Frankie Venom

October 15th marked the anniversary of the death of Frank Kerr, better known as Frankie Venom. He was the lead singer of Teenage Head. This Canadian punk rock band was most popular in Canada during the early 80’s, but never quite garnered attention outside of Canada. To me, Teenage Head was sort of a cross between punk rock, new wave, and 60’s surfer music. The band always seemed to be more radio friendly and upbeat than most punk rock bands. Frankie Venom had a wicked name, an evil look, but always came across as a down to earth, nice guy.

In their hometown of Hamilton, Teenage Head was ripping it up on stage. In 1978 they released their first single, Picture My Face, from the self titled album..

In 1980 Teenage Head released their second album, Frantic City. I would love to review this album, but I don’t think I could say it any better than Deke. So here is a link to his review.

https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/sonic-waves-teenage-headfrantic-city/

Below is a few recorded TV show appearances during those days. The TV announcer is J.D. Roberts(now John Roberts), who was very popular in Canada on such shows as The NewMusic, Toronto Rocks and MuchMusic. He has since gone on to bigger and better things in the USA.

Teenage Head was reaching the height of their popularity in 1980, and they were scheduled to do a free concert at Ontario Place in Toronto. Their songs were hits on the radio, and the band promoters advertised a free show. Thousands of people lined up early, and the venue was full long before the band hit the stage. The police would not let any more people in, and a riot started. A Toronto newspaper book excerpt from events of that day.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/book-excerpt-teenage-head-and-the-day-all-hell-broke-loose/article18920627/

After the second album, Teenage Head was ready to tour the USA, and bring their talents to a bigger audience. Unfortunately, just days before the tour was set to kick off, guitarist Gord Lewis broke his back in a car accident. Here is an interview from those days(featuring J.D. Roberts again).

The third album, Some Kinda Fun also features some great tunes, including the below clip.

In 1982 they were in the movie Class of 1984, featuring a then, unknown named Michael Fox(later known as Michael J Fox). The movie also included I am the Future by Alice Cooper.

In 2014, Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Lee Harvey Osmond) started a campaign to erect a statue to honour Frankie Venom in Hamilton. This has so far been met with some resistance, due to the late singer’s substance abuse and a conviction for assault. In my opinion, if the funds are not public funds, the statue should be made. He best represents the blue collar city, and was possibly the most famous musician from Hamilton.

http://o.canada.com/entertainment/music/teenage-head-frankie-venom-statue-Hamilton

There is a book about Teenage Head entitled Gods of the Hammer that I do not have, but I intend to purchase it soon.

A tribute song to Frankie Venom.

A tribute to the band by a fan on youtube.

Even though the band has continued on since his death, I will always think of Frankie Venom as the face of Teenage Head. We miss you Frankie. RIP.

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22 thoughts on “Frankie Venom

  1. Thanks for the props Bop and for the link! Awesome….
    Great career write up as I used to always read about them in Music Express! I wish I would have never given the live album away! Man C*^k In My Pocket is a Classic under Captial C!
    Great great band…
    Once again thanks…..

    Deke

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too bad about the album. I want to get a complete set of all their recordings, but living within an n hour from Hamilton, most of that stuff was snatched up here years ago. They are available online though.
      Although the demo, original version of that song by The Stooges is good, I much prefer the live version done by Teenage Head. I prefer Frankie’s voice over Iggy’s, and they had an awesome stage presence.

      Also, how about a harder version of Heartbreak Hotel

      You are most welcome. I loved your post.

      Like

  2. Frantic City is a favorite of mine although I’m not familiar with their other releases. I also didn’t know much about Teenage Head so thanks for this post. I had wondered why they didn’t take off to world domination and now I understand. At least they had a good degree of success for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. J. says:

    Deke’s post was the first I’d heard of these chaps. Jotted them down on the list as one to do some homework on. Liked what I’ve heard so far and definitely be checking them out a bit more.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. YES! Great band. Has it really been 15 years? Damn.

    I recently came across an LP of Frantic City for $15, it was in OK shape but not great. I passed. Now I wonder… gah, the record collector’s dilemma!

    Great post. Thanks for shining a light on these guys!

    Liked by 1 person

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