Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Various Artists “Vancouver’s Punk as Fuck!, Volume 2” CD

This sequel is equally as engaging as the first with loads of current punk and hardcore bands from the greater Vancouver area. Bands like the REBEL SPELL, IMPEDERS OF PROGRESS, the NEO NASTIES, and the JOLTS that you might have heard before. No disappointments for this lot’s contributions. There are bands like SYSTEM SHIT that recently re-located to the west coast and also deliver the goods. Then there are bands that I have never heard before like the POGS and the REMEDIALS who just blow me away. There is girl group inspired garage punk in bands like the ISOTOPES. There is straight forward driving garage-core like the GUNG HOs. There is stoner rock inspired punk like BISON BC. There is ripping grind like the GOLERS. There is early American hardcore material by CREEPING HAND. Some DAYGLOS inspired drunk core in MR. PLOW. There is catchy melodic punk like JONES BONES. Just loads of different styles of punk for you to check out. The songs on here are:
1. The Rebel Spell - I am a Rifle
2. Raised by Apes - Calico
3. Impeders of Progress - I Hope you Like Soup Kids
4. China Creeps - Puyallup
5. Pisstank - Cyclical Psycho
6. Picking on Toddlers - Randy's Song
7. East Side Death Squad - Blitzkrieg Advertising
8. Bison B.C. - Cancer Rat
9. Neo Nasties - Scarface
10. Loose Tooth - Be Yourself
11. The Jolts - (Baby I'm a) Loser
12. Ovary Action - Rigs in the Sand
13. Likely Rads - Hiding the Half Smoke
14. The Isotopes - Around the Horn
15. The Remedials - Close Enough for a Punk Rock Band
16. The Pogs - I sat on a Mountain and the universe Smiled at Me
17. Golers - 5 in Line
18. Jimmy Bones - Jimmy
19. The Gung-Hos - Least of My Worries
20. System Shit - Not Yer Fault
21. Creeping Hand - Life is Free
22. Mr. Plow - Drunk and Passed Out
23. Cobweb Society - Nickels and Dimes
24. The Sore Throats - Song for Money
25. R.O.C. - Retards on Caffeine
26. Bound by None - Guided by Fire
27. The Fight United - Wendy Thirteen
28. Burning Down - Padlocks, Gates, and Fences
29. The Wrecktals - 99 Billion Murdered
30. Boxfiller - United

Monday, February 23, 2009

Radio - Sunday, February 22, 2009

click here for a mp3 download

TEENANGER - Minimum Wage (Telephone Explosion)

Studio 3 Session
TEENANGER - Cheap Thrills (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Junkyard Wife (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Homecoming Queen (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Carole Pope (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Brain Hiccup (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Girls for Days, Legs for Miles (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Minimum Wage (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Lebanese Lightning (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Interview (CIUT)
TEENANGER - Dr. Uggs (Telephone Explosion)

Top 10 – Newbies in 2008
BIRDS OF A FEATHER - Goodness (Commitment)
BLACKOUT - Secrets (Profane Existence)
TOYOTAS - Extinction of the Nerds (Radio 81 / P Trash)
LOGIC PROBLEM - Double Crossed (Sorry State)
SMART COPS - Il Vile e Il Futuro (Sorry State)
SOTATILA - Kontrolli (Kamaset Levyt)
POSITIVE NOISE - No Hardcore (Punks Before Profits)
VILE NATION - Up All Night (Even Worse/Kangaroo)
SACRED SHOCK - For a Living (Schizophrenic)
FIX MY HEAD - Fuck Evan (Radio 81 / P Trash)

SOCIALCIDE - Will Call (Even Worse/ Kangaroo)
INSTANGD - Hjartattack (Sorry State)
AKUTARE - Inject Blues (Schizophrenic)
ZIP GUNS - Speedway (Meaty Beaty)
TAKE CONTROL - Fuck the Consequences (Commitment)
BRAT PACK - Soft Money (Dirty Faces)
DISCO VOLANTE - 1984 (Not Enough)
EMPTY GRAVE - Monotony (Absent)

LOST CAUSE - Ending Time (Self-Released)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Flyer - Saturday February 21, 2009

A Birthday party for Bad Skin's drummer, Aaron.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday, February, 15, 2009

EATING GLASS - Feed Them … (High Anxiety)

Studio 3 Session
EATING GLASS - Throne of Judgement (CIUT)
EATING GLASS - Time: the Great Destroyer (CIUT)
EATING GLASS - Beating Myself Up (CIUT)
EATING GLASS - Amongst the Wolves (CIUT)
EATING GLASS - Stressed Out (CIUT)
EATING GLASS - Throne of Judgement (Pariah)

Top 10 – Not Dead Yet 2008
999 - Gimme the World (Dr. Strange)
ARGY BARGY - Lights Over London (Captain Oi!)
OUT COLD - I’m a Cutter (Kangaroo/Even Worse)
STATE - White Mare (Punks Before Profit$)
WORLD BURNS TO DEATH - Open Wound (Prank / HG Fact)
BLOWBACK - One Words (HG Fact)
SLANG - Ill Peace Hymn
THE RESTARTS - Koyaanisqatsi (Self-Released)
GAUZE - Track 7 (XXX Records)
NIGHTMARE - Light the Darkness

Top 10 - Around the block 2008
COLA FREAKS - Dodt Batteri (Local Cross)
IMPERIAL LEATHER - Shedding (Profane Existence)
BEAR PROOF SUIT - Past Tension
UNKIND - Arjen Juhlaa (Combat Rock Industries)
RUNNING FOR COVER - Room (625 Productions)
IRON LUNG - Autojector (Prank)
F.P.O. - If You are Free (Commitment)
VIIMEINEN KOLLONNA - Tuhat Aurinkoa (Kamaset Levyt)
DISKELMA - Distroyer (Kamaset Levyt)
DOUBLE NEGATIVE - Excited About Myself (Sorry State)

Top 10 January 2009
JUGGLING JUGULARS - E55 (Kamaset Levyt)
UNWELCOME GUESTS - Put Down Your Gun (Art of the Underground)
NO SLOGAN - Let’s Kill
CIVIL VICTIM - Modern day Slavery (Loud Blaring Punk)
BROWN SUGAR - Deportation (Feral Kid)
AVO - All My Friends are Fucked (Even Worse / Kangaroo)
ROCKET REDUCERS – Shittalker (Self-Released)

Demo Feature
SPRINGLOADED - Let Us Play Your Funeral (Self-Released)
SPRINGLOADED - I Wish You Hell (Self-Released)
SPRINGLOADED - Your Band Reminds Me of a Colonic. You Both Suck Shit (Self-Released)
SPRINGLOADED - You Say “Dirt Bag” Like it’s a Bad Thing (Self-Released)

