The Poles – CN Tower / Prime Time

The Poles – CN Tower // Prime Time (Nimbus 9 Records) 1977. Here’s a pretty good blast of obscuro punk wrock from Canada. Toronto to be exact. 1977. Yeah…77 is actually pretty early for something like this and The Poles sorta fly under most folks radar. Like a lot of stuff from punks earliest days, there is a definite “rock-n-roll” influence on this disk but don’t let that discourage you. This is some primo shit. Well at least the A-Side.

The A-Side CN Tower is named after the once-largest freestanding structure in the world. Of course, it is now dwarfed by some building in Dubai but really who cares? It’s probably high time that countries stop competing over the largest man-made phallus and move on to other issues. Anyway, I digress….

CN Tower stands out for a few reasons. First of all, its got this VU-as-translated-thru-early-BOC drone choogle going for it that is just plain ominous. Second, Michaele’s vocals have a drug-addled breathlessness that are extremely cool. Third, the lyrics are classic. Check em’ out:

CN TOWER

Take me to the tower
Turn on the power
I’m Yours, I’m yours baby…

I could feel the CN Tower pulse
It’s lure beamin’ into my brain
The Poles were there, the time was right
I was gonna shake out my chains

Five of us, Hangin’ tight
We were flies crawlin’ up the pole
We could feel the airwaves drawin’ us
Pumpin’ our rock-n-roll

At the top of the tower there was no fence
Just a black hole from beyond
Alice in Wonderland, Marquis De Sade
Je dois m’schapper du monde

I took the leap went sailin’ down
Thru the black machine
Then Spiderman tossed his web
Just like a trampoline

Whirlin, Twirlin, I’m Whirlin Down
CN Tower, CN Power

The B-Side Prime Time is an OK rock-n-roll tune. Kinda similar to a lot of 77 bands (The Valves, The Vibrators), I bet the Poles were a band before punk rock and this is an earlier tune. Regardless, by the time Doug, Stevie, Luce, Ricky and Michaele recorded this slab, they had the punk “look” down and on the A-Side, they were crankin’ out a pretty cool sound with some really great lyrics.

As always, if anyone has any info on The Poles I would love to know. There is very little online. Thanks to Matt for sending me this, regardless of the fact that he feels it is beating a dead horse.

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26 Responses to The Poles – CN Tower / Prime Time

  1. Kyriakos says:

    Both mp3s are cn tower.

  2. Lambros says:

    Video of them here: http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-68-102-762/arts_entertainment/punk/clip2

    Like the single, the Poles stage performance hasn’t aged so well.

    Vocalist Michaele Jordana was and apparently still is married to CBC[?] DJ and wimpy synth man Douglas Pringle (aka “Doug”).

    Lots of info around if you google “Michaele Jordana”

  3. Leo says:

    fixed the links…loved the video…”The musicians are in it for money, fame, kicks and chicks”.

  4. leuisc says:

    Yeah, great video! Very Quincy Punk-ish!

  5. malfeitor says:

    Hi;
    I actually saw the poles and still have the flyer from that night.I saw the poles in boston at the rat in early 1978.they played 2 sets and so did boston’s the vinnie band who sucked shit and said bad jokes against the poles.

    they were great.to bad there are no more recordings or videos of them i csn find.

  6. Manolis says:

    I have been reading up on Michaele Jordan and Doug Pringle and realize that the Poles were more high-minded and conceptual than I initially gave them credit for. The B-Side had me thinking they were a bar band trying to be “punk” but I shoulda known from the A side that they were a little more than that.

    Hey Jordan…The Vinnie Band? Were they like Thundertrain? You got any other old Rat flyers laying around? :)

  7. MATT says:

    Uh…no…not the Poles. You know the one. Here’s a demo for you, though–a goth / punk band called Prophet of Hate that some fool surrendered to the Goodwill by my work. I’m guessing early 80′s–certainly no later than the 80′s. No info on the web. Best tracks are #3 and #4–ridiculous dead horsiness that anyone able to detect the subtle nuances of my artwork should appreciate:

    http://massmirror.com/e4a0fec70f007158674e5bde935c2b9f.html

  8. Osbgchry says:

    Hey Joe:

    I did not like Vinnie Band.They were just a bar type band not punkers.Thundertrain was a lot more fun than they ever were.

