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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.

Babies Run My World

Cardboard Brains photograph by Vince Carlucci

After having interviewed Cardboard Brains‘ lead singer and co-founder John Paul Young a few years ago, we were dismayed to receive a passionate letter from John Paul expressing his desire to not have any of the Cardboard Brains’ songs in the movie.

Photo by Vince Carlucci;  John Paul is the one with the blurry fingers.

Out of respect for JP — and since we’d need his permission anyways — we’re now at odds as how to handle the (excellent) Brains sequence in our movie.  But that’s just a challenge.  With both filmmaker and former manager Tibor Takacs as well as songster Sally “Androids” Cato extolling his (in their words) mad genius, JP’s reluctance to remain involved somehow makes him even more enigmatic, but that might just be us spinning.

Photo of Nardwuar by William Jans at wrjphoto.com

We might have to be content to watch Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada’s own Nardwuar the Human Serviette sing his Evaporators‘ song Cardboard Brains, about, you guessed it, Cardboard Brains. Maybe its fitting that there is no Cardboard Brains music in the film.

Fred Friths’ soundtrack to Peter Mettler’s The Top of His Head.

As equally interesting as JP’s career as a singer and frontman was his acting career.  The only time Pogo filmmaker Colin Brunton was cajoled into being a first A.D., he had to organize a scene with John Paul Young in experimental filmmaker Peter Mettler‘s film The Top of His Head.   For you film geeks out there, the shot was a challenging non-stop ten minute (i.e. as long as the roll of film was) dollying shot of John Paul in a used-car parking lot trying to sell a car.  John Paul, of course, was hilarious and nailed it.  Brunton’s ad’ing abilities were similarly hilarious, but he hardly “nailed it” — he was fired twenty minutes later.

Years later John Paul would act in another Peter Mettler film, Gambling Gods and LSD, playing a character who spoke of his addiction to heroin.

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