Friday, February 13, 2009


This issue came out in February 2009 and featured an interview with Career Suicide. There was a tour diary of Imants Krumins annual pilgrammage to Japan. Johnny Bubblegum writes some thoughts on the Last Pogo reunion show. A review of Chris Walter's "Personality Crisis: Warm Beer and Wild Times". And there are reviews, show listings, and a flyer page.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Flyer - Saturday February 9, 2009

Zro4 Interview

Formed in 1978, ZRO4 was comprised of members from many early wave punk bands in the Toronto scene which included the UGLY, the VILETONES, TYRANNA, and BLUE PETER. Zero and Tony Brighton of the UGLY started up the band and they recruited Dave Joudrey on guitar and Mike Bambrick who would go on to play in the SHARKS and BLUE PETER on drums. Chris Hate of the VILETONES, Marc Gamage of the WADS / ARSON, Chick Parker and countless others would fill the ranks throughout the years. In an interview we did in 2008 with Zero and Dave we found out that ZRO4 had played almost every dive in Toronto that would give punk a chance. These places included the Turning “Learning” Point, the Pylon Theatre, The Rock (Oriental) Palace, the Horseshoe, Larry’s (a.k.a. the Head Space), the Issy, the Bev, the Cameron, the Masonic Temple, the El Mo, the Cabana Room, the DMZ and a bunch lesser known places like Scruffers, and pubs in Mattawa and Tottenham. In 1980, Chameleon Records released the song “Blood” on the “No Pedestrians” comp, but it wasn’t until the Punk History Canada comp where “Gimmie Attention” saw the light of day. This came from a number of unreleased recordings with so many great songs that Zero told us about. Photos by Anita Alksnis, Tony Brighton, Gail Bryck, Dan Huziak, Mark Leach, Wayne Maguire, Ted Russell, and Garry Vortex.

Tell us who you are and what you do in the band?
Zero (Z): I’m Zero and I sing.
Dave (D): I’m Dave and I play guitar.
Tell us how you got into punk rock?
Z: Back in 1977 my friend Jocelyn came in one night and she was throwing her arms up in the air going you have to listen to this new thing. It’s called Punk. It’s really awesome. She was friends with the UGLY. Mike Nightmare and Raymi. They were school friends. She said you have got to come to David’s. It is really cool. They have got all these really cool records. That’s how it started. She introduced me to the UGLY and I met Raymi and then he took me around to New Rose and introduced me to the CURSE and the VILETONES. I went to the Niagara rehearsal space and it was a lot of fun hanging out with all those guys back then.
D: And I just played in a punk band because I was too shitty to play in a real band. True story.
Okay but how did you get into punk rock? How did you fall into it?
Z: We called you up. I was trying to get a band together back in ’77 and I had an ad in the paper. Mike Bambrick who played in the SHARKS and BLUE PETER, had answered it. I went over to listen to him and went wow this guy is awesome. He doesn’t need any help. You answer this Dave.
D: What was the question again? How did I get into punk rock? It was probably the SEX PISTOLS. It was a nice little hit in the face from listening to SUPERTRAMP or whatever.
Was it a record you found or did you see them?
D: I just went to a friend’s house and he was playing it. I went “Holy shit this is good.” That’s how that happened.
Zero, you were also telling me that you went to high school with Blair Martin.
Z: I did. In 1972 or ’73 I went to Étienne Brulé and I was totally French. I did not speak English. Met Blair. He used to smoke under the stairs. Blair was one of the cool guys at Étienne Brulé. He knew about T-Rex. He knew about Iggy. He knew about all this really cool music that we were listening to. He would talk about it everyday. He was just really knowledgeable about what was going on. Everything that was new. It was really fun to  hang out with him.
It sounds like he was a point of exposure to you.
Z: He was definitely and he also skipped school a lot.
That’s a good influence.
Z: So we hung out under the stairs and talked about music and I kept dreaming about having a band one day.
What were some of the first shows that you started going to see? You mentioned an Iggy Pop show with Blondie.
Z: Yeah. That was awesome. I think it was Convocation Hall or somewhere like that and BLONDIE opened up for IGGY POP. DAVID BOWIE was on keyboards and I actually got to take slides, which are pictures you project up on the wall and it was really cheap film so that is why you bought slides. That was one of the first shows I went to. It was amazing to see Iggy in action flinging himself off the speakers and seeing Deborah Harry, which is one of my idols. She was wearing these pink pants and this little hat and stuff. It was like “Wow, these guys rock.” That was really cool. That was awesome. And DAVID BOWIE on keyboards. That was really neat. NOTE:  Seneca College’s Newnham campus in the Minkler Auditorium.
Yeah. That blows me away.
Z: It was awesome. He didn’t even move. All he did was play and sing. He didn’t take over the show or anything. It was just IGGY POP.
What about the VILETONES? Was that one of your first shows?
Z: I am not sure where the first VILETONES show was, but I remember seeing the VILETONES at Niagara Street. They used to have parties there and the room, I forget the guy’s name. There was a party room on one of the floors. The UGLY used to practice there and other band’s used to practice there. There used to be a party room and I think the guy’s name is Joe. The whole room was filled with mannequins. Do you remember that Cleave? The mannequin room right? There used to be bands there that would play.
C: The after hours party. The booze can.
Z: They had a big bath tub in the kitchen and Leckie used to hang out there and stuff. I saw the VILETONES play there. I think the CURSE opened up for the VILETONES. It was just amazing. I was standing on top of a speaker. They had these huge speakers on the side of the room and I remember standing on top of one.  Freddy was in the band and Motor Mike and Chris Hate. It was totally out there. It was the best thing ever.