    I have RAT flyers kicking around in storage right now as i recently moved.
    my band site http://www.bigmeathammer.com has a cool old punk flyer gallery.

  9. OTTO says:

    Haha, no you’re confusing me! I just meant the “wow” factor on this one is sort of a personal thing. God knows I’ve got some obscure stuff I go absolutely nuts over but when I play them for other people they don’t get it at all.

  10. Isn’t it this whot Punk is all about?

  11. Mason says:

    Incase anyone still cares, Michaele Jordana is acctually a course co-ordinator at my college in Toronto.

  12. Matt says:

    A band looking and sounding like this in 2007 is beating a dead horse! Don’t misconstrue my highly witty visual commentary. Some one should stick that 1st Teenage Head LP up at some point and give the ebay scum a slight kick in the nuts. I figured the Poles as a bar band, as well–no LP? I think you really need to post that demo I gave you–or that picture!

  13. Joe says:

    The inherent subtleties of your wry visual commentary were lost on me. I can’t post half the shit you send me dude cuz this site will lose its mainstream appeal…ha,ha,ha…

    Seriously though, you sent me a Poles demo?

    I got the first Teenage Head LP off of some blog last year. Just did a blog search:

    http://ocanadarm.blogspot.com/2007/04/teenage-head-canada.html

    Now the ebayers can rip it onto CD and sell it as a fanclub re-ish to nimrods.

    I know Malfeitor had the Picture My Face 7inch up too. Maybe I’ll re-post that.

    Did you send me a Poles demo?

  14. I hate to say it, but I think I agree with the Matt fellow here. It’s good, but the hype seems arbitrary.

    I’m guilty of the same thing.

  15. Joe says:

    hey Ian…waddya mean? You guys are confusing the shit outta me!

    For those of you who have been unfortunate enough to make it this far….Here is Matt’s visual commentary. Although I agree it is highly witty, the subtleties of it were lost on my primitive mind.

    http://www.lastdaysofmanonearth.com/images/deadhorse.jpg

  16. Erich says:

    This is one of the most confusing comments section I ever read – thank you! The 7″ is ploppydooda, methinks.
    Love Matt’s dead horse picture. The other one with the Punk Mongos is even better, Matt. Did you send that to Joe too?

  17. Joe says:

    Punk Mongos? What the hell are you talkin about Erich? Gimmee a link or sumptin…

    ploppydooda = shite?

  18. Erich says:

    I can send you the Punk Mongos, Joe – or ask Matt. He’s the man!

    Ploppydooda = shyte, aye aye Sir!

  19. Matt says:

    The pic is in the mail. What the hell do you mean the kids shouldn’t be allowed to pray in school?

  20. paraphrase says:

    How about some Toronto demos taped off of CKLN or CFNY (eg. “Tribal Life” by Conditioned Response”, “Burn never bow” by Unfamiliar Vista, or “I’m so sedated” by Common Language.

  21. I donno’ man. The record’s alright, but it just doesn’t “pop”, if you know what I mean.

  22. Joe says:

    Yeah…its not the greatest thing ever made but the A side is a cool enough obscurity to give a listen to. I was able to surmise that you weren’t blown over by it from your initial remark.

    Was more curious about what you meant by the “hype being arbitrary” and you being “guilty of the same thing”. Seemed like you were trying to say something more than just it don’t “pop” but mebbe thats just your way of saying it lacks “pop”?

    Allz I know is I ain’t guilty of nuthin…

  23. Erich says:

    I can feel you all.

  24. joe says:

    Thats a nauseating thought…

  25. Pete Noble says:

    CN Tower will go down in the books as a classic. Zulu Records online is currently selling the original 7″ inch vinyl single for $70 Canadian.

    You know what to do…

  26. Ricky Swede/The Poles says:

    hey I saw that too, $70.00 ???. 32 years later !! At least someone is making some money from The Poles

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