In the short film The Last Pogo (1978), the first question asked of the band Teenage Head is "Do you guys think you'll be doing this in five years?" Twenty eight years after the infamous Toronto concert in 1978, the only band still playing are Teenage Head. See more »
Toronto, the City Of Churches. Toronto, The Good. Toronto, the conservatively sleepy city on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Bull! The 70's saw Toronto getting interjected with some truly avant garde ideas in some unusual and/or remote areas. The AGO, The Ontario Science Center, Ontario Place, and the famed CN Tower - in the middle of a rail yard at that time. Yet, most Torontonians were ho-hum about all this. Something to take in on a Sunday maybe, as one certainly couldn't shop on that day. And back to the palatial estates in Rosedale, Forest Hill, Bridal Path, etc. And somehow totally blind to the industrial areas west of University Ave. Regent Park project east of Yonge St. Vice central at Yonge and Dundas, and the modern giants of business and commerce going up at King and Bay St. Toronto of the 70's was in a subversive flux before anyone knew what 'punk rock' was. So thus it was the ideal breeding ground for some very angry, arty, sexy, and controversial bands to emanate from, or migrate to. For all the hype of New York, and London, and Los Angeles and all, Toronto was the DIY city that really didn't care about the other metropolis and they're trends. The burgeoning underground music scene was truly a community unto itself. And if any of it spilled onto Yonge St. or University Ave. it was beaten back by Rush fans, Metro Police, and little old ladies with blue hair on their way to church. Yet, it didn't stop these bands. In fact, it probably gave them more energy and reason to lash out. Something was a bubbling on Queen St. And it certainly wasn't any heavy metal scum from Scarborough. Yet, for many of these bands drawing national and international attention, unifying with New York to support or headline in front of their renowned bands, and being the flame and the fodder for television media like The New Music, and birthing Much Music with crossover videos from City Limits to mainstream rotation. It suddenly became all for not. Toronto ebbed into a 'sports center', a 'merger mecca', a 'developers playground', and in a oxy moronic way deemed itself a 'world class city'. I'd say it was these bands, and their underground spirit that put Toronto on the map. That made Toronto as unique in it's own right as NY, LA, and London. And for it all, they are collectively regarded as 'The Forgotten Gerbils' today. But this film definitely gives them their dues, and gives the 'then and now' philosophies of many of them. These weren't just dumb kids looking for sex, drugs, and rock and roll. These were people out to explore new sounds, styles, standards they made for themselves. A great historical account of the 70's scene without bias, judgement, or grandstanding it's value. The scene happened, developed, survived as best it could, and died for numerous reasons. But the music lives on, and thanks to this film - will hopefully live on better for decades to come.
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