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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.

The Ludovico Technique


Last weekend we spent a few hours going over some of the hundreds of hours of footage we’ve compiled since starting to shoot The Last Pogo Jumps Again three years ago — and this not counting the equally humungous pile ‘o’ footage that co-director Aldo Erdic has, nor the batch of footage we’ve dug up from other filmmakers and broadcasters.

Compelling, hilarious, occasionally heart-breaking — and with lots of interesting chatter, we certainly have enough stuff for a feature — but are greedy for more.   But as much as we’re intent on continuing to search for more footage of Toronto, the “talking heads” aren’t as static as we’d originally feared.   We’ve been in contact with various Toronto filmmakers who were active back in the late seventies, and still trying to grab as much footage as we can to make our deadline of finishing this sucker sometime in 2010 (hey, good things take time.)  As we’ve noted before, Toronto was and is rich in some pretty great artists, filmmakers and photographers and so hats off to all of you. (You know who you are.)


For 99% of the Toronto rock audience, Toronto 1977.

We’re not just looking for any super-8, 16mm, and/or video footage of bands from ’76 – ’78, we’re on the hunt for virtually any footage of Toronto back then.   Local filmmaker Alan Zweig has joined the fray lately and is crawling through his attic looking for some 16mm footage of — whoo-eee! —  Yonge Street from 1976;  King of Super-8 John Porter is chatting with us about some way-cool pixellated stuff he shot;  today documentary master Ron Mann has filled us in on some stuff he shot in 1978.   This stuff is gold.


It’s the kind of footage we’d run underneath someone’s interview, and we’ll be able to remind ourselves just how many people back then had mullets, flares, and cowboy boots.     We’re not so much deep-pocketed, but at the least we can promise you a snazzy 21st century DVD dub, and you get your name in the credits of a bona-fide motion picture.  Home movies, commercials, industrials, errors, omissions, whatever — we need your stuff!


Voyage par la route! This weekend Kire Paputts packed up the Pogomobile and headed off to Montreal for some R & R, and to spend sometime with Bongo Beat’s Ralph Alfonso.   We hope to get Ralph to fill in the blanks on some questions we have about The Diodes, his publication of Liz Worth’s “oral history of Toronto Punk and beyond”, Treat Me Like Dirt as well as our usual inquiries. (Six degrees of separation note:  the cover graphics of Treat Me was done by Marc Duboisson who in the mid nineties was on a couple of awesome East York Little League ball-teams, ineptly coached by Last Pogoer Colin Brunton.)  Cover photos by the one, the only, the Don Pyle, who is also the young dude on the cover, and edited by Gary Pig GoldCha-cha-cha!


At The Last Pogo 30th Birthday Bash in November 2008, original Viletone (and one of the first founding fathers of Toronto punk) Steven Leckie spoke of the huge influence Gary Topp, The Garys, and Gary Topp’s rep movie theatres the Original 99 Cent Roxy and New Yorker Theatre had on him.   With a creaky memory (and not having instant access to the footage), to paraphrase Leckie:

“I remember more lines of dialogue from A Clockwork Orange than I do things my father told me.”

This seemed appropriate to mention, since yesterday staffers at Pogo H.Q. were feeling a twinge of the old ultra-violence when it came to our attention that something in NYC called Radio Silence had arranged the Toronto Weekend, a screening at an undisclosed Toronto location of punky films Not Dead Yet and The Last Pogo.  And we hadn’t been informed, which is beyond rude.   However, Nathan from Radio Silence sent us a note this morning, and they are innocent!   (We’ll post later about the conclusion to the confusion.)


The staff at Pogo H.Q. contemplate visiting Radio Silence people in NYC.

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