Nasty Past

Things You Suspected You’d Regret When You Got Older, But Did Anyway, Part 397
Growing up in Calgary, Alberta, in the 1970s, Warren was (not entirely surprisingly) unlike many of peers. To him, a weekend spent smoking dope and listening to Led Zep on headphones was a wasted 48 hours. If he was going to irritate his teachers and like-minded authority figures, there had to be a better way.

Along with his pals, Ras Pierre Schenk, Alan “Flesh” Macdonald and assorted other miscreants who attended Bishop Carroll and Bishop Grandin high schools, Warren decided to form a rock band. It did not matter that neither Warren nor any of his pals couldnt play any musical instrument. What mattered was an unshakeable commitment to non-conformity (to wit, all were early members of something called the NCNA – the Non-Conformist News Agency). The Social Blemishes were born.

In and about 1976, Warren, Pierre, Alan and the other members of the Blems liked rough-sounding old stuff by the likes of the Who and the Kinks. In early 1977, Warren bought a copy of the first album by the Ramones, and the Blemishes were forever transformed by punk rock.

The Blemishes practiced their punkish sounds in Alan’s basement in Southwest Calgary, bought a lot of late-night slurpees, and started to attract attention. On December 21, 1977, the Blemishes opened for Fosterchild at Bishop Carroll High School. When Alan launched into a twisted, demonic version of ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ a half-dozen teenaged girls rushed the stage. The Blems were hooked: maybe they’d never get rich playing tunes like ‘Invasion of the Tribbles,’ but getting the odd groupie wasn’t so bad.

In time, the Blemishes became the Hot Nasties. Warren (a.k.a. “Nuclear Age”) was bassist and lead singer; Ras Pierre assumed the role of lead guitarist; Sane Wayne Ahern played rhythm method guitar; and Just Plain Tom Edwards kept the beat. Most of the songs were written by Warren and Pierre.

Three of those songs, ‘I Am A Confused Teenager,’ ‘Secret of Immortality,’ and ‘Invasion of the Tribbles,’ came out on the above Social Blemish Records (More Hits Than Zits) Extended Play single in 1980. The E.P. now sells for nearly $300 (U.S.!). Later, Alan’s band, The Sturgeons, also put out a single on Social Blemish. In late 1980, the Hot Nasties issued an album-length taped collection of their songs. Some were later covered, or adapted, by the likes of Moe Berg (Pursuit of Happiness) and folk star James Keelaghan.

In 1994, a Montreal punk rock fan named Frank Manley issued a book and album about Canadian punk rock called (ironically enough, considering Warren’s later involvements) Smash the State. The album featured songs by the Hot Nasties, the Sturgeons, and the two group’s Edmonton pals, The Rock’n’Roll Bitches. After that, Punk History Canada put out a terrific collection of Canadian punk, featuring the Nasties’ ‘Getawayfromme.’

Not so long ago, Nardwuar and his Evaporator’s covered the Nasties’ ‘Barney Rubble Is My Double.’  More recently, Damian of Fucked Up declared ‘Secret of Immortality’ the song he wants played at his funeral (and who doesn’t?).  And, in Spring 2013, Britain’s awesome Palma Violets toured Canada and the world, playing ‘Invasion of the Tribbles’ as their standard encore.  Video proof here!

Alright, then. Go ahead and laugh.

The porn movie poster that inspired their name,
and thereby helped to revolutionize an entire generation.
From the Smithsonian Nasties Collection.

Buy The Hot Nasties CD

For the first time ever – buy a limited-run CD version of the Hot Nasties’ EP, album, and live performances on one disk! Each signed disc is available for $10, excluding GST and postage. Send an e-mail to and be the first kid on your block to get Digital Nasties!


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    Tom Monteyne says:

    I went to Bishop Carroll and witnessed the Social Blemishes in action at least twice, so it was no accident. I liked the affrontery of the band. I was amazed by the negative reaction from so many others. It was a high school highlight.

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    Gary says:

    Bishop Carrollers were a bunch of pussies back then. Bishop Grandin was where the real miscreants, dopers and crazies hung out.

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      Warren says:

      That’s not what your Mom told us

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    Dave mindach says:

    I was a good friend of Marty shenk. When Warren Marty Peter and think another guy formed the band The Hot Nasties .Good times

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    A. Escovito says:

    I am a fucking douchebag.

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