The music scene in the mid-eighties was in transition, just as the entire music business was, unaware that it was all about to change in 1991 when Nirvana’s watershed release, Nevermind would unexpectedly hit number one on the Billboard chart. But that explosion didn’t happen overnight. It was the product of many things: Toronto’s developing music scene, club owners seeking original music, and the communities of musicians, artists, and fans supporting these new bands. No Flash, Please! documents an important period in Toronto’s music community.
As seen and heard by two journalists covering it for a number of monthly independent magazines, not only did they experience the local bands they knew and loved becoming famous, they also witnessed soon-to-be legends come through those same clubs and concert halls. Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Henry Rollins, all played Toronto during this period to crowds that varied in size from twenty to five hundred. No Flash, Please! doesn’t just focus on the music, it also captures the crowds and the community that spawned one of the richest periods in Toronto’s music history.
Derek von Essen has created an extensive body of work while merging his own graphic art, photography, painting and mixed-media assemblage for visual communications specializing in fine arts, dance, theatre, music, film and publishing projects. He has facilitated artist workshops and has served on various panels and juries. His work has been widely exhibited and is held in several international collections.
Phil Saunders wrote for the music magazines Nerve, Rear Garde, Exclaim, Graffiti, ID and HMV until the mid-nineties. He also promoted concerts, was a talent buyer, booking agent, and an independent record producer. After completing a Master’s in Journalism in 1998 he worked for CBC News and produced the documentary film What About Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band.
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