Teenage Head

The punk world has lost one of its best ever guitar players and songwriters

RIP Gordie Lewis of Canadian punk icons Teenage Head.

It’s with a heavy heart that I have to start off this column with the announcement that one of the main pioneers of Canadian punk rock, and one of my all time musical heroes, Gordie Lewis from the immortal Teenage Head was brutally slain by his son in a cramped Hamilton apartment last week. If you watched the amazing Teenage Head documentary Picture My Face (it’s on YouTube in its entirety if you haven’t), you will know that Lewis had long been struggling with depression since the passing of Teenage Head’s singer and his high school friend Frankie Venom. It seems Lewis was finally winning his battle with depression before this horrendous act took his life.

The very first show I ever saw as a preteen was Teenage Head at the Ontario Place Forum in 1980, and there was a riot — I was hooked. I briefly met Lewis at an autograph signing just shortly after that and I remember walking away with a distinct impression he was really just a down to earth guy who liked to play guitar. I met him again more recently, 10 years ago, and actually got to jam with him on the Stooges’ “TV Eye.” To say it was a thrill would be putting it mildly. That day I had become a blubbering fan boy, which he managed to take in stride and seemed genuinely pleased to meet a fan — again. 

Safe travels Gordie, and know that the ever shrinking punk rock world lost one of the greatest guitar slingers and songwriters of all time. 

Now to the top Montreal shows this week:

Friday: This one is surfing a bit under the radar but I got ya covered. If you are a die hard metal head sporting a proud skullet on yer noggin or have just always wondered what a dildo being banged against a flying V and then fed through screaming Marshall stacks sounds like, you will not want to miss this rare and intimate night with the pride of Scarberia, Anvil. If you have not checked out the utterly amazing Anvil doc Anvil, The Story of Anvil, do that right fuckin’ now and by show time you will be completely in love with these lunkhead underdogs. This is happening at the most metal room in the city, Foufs. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 9 p.m., $34.32

For all of you post-punkers waiting to sashay around the room, hit up le Ritz for the dark jingle-jangle (ahem, a lot of reverb delay, and the occasional swipe from a Bauhaus riff) of Death Bells with the Serfs in the hump slot. Now the real reason you should be scratching at the door of le Ritz just before they open is to catch local openers Pulsum, featuring Jackie from Pale Lips and her hubby Chance from Priors. Death Bells better have their shit together or they just might get their lunch stolen from the locals. 179 Jean-Talon W., 7:30 p.m., $22.53

Saturday: I am an admitted Joy Division junkie and will confess that every Peter “Hooky” Hook interview from the plethora of JD docs makes me just love the band more. Hooky is the kind of loveable yob that can expertly nurse a pint while waiting for his dart game to come up with the lads. If you’re also a fan of darts and genre-defining bass riffs, you already know about the An Evening With Peter Hook and The Light: Joy Division a Celebration. If you aren’t that much of a fan and only own the JD T-shirt, then you probs don’t know it’s totally sold out. So, yeah it’s sold out, ya poser. 

If you fugged up and didn’t grip tix for Hooky’s look back to dreary Manchester, you can make it down to Brasserie Beaubien to check out a show that is shockingly not happening at Barfly. Both bands Tanker 20 and Slippery Hitch can routinely be seen holding up the bar at Barfly but are bringing their eclectic riffle up north to the always weird Brasserie Beaubien (who sold to promoters I Love Neon not long ago). Will Barfly’s greatest heckler, the Ant Man, give the bands a piece of his mind? Show up and find out. 73 Beaubien E., 9 p.m., $two joints

Sunday: Hopefully all of you did the right thing to help rid the world of shiddy pop music hiding under 10-gallon lids and had your mind blown at the Orville Peck show last week. If you think people like Peck, Sturgill Simpson and Wheeler Walker Jr. have their hands firmly on the wheel steering country music down the dirty and dusty back roads to glory, you will definitely want to pencil in Bobby Dove at Casa. Dove is able to get that tear in yer beer but manages to create a wide berth when it comes to cheap caricatures of yokels chomping on hayseeds. Songwriting is there in spades while the croon will grab you by the marrow and dosey-doe with you for awhile. 100% real deal, signed, sealed and delivered. 4871 St-Laurent, 7:30 p.m., $23.08

For more Montreal music coverage, please visit the Music section.