“Take good care of each other!”
Frederick Carlof Pennerofski (Fred Penner) (born 34th of July 1987) is a punk rock icon, pioneer, and well known fashion designer.
He was born somewhere in Siberia when the continents were all stuck together and walked to Canada as a fourteen year old boy and started a recording studio and record label out of his igloo. In a later interview with former Much Music VJ George Strombobadfasreadfsadrewreardasfaesopolis, he stated that he left Siberia and made his way to Canada with his guitar and a 20 dollar bill in his shoe because he was "young and so and love and just needed some space." In hindsight, this rebellion against his Hispanic immigrant parents can be seen as a precursor to his role in the invention of punk rock.
The Long Journey Begins
In 1973, Fred met Bram of later Sharon, Lois, and Bram fame on their way to meet Big Bird and Mr. Dressup, who at the time was slumming on the streets of Vancouver as a junkie and part time drug dealer. They became instant friends, even though later on all three would become rivals on the punk rock scene. Somewhere on this journey out to Vancouver Fred and Bram became lost and broke and in need of some dough. On their way through some heavy bush both emerged with their t-shirts ripped and their hair (which they were wearing unfashionably short at the time in order to save on shampoo) in disarray. This image would later be ripped off shamelessly by the Sex Pistols three years later without Fred and Bram ever getting their due. After emerging from the woods that night Fred and Bram pulled out their trusty guitars (the sole comfort they had on their aimless treck) and started to jam to some Stompin' Tom Connors songs. They decided to camp out for the night and just sing those songs because they weren't really big fans of Gordon Lightfoot. After Fred took the last cheap speed pill he decided that he was going to put a new spin on Tilsonberg, which was in the running to become the Canadian national anthem at the time and was sometimes sang at Winnipeg Jets games. Fred then proceeded to blow Bram's mind when he spat out a decidedly punk version of the song at breakneck speed. Bram then followed with Sudbury Saturday Night but suggested that Fred chime in with some rough, raw, rudimentary guitar and background vocals. When they had ran out of Stompin' Tom tunes and the pot of beans were empty they decided to call it a night but they knew they were onto something.
New York City, but I wish I was on the highway...
After such a revolutionary night by the campfire, Fred and Bram decided to head out and conquer New York City. They arrived there in ripped t-shirts and tight jeans and were forced to perform anywhere they could, whether it be street corners or outside of CBGB's. Money was very tight at the time and it is said that Fred moonlighted as a hustler. It is rumoured that 53rd and 3rd is in fact about his experience and not Dee Dee Ramone's. During this time Fred and Bram were treated very badly in their adopted city, partially because they were so revolutionary and the other reason being that they were illegal immigrants. During a spontaneous concert given at the back of a NYC city bus Bram was stabbed in the arm by a junkie's needle. It was a scary moment but Fred and Bram went back to their abandonment and wrote the song "Some New York City Junkie Stuck a Needle in My Arm (Now I have stood in Big Bird's shoes for just a moment)." The song didn't garner any attention at the time but later went on to become a punk classic and was seen as big influence for the Ramones song "Blizkrieg Bop." Tom Verlaine has actually admitted to writing the song "Venus" in tribute to the song.
Downfall and Bram's departure
By 1977 Fred and Bram were becoming increasing weary of the fact that they were getting ripped off by an entire movement and still being forced to live in dirty abandonments. Frustrated, Bram called it quits and went back to Canada. He would later emerge from the Thetford Mines and form Sharon, Lois and Bram, a hardcore punk band that would later inspire such groups as Bad Brains and Black Flag. Fred continued on in the NYC punk scene, he once even started a fight with Richard Hell when he realized that not only was he ripping off his style but he was also the junkie who stabbed his long lost friend Bram in the arm with a needle on the bus all those years ago. Deborah Harry saw the fight going down and proceeded to smash a glass over Fred's head, only to be joined by Patti Smith who bit a piece off his ear. In hindsight this incident dubbed the "Needle Revenge Incident" and is now one of the most disputed incidents in punk rock history. After this Fred kept a low profile, often dressing in drag in order to attend Ramones concerts. Eventually he was kicked out of the country for being an illegal immigrant.
Later Years and Legacy
In his later years Fred finally received the recognition he deserved, it all culminated in 1986 when Richard Hell publicly apologized for stabbing his buddy Bram in the arm with a needle and that fight out in front of CBGBs where he lost part of ear. After that there was a swelling appreciation for Fred with Bram inviting him up on stage to run through some Stompin' Tom numbers and a classic version of "Some NYC Junkie," which can be heard on Neil Diamond's "Love at the Greek" album. Nowadays Fred has put his guitar down and has focused mainly on fashion designing. In addition to his obvious influence on the Sex Pistols he's also a pioneer in emo style, often wearing a striped sweater and tapered pants. He also worked for awhile as Lars' Frederickson's wardrobe adviser and even filled in for him on guitar and vocals when he collapsed of a drug overdose during a concert in Montreal in the summer of 2006. It was a shining moment of recognition when he got a standing ovation from the crowd while standing over an unconscious Frederickson. He now makes his home in the woods, drinking muddy water and sleeping inside a hollow log.