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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.

Edie Steiner Pix


We had a lot of support from the community putting together our film The Last Pogo Jumps Again.  One of our pals, photographer Edie Steiner, gave us a bunch of shots she did at the original Last Pogo concert from December 1 1978.  (There are about 600 photos in the film;  here’s some of them.)  This first shot is the aftermath of the concert, when the cops kicked everybody out.  If it were in colour, the cop car would be yellow.


The Cardboard Brains‘ lead singer John Paul Young.  Like the Viletones, they were reluctant to be part of the show — they didn’t want to be lumped in and labelled “punk” — but changed their minds.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to secure a decent interview with John Paul for the new movie, and cut out anything at all about this band.  (Sorry, Vince!)


Freddy Pompeii, front man and harp player for The Secrets.  This was one of their first gigs after splitting from the Viletones and Steven Leckie.  In the original Last Pogo movie (available here, btw) they arrive on stage pumped full of adrenalin and dripping sweat, and that’s because they ran down Queen Street from the Black Bull Tavern where they were also playing that night.  Heroin trumped adrenalin though, and after a bust in Ottawa, Freddy flew the coop with girlfriend Margarita Passion, and settled in Philadelphia.  He completed a years long methadone program a few years ago, and just might show up for our theatrical run at the Big Picture Cinema.


Steven Leckie fronting the “new” Viletones.  His original band became The Secrets, and played on the same bill.  There is no love lost between Steven and Freddy.  Steven has yet another incarnation of the band that will play the Diamond Club in December.


The late great Mike Nightmare of The Ugly.  Lots of people thought they were the true punks.  Mike carried a gun and did time.  He froze condoms full of sperm and threw them at the audience.  Got in lots of fights.  After moving to Vancouver, where heroin was better and cheaper than Toronto, he formed The Wild Things.  One show, he slid onto the stage on his knees, pulled out a syringe from the back of his pants, withdrew some blood from his arm, and sprayed it onto the audience.  Audience left.  In ’77 or so, he and Bill “The Count” Cork slept in the alcove of a crypt for six months in Mount Pleasant Cemetary.  Died of a heart attack in the early nineties in an emergency room in Vancouver after being neglected for hours.


Lead singer Greg Trinier of The Mods.  In our film, Ralph Alfonso says they were the start of the second wave of bands in that era (76 – 78) in Toronto.  Slick and tight and sold-out shows.  The drummer for The Mods, David Quinton, has been the legal counsel for our film.  The Mods are playing their last show ever, November 9th at the Rivoli in Toronto.


Sam Ferrara playing a bass guitar he borrowed from Steven Mahon of Teenage Head while performing with the Viletones.  Probleme was that it was a left-handed bass, so Sam was essentially playing it upside down.  And the cord wouldn’t stay put. Sam used to play with The Ugly, then the new Viletones, and since then, he’s played with tons of others as well as a new incarnation of The Ugly with Greg Dick handling the void left by lead singer Mike Nightmare.  He also makes awesome metal sculptures he sells each Christmas at the Cameron Tavern.

The Last Pogo Jumps Again opens theatrically at The Big Picture Cinema at 1035 Gerrard Street East in Toronto on Friday November 1, and runs to Wednesday November 6.  There’s a 3:30 matinee on Sunday November 3, and another matinee on Thursday November 7 at 3:30.  All tix are $10.00;  the Thursday matinee is open for students and unemployed for $5.00.




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