I grew up under a promotional poster for Teenage Heads' Tornado that my older brother got for free from Pepper Records, a long since dead Winnipeg music store. The blurred images of the boys from Hamilton rockin' out never made me very curious about their music. In fact when they played at here at Wellington's in 1984, I was at the venue upstairs slamming to SNFU. Later, when I grew to quite like - but not exactly love - Teenage Head, I learned that Tornado was seen as their sell-out record. And not without reason. For that mini-album, they ditched much of their Flamin' Groovies worship, added slick sax and smooth arrangements and changed their fucking name. How is Teenage Heads, which sounds like a group of juvenile junkies to me, so much more radio-friendly than Teenage Head? And this sanitizing happened just after they had appeared playing their best song, "Ain't Got No Sense", in the sex and violence soaked dystopian 1982 horror flick, "The Class of 1984". The eighties were a weird time to have a recording contract.
So since my pal Midnight Rambler has generously posted EVERY out-of-print TH album over at the always-magnificent Sons of the Dolls, I'll offer up a bootleg of a professional recording of Teenage Head's last-minute performance subbing for The Clash at the failed 1980 Heatwave Festival in Toronto. It's a great set and captures the band outside the clutches of the producers that usually compromised their studio work.
Let us know what you think of Teenage Head in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the link for Heatwave).
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