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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.

Toronto punk handbills 1976 – 1978

77 Ramones

There are over 600 photographs in The Last Pogo Jumps Again, and a ton more handbills. This is the handbill for a 1977 show at the New Yorker.  You can tell that it was done with Letraset, because the lines aren’t perfect, but it was hard to figure out how they actually superimposed the photo of the cops onto the photo of the Ramones.  No Photoshop back then, kids!  This picture of the cops was skillfully cut out with an Exacto blade, and layed on top of The Ramones pic. (If you happen to visit the Ramones museum in Berlin, you’ll see this pasted up there.)


This is from a show in early 1977, and was designed The Diodes’ John Catto.  This would be one of the first handbills of that era to be done with some colour;  the colours were most likely added on by hand after the poster was printed.



A handbill for the clothing/records/hang-out store New Rose.  The handbill was created by Viletones‘ guitarist Freddie Pompeii, who also did most of the Viletones‘ handbills.   The clothing in the store was designed by owner (and Freddy’s main squeeze) Margarita Passion.  When Keith Richards got busted for heroin in Toronto in 1977, Margarita designed “Free Keith” t-shirts.  Mick Jagger was brought down to the store by limo and bought up the entire stock.


One of the first Toronto gigs for Hamilton’s Teenage Head at the Underground in 1977, the basement space of the famed jazz/blues club The Colonial Tavern.  This was designed by bass player Steve Mahon before he came up with the Teenage Head logo.


Early Viletones poster for gig at the Colonial Underground designed by Freddy Pompeii.  The Toronto Star’s Peter Goddard was one of the very few in the media that was behind the scene.

Secrets at Bev

The syringes were likely real and were probably placed on the poster and then photographed.  The Secrets were the band that Freddy, Chris Haight (father of The Last Pogo Jumps Again‘s co-director/producer/editor Kire Paputts), Motor X and ex-Diode John Hamilton formed after Freddy, Chris and Motor left The Viletones. Around this time, Freddy and Chris were into heroin.


Summer of ’77.  First gig by The Curse, the bad girls.


Toronto had the rarity of not one, but two all-female bands.  As The B-Girls’ Cynthia Ross explains in the film, they got their first gig at the Crash ‘n’ Burn before having a name, any songs or knowing how to play their instruments.  In their entire career, they would always borrow equipment, even when touring with The Clash.  Some regarded The B-Girls as former groupies, but as Lucasta Ross says in the film “It wasn’t that we were groupies, we were more like…social facilitators.”  While The B-Girls were poppy and fun, The Curse captured the spirit of punk, and truly tried to do anything to offend everybody.  As well as write some great tunes.



The Last Pogo Jumps Again‘s co-director/producer Colin Brunton worked at the Horseshoe when The Garys ran it, and even though his job wasn’t defined, he made all the handbills.


The guy in the picture was rumoured to be a high-school photo of promoter Gary Topp of the famed The Garys.  The look of the guy was changed for each handbill i.e. Cowboy Mouth = put a big mouth on the guy.  Look closely and you’ll see a listing for first North American gig by The Police.  And yes, it’s true:  there really were no more than a dozen or so people at each of The Police’s gigs there, and no, we’re pretty sure you weren’t there.  The Garys weren’t just into punk:  Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, The Original Sloth Band and more played.  The Garys only booked who they wanted to see, and the same audiences who would come out to see The Dead Boys and Suicide were the same people who would come and see Sun Ra.


Crosses across eyes = Dead Boys.


Sunglasses = Teenage Head.  (Yes, it was a stretch.)


Sunglasses w/slightly shorter hair = Teenage Head again.


No changing the guy this time.


Sunglasses + top hat = Nash the Slash.


Big hair and lipstick = The B-52s.


Blacked-out eyes + dripping blood = The Dead Boys.

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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