Posted tagged ‘Direct Action’

Thoughts on Punk: The Vancouver Scene


After last week’s class on the Vancouver punk community, we thought it might be fun to start posting our ideas on what we covered in class online, so we can keep pushing those intellectual boundaries even after the bell rings. And if you missed the class, well here’s your chance to throw in your 2 cents (or profound ideas)!



The History of Punk, Class #2


The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 19 May 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action!”

In the late-1970s and early 1980s, the Vancouver punk scene was a vibrant and diverse community. We’ll look at originators like Joey “Shithead” Keithley, his group DOA, and another local band called The Subhumans. Gerry “Useless” Hannah, The Subhuman’s bass player, was a member of the activist group Direct Action. These dissenters were arrested by the RCMP for attacks against property, which sparked a media firestorm. We’ll also discuss Vancouver participants in relation to the wider punk milieu, and the 1980s’ counterculture as a whole.

American Hardcore, pp. 256-260.
The Philosophy of Punk, pp. 112-114
I, Shithead, pp. 125-127.
“The Vancouver 5”
Hannah’s Maximum Rocknroll column, 1984.
Toronto Star, 15 October 1982, p. A1
Toronto Star, 15 October 1982, p. A3

Duff McKagan recalls the Pacific Northwest punk scene
Chris Arnett: The Furies
The Skulls move to Toronto
Vancouver punk scene’s D.I.Y. recording history
Henry Rollins on DOA
The Stiffs – “Fuck You”
Dishrags – “I Don’t Love You” live 1979
DOA – “Disco Sucks”
DOA – “World War III”
The Subhumans – “Firing Squad”
The Subhumans – “Slave to my Dick”
DOA – “Trial by Media”

Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action! Part II


Now then, here’s part deux. So I promised I’d show how there were links between Direct Action and the underground punk scene in Vancouver. Well actually, the links even extended through the overall punk network in North America, but before we go into that wider story I have to tell you this: Gerald Hannah, member of Direct Action and was also known as Gerry Useless, and he was a founding member of the Vancouver band the Subhumans. Not to be, of course, confused with the Subhumans.


Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action!


“Bomb explosion rocks cruise missile factory.”

This was the headline on the front page of The Toronto Star, way back on Friday 15 October 1982. Above the headline were the words “Canada’s first terrorist attack, Etobicoke mayor says.” It isn’t that surprising the mayor would assume the first terrorist attack in Toronto must then also be the first in all of Canada, but it wasn’t even the first attack in 1982. Nor would it be the last.*