This place on Niagara, would it become the place that ZRO4 would rehearse at?
Z: No we rehearsed on 318 Queen Street East. We were at Queen and Parliament.
D: Before that we were upstairs on the second floor. Note:  3 Redwood Avenue
Z: That was at Greenwood and Gerrard, but that was after Queen Street. Ooops before.
C: This building is the same building that Stacey Case makes his t-shirts.
Z: That’s where he is right now. The UGLY used to practice there and I used to hang out with Raymi.
Is that down around King Street?
Z: Yeah Niagara.
C: South of King. Stacey does his pillow fight league down there. He does the Trash Palace nights down there.
Z: There used to be a pizza joint on the corner. I used to go and get pizza slices with Leckie. He thought I was wearing a Star of David and he was really fascinated by it.
You were also telling me a story about how your friend Jocelyn was a big fan of TEENAGE HEAD and dragged you out to the Colonial Underground.
Z: No Gambi was. Gambi used to love TEENAGE HEAD and she used to take me out to the Colonial. We also saw other bands there. The CURSE played there. The VILETONES played there.
D: I used to see John Lee Hooker there and Muddy Waters.
C: Yeah the Blues guys would be there but we clashed and so there wasn’t too many punk shows.
Z:  She loved TEENAGE HEAD and TEENAGE HEAD used to play there all the time. She was a huge fan of TEENAGE HEAD. They used to be managed by Gail Manning and Paul Kobak who lived down the street from us at 404 where we had the speakeasy.
D: What is 404?
Z: 404 was the speakeasy that we used to run at Queen Street for a summer. We were looking for a place to live so we rented this hole in the wall and threw parties every night.
C: So was the address 404 Queen Street East?
Z: 404 Queen Street East.
C: What is there now?
Z: I think it is like some store or something. It is boarded over. It was at Parliament and Queen. Right beside the Mission. It is right across from Power Street. The second or third door in was Margaret and Freddie and across from there was New Rose.
So that was my next question. What was your connection to the New Rose?
Z: I used to work there part-time. I used to work Mondays through Wednesdays. Margaret used to do shopping and I used to hang out with Freddy and Margaret and just look after the store while they were away and play pinball and have everyone come down and bring beer because as you know there is a beer store at River and Queen.
Tell us a bit more about the speakeasy.
Z: The speakeasy used to be insane.
How did it get it’s start?
Z: We rented this hole in the wall because we needed a place to stay. Gambi and I needed (an address) a place to stay. She went in. She wore this really sweet outfit and talked the owner into renting it to us. Fool that he was. We brought some of our belongings in there. We were squatting in all kinds of different places at that time. We were really young. We were 16-17 at the time. We rented this place for next to nothing and we decided to make some money with Johnny Garbagecan from the UGLY and Toranna Punks. He was a really good guy. He always had money because he was one of those guys that was good at these things. He would go out and buy a gazillion two fours and bring them over and then he would sell them for a buck a beer and everyone would get the word around to show up. We had Ashley standing up at the door and screen who was coming in to the place. The place would be packed. For you to come from the front door to get a beer would take you an hour. That’s how crazy it was. It was just wall to wall people. Everyone would sign the wall. It was really cool. There is a picture out there somewhere of the SECRETS in front of the wall. If you look through there was people like PATTI SMITH and the DEAD BOYS that had been there. It didn’t run for very long but it was one of these party places that was just awesome. Everyone would show up and just drink way too much alcohol.
Did anyone ever get to play there?
Z: No it wasn’t that big. It was puny. It was more of a hang out. There was stories of Frankie passing out in a snowbank in the back.
That was in Shades magazine about how he passed out in the back.
Z: Yeah well they used to be managed by Paul Kobak and Gail Manning down the street so they used to be in town from Hamilton so they used to hang out at our speak and stuff.
And the speak ran prior to the Crash ‘n Burn starting up is that correct?
Z: I have no idea. This was in ’78 I think. 
C: Crash ‘n Burn was before.
Around this time you started dating Tony from the UGLY. Is that right?
Z: Mike Nightmare said I have a new bass player, do you want to meet him? I said “where is he” and he said “he is over at the bar”. We were at the Turning Point. I walked up to Tony and grabbed him in the right spot and he turned around and said “Wow, who are you?” I said you are the new bass player and he said “Yeah” and I said “Well I’m Zero.” We went out for about five or six years. It was a good introduction.
How did ZRO4 form?
Z: Well Tony came home one day and I used to love playing around with songs and stuff. We always had equipment around the apartment because Tony played in bands obviously so when he was away I would throw stuff on and pretend I was singing and he came home one day and I was pretending to be somebody else and I was bouncing around and he was like “Oh you like to do this stuff.” He knew that I wrote stuff, but we sat down and started writing our own stuff. We basically started to get a band together. I called back Mike Bambrick and he knew Dave so he brought Dave down and he thought this is it. This was going to sound good. The first song that Tony and I wrote was “Gimme Attention”, which I love and if no one owns it is on the “Punk History Canada” comp. They were great to get that compilation CD out and to include us. Thanks to Steve Cowell and Nicole McCreary.

