A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Art Bergmann and Los Rádicos Popularos
Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It was inevitable that I would publish a photograph of Vancouver guitar legend/virtuoso Art Bergmann in this blog. Thanks to a scanner I can show the story behind it. I started taking pictures of Art in the late 70s and stopped in the mid 90s. When I took this picture in April 1981 many Vancouver punk bands formed ancillary bands in which the guitar player of one band would play as a drummer in another and so on. They played for "the fuck of it" so they were known as fuck bands. Los Popularos ( began its days in 1980 as Los Rádicos Popularos) was a fuck band that became a super group. Bill Shirt was the lead singer but many of us went to Pops concerts not only to hear Art Bergmann's brilliant lead guitar (Buck Cherry's rhythm guitar was dynamite, too), but also in the hope of hearing a bit of that inimitable Bergmann voice/rasp. In one of the songs Art would scream (to our delight), "It was the sex, it was the sex!" In February 81, I bought a copy of my favourite camera magazine of the day, Camera 35. In April I had to photograph Los Popularos for Les Wiseman's In One Ear column in Vancouver Magazine. There was no doubt in my mind what I was going to do. From gun collector Tom Bongalis, I obtained three antique rifles and the bandoleers. I needed a fourth rifle, so writer Ben Metcalfe lent me his Winchester repeater. The white pants and shirts were courtesy of BJ's, a 70s and 80s underground drag queen club on West Pender, very near the Niagara Hotel. The bandido hats I rented at Watts Costumes on West 6th Avenue. I asked the band to come to my Burnaby home studio. Tony Bardach and Art Bergmann called me from the Boundary Loop so I picked them up in my two-seater Fiat. When Tony sat on Art's lap, Art slammed the door on Tony's hand. I did not notice that Tony's hand was bleeding until I began to take my photos. We bandaged it up.

Tony Bardach (centre), base, Zippy Pinhead (middle, left),drums, Art Bergmann (middle right), lead guitar, John Armstrong, aka Buck Cherry (top, left), rhythm guitar, Bill Shirt (top right), lead singer.


Previous Posts
Morris Panych And Bert Stern's Gary Cooper

Gunga Din, The Sailor Dress & The Sailor

María de Lurdes Béjar

Terry Fox, Frank and Ian

Vittorio Gassman

Jennifer Montgomery & Barbara Sukowa

Sarah McLachlan, The Police and Malcolm Parry

Bif Naked at Tony Ricci's Marble Arch

Filomena, Lauren Stewart & Chicken A La Barbara

George, Leo, Enrique, Patricio and I

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010