Sunday, June 21, 2015

Radio - Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Tonight's show was an interview with the White Brothers. Simon did a photo exhibition in 2010 called "Toronto Calling" which saw some blown up photos of the Ramones and the Clash in the Steamwhistle building. These early photos captured the first punk bands to play in Toronto. His Brother Nick is known for a fantastic zine he did from 1979 - 1984 called Smash It Up. It was a local zine that covered the early post punk scene so well and incorporated all kinds of journalism as a way of getting the story about these incredible period that the mainstream press couldn't be bothered covering. Nick has been working on this book since the "Toronto Calling" exhibit and has incorporated a cut and paste approach to capturing the period. Nick and Simon spoke with us earlier in the day about this work captured in "Alone and Gone" this brand new book released yesterday. We catalogue clubs, zines, and bands as an approach to trying to capture the time and the developing new sounds coming out of this explosive period. We start off with the Clash show at the O'Keefe Centre and get into the Edge as a centre for shows from 1979-1980. Nick speaks about the role that zines play in developing the scene. the list of zines included Dave MacIntosh's Cause and Effect, Deanna's Schrik, Sounds form the Street, Civil Disobedience, Joannie Morris' All That Jazz, TOHC, Fifth Column's Hide, Red Shoes, this Tiny Donkey, and Goog Poogly. We speak about the reggae scene and the cross pollination with bands like the Young Lions, L'Etranger, Youth Youth Youth, 20th Century Rebels, Truth and Rights, and the mainstreaming with the Parachute Club. I grill Nick about some of the clubs at the time like the Cabana Room, the Palais Royale for out of town ska bands, the basement at the Drake, 100 Bond Street, St. Lawrence Hall for RAR and the Bop Cats, and Exile out on Main Street. We speak about the the paradigm shift that Start Dancing represents in the scene. We speak about the Garys record label that never came about. We speak about the role of the cassette tape in developing the post punk scene. We speak about the phenomenon of outdoor shows in the 80's. We speak about the role that radio had on developing the scene which starts with CFNY and also moves into CKLN. Nick tells us about 291 which was originally known as the Suicide Club and became a punk house that Smash It Up and the Dave Howard lived at. Nicks tells us about the Fifth Column, Hunger Project that went on to become the Cowboy Junkies, the Hi Fis that go on to become Blue Rodeo, the Rheostatics, Handsome Ned, the Sturm Group, Woods are Full of Cuckoos, the Rent Boys Inc., Breeding Ground, Vital Sines, Alta Moda - Molly Johnson's first band, Blank Generation that become United State and then National Velvet, Blibber and the Rat Crashers that become Jolly Tambourine Man, the Lucky Strikes, Mark Malibu and the Wasagas, and Crash Kills Five that becomes Shadowy Men. This is all a preamble to figure out if there is a Toronto sound. Nick tells us the Dave Howard connection to the "Alone and Gone" title. The Playlist for tonight's show is as follows:

THE CLASH - London Calling (CBS)
Interview with Nick and Simon White (CIUT)
DAVE HOWARD SINGERS - They Come They Go (Self-Released)

If you are in Toronto you can get copies of the book at Rotate This.


  1. I have a question about "Goog Poogly." Was that particular zine done in comic book format? I'm trying to research it, but very little turns up. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Hello. Here's the answer to your question from Dave Collier who, with Brat X, put Goog Poogly together:

    "The format of goog poogly was something we fought about. Brat rejected my advocating for a more comic book- type approach, winning the battle with his one staple in the upper right-hand corner, zine way.
    But Brat was a brilliant cartoonist who worked rapidly in ink over pencil, never using much, if any, whiteout- unlike me, today."

    If you are interested in fanzines and cartoons from this period I can put you in touch with some of the other artists from this period.

    many thanks for your interest!
    Nick Smash

    1. Hey, Nick! I thought I had replied to this, but I don't think I did. I'm STILL trying to get my hands on issues of Goog Poogly, to no avail. So, yeah, if you could put me in touch with anyone from those days, it would be a huge help. Thanks!

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