A photographic narrative of Toronto’s punk history 1976-1980
This incredible document explodes with youthful beauty and tragic self-absorption, shining a harsh light on the chaotic creation, destruction and camaraderie surrounding the birth of the ugly child that became known as punk.
Photographed by musician and producer Don Pyle (Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet/Greek Buck/Black Heel Marks) from age 14 in the summer of 1976, Trouble In The Camera Club features over 300 photographs and 200 flyers, ticket stubs and related ephemera, and presents a unique and rare perspective on the sorely under-documented Toronto scene. Canada’s premiere bands of the new breed – The Ugly, The Curse, Teenage Head, Viletones, Diodes, D.O.A. are shown at their earliest gigs, alongside candid moments of street scenes, friends and foreign dignitaries – including the first local performances of Ramones, Dead Boys, Iggy Pop solo, Blondie, The Clash and more.
Toronto has never been the same since and these historic and unparalleled images illustrate why.
Quotes about Trouble In The Camera Club
“This is the true image of an era when a particular army of less than a thousand fans, artists, and entrepreneurs living in teenage purgatory would make waves, raise some shit, provide an alternative to traditional arts and ideas, and ultimately change the face of Toronto. And what better way to capture the spirit but through the eyes of a 14-year-old onlooker who couldn’t resist the buzz? I feel Don’s adrenaline as he snapped away, and am proud to have contributed to his rush. Given the lifestyle, it’s a miracle the pics survived; sadly however, several of the protagonists did not.”
—Gary Topp, promoter, producer and publicist,
the New Yorker Theatre, Horseshoe Tavern and the Edge
“Don’s untrained, out-on-a-school-night-looking-for-gym-locker-pinups eye and his consistently good taste in bad people spat up an epic portrayal of early Punk Rock in Toronto. The iconic imagery of his subjects in these non-commissioned photographs and piles of memorabilia/paraphernalia make an excellent book from cover to cover (except this quote).”
—Dallas Good, The Sadies
“Had you been lucky enough to actually be there you would have danced your F*CKING PANTIES OFF. If you weren’t, then I suppose they are still firmly affixed to your bits and pieces. What a shame. Don’s pics take the viewer on a wild ride through an era in Toronto that, simply put, we will never see again.”
—Linda Lee Hunter aka Patsy Poison, The Curse
“By 1977 Toronto’s art and music scene was awash with world class bands and visual artists on the crest of the last significant cultural movement of the 20th century. Don Pyle’s photographs represent a unique insider’s view of the Toronto Punk scene. He is someone who was clearly a part of it, while having the sense and eye to document it. If you ever wonder why so many young people still gravitate towards Punk, the answer lies in its honesty and relevancy in the pre-digital age.”
—Paul Robinson, singer, The Diodes