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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.

Imants Krumins

There’s not much we can add to the stuff that Gary Pig Gold wrote in the above article, except that Imants was a great help to our project, tirelessly answering emails and digging up obscure handbills about obscure bands.  He sadly passed away this summer.  We managed to interview him as well, back in the early (read 2007) days of our project, but frankly, he was a little nervous and we weren’t so good recording sound and the material literally won’t make the cut (but will be in one of the many DVD extras.)  And we hate to list two deaths two blogs in a row, but you’ll notice that Imants is wearing a Frankie Venom memorial shirt (see blog below) so that fits.   In any case, for those of you who can’t handle 4 pt font, here’s what Mr. Pig had to say:

IMANTS KRUMINS

Above-passionate fan, collector and champion of good music
(and Credit Risk Analyst for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce by day)

born April 6, 1952, Leamington Spa, England
died June 9, 2011, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

age 59

Like so many others around the world, my first-ever words with Imants Krumins were exchanged beneath the glorious din of some up-and-coming guitars belting
out their very first show. Imants would be near, as close to the heat as possible, not only encouraging his latest discovery but yelling heartfelt praises about and for them towards all within ear- and/or arm-shot.

But I was to learn this was more than just another night out for Imants. This was a passion. His passion. And whatever the time, place, or style of music being presented on any given night, he made sure it would soon enough become your passion as well.

Personally speaking, I had decided to start a rock and roll magazine out of my parents’ Port Credit basement in 1976. But finding little of musical value at that time worthy of expending precious typeface on, I was more than thankful Imants came my way at this precise moment. So, introductions quickly made, he led me outside to his car, placed into my hands two rare, newly imported records from amongst a hundred such gems he always carried in its trunk, and I owe the man at least one of my careers in helping me become perhaps the very first Canadian to ever write about The Saints or Nick Lowe’s Bowi.

That car, not to mention spirit and enthusiasm of Imants’ went on to play an incalculable role in kick-starting and even shaping what soon became known as the Canadian punk (rock) movement. No, Imants never played an instrument or wrote a song himself that I’m aware of (though he could always be relied upon to sing along with Metal Machine Music in a way old Lou should be more than envious of). Yet with just the simple act of being the first to drive members and fans of Teenage Head, Simply Saucer and the Forgotten Rebels out of their hometown Hamilton and in to the nascent Toronto alt. music scene, facilitating the socio-musical cross-pollination which resulted, he made a deeper and more lasting impression than Imants the mere performer, writer, or record company exec ever could have.

By the late Seventies – and it pains me to say in a way our Internet generation now takes for granted – Imants’ one-man campaign to connect the best music with the best people turned truly global as his tall, impressive frame could now be spotted outside a Kinks koncert in Buffalo, jetting to the UK to scour Portobello Road for yet more indie vinyl, or accompanying yours truly one adventurous afternoon to the ultra-clandestine San Francisco offices of Ralph Records to find out, once and for all, just who The Residents really were.

Amazingly, as many of his contemporaries unplugged, settled down and for some reason began opting for eight hours’ sleep per night, the Imants of Century 21 was still making regular jaunts to investigate the hardcore clubs of Japan, for instance, then embracing the blogosphere to report on his latest discoveries in a way he could scarcely have imagined at a Viletones show circa ’77. In fact, the last time I saw the man was over dinner at a reunion concert for The “Bird is the Word” Trashmen at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey two years ago [see photographic evidence herein]. And ever the gentleman, I had to coax him to approach the merch table afterwards in order to collect his very own seven-inch commemorative vinyl of the night. He didn’t want to “bother” the band, you see.

His was always a gentlemanly, soft-spoken and generous existence. But I know I am far from alone in knowing that because of the man and the inspiration of Imants Krumins my record collection – to say nothing of my life as a whole – is a lot, lot bigger and better for having encountered him.

See ya later then, my friend!

Gary Pig Gold.

The Forgotten Rebels wrote this on the inside sleeve of their latest CD, the terrific live album recorded in ’08, released this summer, and featuring all of your favourite Rebels tunes, including Surfin’ on Heroin, In Love With The System, 3rd Homosexual Murder and Bomb the Boats, all of which, with the exception of 3rd Homosexual Murder, written by Mickey DeSadist and Chris Houston, the Jagger & Richards to Gord Lewis and Frankie Venom’s Lennon & McCartney.  Or vice.  And versa.   (Oh — and all of which are heard in that long overdue epic punkumentary docusomethingorother The Last Pogo Jumps Again:  A Biased & Incomplete History Of Toronto, Hamilton, and London Ontario Punk Rock And New Wave Music Circa September 24 1976 To December 1 1978.)

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