This Beat Goes On – Canadian Pop Music in the 70s is something anyone interested in the Canadian music scene must see. Part two of this excellent and important CBC documentary airs Thursday September 3rd 2009 at 9 P.M. on the CBC. It is nice to see a documentary about Canadians that doesn’t drown in aw shucks modesty and comparisons to America
Part two of This Beat Goes On opens with a segment on Canadian Punk Rock and bands like DOA, the Diodes, and The Dishrags. I was around back then and I swear I wasn’t stoned but I sure do not remember a Canadian Punk scene. Oh well, I do remember Teenage Head.
The next segment is on the New Wave period with bands like The Dishes, The Kings, and The Pointed Sticks and electronic music with Nash the Slash (the weirdo with toilet paper around his head). Again, I swear I didn’t smoke up but HUH? I do remember Martha and the Muffins and, of course, Rough Trade.
This is followed by a segment on the singer songwriter with, again, Joni Mitchell, Murray McLauchlan, Bruce Cockburn, and others.
This Beat Goes On then covers soft rock. This means Burton Cummings’ Stand Tall, Dan Hill and Sometimes When We Touch, and Gino Vannelli and I Just Wanna Stop. Canadian Hard Rock is next with bands like Rush, Loverboy, Max Webster, and April Wine.
This two-part documentary (part one airs August 27th at 9 P.M. on the CBC) is fascinating, well-made, and excellent viewing. It is a must for music fans. There are also a few business lessons the Canadian film industry could learn here. More could have been said about Pierre Juneau, the CRTC boss who established the Canadian content rule for radio that allowed a lot of this to happen.