If you were involved in the Toronto music scene c.1987-92, you’ll remember that things were starting to happen: new bands, new sounds, new places to play, new energy and enthusiasm. This period of transition from Canada as something of a musical backwater to a global powerhouse is documented in a new book called No Flash, Please! Underground Music in Toronto, 1987-92 by Derek von Essen and Phil Saunders.
I quote from the press release:
No Flash, Please! documents an important period in Toronto’s music community. As seen and heard by two journalists covering it for a number of monthly independent magazines, not only did they experience the local bands they knew and loved becoming famous, they also witnessed soon-to-be legends, come through those same clubs and concert halls. Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Henry Rollins, all played Toronto during this period and von Essen’s camera and Saunders ears were there to witness their performances in crowds that varied in size from 20 to 500. No Flash, Please! doesn’t just focus on the music, it also captures the crowds and the community that spawned one of the richest periods in Toronto’s music history.
Anvil Press will release the book April 15. If you’re in the Toronto area, there will be a launch at the Horseshoe Tavern on May 15.