Dirty, Drunk and Punk: the untold history of Toronto's BUNCHOFFUCKINGGOOFS

Jennifer Morton's Dirty, Drunk, and Punk: The Twisted Crazy Story of the Bunchofuckingoofs is an impossible and glorious history of Toronto's legendary punk band/bike gang/social phenomenon Bunchofuckingoofs, who maintained a series of club houses/speakeasys/music venues/communes in Kensington Market called Fort Goof, stuffed full of vicious dogs, dirty punks who slept in cages, and the wandering subculture kids who drifted in and out of Toronto.

I grew up in the Goofs era, saw them several times at venues like Larry's Hideaway, went to a few late night booze-cans at Fort Goof, and had a good friend who dropped out and more or less moved in with them for a while, and Dirty, Drunk and Punk feels like a true and real account of the band and their weird, storied, anarchic, nihilistic history.

The thing that made the Goofs such a force was their blend of out-of-control, violent insanity (they'd smash TVs on stage, open beer bottles with chainsaws, dive off Fort Goof into the mountain of empty beer cans in the back yard, get into chain-fights with Nazi skinhead raiders) and their strong ethic of mutual aid, compassion, and social justice. Crazy Steve Goof, the band's founder and non-leader, ran for city council twice, led a campaign to get hard drugs out of Kensington Market, and took in waifs and screwups by the hundreds.

Dirty, Drunk and Punk's story is told on a backdrop of photos, gig sheets, fliers, news clippings and other detritus and ephemera, artfully collaged behind text that has the screw-you madness of punk band fliers. Morton interviews the Goofs, their friends, their enemies, the law, their hangers-on (even my friend who ended up living with the band), and develops a kind of collective memoir of the band and the era they represented.

The Goofs changed the fabric of legend for kids in Toronto in the 80s; they were second-wave punks who made anarchism and anarchy their way of life. Dirty, Drunk and Punk is a fantastic trip through the story they made for themselves.

Dirty, Drunk and Punk (author's site)

Dirty, Drunk, and Punk: The Twisted Crazy Story of the Bunchofuckingoofs (Amazon)


  1. I like that list.

    #1 Don’t buy it, make it.

    But that doesn’t last for long.

    #2 Buy fishing line or dental floss.
    #3 Buy Liquid Paper and expensive jackets.
    #4 Buy stuff at the hardware store.
    #6 Buy stuff with beer that you presumably also bought with other beer?
    #7 Did you buy the t-shirts and ink with beer as well?

  2. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. I lived in the market during those years – on St. Andrew, just up the street and around the corner from one of their digs. BFG was always a palpable presence. It was a wild time – the parts I remember anyway. Thanks for this.

  3. Steve Goof finally moved out of the Market last year. I think he’s living in Thailand or something, now. I’d say it was the end of an era, but the Market continues.

  4. chain-fights with Nazi skinhead raiders

    Ah, Canada… We brought guns to the Nazis skinheads in back in RVA days in USA … not even sure how many are alive anymore. I know at least one later “reformed” after he (literally) shit and pissed himself when a handgun was put in his mouth and cocked. He re-thunk his life after that.

  5. are these the same punks that are always around the TD atm on Augusta Ave.?

    It’s strange, I always see them, but never really thought that they had much going on; other than being very chilled and enjoying an ice cold beer. In some people eyes, they probably still don’t. It’s great to see people passionate about what they believe in.

    This would be a great creative commons book, to take it even further. I’d like to produce a documentary about where they and the market are now. Kensington Market is changing; Yorkville was an alternative epicenter in the sixties and now it’s a the most high end shopping area in Toronto; kensington is headed in the same direction.

  6. I lived on Oxford and worked at the Tropical Paradise. I don’t remember much, but I want it all back again.

  7. I was a neighbour of Fort Goof on Baldwin.
    It was my first apartment. That was certainly something.

    Zany times! When people had opinions and were interesting to be around. No digital devices. Just art and a lot of punk rock.

  8. An anarchist friend of mine was living inside a meat locker on the second floor of an old warehouse on Oxford when the Goofs moved in the basement downstairs. We stopped by to help them shift the last of their gear from the previous Fort Goof, elsewhere in the market. There was a palpable, if not universally-displayed intensity amongst the Goofs at that time, as they were in the midst of a number of difficulties. It was easy to see how some might’ve steered clear, but it was just as easy to give ’em the benefit of the doubt and let myself be surprised at just how nice a bunch they could be. They were downright personable, in fact.

    That warehouse is long gone, btw. It got knocked down and a housing development was eventually built on that site. Other than the Goofs, there were quite a number of artists, musicians junkies and political activists drifting in and out at all times. I can still remember the night that someone (who? Who knows) broke into the first floor of the warehouse, discovering (and subsequently liberating) a vast trove of never-used, vintage department store items dating back to the 50s – like someone had packed away and subsequently forgotten the contents of an entire Kresge’s.

  9. I don’t know where he lives, but Steve Goof still hangs out in the market. I saw him at an event on the weekend and he was talking about how he’d seen the venue change over the years.

  10. Cool. How weird is it that I lived in Toronto, but got into Victoria’s Dayglo Abortions, instead?

  11. i was in a band that used to play with the goofs sometimes, they are definitly the thing of legends and im so glad to see that theres a book about them now.. they are also very nice people, steve has helped alot of my friends over the years and without him, im sure alot of young punks would be lost!! i cant wait to find it !!

  12. I was a fucked up street punk. I lived in a squawt in china town that my street brother Badger brought me to when we first met. Somehow in the “melting-pot” of young street I became as a brother to a sister, with a little skinhead girl, named Claudette. She would rest her head on my leg while we begged for change and I would rub her head(her chelsea hair do) like her mom did. She invted me to a skin/squawt pad reunion. There I met Pee Wee Rouge and Otto. We had a full out brawl, Claudette made them fight 1 on 1 style. It was me(17) and Otto(14) and at one point I got the better of him, and suggested we stand up shake hands and be friends, he accepted. We really did become friends and I know him to this day. One night as usual I went to the fort for late night beer. There I saw Ken (the smiling buddah), a dim timid skinhead drunk. He had been in the fort in the past. But the war was on. He was being beaten by girls,really humiliated. I tried to get him to leave but…At some point Shawn started talking to me explaining that there were some people here who know I hang with skins and that i huff glue and I was in serious danger and I aught to leave and bring Ken with me. I did THANKS SHAWN! Me I was never racist, but somehow i saw a world, few but skins knew. They r just people and to me seem alot like any gang they just pulled together for safety, although misguided

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