Absolute Whores

Johnny Trash!

Johnny Trash! (Photo credit: bill.streeter)

Absolute Whores’ are a Canadian indie rock/Cowpunk band most active in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band consisted of Greg McConnell as Ugly Dick Adonis, Vaughan Passmore as Blind Pig Neuton, Albert Saxby as Clint Rude. Michael Lavery as Sven Campbell and Johnny Trash as himself. They played their first show at Toronto’s musical landmark Isabella Hotel in 1984, after convincing the hotel manager Joe Freid that Absolute Whores was an artistic reference, and not a sexual one. After many bass players – The Cursed Gerald, Brent Ruddy – and more guitarists – “Hot Fingers” McWhinnie, Meanus De Vilo – the band settled into the above line-up.

Their debut recording was a 1985 demo cassette entitled Killing An Elvis Song For You. (The song was “Heartbreak Hotel”.) The accompanying poster has been referred to as “One of the greatest pieces of pop art of all time”.

The band continued to host jam nights at Toronto‘s Hotel Isabella to fund the printing of their newspaper, The Whore’s Rag. The first edition earned them instant notoriety as it satirized and ridiculed many of the local sacred cows that no one was prepared to criticize for fear of career-damaging reprisal. Singer Johnny Trash commented “Any such move would be redundant as no one can wreck the band’s career better than me.”

The band also released another cassette entitled “Product” in 1985, a single, “I’m An Asshole (For Your Love)”, in 1986 and in 1989 its only full-length album, an eponymous effort which featured another Elvis cover, “All Shook Up” (with the verb replaced with something more artistically accurate), and a Replacements cover, “Here Comes a Regular”.

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