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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.

Vice. And versa.

When former Viletone Steven Leckie took to the stage at The Last Pogo 30th Anniversary Bash at the Horseshoe Tavern back in 2008, he told the audience (to paraphrase via shoddy memory) that he could “…quote more lines from A Clockwork Orange than things my father told me.”

In one of the three interviews we did with Leckie for our soon-to-be-completed project The Last Pogo Jumps Again, he also said that the short-lived 1977 club Crash ‘n’ Burn was “…like our own little Milk Bar.”

Leckie likely had witnessed this cinematic ultra-violence at the New Yorker and Original 99 Cent Roxy Theatres. (Hey, American friends — that’s how we spell “theaters.”)

Nash the Slash‘s first appearance was at Gary Topp‘s rep movie theatre The Original 99 Cent Roxy around 1973 when he performed a live soundtrack to the Dali/Bunuel film Un Chien Andalou.   A few years later, in 1977, Roxy usher Colin Brunton would mimic the infamous razor-across-the-eye gag in his short film Bollocks, (which also featured The Viletones and The Ugly), substituting a safety pin and a cow’s eyeball for a razor blade and a sheep’s eyeball.

Around the same time Nash the Slash would move into the flat above the Roxy, becoming a sort of Phantom of the Roxy.

Poster for an unfinished Dali film that was to be the third in a trilogy started by Un Chien Andalou and L’age D’or.

After Bollocks Brunton made The Last Pogo and has now been working on The Last Pogo Jumps Again:  A Biased And Incomplete History Of Toronto, Hamilton, and London Ontario Punk Rock And New Wave Music Circa September 24 1976 to December 1 1978 for the past five years.  Pristine dubs of The Last Pogo and Bollocks have been struck for use in the new film.   (For film nerds out there, fancy-ass and pricey Technicolor Labs didn’t know what “A” and “B” rolls were;  kids these days, huh?)

Smoking a joint and watching Amos Poe and Ivan Kral‘s film Blank Generation at his New Yorker Theatre in 1976 inspired Gary Topp to build a stage and start booking bands.   A little more than three months later the stage was set for an amazing string of shows.

Wow, spell much?

One of the staples of both The Original 99 Cent Roxy and The New Yorker, Performance was the film that included (supposedly) real sex and drug use, and which also famously fucked up actor James Fox for years.

This handmade (i.e. hand-lettered and drawn, no computers, no Letraset) poster from 1972 was made by artist John Pearson, and courtesy of Gary Topp.

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