TVO and Feltfilm are pleased to announce the world broadcast and online premiere of TVO Original Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head, Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 9 pm ET on TVO and tvo.org.
This relevant and poignant documentary tells the story of Canada’s glamour punk band, Teenage Head, determined to re-enter the limelight some 40 years after causing legendary punk rock riots at Toronto’s Ontario Place. But first they need to save their founder and lead guitarist Gord Lewis from crippling depression. The film is written, directed, and produced by award-winning filmmaker Douglas Arrowsmith (Love Shines, feature documentary about Canadian songwriter Ron Sexsmith – Audience Choice winner at SXSW, and an upcoming feature documentary on Burton Cummings) and executive produced by Karen Melvin (Love Shines, The Klondike Gold Rush) and TVO.
“It is difficult to describe the 1970’s excitement over Teenage Head. Back in the day, I remember crowding into dark bars to listen to the band shake it up. And being from Hamilton myself, it was especially sweet to see one of our own in the limelight, ready, and on the verge of going big”, shared Jane Jankovic, Executive Producer of Documentaries at TVO. “The band didn’t break through in that way. But what remains is a powerful story that celebrates music, friendship, and the powerful bonds that tie for a lifetime.”
TVO Original Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head reveals how the birth of the band started as a conversation while sitting in the back of English class. This soon developed into basement jam sessions and group song writing, all while the members were riding dirt bikes and playing baseball in their hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. A rare alchemy quickly launched them onto the world stage—with two gold albums and a chance to break widely into the United States. Then a series of setbacks altered their destiny. Held together by early friendship and the music itself, the film rests upon a powerful present-day story told through bass guitarist Steve Mahon and lead guitarist Gord Lewis, who struggles to overcome depression following the loss of the band’s frontman Frankie “Venom” Kerr. The documentary features appearances by Marky Ramone, Rob Baker (Tragically Hip); legendary punk writers Jon Savage, Nina Antonia (New York Dolls); never-before-seen 16mm colour transfers from Heatwave Festival (the “Canadian Woodstock”); access to the band’s extensive photo archive; and rare 16mm footage from “The Crash ’n’ Burn” 1977 show.
“These guys solved all the awkwardness of high school by forming a band and inventing an unmistakable sound, style and attitude. Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head becomes chiefly a present-day story about founding member and lead guitarist Gord Lewis”, said director, Douglas Arrowsmith. “Gordie’s really the carrier of Frank’s ghost. As you’ll see in the film, I didn’t set out to make a ‘biopic’, instead I wanted to find a present-day story ignited by the potency of the band’s past. The relationship artists have with melancholy and with its more incapacitating cousin, depression, is also an area I’ve written about.”
On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, TVO Original Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head, will premiere on TVO. It will then be available to stream across Canada on tvo.org and TVO’s YouTube Channel. It will also rebroadcast on TVO on Saturday, November 7 at 9 pm ET and Sunday, November 8 at 10:30 pm ET.