Jennifer Morton’s Dirty, Drunk, and Punk: The Twisted Crazy Story of the Bunchofuckingoofs is an impossible and glorious history of Toronto’s legendary punk band/bike gang/social phenomenon Bunchofuckingoofs, who maintained a series of club houses/speakeasys/music venues/communes in Kensington Market called Fort Goof, stuffed full of vicious dogs, dirty punks who slept in cages, and the wandering subculture kids who drifted in and out of Toronto.
I grew up in the Goofs era, saw them several times at venues like Larry’s Hideaway, went to a few late night booze-cans at Fort Goof, and had a good friend who dropped out and more or less moved in with them for a while, and Dirty, Drunk and Punk feels like a true and real account of the band and their weird, storied, anarchic, nihilistic history.
The thing that made the Goofs such a force was their blend of out-of-control, violent insanity (they’d smash TVs on stage, open beer bottles with chainsaws, dive off Fort Goof into the mountain of empty beer cans in the back yard, get into chain-fights with Nazi skinhead raiders) and their strong ethic of mutual aid, compassion, and social justice. Crazy Steve Goof, the band’s founder and non-leader, ran for city council twice, led a campaign to get hard drugs out of Kensington Market, and took in waifs and screwups by the hundreds.
Dirty, Drunk and Punk‘s story is told on a backdrop of photos, gig sheets, fliers, news clippings and other detritus and ephemera, artfully collaged behind text that has the screw-you madness of punk band fliers. Morton interviews the Goofs, their friends, their enemies, the law, their hangers-on (even my friend who ended up living with the band), and develops a kind of collective memoir of the band and the era they represented.
The Goofs changed the fabric of legend for kids in Toronto in the 80s; they were second-wave punks who made anarchism and anarchy their way of life. Dirty, Drunk and Punk is a fantastic trip through the story they made for themselves.
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