Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

C'est Jolie Noel - Free Download MP3

. . . . A wonderful little bilingual Christmas song from my 1997 album, Sophisticated Boom Boom. Guitar and harmonica by the wonderful Graham Brown. You can download it for free here:

Friday, August 3, 2012

The 1977 Punk Photography of Ralph Alfonso, Station Coffeehouse and Gallery, Brantford, Aug 4-31


The 1977 Punk Photography of Ralph Alfonso, Station Coffeehouse and Gallery, Brantford, Aug 4-31

The Station Coffeehouse & Gallery, Brantford, is proud to present the first Ontario exhibition of the 1977 punk photography of Ralph Alfonso, a writer/performer/photographer who managed Canada's first punk club, The Crash'n'Burn, Toronto, in 1977.

Ralph Alfonso will be at Station Coffeehouse on Saturday, Aug 4, from 2-4pm, to reveal the inside stories behind the photos and answer questions. Copies of his books and cds (including Treat Me Like Dirt) will be available. All the photo prints will be for sale.

The exhibit will feature iconic photographs of such legends as The Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, The Damned, Talking Heads, The Dead Boys, Stranglers, Mo-Dettes, Barracudas, Richard Hell and others; in addition to intimate documentation of the 1977 Toronto punk explosion (The Diodes, The Viletones, Teenage Head, The Curse, and the Crash'n'Burn club). There will also be some later photography of artists such as Bif Naked and Blue Rodeo, for whom Ralph designed album covers.

Ralph managed the legendary Crash'n'Burn punk club (1977), wrote and photographed for New York Rocker, Kicks, Bomp, Toronto Star, Cheap Thrills, Roxy, and then went on to work at Attic Records, Warner, EMI and Nettwerk Records in addition to running his own Bongo Beat label and touring and performing with his band, RALPH (an offshoot of his Ralph zine, published for 10 years). Ralph still manages The Diodes and now operates an art gallery/cafe/record store/performance space in Montreal called BBAM! Gallery. Prior to his music adventures, Ralph had stories published in Marvel and Archie/Red Circle Comics in the early 70s.

Ralph Alfonso is also the publisher of Treat Me Like Dirt (An Oral History Of Punk in Toronto and Beyond), the definitive book on the Toronto 1977 punk era and now in its 4th printing.

Ralph has 3 books and 5 cds out and has designed album covers for such artists/clients as: Blue Rodeo, Platinum Blonde, Tom Cochrane, Katrina & The Waves, Rhino Records, WEA Canada, EMI, Sony, Colin James, Glass Tiger, Brighton Rock, Bif Naked, Mae Moore, and many many others.

A documentary on his beatnik poetry featuring animation and live action was shown nationally on the BRAVO! channel and on CBC-TV, in addition to debuting at the Montreal International Film Festival.

For further information:

Ralph Alfonso,

youtube footage of the photos:

The Station Coffeehouse and Gallery

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Grimmage (Fairy Tales Never Told) - NEW BOOK!

. .
For those of you who like my writing, I realize more than anyone else (thank you Catholic and Capricorn guilt) the frustration at following the sporadic trail of new works since my last book in 2001 and the quiet suspension of my Ralph zine. Sometimes life inadvertently shuts the tap to the creative well, sometimes you have to flush out the system, sometimes (more often than not, thank you Mr Wiffen), you have to be patient and wait for the light to poke through the barricade (yeah, I used to laugh when I read interviews with writers who alluded to a door or an opening and a song or poem or whatever coming through and being prepared to receive it, otherwise you'd lose it - but, you know, by and large, that is how it works - I can sit down and force myself to write but it's not the same as when all doors are open and things just write themselves - I am talking about fiction here; non-fiction is not a problem, that is a more specific skill set).

 Anyway, thanks to the patience and constant support of my wife Alison who originated the idea (with Carylann) that finally got the logjam busted, I am very happy to announce a fantastic new book which is a collaboration between Carylann Loeppky and myself. We chose 14 of Carylann's large paintings which are currently on display at our BBAM! Gallery and I sat there and stared at each one and had them tell me their story. I posted a preview on the BBAM! page and got positive reaction.

 It is probably some of my best work and I am very happy with the results. Carylann's paintings evoke a specific approach and I was amazed at how fluid it was to sync into that.

As I said, if you liked my writing in the past, you will be very very pleased to see this. The book is a compact 32 pages full colour (the size of a 7-inch single!), the initial printing is limited to 40 copies to celebrate the end of her exhibit at our gallery (altho most of the pieces will stay on the walls a little bit longer) and I'll have details soon on how to order it (yes, there will be a general edition at some point).

 If you are in Montreal, our Finissage party is this Tuesday (BBAM! Gallery, 3255 St Jacques), starting at 6pm, with drinks and snacks and the cool jazz of Gary Lindner on piano (there might be a possibility of my reading some of these poems live, we'll see how it all works out).

I hope you will come out and finally see the fantastic space to which we are devoting most of lives to these days.

 Lots more to come :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

BBAM! Gallery - Rock'n'Roll Art Gallery in Montreal

You know, life is a funny thing. Every few years I seem to come to a fork in life's highway. Left or right? 

Rock writer/photographer. Punk manager. Record label guy. Hair metal manager. Record label top of my game guy. Quit everything/move to Vancouver/start back at the bottom guy. Graphic designer guy. Zine guy. Beatnik guy/band with national TV/Radio exposure. Record label owner guy. Book publisher. Move back to Montreal start all over. 

And now, over the next month, my wife and I are opening a rock'n'roll art gallery/cafe/performance space/retail store called: BBAM! Gallery/Galerie BBAM! Official big to-do probably in March but until then we're in there every day and open to the public while we get it together.

 I invite my Montreal friends to come visit the space (3255 St Jacques across from Lionel Groulx metro - white building says Cafe Armatta for now, old Pages bookstore) and maybe help us hang cool posters and stuff and watch the beginnings of a very unique contribution to this city's pop culture landscape. 

We need your help and patronage and I'll be there every day Mon to Sunday to talk to you in Francais, Anglais et Italienne (chacun egalment mauvais). All my loves in one space: art/photography/comics/jazz/rocknroll and coffee (yes we can have booze during special events, don't worry & yes, you can rent the space for groovy events).


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ralph Alfonso - Punk Walk Tour Of Queen Street (Inside the Crash'n'Burn)

Recently, Ralph Alfonso did a Punk Walk Tour of Queen St in celebration of The Diodes return to The Horseshoe, Toronto, for their Nov 27, 2011, Concert (with special guests Dentata, and Dildoniks).

This turned out to be a lot of fun. We started at the Ontario College of Art and Design and ended up at The Peter Pan for soup and coffees and more conversation.

Although this was a one-off event (it was completely free and for fun); Ralph has no problem doing it again or making it
a regular event if there is enough demand. As Ralph lives in Montreal, and most people are working, it has been suggested future walks take place on a Saturday. Just get a bunch of friends together and contact Ralph Alfonso at and we'll see if we can find a suitable date for your Punk Walk. Donations for Ralph's gas would be appreciated, of course, and if there's enough lead time, we will try to invite some special guests from the 77 scene to come along and share stories and memories.

Here's a write up in The Grid:

Video Note: this is a quickie video on my phone of us walking towards the Crash'n'Burn building