By Brock ThiessenToday, Canada mourns the death of one of its punk rock legends: Frank Kerr (aka Frankie Venom), lead singer of Hamilton punk pioneers Teenage Head. Band-mate Gord Lewis announced Wednesday (October 15) that Kerr had passed away due to throat cancer after slipping into a coma. He was 51.
Teenage Head formed at Hamilton’s Westdale High School back in 1975. By the early ’80s they became one the country’s most beloved punk bands, with many dubbing them Canada’s answer to the Ramones.
In recent years, the band reignited their punk rock fires and recorded an album with Marky Ramone, simply dubbed Teenage Head with Marky Ramone, a 2008 collection of re-worked material from various points in Teenage Head’s career. Even as recently as this summer, Teenage Head were actively touring Canada.
In a May 2008 interview with Exclaim!, Lewis, Teenage Head’s guitar player, said Kerr and the band had begun writing an upcoming album of new material. At this point, however, it is too early to say what will become of that material, or if the band had a chance to enter the studio to put it to tape.