You also did some back up singing. Some that you remember and some that you don’t. Was this prior to ZRO4?
Z: Yeah this was prior to ZRO4. Occasionally Freddy would call me up on stage and I would do some back up singing. I love Freddy. Freddy was a good friend.
C: Was that with the SECRETS?
Z: Yeah. He was a great guy. I loved hanging out with him at the New Rose and he was just really knowledgeable about music and he would bring out these obscure records. Did you ever hear about his living room? It was really cool.
Z: Well on Power Street they had this house and I used to work at New Rose and stuff. I remember the first time walking into their house you go into their house and to the right there were these Virgin Mary’s and crucifixes all over the place from wall to ceiling. That is all it was. I was 17 and it was really freaky to walk into a room full of religion like that. The whole room was covered in these figurines. It was really freaky. That was my introduction to Freddy’s living room.
C: He would take icons and ironically re-present them. It was not like he was a practicing Catholic.
Z: I don’t know if he was but if you were in that fucking room you would start to wonder. It was everywhere in the entire room. Note:  Pretty freaky for the Young Catholic Kid
C: There was some irony.
You could find that stuff at Honest Ed’s for cheap.
Z: Then he must of been an Honest Ed freak because he got into it. Maybe he was trying deliberately to confuse people. They were great people. Both Freddy and Margaret I love to death. They introduced me to so much new music. Like Gary Topp. There is another guy. He introduced me to so much music. It is unbelievable. I would love to see a rundown of all the shows he brought to town so that I could remember what I was doing.
C: Well the RAMONES in ’76 for starters.
Z: First of all Cleave you brought me back into the thing with the T-Shirts Reunion Gig and then Gary asked me to do the Mamapalooza thing, but you were the one that got me back into this thing. Thank you sweetheart. I love you.
C: Ah shucks.
I want to ask you where the name ZRO4 came from?
Z: That is not a huge story or anything.
No but the name is an interesting name nonetheless. I am sure people are curious about where the name comes from.
Z: I was hanging out at my friend Jocelyn’s house and I knew her from working at the Post Office and stayed over at her place and I woke up the next morning and I had hickeys all over my neck. It wasn’t from Jocelyn. It was from her cat. She had this black cat that gave hickeys. This cat would suck on your neck. The cat’s name was Zero Killer Vicious. I said “Hey that’s a cool name.” The cat gave me a hickey. That’s my new friend. So that’s where Zero Killer Vicious came from and then when I met Tony and we were trying to decide the name for the band. There was four of us in the band. We tossed it out there. Zero we dropped the E and added 4. We debated it for a while because we thought Americans would say Zed and Canadians would say Zee or how does it work.
We say Zed.
Z: We were going to New York so we say ZRO4.
What year did the band form?
Z: 1978. We have a very vague recollection of the exact date.
Shades says it was ’78.
Z: I would go with Shades because it was written 30 years ago. They probably have a better recollection than we do now.
C: Do you remember your first gig?
Z: It was the Turning Point.
C: That would have been in ’78. Who with?  Note: 1979
Z: It was us. We were headlining.
C: There was nobody else on the bill.
Z: Not that I remember. But that is not unusual.
C: It wasn’t TYRANNA was it?
Z: Was it.
C: Well we played a lot together.
Z: I loved playing with you.
I do want to get into some of the shows but can we start off with the original line up. Who was in the original band and how did the band evolve?
Z: The original line up was myself and Tony Brighton who came from the UGLY. A lot of  bands back then … you have to remember that back in the 70’s there was a lot of shit going on. People were just breaking up and sleeping with so and so and making up and breaking up. It was just chaotic. The UGLY broke up and first it was Sam and Tony and then Chick and Frankie joined the UGLY and then they broke up.
C: Sam and Tony from the UGLY went to the VILETONES.
D: Before I did.
Z: Dave was stolen from us. Everybody played with everybody. And everybody knew everybody. It was a small community of punks. There were only a couple of hundred punks if even that.
C: It was more like 75.
Z: Anyway Tony and I got together at the famous introduction at the Turning Point. We called Mike on drums and Dave who was the original guitar player. You were with us until someone stole you from us.
D: I think that was the end of ’79.
Z: We played a million gigs really fast. We were playing two or three times a week. We would rehearse all the time. They had to come down from God’s country to practice. Driving down the Don Valley with one headlight. Do you remember that? Mike’s car breaking down calling saying “I can’t make it. I only have one headlight.”
Okay but there was a lot of names in ZRO4. For instance Tom Barnes. Who is Tom Barnes?
Z: Margaret’s brother. Margaritta Passion from  New Rose. He was her brother. After Mike Bambrick left I believe he was the next drummer. And he is also on the compilation album that we did with Tom Atom who put the “No Pedestrian” on Chameleon Records, together, which goes on e-bay for about…
D: Seventy five cents.
Z: Actually I have seen that sucker go for $75. I have two of those.
C: Where is Tom Atom at?
Z: I have his phone number. I have been in touch with him. He has a studio. He is at the Bathurst and Lawrence area. He put out the “No Pedestrian” album, which has a lot of great bands on that album.
D: There is only two good songs on that record. There was us and Cleave’s band. That was it. The rest of it was crap.
Z: Wait a minute. The SECRETS were good.
C: Mike Bambrick played on the SHARKS.
Z: Yeah, when the SHARKS “stole”him from us.
C: Weren’t the SHARKS before you.
Z: After. They stole him from us. Everybody was stolen from us.
C: So Mike Bambrick never played with anyone before ZRO4.
D: Yes. He played with the UGLY.
Z: Well the UGLY for a sneeze I think.
D: I was actually supposed to play with the UGLY because they were going to give Chick the boot and I practiced with them two or three times and that was it. I think Mike went to jail and that was the end of it.
You also had Chris Haight in the band right?
Z: Chris Haight was short term. Chris is a great musician. I admire him. I wish he was still playing. He is one of the all time greats. He had a definite 60’s kind of sound from “Wipeout” and that kind of music. Super talented.  Great song writer. He used to play with John Hamilton in ZOOM. I have that single. It is a great single.
C: He loves the do-wop stuff that he grew up on. He is still around.
Glenn Milchum was also in the band at one point.
Z: He was. I have some pictures of him. He looks like a youngling. He is so cute and young. He played with us for a short time. I think he thought we were too sweet.
Z: Yeah well the times got sweet and I was confused. Honest. I didn’t know what I was doing.
C: You abandoned the punk thing.
And Mark Gamage was in the band?
Z: Mark. I love Mark. I miss him. Mark passed away. Mark was a great guy. He is one of the nicest people I ever met. I used to hang out with him. We could stay up all night and just laugh our heads off. My cheeks would hurt I would laugh so hard. When he died I was so blown away I left the scene. That was in 1986. I had nothing to do with the scene after that. I was so blown away that none of us had recognized what was going on. He died and I was so sad. The guy was a great guy. There are two songs that he is playing bass on and we had a tough time in the studio. It wasn’t the greatest studio session. I call it my heart failure session. Mark was a great guy and I was really sad to see him die. He was one of the first guy’s who died back in that whole period just before Ned. Mark died and then Ned died and I think Peter Dixon died. It was just really gross. That whole series of abuse that took it’s toll on our Queen Street talent. It was really sad.
How long was ZRO4 around for?
Z: Which version? We started roughly in ’78 and by ’86, like I said for me the end of everything was when people started dying of drug abuse and stuff.
Who did ZRO4 play with? You mentioned your first show might have been at the Turning Point. Was that June 7th to 9th?
Z: I have no idea. If you know that you are really good. It could have been.
Would that have been the show where you walked on pinball machines?
Z: Yeah I did. I walked across pinball machines.
Was there pinball machines at the Turning Point?
Z: There were two or three up against the wall. I had a habit of leaving and walking off the stage onto them. I remember just leaving and walking across the pinball machines. Dave is shaking his head going I don’t know what the fuck she is talking about.
