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Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  62 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
While many volumes devoted to the punk and hardcore scenes in America grace bookstore shelves, Canada's contributions to the genre remain largely unacknowledged. For the first time, the birth of Canadian punk--a transformative cultural force that spread across the country at the end of the 1970s--is captured between the pages of this important resource. Delving deeper than ...more
Unknown Binding, 497 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by ECW Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Nov 01, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I overreacted when I saw that Sam Sutherland thinks Personality Crisis were the best Canadian punk band, I'm sorry. This book has more meat than a pulled pork- and for once I think a punk book hit a great middle point between being introductory and drawn out and dull. A must for any Canadian punk without shit for brains, whether they're fans of any of these bands or not. And if they aren't? Tough.
Simon Harvey
Oct 09, 2012 Simon Harvey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect Youth is an excellent read, a consistently entertaining, informative and insightful glimpse into a moment in Canadian cultural history that has literally never before been covered with this sort of integrity. Neatly side-stepping the numerous genre pitfalls into which far too many punk books slip (the gaudy sex-and-drugs catalogue of inane debauchery, the dry academic exercise in bloodless irrelevance, the spirited but badly-written personal memoir), Sutherland has managed to incorporate ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Katrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies, music
I read this book in just over a day and a half. I couldn't put it down. I've dabbled in punk music, I'll happily let anyone teach me anything to do with punk and perhaps that mentality is what made me so open to the storytelling the author dives into here. I went into this with no knowledge that Canada HAD a punk scene outside of maybe Vancouver and Toronto. The book is funny, it's emotional and so informative. The author clearly adores his subject matter and it shows in every word and every par ...more
Gregory Klages
Dec 17, 2015 Gregory Klages rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sutherland weaves a nice series of anecdotal tales culled from the memories of the Canadian punks who were "there" during the emergence of Canada's punk scene in the mid-to-late 1970s. His dogged determination in tracking down people who have left behind their punk roots (some to enter the sanctified realm of boardrooms, some to continue to struggle along in the music biz, and other who have simply moved to struggling...) is admirable and produces real insights into an era that is hard to source ...more
Paul Childs
Apr 07, 2013 Paul Childs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really great read; people, places, bands and things I hadn't thought about in years. Not just pointless nostalgia either; an incisive view into what and who made Canadian punk unique, how geography and distance drove the formation of bands and the circles of bands and personalities that emerged. Reminders too of how small the scene was; even if like me you were on the edges of it the number of times there's 2-3 degrees of separation from people is amazing, for good (the Ottawa scene at Rotter' ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. This book is a thoroughly researched and fascinating history of the punk scene all across Canada and boy does it bring back memories! Yes, I was there at the concert at the New Yorker in Toronto, my introduction to punk, the Ramones and Stiv Bators and the Dead Boys, thanks to my younger brother. Reminiscences, reminiscences....Nazi Dog of the Viletones singing "Possibilites", seeing the Diodes in Hamilton, The Forgotten Rebels...This book has it all!Was ...more
Jamie Hicks
This book was fascinating. It revealed a movement and a scene that few Canadians knew about, let alone the world. A few name drops throughout add to the flavor...oops flavour, Canadian spelling. If you are a punk and/or music fan you will discover lots of new (to you) music. (I am now a fan of The Viletones). However there's a caveat - this was a tough read due to an abundance of run-on sentences. My high-school English teachers would have tore this apart. I had to read some sentences 2-3 times ...more
Donna Parker
Mar 23, 2014 Donna Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I opened this very heavy book that I had won from the Goodreads First Reads Program, creaky joints protesting, and as I adjusted my reading glasses I chuckled that now it's just my joints protesting. In my misspent youth I guess I could have been called: a punk, or at times goth, alternative, rebel without a clue, writer, editor, general pain in the...well, you get the point, if you really have to put labels on stuff. This book is interesting and I'm sure parts of it are even true, how much do p ...more
Ty Stranglehold
Jan 14, 2013 Ty Stranglehold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing view of an almost always overlooked corner of the punk rock world. Canada has given the world much in the way of the arts, and this book shows that punk rock is no different. Well written and laid out, it is hands down the best book on Canuck music, let alone punk, out there! READ IT NOW!!!!
Jul 30, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read with tons of great stories from all different pockets of punk in Canada. As somebody who was only vaguely information of early punk in Canada this book was both informational and entertaining.
Jan 13, 2013 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great geographic gala from sea to shining sea. Alas only one mention of lowly London! Here in a town where surely there was as much as anywhere else in the country! Certainly more than in Meat Cove!
Jan 20, 2014 Pmceachnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sam covers the breadth of Canadian punk without forgetting his present tense status and sense of humour. A refreshing and informative read for sure.
Jan 09, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
freaking awesome book on the early early beginnings of punk in canada.
Mar 03, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best things I have ever read.
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Sam Sutherland is the author of Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk (ECW). A former producer and host at MTV News Canada, his work has appeared in publications such as the Walrus, the National Post, Maisonneuve, and alt-weeklies across the country. Sam currently tours haphazardly in the band Junior Battles and produces and runs events for AUX.
More about Sam Sutherland...

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