Teenage Head selling Gord Lewis celebration of life t-shirts for Hamilton charity
Published November 9, 2022 at 1:23 pm
Right on time for the holidays, there is a chance to support a Hamilton charity by buying a T-shirt from the celebration of life of Teenage Head cofounder Gord Lewis.
The seminal Hamilton punk-rock band is taking orders for T-shirts commemorating the celebration of Lewis’s life that was held at FirstOntario Concert Hall last weekend. The black T-shirts start at $30 (plus shipping), with unisex crew necks available from sizes medium to 5XL, and women’s V-necks available in small to 3XL. On the band’s Instagram account, it says this is a “one time only” sale and that all proceeds will be donated to the Hamilton Good Shepherd service agency. Orders are being taken until Nov. 20 and
Good Shepherd has operated a men’s hostel in Hamilton for more than 60 years. It supports for vulnerable and housing-deprived people in Hamilton include emergency food and clothing; daily hot meals; emergency shelters; transitional housing; hospice palliative care; community mental health programs; and supportive housing programs.
Mental illness was a part of the life of Lewis, whose energy returned to earth on Aug. 7. The 65-year-old musician’s decomposed body was found that weekend in his Corktown neighbourhood apartment. His son, Jonathan Lewis, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death.
The elder Lewis, who formed Teenage Head in 1975 while attending Westdale Secondary School in Hamilton, encountered depression in later life. His struggle with the mood disorder, which flared after Teenage Head bandmate and frontman Frankie Venom (né Kerr) died in 2008, was a central story in filmmaker Douglas Arrowsmith’s TVO documentary about the band, called Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head (2020). Lewis required a stay in a mood disorder unit during filming. On the whole, though, Lewis rallied and performed in public as the band enjoyed a renaissance in the 2010s.
Peer-reviewed research has shown people with mental or mood disorders rarely commit violent acts. But in September, the lawyer for the younger Lewis, who now faces a murder charge, told CBC Hamilton that the accused has mental health issues.
Jonathan Lewis also has a conviction that stems from sending threatening messages to present-day Hamilton Centre member of Parliamment Matthew Green. That happened in 2017, when Green was the Ward 3 city councillor.
The post advertising the commemorative T-shirt notes that, at this time, Teenage Head does not have other merchandise for sale. (“Please don’t ask” was added as a coda to that point.) The limited-time-only Lewis shirts can be ordered through [email protected].
Upon his death three months ago, Lewis was remembered fondly by fellow Hamilton musicians such as Terra Lightfoot and Tom Wilson. Lightfoot described him as “a star in our beautiful Hamilton constellation.”
The surviving members of Teenage Head posted that, “Gordie is smiling!” after playing together to sustain his spirit last week.
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