Wonder if my page views will skyrocket given the title of today’s post? Sorry all you pervs out there, but I just wanted to take a few minutes and talk about a wonderful little Canadian punk band by the name of Teenage Head. Named after a Flamin’ Groovies song, these dudes were pretty much there at the beginning of the whole movement back in the late 70’s. If you lived in Canada during the early 80’s it was a prerequisite that you owned at least two ‘Head albums.
The debut is by and far their best, and it contains one of the forgotten gems of power pop in ‘Picture My Face’, but the rest of the album is just as good. ‘Ain’t Got No Sense’, with the lyric “My mom’s kicked the bucket and my dad’s on the way/Oh, I can hardly wait to cash his pay”, is just immortal, and ‘Top Down” is pure, unabashed power pop at it’s finest.
Their second gave birth to two semi-hit singles in ‘Somethin’ On My Mind’, which is in my top 50 songs of all time, and the tribal pop of ‘Let’s Shake’. ‘Wild One’ is just plain adrenaline fueled rock and roll at it’s finest.
Their third, Some Kinda Fun, despite being their best seller, is the weakest of the three but still contains the frat house classics ‘Teenage Beer Drinking Party’, ‘Drivin’ Wild’ and the title track. I quickly lost interest after this one, I’m afraid.
Here’s a random Amazon.com review: “If you grew up listening to punk/rock’n’roll in Toronto or Hamilton in the late70s/early 80s, you probably remember Teenage Head. This was a legendary band, from the amazing live shows, to the infamous Ontario Place riot of ’81, in which 15,000 rowdy teenagers who couldn’t get in to the sold-out show went berserk, and police from all over the greater Toronto area had to be called in to quell the violence. Aside from the history, this is simply a great punk/rock album. If you’re a fan of bands like the Ramones or the Clash, or of proto-punk bands like Iggy & the Stooges or the MC5, you owe it to yourself to lend an ear to the Canadian version. Teenage Head’s blend of punk rock and 50’s-style rock’n’roll ranks among the best of the era (and the band probably would have become more well known if not for the untimely auto accident that put guitarist Gord Lewis out of commission).”
Singer Frankie Venom died October 15th, 2008 and the whole of Canada (and parts of some eastern States) wept. I, and countless other Canucks came of age with this band, and Venom dying was a sad thing indeed. Hard to find decent footage or videos of this band for some reason, so here’s the best I could do. Enjoy.