By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, April 17, 2014
McHattie wants to immortalize Frankie ‘Venom’ with a statue
Mayoral candidate Brian McHattie wants the city to build a $200,000 memorial statue to Teenage Head singer Frankie “Venom” Kerr in Victoria Park.
The money for the project has already been budgeted from Councillor McHattie’s $1.6-million area-rating fund for Ward 1. The city’s tourism and culture division is expected to issue an official “call for artists” proposal in June, with a winning submission ultimately selected by a citizen jury.
“The decision has been made,” McHattie said in an interview Friday. “We’re moving ahead. I can’t see any substantive problems.”
McHattie said Thursday he’d like to see at least a prototype completed in time for the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton next March. A public meeting will be held to gather more input this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Zion Korean United Recreation Centre, 69 Pearl St. N.
“I really like the idea of commemorating important Hamilton musicians using sculptures,” McHattie said. “Frankie would be the first one, the first of many we would have across the city. It fits in with the new music strategy of the city.”
According to a city staff report, the project, initiated by McHattie two years ago under the city’s “art in public places” program, was “enthusiastically supported” by a meeting of the Strathcona Community Council in November. “(Kerr) was one of Canada’s most influential punk rock musicians and inspired a generation of local and international musicians,” reads the city staff report submitted to the community council.
The proposed location for the memorial is in Victoria Park at the northwest corner of King and Locke streets on the city’s west side.
Kerr, who lived his later years near the park, died of throat cancer at the age of 52, in October 2008.
As the band’s front man, Kerr personified Canadian punk rock in the late ’70s and early ’80s with his notoriously raucous stage antics.
Teenage Head, which played its first show at Westdale High School in 1975, enjoyed popularity across Canada in the early ’80s with hits such as Let’s Shake and Somethin’ On My Mind. (Continued… Hamilton Spectator)