Home Rock music Teenage Head’s Gord Lewis found dead in Hamilton apartment, guitarist’s son charged with murder

Teenage Head’s Gord Lewis found dead in Hamilton apartment, guitarist’s son charged with murder


Hamilton police have charged a 41-year-old man with second-degree murder after guitarist Gord Lewis of punk rock band Teenage Head was found dead on Sunday.

Brian Lewis, one of Gord’s six siblings, told CBC Hamilton he learned on Sunday that the musician had died.

Police said Monday afternoon that Jonathan Lewis had been charged. Gord’s family confirmed to CBC that Jonathan is his son.

Brian described Gord, 65, as “sweet, artistic, musically inspiring, loving and loyal”.

Teenage Head was formed in the 1970s and is considered a pioneer of the Canadian punk rock scene. In a statement on Monday, the group said it was “heartbroken”.

“Our hearts go out to his family and everyone who knew and loved him,” the band said on Instagram. “Gord was a strength and an inspiration to many. You were taken from us far too soon.

Lou Molinaro, a music promoter in the city and owner of the former This Ain’t Hollywood venue, told CBC Hamilton on Monday he was saddened and shocked by the news, calling Gord a “legend” of the music scene. Hamilton and Canada.

“Gord had a big heart, he was gentle and very caring,” Molinaro said.

Emails sent to the media apparently by his son

Det.-Sgt. Sarah Beck told reporters the police department learned of several emails sent to various news outlets about someone’s death.

Emails sent Sunday to CBC Hamilton and others by a man named Jonathan Lewis said his father was dead.

Beck said that based on information in the emails, officers visited the Catharine Street South flat in Corktown. As of midday Monday, police were still at the scene but said they were not looking for any other suspects.

A photo from the set of the cover for Teenage Head’s debut album. Nick Stipanitz, Steve Mahon, Frankie Venom and Gord Lewis are pictured from left to right. (Teen Head/Facebook)

Beck said police believed they knew the identity of the victim, but had to perform an autopsy for “positive confirmation” due to the “level of decomposition”. The victim is believed to have died two or three days ago, police said.

Police said it appeared the father and son were living together.

“Jonathan was arrested shortly after the police arrived at the apartment building,” Beck said, adding that he lived in the apartment but belonged to his father.

The family of ‘one of Canada’s first punks’ devastated

Brian said the family was “devastated and conflicted”.

“It’s the loss of a beloved brother and a very complicated situation,” he said.

Brian said Gord liked Andy Griffith, Honeymooners and The Flintstones.

Molinaro said he and Gord were good friends and often talked about baseball, hockey and Hamilton issues.

The Westdale, a local movie theater and performance venue in the neighborhood where the band formed, announced it was postponing an event with singer Dave (Rave) Desroches that had been scheduled for Monday night.

Brian said Gord had been dedicated to music his whole life: “He always wanted to be in a band.”

Molinaro said the band had an “international influence” on the punk rock scene.

Music publicist Eric Alper told CBC Hamilton on Monday that Gord was one of the “first punks in this country.”

Six men are seated at a table.
Gord Lewis, far right, was the guitarist for Hamilton punk rock band Teenage Head. He was 65 years old. (Submitted by Brian Lewis)

Teenage Head is seen here playing a free concert on the roof of Jackson Square in Hamilton in May 1979. (Stephen Mahon)

Alper pointed to Teenage Head playing The Last Pogo, an infamous late 1970s punk rock concert in Toronto.

“They were one of the groups, probably not just the most important for Hamilton, but they certainly have to be among the best ever for Ontario and Canada, Alper said.

“We’re so prone to talk about the punk scene with the Ramones in the US or the Sex Pistols in the UK, kind of forgetting that we had a pretty vibrant one here.”

Molinaro said Gord once helped organize and play a surprise concert for a friend dying of cancer.

“It was just an example of Gord as a person,” he said.

“He really appreciated people…he knew his music made people happy. Gord’s music was a soundtrack to many people’s lives, including mine, so thankfully the legacy will continue.”