Active Dog and Los Popularos
Active Dog were formed in 1978 when members of The Monitors — Bill Scherk, John Armstrong and Gord Nicholl – moved from Surrey/White Rock to Vancouver and formed a partnership with East Van musicicans Ross Carpenter, Robert Bruce and Terry Bowes. Active Dog quickly established themselves as a presence in the young Vancouver scene, thanks to a strong cache of original songs, solid musicianship, and an engaging front man in Bill Scherk (renamed Bill Shirt). Active Dog had two songs on the Vancouver Complication LP, Fun While It Lasts and Nothing Holding You. They also recorded a 7-inch single, Rat Race b/w Good Filthy Fun; but by the time it was released the band had split up. When Gord Nicholl and Robert Bruce defected to the Pointed Sticks, Active Dog never recovered. Meanwhile, John Armstrong (now renamed Buck Cherry) formed the Modernettes.
In late 1980 Armstrong and Scherk were reunited in Los Radicos Popularos, a so-called fuck band that also included Art Bergmann, Tony Bardach, Zippy Pinhead and sometimes Gord Nicholl. By February 1981, with the demise of the Young Canadians and Modernettes, the band shortened their name to Los Popularos and became a full-time project. Los Popularos released two records: the 7-inch single Working Girls b/w Mystery To Myself (1981) and the Born Free 12-inch EP (1982). Los Pops toured North America a couple of times, but eventually called it quits in winter 1983. The following spring, Art Bergmann formed Poisoned, and went on to a long and storied career as a solo artist.
Les sez: Rat Race was an interesting release in that bandmember stuffed each package with various banal and weird newspaper clipping. Los Popularos was the real punk supergroup. As Bergmann once said, ‘This is a real fucking band. We’re all alcoholics and chain smokers and hang out together.’ One more example of great potential that never caught fire.