Toronto is an amazing city – we all know that – but its history is something that remains relatively unknown.
But here’s something that will blow a lid off of the city’s early music scene.
The Last Pogo Jumps Again is a look at Toronto’s punk scene in the seventies. Co-directed by Colin Brunton and Kire Paputts, the film studies the city’s musical evolution from sub-sub-sub-culture to New York City to the North. It’s gritty, unapologetic and completely raw.
Over the six years it took to make the three-hour-long documentary, Brunton and Paputts tracked down bands like The Diodes, The Viletones, B-Girls, Teenage Head, Curse, Nash the Slash, and many, many, many more, as well as infamous Toronto promoters the Garys (that is, Topp and Cormier), fans and others involved in the budding scene. Together they relived the good ol’ days, explaining how their collective passion for creating music helped build one of the best music scenes in North America.
Beginning with the Ramones’ first Canadian performance at the New Yorker theatre, and culminating in the The Last Pogo showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern (which ended in a riot), the film offers an in-depth and wonderfully blunt look at Toronto – back when the Horseshoe was in a seedy neighbourhood and condos were few and far between.
But The Last Pogo Jumps Again is much more than a historical chronology. The filmmakers delve into what it means to be an outsider and even tackle drug abuse that, unfortunately, tore some of those same bands apart.
The documentary – released in 2013 – was six years in the making, and it shows. The attention to detail, the composition of the film, and the overall emotions played out are so carefully planned that you’ll walk away having run the gamut on human emotions, and feeling inspired.
And, in case you’re wondering what the heck a pogo is, let Debbie Harry explain it to you.
For more on The Last Pogo Jumps Again – like where to get your copy, which will come with almost two hours’ worth of extras and the coolest booklet you’ll own – visit www.thelastpogo.net.