D: I was there. Maybe I was just so terrified I don’t remember.
Z: I remember walking across because people thought I was going to go through them.
There was a show roughly around this period. I think it was June 29th, 1979 at the Pylon Theatre. First off where was the Pylon Theatre?
Z: The Pylon is on College Street and is now called the Royal. It was Eugene’s birthday. He lived across the street from Nathan and Tank and all those guys lived at 611 Davenport. 611 used to be called the 611 club. The RAMONES partied there. Eugene lived across the street at the Casablanca so if you drive across Davenport, just past Spadina there is a building called the Casablanca.  There were a lot of parties there. There was a pirate radio station at the top that Eddie Gillette used to run. I remember seeing a picture of me with candles on my fingernails from the Pylon show.
Okay there was some other shows. You opened up for the VILETONES at Larry’s Hideaway which I think might have been called the Head Space at the time?
Z: I don’t remember
There was a show you did at the Horseshoe with the DEMICS.
Z: Keith Demic was awesome. There was a time where there was a little bit of politics going around.
I was going to ask you if these shows got you in trouble.
Z: Yeah they did and that show in particular was us and the DEMICS and the DEMICS were from London, Ontario so they didn’t get in as much trouble as we did. It was awesome to play with the DEMICS. Who is not going to want to do that? And the guys was the nicest guys on earth. To play with them on the same bill was a privilege. So any of these gigs that we did, we did them because we wanted to play. Tony used to organize a lot of the bookings and all he wanted to do was play music. He was from England. He traveled all over the world. He was older than I was. He was eleven years older than I was. He had played with all kinds of musicians. In the punk scene originally he played in a band called CIRCUIT BREAKER, which was with the singer of TYRANNA, before TYRANNA. Then TYRANNA got formed with Cleave and then the UGLY and so on and so forth. The very first band that he played with that was “punk” was CIRCUIT BREAKER with Rabies singing vocals. He had an amazing record collection. I don’t know if you remember that Dave. He had all these amazing singles from England. He had some first edition things. I still have a couple. For him he just wanted to play. He didn’t want to embrace the politics or anything. He just wanted to get the gigs and play. He wanted to rehearse all the time and he wanted to play.
D: I remember his favourite band was the REZILLOS.
Z: I remember coming back from New York with him and there was a band we’d seen and Gary Topp wanted me to give him the 12” that we bought down there.  It was a band called the SICK FUCKS Note:  Snookie and Tish from Manic Panic’s band).   I remember watching the band and all of a sudden someone grabs your legs. This band had come off the stage. There were so many members in the band they had come off the stage and they grabbed you by the ankles. It was just so freaky. We were in New York and we weren’t expecting it and we came back with this album called the SICK FUCKS. It was amazing. It was totally out there.
Like rumble-vision or something. Okay you did a show at the Oriental Palace or the Rock Palace.
Z: The Oriental Palace which became Lee’s Palace.
D: With the DEAD BOYS.
Z: Those nasty boys. Margaret told me the other day that her parents came because Tommy was in the band and Stiv Bators went up on top of the speaker and pissed on everybody.
D: He peed in a light and threw it over everyone.
Z: Her parents were going why is he pissing on everybody? There was almost a brawl that night. I remember all of the Blake Street Boys were sitting in the corner and they were ready to jump everybody and I was talking them out of it because we had two more nights at the club. Don’t fuck up the whole thing for us.
D: There was supposed to be two shows that night and the second bunch couldn’t get in because the first bunch wouldn’t leave. We didn’t get to play the second time. I don’t know who the hell else got to play.
Well the ANDROIDS were on the bill.
Z: The tape I recorded in ’86 was with Eric Wilson who was with the ANDROIDS in New York. That’s who that was recorded with. He wasn’t with the ANDROIDS in Toronto. I recorded “Cheek to Cheek” with him.
Tell us about some of the other places you played. One of the other things I noticed is that “Only in Canada, Eh”, that’s the Punk History Canada comp, there was a huge amount of places that were listed as places that you played shows.
Z: We played everywhere we could.
You played the Edge, you played Club Domino, Nuts and Bolts, the New Hollywood, which I don’t know where that was.
Z: That was on Jarvis Street. They used to play a lot more….we were lucky to get in. Another person who used to hire us a lot was a guy (Joe Freid) who ran the Isabella and he used to give us a cut of the bar, which was a really good deal. We enjoyed playing for him.
Where was Hotel Isabella?
Z: Sherbourne and Isabella. And Scruffers was at St. Clair and Avenue Road.
Really? There was shows up that far.
Z: It was in the basement. The whole place looked like a cave. It was kind of cool. There was a video shot that night and it was my birthday. There are a lot of stories about my birthdays.
D: Everyday was your birthday.
They are worth celebrating. You played at the Cabana Room. That was at King and Spadina?
Z: Yeah.
You also played the Masonic Temple. That must have been a big deal.
Z: We were so hammered.
Who were you playing with?
Z: I have no idea. I just remember we went up on stage and then half way through I went “Wow, we are playing.” I forget.
There was a place that I was surprised at because it was the first place that I got to drink at underage was Hernando’s Hideaway. I didn’t know they did shows.
Z: Yeah, they did. There is a couple of stories there that I don’t really want to get into.  Note:  It was Derringer’s… we drank and got shit faced at Hernando’s.
That was up at Wellesley and Yonge. You also played the Upper Lip.
Z: There is a couple of stories from that place.
I wanted to ask you about a show called the “Femme Fatale” gig. Can you tell me about that?
Z: I don’t remember a whole lot about that other than it was all girls. A lot of the times they tried to throw all of us girls together. It was the ANDROIDS with Karen, TYRANNA with Rabies.
And the BUNS.
Z: I don’t remember who the BUNS were.
That was August 2nd through to the 4th.
Z: I got to get these dates from you.
I think that was at the Rock Palace as well.
Z: The Rock Palace took over for a short time there from the Turning Point and the Horseshoe and the Edge.
Who would have organized that gig? Was the idea to showcase women in bands?
Z: It was to bring all the female singers together.  Note:  I think it was Johnny Lovesin and his wife Michelle.
Yeah. I think it is a great idea. I didn’t know that this kind of thing existed but it is a great display of women empowered within the scene.
Z: One time we were driving out to the studio in Pickering or Oshawa and Dave is sitting in the backseat. Tony had bought this old Cadillac. He was driving. Casey was in the back seat. We all have the windows down and we are rocking out going to the recording studio. We are going to record all these songs. And Casey looked out the window and as he looked out the window his glasses flew off. He sits back down and he is laughing. And we ask him what happened? He goes my glasses just flew out. So we stopped the car and we went looking for them.
D: Did we find them?
Z: No. I guess you had to be there.
No. It is funny. I am sorry that the joke is at Casey’s expense.
D: We had beer and joints for breakfast. What do you want?
I want to ask you about the different recordings but before we do that I wanted to ask you about your relationship with the Blake Street Boys. You said “The Blake Street Boys saved my neck a few times”. And you said one of them was at the Upper Lip.
Z: I was at the Upper Lip and Tony was beside me and we were watching someone. I think it might have been the SECRETS. I’m not exactly sure who was playing but sometimes you would get crowd mixing. There would be us and there would be hippies. They would come in and be watching the bands. Really watching the bands. They started off yelling stuff and started pushing Tony telling him to sit down and Tony is saying shut up and stand up if you want to see. Tony was like that. He didn’t take any shit. The next thing you know this fight breaks out. The Blake Street Boys were there and they were my friends as well and as the fight broke out one of the guys grabbed me and literally ripped my t-shirt in half. I was like naked. So I grab my leather jacket and I am trying to do it up and as I am trying to do it up these fists are coming for my face and if it wasn’t for the Blake Street guys I think I would have been done. They jumped in and grabbed this guy off of me. They pulverized him after that. It was one of those moments where all hell broke loose. The whole crowd emptied out onto Yonge Street. Yonge Street closed down. The Gasworks emptied to come and watch everybody because they thought it was cool to watch the Upper Lip empty out. It was one of those really interesting evenings.
