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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.

Good Girls like Bad Boys


Here’s a page from an issue of the old Pig Paper, featuring an ad for the original The Last Pogo, as well as the news that B-Girl Cynthia Ross married Dead Boys Stiv Bators.  Courtesy of our friend Gary Pig Gold.  Find more back issues right around here.


As regards the ad?  There were three changes from the original ad up to show time.  Nash the Slash had to pull out after punching a wall in his flat (above The Original 99 Cent Roxy) after breaking his violin. He found out the hard way that it wasn’t drywall:  it was solid brick.  The above poster notes one of the many concerts Nash was able to make it to at the Horseshoe.


This is the Nash the Slash tribute display at the Toronto bar Stratengers, where Nash still enjoys the occasional Labatt’s Blue.


Viletones at The Last Pogo, photo copyright Ross Taylor

The Viletones originally didn’t want to play, but according to lead singer Steven Leckie, when he found out who was on the bill he felt that they had to represent.  And when he learned there was going to be a film (on sale here) and an album made of the evening, they dropped by and got on stage.   Finally, Tank wasn’t a band at all, but the beloved bouncer and doorman know by one and all.

torana punks 1

This is the cover of the sporadic ‘zine The Ugly‘s manager Johnny Garbagecan published in March 1978.  Johnny MC’ed the Last Pogo with Margarita Passion.  Coverboys and covergirl, clockwise from top left:  Steven Leckie of The Viletones, Mickey Skin of The Curse, and Frankie Venom from Teenage Head.


Here’s a better pic of Mickey Skin, second from right at rear.  This photo by Rodney Bowes shows The Curse posing with unsuspecting Boy Scouts (not a band.)  The Curse put the irony in this blog’s title, because they were bad girls.  And good at it.

johnny garbagecan

And heeeere’s Johnny!  Photo courtesy Nora Currie.

new wave from England

And this illustrates exactly why people were compelled to get their own ‘zines out there.  The mainstream media really didn’t have a clue.  Either that, or the Hotel Isabella didn’t. (For those of you new to this blog or the Toronto scene, Teenage Head were from Hamilton, a half-hour’s drive from Toronto.)  The biggest ‘zine in town was Shades, edited by George Higton of The Existers and Sheila Wawanash.  More on that later.

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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