They were unlike any other band in the punk scene they called home.
NoMeansNo started in the basement of the family home of brothers Rob and John Wright in 1979. For the next three decades, they would add and then replace a guitar player, sign a record deal with Alternative Tentacles and tour the world. All along the way, they kept their integrity, saying “NO” to many mainstream opportunities. It was for this reason the band (intentionally) never became a household name, but earned the respect and love of thousands of fans around the world, including some who became big rock stars themselves. They were expertly skilled musicians playing a new kind of punk: intelligent, soulful, hilarious, and complex. They were also really nice Canadian dudes.
NoMeansNo: From Obscurity to Oblivion (PM Press, 2024) is the fully authorized oral and visual history of this highly influential and enigmatic band which has never been told before now. Author Jason Lamb obtained exclusive access to all four former members and interviewed hundreds of people in their orbit, from managers and roadies to fellow musicians, friends, and family members. The result is their complete story, from the band’s inception in 1979 to their retirement in 2016, along with hundreds of photos, posters, and memorabilia, much of which has never been seen publicly before.
For established fans, this book serves as a “love letter” to their favorite group and provides many details previously unknown. For those curious about the story and influence of NoMeansNo, it reveals an eye-opening tale of how a punk band could be world class musicians while truly “doing it themselves.” Their impact and importance cannot be overstated, and NoMeansNo: From Obscurity to Oblivion is the essential archive.