There was also a night of violence at the Turning Point. Tell me about that.
Z: I think the Turning Point one was more the disco club against the punk club. The Turning Point was on the left and the disco club was on the right and they would kind of have run-ins from time to time and this one night all hell broke loose. The disco club thought they would come upstairs to the Turning Point and wreak havoc. Fortunately the punks at the Turning Point had a little bit of experience with that kind of thing so as they tried to make their way up the stairs all hell broke loose. There was a lot of violence.
Where was the disco around there?
Z: The disco was a few doors down and it was in the basement. The Turning Point was upstairs and next door to where McDonald’s is now. There was always that kind of friction. There was a bunch of people hanging out at the disco club that would throw their weight around and they figured the punks were not a match for them, but they forgot that the punks were insane. All hell broke loose one night and they tried to invade the punk club and you had to go up two flights of stairs to go up to the Turning Point. I remember being on the landing before you reach the second set of stairs and it was just mayhem. People were getting kicked in the head and it just got crazy. I remember leaving the Turning Point that night with Motor Mike, the drummer of the VILETONES, and we left going let’s get the hell out of here because the cops were coming. The street had been closed off. It was just mayhem.
There is a picture on the internet with a big bruise on your chin. What happened and how do you remember the events that took place that night?
Z: It was my birthday.
Okay this is the story that the UGLY were trying to tell.
Z: They were trying to tell it…
And they got some of the pieces right but they admittedly didn’t remember everything.
Z: No. Not the parts that I remember.
Tell us about this.
Z: They were supposed to bring beer to the party and it was a party that everyone was invited to. Sam and Tony had promised Joey that they were going to bring beer.
This was the beer that they were getting at the Turning Point.
Z: The thing about the Turning Point was that it was a great place, but Joe and Anna used to leave the beer just past the washroom and the UGLY were notorious for going back there at the end of the night grabbing a two four each walking down the stairs and getting in the car and then we would go somewhere else and drink it all. We did this every single night that we were there and we were there every single night. We used to rip them off for cases and cases of beer. They did get wise to us and so they locked the back door, but it took them a long time figure it out. So one of these nights they were supposed to get the beer.
They were saying that they got pulled over and the cops took the beer.
Z: Yeah. So when they showed up on Blake Street it was my birthday. It was August 16th the day Elvis Presley died.
What a claim to fame.
Z: 1977. They showed up at Blake Street with no beer. Joe Millie was outside. Sam had a broken leg. That’s one thing about Sam. He was amazing. He would twirl his body into these weird forms and play with a broken leg so he had a cast on his leg. Joe got mad and he had this hot temper and he started to kick the shit out of Sam.  I was watching him and his head was getting bopped. I stepped between him and Sam and said you’re a goof. It was one of the key words you did not call the Blake Street Boys.  Note:  It’s a prison thing. They didn’t take it very well. So he punched me right in the face. Then I yelled you’re a fucking goof. All hell broke loose. I went in and told Allie he had punched me and Allie came out. Normie came out. The cops came. The whole place emptied out. There was total mayhem on Blake Street. That was one of my birthdays. I think I was 18. That was totally insane. Allie used to live up the street from my parent’s house so if I didn’t go home and I wanted to crash somewhere I knew how to get into his house. Allie was actually a great cook. He would make all this really good food. So I knew how to get into his house and then go crash in his basement. So I would do that from time to time. I would help myself to his house. I remember thinking it was him in the bed and it was actually Normie, which was really funny. Nothing happened Dave. Don’t look at me like that. Allie was a great guy and I wish I could see him again. I really enjoyed him. He was a good guy. He was friends with everybody and everyone in the scene liked him. I had a lot of fun with him.
One of the things about ZRO4 was there wasn’t a lot of coverage of the band, but there was some key things like the article in Shades Magazine. Can you tell me about that?
Z: The guy who wrote it was a fan of ZRO4 and he took a couple of really good pictures of us. This guy had the most amazing record collection that I have ever seen in my life. He had 45s wall to wall. I remember going to his house and he had a 45 of BLONDIE playing “Heart of Glass” reggae style. I was impressed. I was like “Where did you get this?” and he told me he got it in Buffalo somewhere. Mark Leach was his name.
It was a great article. It included everybody in the band and there was direct quotes which shows great journalism. But also there was an incredible story about the whole band. It captured from the beginning up until that moment. There was a lot of good trivia in that article. You also did an interview with Ivar Hamilton on CFNY.
Z: I did and I meant to bring it for you and I totally forgot.
That would seem like a big deal to me because CFNY was the radio station to listen to at the time.
Z: Well it was and it wasn’t. CFNY was the station that was trying to get out there, but they weren’t really out there. Back then it was CHUM. Not even Q107.
I think they were up in Brampton.
Z: They were up in Brampton and we went out there and we were thinking it was going to be this big radio station and we get out there and it is this little garage. But Ivar was a fan of ZRO4 and I remember we were playing with the SHARKS and he contacted me and said “Can I interview you?” and I was like “of course”. I was thrilled to death. He did it over the phone. Every time the phone would click I would get so nervous. I was kind of self-conscious because I didn’t speak a lot of English back then. I was worried about what I was going to sound like. These guys were teasing me about some of it, especially Mike.
D: Well you would speak in reverse.
Z: I was really self-conscious of it.
D: You could swear really well.
Z: You know, the one thing about swearing is I do not swear in French. Not at all. The first thing I learned at school was English swear words. That’s what they taught me. They told me how to tell teachers off.
It’s the first thing you learn when you are learning a new language. That interview got you in a bit of trouble with Sherry Keane. What happened?
Z: She was pissed off because we were on the same bill with her and they were the headliners and it was her gig and we were the opening act and when I got interviewed she was pissed off because I got interviewed. She figured the SHARKS should have been interviewed instead of me. That makes sense but Ivar liked us.
But this had maybe a bigger impact. Didn’t she do something about trying to convince Cleave not to be in the band?
Z: Yeah I talked to Cleave later on. We wanted Cleave to play with us. Cleave is a great drummer. He’s a great person and he is a great friend. We had asked him to play with us and we really wanted him and she said she didn’t want him to. That’s what you said. I hope I didn’t get you in trouble for that one.
Well it shows that there was some competition amongst bands and there was jealousy.
Z: There was a lot of competition. There was a lot of jealousy. That’s how Dave got stolen by the VILETONES. And Mike got stolen by the SHARKS. A band would start to solidify and get better and then all of a sudden these members would get conned into joining other bands. The competition was tough. We had a hard time. That’s why you had so many band members go from one band to the next. Freddy and John Hamilton and Dave. If you look at all the history of all the different band members everybody played with everybody. Chick and Mark and Dave.
D: Chick played with a million people.
Z: I miss him. I wish he was here tonight. Note:  Chick passed away Fall 2010
There was an article in the Toronto Sun.
