercises in tight, post-garage accomplishments.
Celebrated on this first ever compilation of their studio works, Sunshine World provides another case in point as to why The Scenics deserve merit for being as innovative as they were- (and now are, given their reunion)- impressive.”

Monday, Kire was back in London to talk to Dan Hamilton and get some more insight into the scene in London, Ontario, and will be back again to chat with Mr. Niderman.  Okay, gotta run.

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