Montreal Underground Origins Blog

Francois Dallegret is a Montrealer by adoption who made a name for himself as a designer and architect in the mid 1960s in part through his design work for Expo 67. He also organized the infamous Super Party, the “underground” opening party for Expo 67 that featured such wild acts as Tiny Tim and Lothar and the Hand People. His involvement in the arts and music scene also included designing

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Juan Rodriguez is Montreal’s most esteemed, even legendary, rock journalist. He began writing about the music he loves in the early 1960s while in high school, publishing one of the first local music fanzines, Pop-See-Cul, from 1966 to 1970. He has written countless articles about music ever since, for the Montreal Star, Montreal Gazette and many others. It was an honour to have him spend an afternoon at Archive Montreal

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Allan Youster has been a mainstay in the audience at local concerts for decades in Montreal. He spent part of the late 1960s working the door at legendary local concert venue The New Penelope Café, witnessing performances by such figures as Muddy Waters, The Fugs, Jesse Winchester and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Louis Rastelli spoke to him for this project at one of his favourite local haunts,

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The Peoples’ Yellow Pages, an unabashed guide to Montreal for those interested in alternative and underground lifestyles was published annually from the early to mid 1970s in Montreal. Louis Rastelli interviewed its editor, Garth Gilker, at his Café Santropol in October 2015. This Plateau Mont-Royal institution, begun shortly after Gilker ceased publishing the Peoples’ Yellow Pages, celebrated its 40th anniversary in the summer of 2016. Gilker, also known for his

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Freda Guttman is a veteran artist and activist, still screenprinting and self-publishing, still a regular at fairs such as Expozine or the Anarchist Book Fair. We spoke about her time growing up in a Montreal that had changed drastically by the time she joined the nascent artist-run centre movement in the late 1960s. We didn’t speak much about her first claim to fame as an artist: her illustrations for fellow

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On the occasion of the theatrical run of a new NFB documentary film, Ninth Floor , Archive Montreal digitized a number of student newspapers and images from its archives published during the infamous Computer Riots (otherwise widely known in its era as the Sir George Williams Affair), which played out in January and February 1969 at what is now the Hall Building of Concordia University in downtown Montreal. The film

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Ken Norris was one of the “Véhicule Poets”, an informal bunch of poets who hosted and participated in readings at the Véhicule Art gallery and performance space on Ste. Catherine St. in the early to mid 1970s. He has more than two dozen publications of poetry to his credit and has had work appear in countless anthologies. Born in New York, he now teaches creative writing and Canlit at the

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Endre Farkas came to Montreal as a child after he and his parents (Holocaust survivors) escaped during the 1956 Hungarian uprising. He is a well-known and highly regarded figure in Montreal’s literary scene, coming to the city’s attention as one of the Véhicule poets—the group of poets who held regular poetry readings at the Véhicule Art artist-run gallery in the mid 1970s. He also taught literature at John Abbott College

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Allan Bealy grew up and studied art in Montreal. In 1975, he moved to New York. While in Montreal, he published Davinci, and later in New York City, Benzene, both of which were ‘downtown’ art and literary magazines. Davinci was published out of the Véhicule Art artist-run gallery and performance space in Montreal between 1972-1974. Davinci was also, briefly, an imprint for some artists’ publications. It ultimately served to create

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ARCMTL is proud to be a part of the Contre-Culture : Existences et persistances conference. Image: davinci Vol. 1 no. 3 autumn 1974, © Allan Bealy / © Suzy Lake   Montreal’s davinci magazine, Counter-Culture and the Visual Arts 1975 / 2015 Saturday, October 17 at Artexte ( 2 Sainte-Catherine E., suite 301 ) From 15h – 16h: One Hour, One Book: davinci magazine (Montréal 1973-75) by Louis Rastelli, Director,

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Erik Slutsky is a longtime Mile End native and veteran visual artist, who we met through his hosting of the New Penelope Facebook group – a group that since 2013 has become a lively place for nostalgia about the 1960s music scene, centered around the legendary venue. He kept his copies of old New Penelope Café newsletters, concert posters and many clippings about the wider music scene of the time,

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MONTREAL SHOWS 1965 – 1975, Concert Posters, Photos and Ephemera Exhibit, September 16 – 20 2015, ART POP, 3450 St-Urbain. Vernissage: Wednesday Sept. 16. Hours: Sept. 16, 17-20h; Sept. 17-18, 11–20h; Sept. 19-20, 11-18h. SPECIAL GATHERING after exhibit Friday Sept. 18, 8 p.m., and Saturday September 19, 6:30 p.m. at site of former New Penelope Café on Sherbrooke west of Bleury. Click here for the Facebook event. Archive Montreal presents

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