Z: Yeah that was in ’78. That was Jonathon Gross. I was really pissed off at him because he made some comments that I didn’t like so I don’t like to talk about the article. He had interviewed the DENTEENS and myself. He approached me at an ELVIS COSTELLO concert and asked me if I would do an interview with him. I was reluctant and I should have been more reluctant. It was okay. It was more about him getting his taste of punk. You know how reporters are. They like to twist everything.
You got to do an interview in Ottawa on the campus station, CKCU.
Z: You were there for that.
D: I was there for that but we couldn’t hear anything in the headphones. Mike and I were just drunk laughing our asses off. We didn’t know what anyone was talking about.
Z: You know what, he wrote to me and told me that the reception was so great that night he had to play it again. He played the same interview again because everybody loved it and had such a great time. Our name was spray painted on an underpass.
D: Yeah but you did that right?
Z: No. I just carved my name in somebody’s arm with a broken beer bottle. Do you remember the guy asking me to sign his arm with a broken beer bottle? That’s all I remember.
Well CKCU is a big deal in Ottawa because there was not another radio station or at least at the time there wasn’t.
Z: That was with James Hale I think.
They had the biggest station and it was a campus-community station so they were interested more in punk.
Z: It was a lot of fun. The crowd was really welcoming. They really wanted us to be there. The SECRETS got us that gig. The SECRETS ended their little Canada stay after that.
Did you play anywhere else outside of Toronto?
Z: Well we did that gig in Stratford.
D: Stratford and Tottenham. Tottenham was horrible.
Z: There was another one. I wrote it down to say it. It was near North Bay. I remember getting there and I don’t know if you were with us.
How was it?
Z: It was really gross. It was Mattawa, Ontario. By the time we got there we had drunk three two fours on the way up there. I remember the guys peeing out the side of the van because we had to get there by a certain time. We had to play the unionized kind of sets. It was five twenty minute sets. We weren’t use to that. We played one set and that was all. So when they said five twenty minute sets we were looking at each other going “What?”. They were really stuck on that. We wouldn’t get paid unless we did that. The crowd was really odd. That was the furthest one. That was through Teen Agency. It was a real pain.
There was people looking for Pink Floyd.
Z: Oh they were looking for more than Pink Floyd. They were looking for blood.
D: Luckily I knew all these Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin songs and I could do fifteen seconds of each song. I just played a blues song for thirty seconds.
Z: Gary Vortex tried to steal the pinball machine. We trashed our hotel rooms.
D: Yeah. And we had to pay for that.
Z: Did we?
D: Yes we did. We ended up with $35 at the end of it.
Z: It was fun.
And you didn’t get the pinball machine.
Z: I think we had an escort out of town just to make sure that we were going to leave.
Let’s talk about some of the recordings you have done. The Punk History Canada comp has a song. First off this comp is the Canadian version of a Bloodstains comp or a Killed by Death comp. so it is a pretty big honour to be on it. ZRO4 was one of two bands from Toronto to make it on the comp. I was wondering how you got on the comp first off?
Z: Steve and Nicole contacted me. I don’t know how they found me. It might have been through the internet or something. They asked me if I could send them a couple of songs to listen to. They loved “Gimme Attention” and wanted it to be part of the compilation. I was honoured of course. They sent me the paperwork and stuff. It was a no brainer. Of course I wanted to be on it. It was a great honour to be part of Punk History Canada CD. I am totally grateful for Steve Cowell and Nicole McCreary to have included us in that compilation. It was a great thing that they did.  Note:  it was Marc Coulavin that put me in touch with Steve and Nicole.   
It was a neat song to pick too because it was one of the first songs that you wrote right?
Z: It was. It was the first song that Tony and I wrote. It wasn’t the first one I wrote, but it was the first one that Tony and I wrote.
But as a band those are the things that you remember.
Z: For sure. I remember sitting their in the living room with him going this is how I think it goes. A lot of the songs had that bass feel because he played bass.
You weren’t happy with this recording. You mentioned that….
Z: I just thought it was a bit tin sounding. I think the one I gave you tonight is a little bit better. The one on the comp sounds a little too tinnie. It’s hard because a lot of these things were recorded in ’78 or ’79. That particular recording was in Hamilton in some guy’s basement with a four track. Dave was there and basically it was recorded live. There is like a thump at one point. I think it is Tony bumping into the bass amp. What you hear is what we played. I’m not quite sure why it sounds that way. A lot of these things ended up being from cassettes because back in those days no one had any money.
Tapes were a lot easier to do. You could do smaller runs. You could do them yourself. You could go to Accusonic and do 50 or whatever.
Z: We never had a 45 so if anyone out there is listening hint hint. We always wanted to do a 45. Whatever money we got we put back into equipment.
And “Gimme Attention” would have been the 45?
Z: Probably, yeah. It was a good song. It’s a catchy tune. It’s easy. It’s a well written song.
You were also talking about the song “Blood” that appeared on the “No Pedestrians” comp. Tell us about the session that that song came out of.
Z: That session was a long session and if Dave could get off his ass and find all the original tapes we would have a lot of music.
D: There is probably about 30 or 35 songs there.
Z: We didn’t have 30 or 35 songs. Give me a fuckin’ break.
D: We did three sets of the same crap in Tottenham.
Z: Okay we had a lot of music. And he has somewhere all this music that is recorded at this studio.
How is that for pressure?
Z: Tom Atom at Chameleon Records asked us to be a part of this compilation, which again was a great privilege to be a part of that with the SECRETS and TYRANNA which was Cleave and Rabies and Johnny Bubblegum.
D: Sam played on that session. He played with TYRANNA on that.
Z: You recently looked at that album so you would know.
D: I did just a two days ago.
Z: Tell us who played with who because there was a lot of great musicians on there. ARSON was also on there with Motor Mike. Wasn’t Chick also on there?
D: Yeah. He was in ARSON. They played an old ANIMALS song “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”.
Z: They were also a really good band. Who else was on there that we actually liked?
D: No one.
Was the idea of the comp to showcase the punk and new wave scene in Toronto?
D: I think that’s what it was all about.
Z: There were a couple of bands that really shouldn’t have been there but that was like the Last Pogo. There were some bands on the Last Pogo that really shouldn’t have been there.
But comps are sometimes like that. You go with whoever has a recording. Especially back then.
Z: And who is friends with who.
It is never usually the way you want it to be. There was an 18 track recording you did in Oshawa.
Z: Yeah. That was a big deal.
I have some information here, it was October 28, 1981.
Z: There you go. You are more informed than I am.
Tell me about this recording. How did you go out there? Was it just four songs that you recorded? “Dancing at Dominoes”, “Gimme Attention”, “44 Squad”, and “Wet Dreams”.
Z: Probably.
D: I came back for about six months in the band and I did some noisy crappy guitar in there because it was so clean and sterile.
Z: You came in and you brought in a double stack of Marshalls and you put them in the white room upstairs and you made all these noises.
D: You are full of crap. It was a little Peavey amp and a flying V.
How did you find this studio and what brought you out there?
Z: I have no idea. That was probably to do with Tony. Tony probably organized all that. I followed. You were there.
D: Was that Oshawa? I remember Dane and Chick.
Z: You and your brother. And you came in there and did the guitars on “Wet Dreams”.
It says Casey and  Drew Irwin on saxophones.
Casey (C): That was me doing the siren effect.
Okay. Then you did a recording at Accusonic in 1983.
Z: Was that the “Heart Failure” session?
No. That was the one that you did “Je ne c’est pas pourquoi?” and “Jealousy”
Z: Ça, c’est pour tout le monde en Francais qui écoute de la Province du Québec. Allo à toute le monde. Je  vous dites bonsoir, et la prochaine chanson vas êtres pour vous autres
Proof. So tell me about why you did a song in French?
Z: Because I am French.
You alluded to this a bit coming here from Quebec City and you said that you went to French immersion school where you met Blair.
