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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.

Typical Grrrls


Photo by the amazing Rodney Bowes that warrants more than an italicized sub-title

Now, that’s what I call a fucking photograph: The Curse’s Mickey Skin sporting her lobotomy scar;  Dr. Bourque cosying up to Sam FerraraTrixie Danger;  Deborah “Blondie” Harry, The Diodes’ Paul Robinson;  to the right of Blondie, Patsy Poison and The Diodes’/SecretsJohn Hamilton.


Today the Pogomobile loaded up co-directors Kire Paputts and Aldo Erdic and descended on a home just east of the Don River to visit with The Curse, Toronto’s first all-girl punk band (the B-Girls following soon after.)


Patsy Poison, Teenage Head’s Steve Mahon, Trixie Danger;  photo by Rodney Bowes.

Infamous for crazy live shows, provocative lyrics, and totally embracing the Ramones-inspired ethos that you didn’t have to know how to play an instrument to be a musician, Patsy Poison, Dr. Bourque, Trixie Danger and lead-singer Mickey Skin were Toronto’s  The Curse, one of the world’s first-wave all girl punk bands.


Teenage Heads Steve Mahon, Patsy Poison, Trixie Danger.. and Mike Dent pissing;  photo Rodney Bowes

Their first gig was opening for The Viletones at the Crash ‘n’ Burn in 1977; a month later they shared the stage of NYC’s CBGB’s with The Viletones, Diodes and Dents;  and their last gig was headlining Max’s Kansas City in NYC.

Viletones - C&B - Curse first show

They had balls.

According to the blog Model Citizen…Zero DisciplineIn December of that year (1977), The Curse accompany a group of members from CEAC to a Detroit art gallery, as guest performers.  In a bizarre post-show piece, the girls are asked to line up against a wall while being shot at with a pistol by a performance artist, while she sings “Happiness Is Warm Gun”, by The Beatles.


The Curse were one of the most overlooked bands from back in the day as evidenced by the lack of information on them on the Internet.  So we were pleasantly surprised to find out that a Trent University student wrote a discourse called (excuse me while we slip on our tweed jacket and adjust our bifocals):  “Local Scenes and Dangerous Crossroads:  Punk and Theories of Cultural Hybridity.”


Heavy company.   This was published by The Cambridge Press, which puts the “old” in old-skool (this joints been around since 1584.)  The article starts off with a zinger:  “Against theories of cultural hybridity and disembodied flows of recorded media…” and goes on from there.   In the paper, author Alan O’Connor notes that “Many of The Curse’s songs deal with sex and exploitation.   Writing in the Globe and Mail, Kay Armitage said: ‘Their sound, with its high pitched screeching vocals, is entirely different from that of the male punk bands, and that’s clearly part of their appeal. Through their lyrics, appearance and performance style,  The Curse present themselves as tough, strong, aggressive young women working  in an idiom that’s new and open enough to accommodate them’. However, an  article in The Varsity in October 1977 said that in spite of their macho put-on, the Curse would like it known that they are not dykes.

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