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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.

Gail Bryck photos

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When Gail Bryck took photos, she’d use a long exposure.  This is a shot of The Viletones’ Steven Leckie showing off his scars — and an unfortunate glimpse of a swastika patch on guitarist Freddy Pompeii.

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Zero4’s Zero with innkeeper of the 404 speak-easy, Gambi Bowker.  It’s as shocking now — if not more so than it was — to see how blithely people sported swastikas.  This didn’t really last long.  Raving Mojos singer Blair Richard Martin believed the swastika imagery was more of a throw-back to B-movies about bikers than it was of the Nazi regime.  In the movie CBGB, the character playing Genya Ravan is shown giving Dead Boys’ Cheetah Chrome shit for having a swastika sticker on his speaker.  And we’ve been told that none other than Kiss’ Gene Simmons gave Steven Leckie shit for wearing a swastika pendant when he visited NYC in 1977.

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The Viletones‘ bassist Chris Haight is the father of The Last Pogo Jumps Again co-director/producer and editor Kire Paputts.

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Chris Haight with “Tank” at the New Rose.  Tank’s real name was Dave Roberts, and he worked as a bouncer, roadie, and sometime bodyguard for The Viletones.  Of course, you just had to look at Dave to know not to mess with him, and he never really ever had to get tough, but we don’t think he had an enemy in the world.  The Ramones would send him birthday presents.

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The Viletones‘ guitarist Freddy Pompeii hanging out.  The studded wristband Freddy is wearing would have come from girlfriend Margarita Passion’s store/hang-out New Rose, and were sold under the counter.  The police in 1977 viewed them as deadly weapons.

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Again with the swastikas.  The Viletones’ Freddy Pompeii in action.

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The Ugly‘s lead singer Mike Nightmare staring down the barrel.  Apart from being a great frontman, Mike was an accomplished B & E artist, carried a gun, and spent a lot of time in prison.  For a while, him and pal Bill Cork lived in a crypt at Mt. Pleasant Cemetary, and were convinced that they could become invisible. He passed in the early nineties.

Girl-and-Beer

Susie and stacks of beer at the Crash ‘n’ Burn.

Fashion

The back of a ripped t-shirt worn by Johnny Garbagecan.  Johnny managed The Ugly, put out the ‘zine Toranna Punks, and did B & E’s with partner-in-crime Mike Nightmare.  Johnny is now a born-again.

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L – R, Margarita Passion, Gambi Bowker, Lucasta Ross (of the B-Girls) and Nora Currie posing in front of Margarita’s store, New Rose.

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 $5.00.

 

 

 

 

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