Z: It was just a song. I forget how it came about. It probably had something to do with Tony. He was a huge influence on my life. We probably decided to write something in French because we thought it would be cool. Note:  It was not a French immersion school it was a French High School.
I don’t know anyone who would have done that in Ontario, which I think is neat and expresses the bilingualism of the country.
Z: Thank you. That’s really nice.
But that didn’t necessarily exist so much.
Z: I don’t recall anyone else doing something like that.
What was the song about?
Z: It actually has no real meaning.  It basically means I don’t understand why things are a certain way. That’s what it is about.
Tell me why you wanted to write the song in French.
Z: Probably because I think I sound different in French. I love the fact that I am born in Québec City. I am proud of the fact that I am from Québec City. I also wanted to show people that this is why I didn’t speak a whole lot of English.
At the time anyway because I would have never guessed that you were French because you speak perfect English.
Z: Thank you. I think Québec City is an amazing city and I think Québec has a lot of talent. It just came about. It was one of those things that Tony and I thought would be different and would be fun to try and do. Again it was to push the envelope and push the buttons and see what would happen from it. Back then it was so hard to break into anything. Everyone had such an idea of what things should be like and expecting. I don’t know. We were trying to get out there and trying to get noticed and trying to fit in with all the bands. So many things were coming in so quickly. There was so much music and so many artists. We were just trying to be in there with everybody else.
There is lots of vocal arrangements in there as well as a violin.
Z: Laslo who was here earlier tonight played violin. I believe Elena Selena who played with the CURSE was singing back up and I think John Hamilton also sang back up because he dropped into the studio while we were recording. That was a fun song to do.
It also sounds like there is a lot of work in it. With the vocal arrangements and stuff. It sounds very big.
Z: Thank you. It was fun. It was different.
So that song was recorded at Accusonic in ’83 and then you went back to Accusonic in ’84 and did what you call the “Heart Failure” session.
Z: It used to be the “Heart Experience” session, but it was more like a heart failure. I tried really hard to get these two songs recorded. We had some hard times. It was hard to get everything together. ZRO4 was down to Mark. I wasn’t with Tony anymore which was the first time I had recorded without him. It was Dane on drums, Chick on guitar and if anyone knows the history of punk in Toronto back in the ’85-’86 it became a little bit turbulent at that point. A lot of that chaos is in those songs. It was a hard session.
A year later you went in to Video Facts, April 6th, 1985 and this was for a Factor Grant maybe. You were trying to do a video.
Z: I actually got a grant. I was amazed.
You showed me the letter tonight.
Z: Well one of them I got was from CAPAC which is now SOCAN.  I was blown away. They actually gave me money to record. I had no idea until I saw the letter tonight which was so cool. I forgot all about it. Back in ’85 Video Fact began and it was their first or second year they were together and they would give out grants to musicians to produce videos. So we got on the band wagon and decided we were going to do one of those things. It was the way to go. Everyone was on Much Music. It was the only way to get out there. We did the story boards. The whole nine yards. We had a producer a director. We had writers. We had everything. We had pictures, everything. There were 77 entries and unfortunately we weren’t picked for the grant from them. It was so shattering.
So did you do the recording as part of the application?
Z: We did. That’s the song we did. You played it earlier. “Cheek 2 Cheek” with Eric Wilson. Eric used to play with the ANDROIDS, but the New York version of the ANDROIDS not the Canadian version. I met him in New York City when I was visiting down there, but didn’t play with him until he came back. I don’t remember how we re-connected up here. He came back to Toronto and somehow we reconnected and ended up doing that recording together. He was a really good musician. I really enjoyed playing with him. He is very direct and very specific about sound.
There is a huge list of songs here. There is at least five different recordings and maybe more. There is the makings of a good collection of ZRO4 material. Will something come together to release this?
Z: That would be neat.
Is anyone talking to you about this?
Z: I don’t know. Maybe somebody will get in touch with us.
There is a lot of material here.
Z: I have always wanted to have a 45. That was one of my dreams.
Is there a release that you guys are talking about?
Z: No. Releasing something on a 45 would be awesome or maybe something from tonight would be really cool and maybe something from the old days would be awesome. Maybe we could work something out with that.
I’m not a label but you are free to use it. At one point a label was interested in the band. Tell me about Columbia Records.
Z: I was at the Horseshoe and we were playing and we used to do a couple of BLONDIE numbers and one of the numbers we were doing was “You Look Good in Blue”, so we do that song and the lights are all blue and I’m singing away and I am going to the can and I am going down the stairs and Columbia Records comes up and goes “We love that song. We would be really interested in that song.”
They didn’t know it was a BLONDIE cover.
Z: I was like “It’s a Blondie cover. Sorry.” That was that. We have a really nice rejection letter from Capitol too from Sandy Bathgate, which is a big name now. We had a nice rejection letter from her saying she loved the tunes, but she decided to take a pass at the time, but she liked them.
You did other covers tonight. You played a MISFITS cover of “Attitude”. You did a CONNIE FRANCIS cover.
Z: “Stupid Cupid”. We did our own version of that. It was a punked up version of it.
You did some KNICKERBOCKERS cover I think.
Z: That was a long time ago. How did you find out about that?
That was in the Shades article.
Z: We did “Steppin’ Stone” by the MONKEES.
Okay so there is some covers there but you had a huge list of originals.
D: “Children Behave”.
Z: Glenn Milchem hated that song.
D: We used to do “Personality Crisis”, NEW YORK DOLLS. I do it with my band now.
We don’t have much time left so I want to end on songs that were originals. We are just going to do this quickly now because we don’t have any time. Tell us about the meaning behind the song “Dirty”.
Z: That was written about Tony. I was at home just writing things down and he was on his way home. I could hear his car. He used to drive this little yellow Honda and he had posters of the UGLY on the side. The Ugly-mobile. The UGLY used to take wallpaper paste and used to paste all these posters all over the place. He did this to the car. His car had a certain sound to it. I would hear his car and I would get the feel to be dirty.
“Graveyard to Hell”. That had a story.
Z: “Graveyard to Hell” I wrote when I was leaving this house. There was a house at Kingston Road and Woodbine. It was a house that everyone partied at. I would leave there. I was really young and there was a graveyard right across the street. If you know the intersection of Woodbine and Kingston Road there is a huge graveyard and I would walk through there. That’s what that song is written about. Mike Nightmare was a fan of that song.
You played a song tonight called “Disgusting”.
Z: “Disgusting” was about being different from everyone else. It was about being disgusted with how some people are so much the same and wanting to be different.
I have to ask you about the “Marat Sade”.
Z: “Marat Sade” was a play.
It freaked out a lot of people.
Z: Yeah from the theatre district. They came to see it. It was put together by Nick Fracaro , I forget his last name. He came here from the States. It was a long process. There was a lot of rehearsals. There was a lot of planning. A lot of fundraising for it.
But part of the band was you and part of the WILD THINGS.
Z: Yeah with Billy the Count and Mike Nightmare and they backed me up when I did my songs. We met at my place and wrote the songs according to the script. We took part of the script like Corday`s melody and wrote songs around them. I performed a couple and they did some numbers as well. There was a lot of controversy. The play was really off the wall. There were a lot of crazy reviews about it. I did a couple of nutty things that freaked out people. It was just one of those things.
We are out of time. It is great to see you playing out again. Thanks for coming in tonight. It was amazing to watch.