Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's been quite a week, hasn't it?

It's been an interesting week, hasn't it?
The most newsworthy and talked about item was the passing of Canadian music icon Frankie Venom of Teenage Head.
I am kidding about being the most talked about but not with the newsworthy comment.
I mean this as no disrespect to Stephen Harper and Keith Ashfield and all the others who struggled and worked so hard and long to become our upcoming parliament.
I am merely putting some perspective on the news of the week as it relates to that which has an impact on our lives.

Hear me out please.

When I was in high school in Ontario (about 30 years ago) we elected a punk rocker named David Disher as Student Council President (Davey Danger as he was known with his band, The Notochords).
We didn't take our politics too seriously back then. Or did we?
Davey turned out to be the best President the school had ever seen. That's probably true to this day.
Well, one of the highlights of his term was the Halloween party we had.
It started will a screening of "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" in 3D!
I kid you not! We were all given our official blue and red (election reference??) lensed glasses and sat in rows looking silly.
What an amazing movie. I'll never forget it.
After the movie we had a concert by none other than Teenage Head.
I didn't know them too much before but never forgot them after that.
Frankie Venom had so much energy and stage presence. He more than made of for the lack of movement of bassist Steve and guitarist Gord.
My friends and I had been solid rock and roll fans up to then but came to enjoy some Punk after that.

At least for its party value.

I recall that night that some thugs from another school were there and beat up two of my friends when they went outside to get some air.

The rest of us inside didn't even know it happened until the police arrived. That was certainly memorable.

That wasn't the only time Teenage Head would be involved in my life.
On Labour Day weekend in 1980 my friends and I went to a day-long concert at Mosport. This used to be a racetrack east of Toronto.

The concert was known as Heatwave and would become known as one of the best shows Ontario has ever had.
I find it amusing that Teenage Head opened that morning and Talking Heads ended the concert that evening.
Many of us felt that both of these acts stole the show from all those in between.

Coincidentally I ran into the bass player earlier in the summer while I was working with a construction crew on Queen Street in downtown Toronto. He found it funny that a guy dressed in construction gear was a fan of theirs. He was high or something at the time and he signed his autograph Steve Head. When he told me they were opening at Heatwave I didn't really believe him.

I don't even remember all of the acts but the B-52s were touring to support their first album.

The Clash had been booked to appear but couldn't for some reason.

Elvis Costello was still in his rocker phase.

Other acts that I recall we're Nick Lowe and Rockpile, The Kings, The Pretenders and The Rumor. There were others but I don't remember who.
That was an amazing but totally exhausting day.

A few years later I was friends with a girl that lived in Florida. She became a huge fan of Teenage Head when she came to visit me once.
I ended up buying her a cassette of the "Frantic City" album which she took back to Florida with her.
She and her friends loved it and I'm sure that at least a pocket of southern US fans was born.

Sadly, Frankie Venom died at 51 years old of cancer this week. That makes me quite sad since I have so many fond memories not only of the band but of everything connected in my life at the time that I can associate with the band.

Many may know the answer to this question but far more can tell you who Frankie Venom and Teenage Head were.

What party was in power in Canada when I was in grade 10 and 11?

Better still, who was the MP for my riding at that same time? I really can't remember.

I'm just saying.

Take Care,


Charles LeBlanc said...

You forgot to mention but you would have never believe that Blogger Charles LeBlanc would show up at your Council meeting.


Anonymous said...

yep.. I have been reliving all the times The Heads played up in the Sault... a legend