Don Pyle

  • Trouble in the Camera Club

    Don Pyle

    ?Trouble in the Camera Club features over 300 photographs by Don Pyle and another 200 images of related ephemera from the earliest days of Toronto's punk music scene, featuring early gigs by Toronto bands like The Viletones, Teenage Head, The Curse, The Diodes, and The Ugly, and visiting punks the Ramones, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, The Clash, Vibrators, The Stranglers, and other artists influential to the punk movement including Bryan Ferry, David Bowie, and Cheap Trick.

    Starting in 1976, at age 14, Don Pyle witnessed and photographed some of the earliest gigs of Toronto punk acts and many of the artists whose sensibilities aligned with this new, festering subculture. According to Steven Leckie of The Viletones, Pyle's photographs "made everyone look heroic, as good as Annie Leibovitz and Linda McCartney."

    In 1977, Pyle bought a 35mm camera and joined his high school's camera club to learn how to develop and print, and to get free chemicals for processing. His trial-and-error education in photography resulted in a collection of images that, 30-something years later, are as much historic document as they are pictures of an under-represented and significant period in Toronto's musical cultural development. Scratched, water-marked, and dusty negatives were restored to reveal his hidden history of the revolution. Numerous artists that have since passed away are captured in this book in their creative prime, frozen in youthful self-absorbed beauty. These are photos taken by a kid in awe of what he was seeing and who was pressed against the stage at every gig, not by a "professional" who observed from the sidelines.

    Trouble in the Camera Club is a one-of-a-kind photo-documentary of this golden moment - the birth of punk.

  • Hope Burned

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    ?You sit down at the weathered harvest table to write a letter to your son. You need to explain the horrific events of the night, the circumstances that stained your hands with so much blood - the horrors that led you to take the lives of your own father and grandfather.

    You journey back through darkness, deliberately, tentatively, to recover your own childhood. You compose your captivity, your torture, and the brutality of the men you've just killed. This was life on the farm: the strange and unspeakable things that went on.

    And still, hope burned.

    By the very same light you also write about escape, about security, compassion, and even love. The simple kindnesses that made you the man you are today, shielding you from danger, teaching you to live?.

    Until everything changed - everything but the farm.

    At once as bleak and moving, tense and beautiful as Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Brent LaPorte's Hope Burned emerges from the ashes of the simplest, nearest apocalypse, from the innocence of childhood utterly betrayed, to ask which is the more difficult: to choose to live, or to die?

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