Statue Honouring Teenage Head's Frankie Venom a No Go in Hamilton

BY Josiah HughesPublished Apr 23, 2014

Legendary Hamilton punk band Teenage Head lost their frontman Frankie Venom to throat cancer in 2008. The performer, who was a beloved fixture in Canadian punk, was set to be memorialized with a statue in his hometown, but local backlash has now put a stop to the plans.

As reports, Junkhouse/Blackie and the Rodeo Kings' Tom Wilson has been working with Hamilton city councillor and mayoral candidate Brian McHattie on a proposed Frankie Venom statue at the corner of King and Locke.

The statue, which would have cost $200,000, became the subject of public scrutiny after it was reported on in the Hamilton Spectator. From there, many brought up Venom's life-long struggles with substance abuse and the fact that he was once charged with domestic assault.

The public outcry caused Venom's family to withdraw their support for the project, saying they didn't want to revisit the singer's various struggles.

"It's just too painful," Christine Crayford, Frankie's younger sister, told the Hamilton Spectator. "It got to be unbearable… we weren't really prepared as a family for this; we didn't know it was up for debate."

In other words, it looks as if the statue will not happen. That said, there are still many other projects playing into Venom's legacy. Madeline Wilson, daughter of Tim Wilson, has launched a project called Band Together that will offer health care to local musicians.

Councillor McHattie also reiterated that he will install some sort of Frankie Venom tribute in Hamilton, either via a lower cost from taxpayers or through a crowdfunding project.

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