Press Enter to Search

Say What?

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.

It takes a Tiny Village

Steven “Nazi Dog” Leckie of The Viletones points at food, circa ’78;  photo by Rodney Bowes.

THE LAST POGO (1978)  There’s a cool review of The Last Pogo in the current edition of the nifty webzine Tiny Mix Tapes.   They peg it a “masterful disaster-piece” and give us a sort of back-handed compliment with:   “…it’s the quick runtime that blocks The Last Pogo from reaching the pinnacle of the musical documentary form.”  Thanks for those kind words,  Jspicer.   It’s a fun site; you should check it out…glimpses of The Last Pogo were spotted in last weeks episode of Little Mosque on the Prairie, a brief cameo as the content on the TVs in a sports bar when a brawl breaks out.   It’s interesting to note that a lot of people who were connected to The Last Pogo concert and/or film found their way into the film business.  On Little Mosque alone, editor James Bredin was at the original show, as was Background Casting person Nancy Botting, and Hair Stylist Katrin Clark-Citroen, who is married to one Richard Citroen, ex of the mach-five version of The Diodes.   Mosque publicist Stephanie Keating used to munch burgers with Joey Ramone when she lived in NYC;  one of the producers is Last Pogo director Colin Brunton;  a partner in the law firm that reps some of the talent is Mods/Dead Boys/Lords of the New Church drummer David Quinton-Steinberg.

Paul Kobak unconscious on the floor of the Colonial Underground; courtesy Imants Krumins.

THE LAST POGO JUMPS AGAIN (2009)  A big huge hug to everyone that’s been showing the love lately:  Rodney Bowes is donating some of his sweet shots from back-in-the-day.  Rodney’s still a graphic designer and amongst that alarmingly generous pool of talented photographers who knocked around the punk scene in Toronto in the late seventies:  Edie Steiner, Don Pyle, Patrick Cummins, Peter Noble, Ralph Alfonso, Eddie Smith, Ross Taylor, and we’re forgetting a few more I’m sure (but it’s late, what can we say?)  Google Rodney and look at some of the cool stuff he’s been doing.

The Curse by Rodney Bowes

The Diodes with Bent Rasmussen; photo by Rodney Bowes

Writer/Director/Actor — he’s a triple threat, baby! —  Bruce Pirrie has offered up footage from his 1979 short film Ziggy: anyone who’s seen this 16mm York University film can’t forget the dialogue about “the best band on the worst album in history” (answer:  Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding, and Nicky Hopkins on Screamin’ Lord Sutch’s Screamin’ Lord Sutch and his Heavy Friends).

Local Toronto photographer Les Yatabe has offered up some photos for us (thanks!), and we’re looking forward to meeting up with Ross Taylor who took a bazillion great shots from 76 on, and who promises to let us take a look at his soon-to-disintegrate scrapbook.   Hamiltonian Imants Krumins continues to perform beyond the call of duty, and has sent us even more handbills, and we now think we’ve got jpgs of every Horseshoe Tavern handbill from that great period when The Garys booked the bands.

Chris Haight of The Viletones, 1977;  photo by Les Yatabe

Keep an eye out for the latest gigs by the always dependable The Screwed, who seem to fit a show in every week or so, and in February the CIUT radio gig for ZR04, another of the original Toronto bands from 76 – 78.

Finally, great news for The Scenics:   music critic Jeffrey Morgan has included the Scenics’ cd of live Velvet Underground covers — How Does It Feel To Be Loved — in his official Top Ten of 2008 submitted to The Village Voice in NYC.  Heady praise indeed for a band that’s been working hard for the last year with the odd gig and their studio album, to be released sometime this year, just about 32 years after they first got together in a marijuana-clouded basement of a store on Bayview Avenue.   If you click on the link to The Scenics on the right hand menu, you’ll find out more about their upcoming podcasts, and the book that singer/guitar slinger Andy Meyers is working on, Punk Haiku.

There are no comments yet, add one below.
t Twitter f Facebook g Google+