Teenage Head (band)
Teenage Head in concert at the 2008 Friendship Festival in Fort Erie, ON
|Origin||Hamilton, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Punk rock, garage rock|
|Labels||Epic, Attic, MCA, Ready, Warpt, Fringe, O.P.M., Loudrock, Sonic Unyon|
|Associated acts||Marky Ramone|
|Past members||Steve Park
Frankie Venom (Kerr)
Blair Richard Martin
The group was formed in Hamilton by Frankie Venom (Frank Kerr), Gord Lewis, Steve Mahon and Nick Stipanitz. Stipanitz has since been replaced by Jack Pedler, and Venom died of cancer on October 15, 2008.
The band's name is a reference to the Flaming Groovies album, Teenage Head which Gord Lewis had seen advertised in a music magazine, but not heard, and decided that he, one day, would form a band with that name.
Teenage Head was formed in 1975 when the band members were students at Westdale High School in Hamilton. By May 1978, they released their first single "Picture My Face" on Epic Records, and their self-titled debut, Teenage Head, followed a year later.
The band's performance at The Last Pogo concert on December 1, 1978 at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ended in a riot and was shut down by the police. The concert was made into a short film by Colin Brunton, The Last Pogo. In 2006, Brunton began a feature-length documentary film about the concert, including additional interviews and footage of Teenage Head. It was released on DVD in 2008 as a tribute to the late Frankie Venom.
1980's Frantic City was the band's breakthrough album, making them stars across Canada with the hit singles "Let's Shake" and "Somethin' On My Mind". They toured to support that album, including opening the major Heatwave festival in August. In June 1980 their performance at Toronto's Ontario Place sparked a riot. The incident made headlines across the country, and led Ontario Place to ban rock concerts for several years afterward.
In September 1980, riding high on the success of Frantic City and the band's unintended notoriety, Attic Records, their Canadian label, set up a series of showcase gigs in New York City, hoping to attract a U.S. record deal. Only a few days before their scheduled departure, Lewis was seriously injured in a car accident and the showcase was cancelled. Lewis was temporarily replaced by David Bendeth, although he was able to return in time to play on the 1982 album Some Kinda Fun, which was another success.
Their 1983 record Tornado was marked by controversy, with the band's new American label MCA Records demanding that they change their name to Teenage Heads to placate the more conservative American audience. The title track was the band's last big hit in Canada.
In 1986, one year after the release of Trouble in the Jungle, Venom left the band to form a new group, Frankie Venom and The Vipers. Nick Stipanitz joined the Vipers as well. Venom was replaced by Dave Desroches, aka Dave Rave, who led the band for three years before departing to form his own band, The Dave Rave Conspiracy. Nick later left The Vipers and did a stint with The Tennessee Rockets for a while. Frank and Nick came back to Teenage Head when the group reformed in 1988, but Stipanitz left Teenage Head shortly after the reformation and went into a professional career in drafting and engineering. He was first replaced by Blair Richard Martin of The Raving Mojos, then Mark Lockerbie, who played on the 1996 album "Head Disorder". Lockerbie was in turn replaced by Jack Pedler.
In 2003, the band recorded a host of previously released material with Ramones drummer Marky Ramone at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton and Metalworks Studios in Toronto with Ramones producer, Daniel Rey. The resulting album was released in Canada on April 22, 2008, titled Teenage Head with Marky Ramone.
In the spring of 2007, Teenage Head played in Alberta and British Columbia for the first time in more than ten years. They returned again in the spring of 2008.
On October 15, 2008, Gord Lewis announced that Frankie Venom had died following a battle with throat cancer.
The remaining members of the bands continued to perform after Venom's death playing a tribute show for him, and performing at the 2008 Hamilton Music Awards.
In 2009, longtime fan and friend of the band, Pete MacAulay joined as the new singer, to in his words "take Frankie's space, not his place". 2014 saw Canadian born internationally accredited writer/reviewer Geoff Pevere write the book Gods of the Hammer: The Teenage Head Story (Coach House Books).
In his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario a memorial statue of Frankie Venom had been planned but has been stalled because of criticism of public funds being spent to commemorate a man who used illegal drugs and was once convicted for domestic assault. 2015 marked the band's 40th anniversary with a series of high-profile well received shows.
In November 2016, Teenage Head announced the return of Dave "Rave" Desroches as lead singer.
Jack Pedler, the official current drummer, has, due to illness, been replaced at live shows by Gene Champagne, also of the UnTeens and the Killjoys
|1978||"Picture My Face"||Teenage Head|
|1978||"Top Down"||Non-LP re-recording of a song originally from Teenage Head|
|1980||"Somethin' On My Mind"||
||Non-LP re-recording of a song originally from Frantic City|
|1982||"Some Kinda Fun"||
||Some Kinda Fun|
|1982||"Let's Go To Hawaii"|
|1983||"Tornado" (as Teenage Heads)||
|1983||"Blood Boogie" (as Teenage Heads)|
|1984||"Top Down" (live version)||Endless Party|
|1985||"Frantic Romantic"||Trouble In The Jungle|
|1987||"Can't Stop Shakin'"||Electric Guitar|
|1988||"Everybody Needs Somebody"|
- 1979 – Teenage Head
- 1980 – Frantic City
- 1982 – Some Kinda Fun
- 1983 – Tornado EP (as "Teenage Heads")
- 1986 – Trouble in the Jungle
- 1988 – Electric Guitar
- 1996 – Head Disorder
- 2008 – Teenage Head with Marky Ramone
- 2017 – retrospective double vinyl album
- 1984 – Endless Party
- "Teenage Head Official web site".
- Thiessen, Brock (16 October 2008). "RIP Teenage Head's Frankie Venom". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Teenage Head". The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia. 28 November 2004. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- CBC News http://radio3.cbc.ca/#/bands/Teenage-Head. Missing or empty
- Rockingham, Graham (22 April 2008). "Teenage Head: still Some Kinda Fun". Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- MacNeil, Jason (16 October 2008). "Teenage Head singer dead at 51". Sun Media/Jam!. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- Rockingham, Graham. "An old friend returns to Teenage Head". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved 21 November 2016.