Saturday, June 20, 2015
Nick White (a.k.a. Smash) is in town to launch his new book on the period of music in Toronto between 1979 and 1984. Situated in one of the worst economic times with political crises abound, culture responded. Garnering musical influences from the UK and the States, Nick looks at what these bands brought to Toronto by way of influences. He starts out with the Clash's show at the O'Keefe Centre and what punk rock looked like in a world music context which threw open the doors to all sorts of music experimentation which are around today. We talk about fractured scenes, but this was the apex or the blueprint for when it all happened. Toronto being a receptive music market soaked it all in and spat it back out with an underground scene that has scene little by way of recognition. Nick takes you through the bands like the Rent Boys, the Dave Howard Singers, Breeding Ground, Kinetic Ideals, V (pre Parachute Club), Hunger Project (Pre-Cowboy Junkies), the Hi-Fi's (Pre Blue Rodeo), the Rheostatics, The Mods, Truths and Rights, Lillian Allen, Third World....The list is endless. Nick also takes us into the world of the haunts where the musicians honed their sounds like at the 291, the Bev, the Cameron House, The Cultural Centre and all sorts of places. He explores how various mediums started up like zines and campus community radio, CFNY, as a result of being shut out of mainstream media. And he gives great insight into what touring bands brought like U2, Echo and the Bunnymen, Killing Joke, the Specials, The Jam, Madness, the Buzzcocks. It's all here. Flirst hand accounts with gonzo journalism which is beyond dedication but borders on fanaticism, which demonstrates the fan part of fanzine. With photos from his brother Simon, some of which appeared in Toronto Calling five years prior but so many more in this book, it is like a more cut and past version of Trouble in the Camera Club but the next chapter to follow. Nick will be at the Rivoli between 1:00m and 4:00pm playing some of the music captured in the Smash it up comps to also give you a flavour of the sounds of the time.