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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.

Dear sweet Joey

For lack of anything interesting to post — yea, we’re almost done, waiting on final approvals on one clip (c’mon John!), a final plea to one significant scenester and singer (c’mon JP!) and a couple of tunes with assurances everything is cool, man! — here’s a lovely piece written by our pal Gary Pig Gold, writer/editor of The Pig Paper (google it) about one of our very favourite people in the History Of The Universe.  Sure, we’re a little late, because the anniversary of the sad and premature death of Joey Ramone was a couple of weeks ago, but still.   The concert was the second time The Ramones played Toronto and The New Yorker (big thanks Garys Cormier and Topp), and yea — it was awesome, and it was 1977.  Opening act The Dead Boys were a bit late hitting the stage because they weren’t finished getting their blow jobs in the make-shift dressing room in the basement.  They ended up trashing it, which a few years ago begat insistent and heartfelt apologies from Dead Boy Cheetah Chrome (keep posting those anti-Republican Facebook posts Cheetah!) as we interviewed him at a Toronto cemetary.  Of course, both bands were great, and The Ramones… well, what can you say about The Ramones.  Okay, enough of that — take it away Gary…

Late one night in very late 1976, a singer acquaintance of mine burst into the (condemned) house I was then sharing with the local bar band, shouting “You will never believe what I just saw in Toronto tonight! These four guys with Brian Jones haircuts wearing drainpipe Levis, singing all these really fast, short songs. Lots of ‘em, too! And the best part? NO GUITAR SOLOS!”

Now, this being the absolute height of Frampton Comes Alive, it’s hard to completely fathom today the socio-musical import of that final kernel of information. But of course I was hooked, and the next time the Ramones landed in Canada, I made sure I was there.

The Dead Boys were opening: Sure, Stiv was alotta fun crawling over and across the drumkit during “Hey Little Girl,” but the headliners truly were, in every aspect of the words, The Real Thing. So I duly invited myself backstage to conduct their first interview on Canadian soil, and despite nearly getting bounced for taking a snap of Danny Fields writhing beneath a fridge in search of a runaway pencil, I was made to feel totally at home by the band’s deep-rooted, deep-seeded LOVE of all things Rock and especially Roll:

Johnny’s coming-of-age watching Elvis’ Ed Sullivan Show debut as a child, Dee Dee bemoaning the fact that it was hard getting the band going “coz rehearsal halls wouldn’t let us in, ya know,” and Joey. Dear, sweet Joey. He asked all about my record collection, claimed Peter Noone and Ronnie Spector as his two primary vocal idols, then wondered where a good place was to go see some local bands play later that night.

How utterly, disarmingly refreshing, to say the least!

So we drove the R. brothers straight over to Toronto’s Crash and Burn club to see Teenage Head throttle some old Eddie Cochran and Swinging Blue Jeans tunes, ran into Phil Lynott somehow lurking by the bar, then we all went out for some classic Canadian pizza slices (…mainly crust ‘n’ cheese, Tommy was complaining). Through it all, and then during subsequent fleetful meetings, Joey remained every inch the diehard, gentle man FAN of Our Music. And despite the fact that he and his bandmates literally Changed The World, I simply prefer to remember the man instead as nothing but the tallest, and needless to say coolest Herman’s Hermits fan I ever did meet.

Joey left us on April 15, 2001.

Gabba Gabba, wherever you are.

You can read all about Gary’s night with The Ramones in his very own Pig Paper:

Pig Paper #5

 

 

 

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