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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.

Viliam Hrubovak/Jolie Fejer photos, and thanks for dropping by.

After eight shows in one week at the Big Picture Cinema in Toronto’s east end, our first run has come to a close.  We got a ton of great press, but more gratifying was the reaction we got at the theatre:  applause every night;  no walk-outs;  and people pleasantly surprised that a 3 hr 20 minute movie could move so fast.  As Less Lee Moore of Popshifter said:  “It’s all killer, no filler.”  The filmmakers were at every screening, and the crowds were just small enough that they were able to chat with anyone.

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Back of the t-shirt designed by Rick Trembles.  Available here.

People loved Rick Trembles‘ graphics throughout the film and discovering bands they weren’t even remotely aware of.  Jaws dropped at the shots of Toronto circa 1976, when you couldn’t buy a beer on a Sunday unless you ordered a big pile of food, but could get a blow-job at a massage parlour on Yonge Street.  And seeing the skyline of Toronto with the new CN Tower, but with no stacks of condos surrounding it.

And then there were all the people who were looking forward to seeing it, but never made it out, especially those from the west end who may have been intimidated by the thought of — God help us! — crossing the Don River and venturing into the down ‘n’ dirty east-end.  The location of the theatre was reminiscent of Queen Street West circa 1976: desolate and sketchy and devoid of passersby.

We’re going to work on some more one-off dates in Toronto and across Canada, and we’ve started planning out the DVD release, which will be jam-packed with extras:  never-before-seen interviews with Tommy Ramone, Danny Fields, Hugh Cornwell, Adny Shernoff and others; more in-depth talks with the usual suspects; crazy “easter eggs” and more.  And hey — if you went and saw the movie, it’d be great if you could give a rating on the IMDB by clicking on the link here and rating it out of ten.

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Joey Ramone, copyright Viliam Hrubovak and Jolie Fejer.

Meanwhile, we thought we’d pass on a plug for a couple of friends who supplied a couple of pics for our movie, photographers Viliam Hrubovak and Jolie Fejer.

On November 17th a new show called “One Offs” will be opening at PAMA (The Peel Art Gallery and Museum Archives) for a 2 month run, until January 5, 2014.   Viliam and Jolie will be exhibiting their revealing portraits of some of the original instigators that stoked the first bonfires of the punk rock movement.   The series, begun in 1980 by Viliam, became a shared passion when he met and married Jolie Fejer, after an auspicious introduction by David Johansen, lead singer for The New York Dolls.  Together they have not only photographed the original punks,  but have also broadened their perspective to include the individuals that were precursors as well as the continuing torchbearers of the movement.


John Lydon, copyright Viliam Hrubovak and Jolie Fejer.

Most of the images have been kept under wraps from the public.  There have been some exceptions:  a number of projects involving the estate of Joe Strummer and the limited edition autobiography of John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten of ‘The Sex Pistols’: “Scrapbook” which won the Mojo Book Of The Year award in 2012.  There were only 750 copies produced at the cost of $750. each.  Sold out.

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Joe Strummer, copyright Viliam Hrubovak and Jolie Fejer.

These images, mostly black and white, are celebrations of the talent and good times promoted by such local visionaries as The Garys who would bring in shows like The Ramones from New York and The Buzzcocks from London, along with promoting local bands such as the The Viletones.  All the work presented in “One Offs” were photographed in Toronto as the artists passed through the city.  Check out more of their stuff at their website, right here.



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