Gerry Hannah

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Gerry Hannah
Gerry Hannah playing in Montreal, September 2010
Gerry Hannah playing in Montreal, September 2010
Background information
Birth name Gerald Richard Hannah
Also known as Gerry Useless
Origin Canada
Genres Punk, indie rock, folk rock
Instruments Bass guitar, voice, rhythm guitar
Associated acts Subhumans

Gerald Richard Hannah (also known as Gerry Useless) was the bass player for the Canadian punk rock group The Subhumans[1] and was also a member of the armed revolutionary group Direct Action, also known as the Squamish Five (in the mainstream press) and the Vancouver Five (in the alternative press).[2][3]

Squamish Five carried out a political campaign of "direct actions", including the Litton Industries bombing, Litton Industries being the manufacturer of guidance systems for American nuclear cruise missiles. Hannah was convicted of conspiracy to rob an armoured car and possession of a stolen weapon, for which he received a ten-year jail sentence. He was released after serving five years of his sentence.[3] While in jail, he recorded two records, Songs from the Underground (folk) and Whereabouts Unknown (electronic), both now very hard to find.

Hannah was a member of the Vancouver-based punk rock band, The Subhumans, from 1978 to 1981. He reunited with his ex-bandmates for a few shows in the 1990s and again between 2005 and 2010. The Subhumans were best known for their 1980 album Incorrect Thoughts. Hannah penned at least three classics of the punk genre, Slave to my Dick, Oh Canaduh and Fuck You.[3] The Subhumans released New Dark Age Parade in 2006 [4] and Death was too Kind in 2008.[5] Same Thoughts, Different Day, a re-recorded version of Incorrect Thoughts, came out in 2010.[6]

In December 2014, Hannah released a solo indie folk-rock record Coming Home. The album is a re-recording of selected tracks from Songs from Underground with some additional material. Most of the songs were written during his time with Direct Action and his imprisonment.[6]

In 2004, Vancouver filmmaker, Glen Sanford, made a documentary movie about Gerry Hannah, called Useless. Hannah was also one of the interview subjects in Bloodied But Unbowed, Susanne Tabata's 2011 documentary about Vancouver's early punk scene.[7]


  1. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Biography: The Subhumans". AMG. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Squamish Five Backers Issue Threat". Ottawa Citizen. CP. 29 July 1984. p. 48. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Bussières, Ian (18 September 2010), "Déneigeur le jour, punk rocker la nuit", Le Soleil, retrieved 5 January 2015 
  4. ^ Hynes, Cian (19 March 2008). "Doa, Street Dogs, Slackers, The Threat...". Riot 77 Magazine, Issue 12. 
  5. ^ Ranta, Alan (3 February 2009). "Subhumans: Death Was Too Kind". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b MacInnis, Allan (2 December 2014), "Gerry Hannah – Coming Home (self released)", The Big Takeover, 66, retrieved 5 January 2015 
  7. ^ Tabata, Susanne (Director) (2010). Bloodied but Unbowed (Documentary film). Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: DOXA Documentary Film Festival. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 

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