Punk haiku


Ken Badger and I started the Scenics in 1976. The band lasted till 1982, and after that, Ken and I only talked every few years- a phone call, a letter...

In 2004, Ken mailed me a box of a dozen live Scenics tapes. We had recorded them from 1976-82 in a bunch of Toronto punk dives, and he said "Please, put these on CD before they fall apart." I put them on a shelf in my studio and they sat there for three years.

Eventually I hauled them out. I had a weekend free and was playing catch up on a lot of old business. I grabbed a tape marked "Scenics live at the Beverley 1977".

The Scenics meant everything to me when they were happening, but I hadn't heard them for a long time. All sorts of wonderful (and not so) things had happened since, and I wasn't expecting to hear anything in particular when I pressed play. But...

The Scenics knocked me out. Their songs, their intensity. How wild they played. It was a trip to hear the 19 year old me cracking wise from the stage. So familiar, yet, where had he gone?

As the tape played, I literally sat down and began writing about those days, not knowing where it was going. Over time I talked to Ken, and other friends from back then, and got some facts straight.

That writing became "Punk Haiku", a memoir of what is was like to be in the Scenics, to be part of an intensely creative band that kind of travelled alone through the Toronto Punk scene. "Punk Haiku" also remembers the larger story of the punk DIY revolution, 1976 to 1982- hearing Talking Heads as a trio for the first time in a tiny art gallery. Hearing the 1st Ramones LP in 1976, and Television and Pere Ubu's first independent 45's, and the impact they made. How all these sounds and experiences affected the Scenics, and where it all led.

Hearing those tapes in late 2005 led to getting back in touch with all the Scenics. To begin listening to the 300 plus hours of punk era Scenics we have on tape. To releasing "How Does it Feel to be Loved"  and again playing live together. To releasing the Last Pogo DVD and, in Nov 2008, to going back into the studio, and recording new material. To releasing "Sunshine World in October 2009.

But all that is a different story.  This is "Punk Haiku", the story of the Scenics, the sounds and the scene, 1976 to 1982.