Art Bergmann

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Art Bergmann
Art Bergmann performing at the 10 Day Cafe in Stratford, Ontario in 1996.
Background information
Birth nameArthur Frank Bergmann
Born (1953-02-08) February 8, 1953 (age 65)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genrespunk rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s)singer, songwriter, guitarist
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1970s–present
Associated actsYoung Canadians, Los Popularos, Poisoned

Arthur Frank "Art" Bergmann (born February 8, 1953 in Vancouver, British Columbia)[1] is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter who was one of the key figures in Canadian punk rock in the late 1970s.[2]

Punk bands[edit]

Bergmann began his musical career with an Abbotsford band called the Mount Lehman Grease Band. After Mount Lehman folded, he founded his own band, called the Notorious Smorg Brothers, which he stocked with a myriad of different support artists.

Bergmann was later the lead singer and songwriter for Vancouver punk stalwarts Young Canadians (formerly The K-Tels).[3] Although the Young Canadians only recorded two independent EPs and a single before breaking up, their song "Hawaii" (co-written with Ross Carpenter) is one of the classic Canadian punk anthems. Although long out of print, the EPs, along with some unreleased live material, were reissued in 1995 as the album No Escape.

Solo career[edit]

In the 1980s, Bergmann played with Vancouver independent bands Los Popularos and Poisoned before the latter band signed to Duke Street Records in 1988.[2] Due to confusion with the popular American band Poison which had marred the band's most recent tour, however, the label decided to bill the band's releases as solo albums by Bergmann.[2]

He released his debut solo album, the John Cale-produced Crawl with Me, that year. He garnered a Juno Award nomination for Most Promising Male Vocalist at the Juno Awards of 1989, and James O'Mara and Kate Ryan were nominated for Best Music Video for Bergmann's "Our Little Secret".[4]

1990's Sexual Roulette, produced by Chris Wardman, became Bergmann's mainstream breakthrough, spawning the rock radio hit "Bound for Vegas" and garnering him a deal with Polygram Records.[5]

He followed up with a self-titled album on Polygram in 1991, again garnering significant radio airplay for the singles "Faithlessly Yours", "If She Could Sing" and "Message From Paul". In 1994 he collaborated with One Free Fall on a cover of Neil Young's "Prisoners of Rock and Roll" for the tribute album Borrowed Tunes,[6] leading to a new deal with Sony Records for 1995's What Fresh Hell Is This?. That album won the Juno Award for Best Alternative Rock Album at the Juno Awards of 1996,[7] but the album was not a strong performer on the charts and he was then dropped from the label. Bergmann quit the music business for a period following his release by Sony, performing sporadically between 1995 and 1998.[3]

The 1998 Design Flaw, produced by Peter J. Moore and released on the independent label Other People's Music, was a reworking of tracks from his first three albums, plus a cover of Gram Parsons' "Sin City". The songs featured Bergmann on acoustic guitar, with backing by Chris Spedding on electric. Bergmann then released Vultura Freeway, a compilation of unreleased demo recordings from the early 1980s, in 2000, with liner notes from Pointed Sticks front man Nick Jones.

Following Vultura Freeway, however, Bergmann withdrew from the music business for several years, due to health difficulties with degenerative arthritis.[8]

In 2009 Bergmann's bassist Ray Fulber compiled the CD Lost Art Bergmann, which featured early demo versions of most of the songs that appeared on the 1988 John Cale produced album. These demo recordings served as a tonic to many fans as they have a more guitar driven sound than the keyboard heavy Cale produced sessions.

On August 26, 2014, Bergmann released Songs for the Underclass through the independent label (weewerk).[9]

On May 13, 2016, Bergmann released The Apostate, his first full-length album of new material since 1995.[10]

On May 12, 2017, Bergmann released Remember Her Name, a remastered edition of his self-titled 1991 album.[11]

Film appearances[edit]

He has also appeared in two Bruce McDonald films, Highway 61 as Otto and Hard Core Logo as himself, and as a musician in Conjurer of Monikers. Additionally, he was featured in Bloodied but Unbowed, a film featured at the 2010 Vancouver Documentary Film Festival.



  1. ^ Background at Art Bergmann
  2. ^ a b c Michael Barclay, Ian A.D. Jack and Jason Schneider, Have Not Been the Same: The Can-Rock Renaissance 1985-1995. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-992-9.
  3. ^ a b Ben Rayner, "Bergmann living down his reputation". Toronto Star, October 15, 1998: G4.
  4. ^ "Bergmann rocks on explosive edge". Toronto Star, March 29, 1990.
  5. ^ "Bergmann, Art". The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia. Jam!. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  6. ^ "Bergmann on his way to some Fresh Hell: Sony was impressed enough with Vancouver rocker to back album". The Province, February 17, 1995.
  7. ^ "Alanis owns Junos: Five more awards cap singer's fabulous year". The Province, March 11, 1996.
  8. ^ "Bergmann still kicking the chair away; Arthritis can't dampen spirit of punk". Victoria Times-Colonist, September 4, 2014.
  9. ^ Hudson, Alex. "Art Bergmann 'Songs for the Underclass' (EP stream)". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
  10. ^ "Art Bergmann Returns with 'The Apostate,' Premieres New Track". Exclaim!, February 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "First Play: Art Bergmann, Remember Her Name". CBC Music, May 4, 2017.

External links[edit]