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Treat Me Like Dirt captures the personalities that drove the original Toronto punk scene. This is the first book to document the histories of the Diodes, Viletones, and Teenage Head, along with other bands (B-Girls, Curse, Demics, Dishes, Forgotten Rebels, Johnny & the G-Rays, the Mods, the Poles, Simply Saucer, the Ugly and more) and fans that brought the punk scene to life in Toronto. This book is a punk rock road map, full of chaos, betrayal, pain, disappointments, failure, success, and the pure rock ’n’ roll energy that frames this layered history of punk in Toronto and beyond. Treat Me Like Dirt is a story assembled from individual personal stories that go beyond the usual “we played here, this famous person saw us there” and into sex, drugs, murder, conspiracy, booze, criminals, biker gangs, violence, art (yes, art) and includes one of the last interviews with the late Frankie Venom (singer of Teenage Head). The book includes a wealth of previously unpublished photographs. This uncensored oral history of the 1977 Toronto punk explosion was originally published in 2010 by Bongo Beat and is now available to the trade. Exclusive to this edition is a selected discography of all key Toronto punk releases referenced in the book, contributed by Frank Manley, author of Smash The State (1992), the acclaimed and pioneering discography of Canadian punk (and subsequent vinyl compilations) that activated the current international interest in Canadian punk from the ‘70s and early ‘80s.
“Every once in a while, maybe in every century, a city has its moment. And I think a lot of Toronto’s moment was between 1976 and 1980. There was just an incredible amount of energy in Toronto. I think it was a pretty boring place before all of us. We kind of were the instigators in terms of changing an awful lot of the direction of the city, artistically and musically and stylistically. People wanted Toronto to be more New York than New York, but keep its own identity. They wanted it to be important; they wanted it to matter. A lot of what I see in Toronto now is the product of what we created in a five-year period of time.” —Paul Robinson, lead singer, The Diodes
“The people involved were, and are, intensely passionate about the music, the Toronto scene, their places in it. Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond 1977-1981 reflects its subjects; it’s filled with that same punk intensity and passion.” —www.PopMatters.com (November 2011)
“[E]asily one of the best rock biographies you’ll read this year.” —Montreal Mirror (November 2011)
About the Author
Liz Worth is the author of “Eleven: Eleven.” She has contributed to “ChiZine,” “Clamor,” “ditch,” and “Punk Planet.” She lives in Toronto. Gary Pig Gold is a pop musicologist and veteran of the 1977 Toronto scene. He managed the “Pig Paper,” Canada’s very first self-published music fanzine, and released the first single by the band Simply Saucer. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.