Gather 'round children, and we'll tell you a tale of misfits, crust punks and circle pits — but all from our end of the border.
Perfect Youth is the story of the first wave of punk in Canada, and it's being told at the Casbah in Hamilton this Friday.
Author Sam Sutherland says he wrote the book to fill in what be saw as a tremendous gap in the "great punk tome canon" in this country.
"Between books like American Hardcore and England's Dreaming, there was no mention of the active scenes that were churning just north of the American border," Sutherland said.
"I like to think it gives a broader context to some of the amazing scene-specific work that's been published in the last few years, proving what an important cultural force punk in Canada was during its early explosion."
On Friday night, Sutherland is sitting down with Alexisonfire frontman George Pettit to talk about Canadian punk rock, his book, and to spin some classic punk records.
Afterwards, first-wave Canadian punk band Arson is set to grace the Casbah's stage.
CBC Hamilton caught up with Sutherland and Pettit to talk about the show, the book, and the history of Canadian punk rock.
CBC: So what can people expect Friday night?
Sutherland: "When we launched the book in Toronto last October, myself and Damian Abraham of Fucked Up spent some time on stage at the Horseshoe playing records and discussing some of the most interesting bands and stories to emerge from this critical time in punk's development.
"I wanted to take that same format and apply it to other cities. So for Hamilton, I'll be talking to Niagara region native George Pettit, formerly of Alexisonfire, all about our favourite Canadian punk bands and, in particular, those to emerge from the city.
"I feel like having these conversations with a contemporary musician offers a great jumping-off point for conversation, and can help bring folks who aren't already first wave vinyl completionists into the fold in a way that's engaging and exciting.
"And then there's Arson, one of the coolest bands from Toronto's early scene, who kicked the shit out of the Horseshoe stage in October. They've written an album of new material that's just as exciting as their classics — like White Folks — and I wanted to have them come out to help close the gap between classics and contemporary.
Pettit: "I think my role on Friday night will be to play Andy Richter to Sam's Conan. We will be conversing about Canadian punk and our own experiences discovering it.
"I'm bringing a turntable so we can play some essential records too."
Q: What do you feel differentiates Canada's punk scene from other places like the U.K. and the U.S.?
Pettit: "Canadian punk, quality-wise, can go toe-to-toe with U.K. and U.S. punk no problem. Unfortunately, due to the vast expanse that is Canada and the lack of a real cultural hub in the country at the time, most of the bands were doomed to obscurity.
"But their influence was felt all over both north and south of the border. I don't think Canada gets enough credit for being ahead of the curve when it comes to punk."
Sutherland: "The isolation. Teenage Head came the closest to tangible rock stardom, but the Canadian music industry wasn't prepared for punk. Bands were forming and breaking up without any thought of the kind of record deals that were coming out of London and New York — and because of that, they took risks those bands couldn't take.
"There's an intrinsic weirdness in classic Canadian punk, and it's because in 1977, Toronto might as well have been somewhere in the Himalayas. The only goal was expression. And drinking."
Q: How intrinsic a part does Hamilton play into the creation and development of Canadian Punk rock?
Sutherland: "Hamilton is wildly important. As outlined first in Liz Worth's excellent oral history of the Southern Ontario scene Treat Me Like Dirt, Teenage Head were the first, and some would argue the best.
"They toured when other bands were still in diapers, and they cast a long shadow over the Canadian rock scene, not just the punk community. They were playing in 1975, long before stripped-down, back-to-basics rock and roll had a catchy name like "punk."
"They were the bedrock of the Hamilton scene, and it's from there that you get the proud history the city has of exciting, hard-as-nails punk bands."
Pettit: "Hamilton is a perfect punk backdrop even to this day. It makes perfect sense that Hamilton would birth some of the best Canadian punk bands, like Simply Saucer, Teenage Head, and the Forgotten Rebels.
"The long-gone Star Records downtown was one of the first record stores to import punk records in Southern Ontario and became a focal point for all weirdos and would-be punks."
The discussion on Perfect Youth and the history of Canadian punk starts at 9 p.m. Friday night at the Casbah at 306 King St. W. Admission is free, and restricted to 19+.