03.24.2018 08:47 AM

Lonnie James. Um, who?

So, Sam Sutherland wrote a great book about Canadian punk rock a few years back, called Perfect Youth. It’s really good. You can get it here.

Chris Walter this year wrote and published another amazing book about Canadian punk, Misfits and Miscreants. It’s an oral history of the scene, and it is pretty terrific. Buy it here.

I’m in both books, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because, in both books, I noticed there’s some guy named “Lonnie James” bitching about me.

This James guy says his band, which I never heard of, put out Calgary’s first punk record, which is bullshit. The Hot Nasties did.

And he says no one liked or cared about my band, but there’s some evidence to the contrary – here and here and here and here.

He also says that I put up posters for the shows we put on, and I designed them in such a way that rednecks would be motivated to call us “faggots” and come beat us up. Seriously, he says that.

Anyway, I can’t figure out if Lonnie James is a human or a computer virus. Does he actually exist? Is he a crazy person? Probably.

At the end of this brief entry, I’m aware of the fact that I may have given “Lonnie James” more attention than he will ever get in his entire life.

Anyway. That’s about all there is to say about Lonnie, who should go fuck himself before he dies, which is hopefully soon.


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    Chris Walter says:

    I’m so glad I didn’t have to verify facts in my book. I simply quoted the contributors, so any all factual errors are on them. Personally, I loved the idea that Warren baited the jocks and rednecks with his posters. I’m a bit disappointed to learn that wasn’t true.

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      Warren says:

      I baited them with my big mouth instead.

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    Nasty Bob says:

    Now if they claimed to have released Calgary’s first punk poser single that would be correct ( still a year after the Nasties).

    I remember seeing them ( once only !) at a gig with two legit punk bands opening at MRC. By their third song the place had cleared out except for maybe a couple of their girlfriends and me (who had to stick around to collect a cut of the door).

    Most of their songs were Loverboy-esque sung with a semi faux brit accent. Seems to me they thought throwing on some narrow ties -and, if memory serves, green plastic bowlers what one wears with a “kiss me I’m Irish” button-would disguise their screeming guitar solo rock as something resembling new wave.

    Never got any airplay on CJSW. Aside from the single being godoffal nobody up there thought they were legit.

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    Robert White says:

    XTC & my band _The Friction City Bugs_ did the first live Simulcast in CANADA between CKCU & the cablevision provider that preceded Rogers Cable(tm) back in 1979.
    My band was the first Punk band in CANADA to do a Simulcast as XTC was not Punk. And singles were always lame IMHO.


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      Simon says:

      Q107 simulcast Teenage Head on Hallowe’en, 1978. And singles are THE punk format.

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    Simon says:

    This is truly odd, although I have yet to read the new book. By sheer coincidence, I sold the Cutz 45 just a couple weeks ago, and it’s from ‘81, decidedly after the Nasties record. It’s also a very tame, generic bit of ‘70s punk ROCK, way too late to have any claim to innovating anything when you consider it appeared five years after Ramones/Saints/Damned, and right as hardcore was blowing up. The Nasties EP, on the other hand, is a genuinely distinct, original record, right at the forefront of that 1980 DIY/art punk style that was unfolding in the UK and American midwest. So, a forgettable ‘81 footnote versus a remarkable ‘80 classic that is globally regarded as one of the great Canadian punk singles? No comparison.

    Timeline-wise, however, I’m confused. Is this the same Lonnie James that was in Living Proof in 1983 Quebec, then moved the band to Toronto?

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    Don Sulatycky says:

    Is this not the same Lonnie James who played in The Shun in Calgary? I never really considered them a punk band to begin with. Art rock bands played the Calgarian too and The Shun was firmly riding in that lane. I think he had a band out east about 10 years later called The Lawn. Last time I ever saw him on a stage in Calgary was about 26 years ago playing drums for The Nils from Montreal. Like I said – I think that’s the same Lonnie James. I’ve NEVER considered anything but the Hot Nasties single the debut punk vinyl salvo out of Calgary. I don’t even include the Cutz in the list of essential early Calgary singles. Those would be The Nasties, Verdix, Sturgeons, Silicone Injection, Riot 303. If anyone reading this wants to hear the greatest unreleased Canadian punk rock recordings I suggest you start searching for the 24-song 1982 demo tape by Calgary’s Riot 303 – one of the earliest bands to be labeled “skate punk” or “skate rock” thanks to their ties to skateboard culture. In the early 90’s hardcore bible Maximum Rock & Roll called this Riot 303 tape the best unreleased recordings of the hardcore era. They are.

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      Ollie says:

      I recall The Shun as mediocre blues-punk, not art-rock. Saw them at a rural outdoor gig in 82 on a bill with “New Europeans” (decent synth group), NeoA4 from Edmonton, and The Presence.

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