|Toronto Rock and Roll Revival|
Toronto Rock and Roll Revival 1969, the original 1969 concert poster
|Genre||Rock, pop, etc.|
|Dates||September 13, 1969|
|Location(s)|| Toronto, Ontario |
The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival was a one-day, twelve-hour music festival held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on September 13, 1969. It featured a number of popular musical acts from the 1950s and 1960s.The festival is particularly notable as featuring an appearance by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as the Plastic Ono Band, which resulted in the release of their Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album. The festival was also the subject of the D.A. Pennebaker film, Sweet Toronto .
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 as of 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Ontario is a province of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province, with 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival was held at Varsity Stadium, at the University of Toronto, before an audience of over 20,000. The originally listed performers for the festival were Whiskey Howl, Bo Diddley, Chicago, Junior Walker and the All Stars, Tony Joe White, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Little Richard, Doug Kershaw, and The Doors. Kim Fowley was listed as the Master of Ceremonies.Screaming Lord Sutch was later added to the bill, as was the Toronto area band FLAPPING. Prior to the addition of FLAPPING, the only local band on the bill was Whiskey Howl. The appearance of John Lennon, Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band was not publicly known in advance.
Varsity Stadium is an outdoor collegiate football stadium located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is home to the Toronto Varsity Blues, the athletic teams of the University of Toronto. Athletic events have been hosted on the site since 1898; the current stadium was built in 2007 to replace the original permanent stadium built in 1911. Varsity Stadium is also a former home of the Toronto Argonauts, and has previously hosted the Grey Cup, the Vanier Cup, several matches of the 1976 Summer Olympics soccer tournament, and the final game of the North American Soccer League's 1984 Soccer Bowl series. It is located next to Varsity Arena.
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in the colony of Upper Canada, and serves as the flagship campus of the three campuses of the University of Toronto. The other two satellite campuses are located in Scarborough (UTSC) and Mississauga (UTM). Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution. As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history.
Whiskey Howl was a Toronto-based Canadian blues band, most popular between 1969 and 1972. The band is notable as being one of the early Canadian bands promoting and developing blues music in Canada.
As recounted by co-producer John Brower:
The festival was produced by John Brower and Kenny Walker, who had also produced a 2 day festival in June of 1969 at the same facility. The Rock and Roll Revival was notable for its almost having been cancelled the week of the show when poor ticket sales prompted the backers George and Thor Eaton of Canadian department store fame to pull out. Upon hearing this news, Kim Fowley, who was in Toronto early that week with Rodney Bingenheimer to promote for the festival, suggested that Brower call Apple Records in London and invite John and Yoko to come over and be the emcees. Fowley correctly surmised that given Lennon's love of the music of Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Gene Vincent he would be prompted to accept the invitation. Lennon however went Brower one better by suggesting that they wouldn't want to come unless they could play. Brower accepted that offer and quickly arranged plane tickets for John and Yoko, Klaus Voormann, Alan White, and Eric Clapton along with Beatles road manager Mal Evans and Yoko's assistant Anthony Fawcett.
The T. Eaton Company Limited, commonly known as Eaton's, was a Canadian retailer that was once Canada's largest department store chain. It was founded in 1869 in Toronto by Timothy Eaton, a Presbyterian Ulster Scot immigrant from what is now Northern Ireland. Eaton's grew to become a retail and social institution in Canada, with stores across the country, buying-offices around the globe, and a catalogue that was found in the homes of most Canadians. A changing economic and retail environment in the late 20th century, along with mismanagement, culminated in the chain's bankruptcy in 1999.
Rodney Bingenheimer is an American radio disc jockey who was on the Los Angeles rock station KROQ. He joined SiriusXM's Little Steven's Underground Garage on July 16, 2017. He is notable for helping numerous bands become successful in the American market. His contribution to the music business has been described as important. He developed a reputation for being the first American D.J. to identify new artists and play "edgy new bands" such as Blondie, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Van Halen, Guns N' Roses, Duran Duran, The Cure, Joan Jett, Hole, Symbol Six, No Doubt, Blur, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Bangles, X, Germs and many others.
Apple Records is a record label founded by the Beatles in 1968 as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It was initially intended as a creative outlet for the Beatles, both as a group and individually, plus a selection of other artists including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and Billy Preston. In practice, the roster had become dominated by the mid-1970s with releases of the former Beatles as solo artists. Allen Klein managed the label from 1969 to 1973, then it was managed by Neil Aspinall on behalf of the Beatles and their heirs. Aspinall retired in 2007 and was replaced by Jeff Jones.
Media outlets in Toronto, including CHUM radio, refused to believe Brower and ticket sales remained stillborn until Detroit promoter and radio personality Russ Gibb played nightly the tape recording of Fawcett reciting the names to Brower for the plane tickets. This caused a last minute stampede into Toronto from Detroit and once wire services reported the entourage had boarded their flight in London CHUM radio went on the air with the news and the stadium sold out during the afternoon of the event. Also notable was the escort into Toronto for both The Doors and John and Yoko by The Vagabonds motorcycle club, whose 80 members rode 40 in front and 40 in back for John and Yoko's limousine after having run wild trying to catch The Doors who were not expecting an escort from the Toronto airport to the university stadium in the city center.
CHUM Limited is a defunct Canadian media company based in Toronto, Ontario in operation from 1945 to 2007. It held full or joint control of two Canadian television systems—Citytv and A-Channel —comprising 11 local stations, one CBC Television affiliate, one provincial educational channel, and 20 branded specialty television channels, most notably MuchMusic and its various spinoffs. In addition, CHUM owned 33 radio stations across Canada under its CHUM Radio Network division. At various points in its history, CHUM also owned other radio stations as well as ATV and the Atlantic Satellite Network in Atlantic Canada.
Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest American city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2018 estimated population of 672,662, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.
Russ Gibb was a concert promoter, and media personality from Dearborn, Michigan, best known for his role in the "Paul is dead" phenomenon, a story he broke as a disc jockey on radio station WKNR-FM in Detroit.
It was at this festival that audience members first lit matches and lighters to welcome a performer on stage. Fowley came up with this as a means to ease John Lennon's stage fright. Fowley appeared on stage just before introducing the Plastic Ono Band and had everyone get their matches ready whereupon Lennon and company took the stage to a spectacular show of lights. This has since become a tradition in rock and roll, but was first experienced here.
Stage fright or performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be aroused in an individual by the requirement to perform in front of an audience, whether actually or potentially. Performing in front of an unknown audience can cause significantly more anxiety than performing in front of familiar faces. In some cases, the person will suffer no such fright from this, while they might suffer from not knowing who they're performing to. In the context of public speaking, this may precede or accompany participation in any activity involving public self-presentation. In some cases stage fright may be a part of a larger pattern of social phobia, but many people experience stage fright without any wider problems. Quite often, stage fright arises in a mere anticipation of a performance, often a long time ahead. It has numerous manifestations: stuttering, tachycardia, tremor in the hands and legs, sweaty hands, facial nerve tics, dry mouth, and dizziness.
Brower and Lennon attempted to produce a world peace festival in 1970, but failed to agree on details and were overwhelmed with both political and internecine opposition.
It was at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival that the Alice Cooper "chicken incident" took place. A chicken was reportedly thrown on stage and thrown back into the audience by lead singer Alice; a photo of which was sent by wire around the world. Various reports ranged from Alice biting the chicken's head off before returning it to the crowd, to Alice's own claim that audience members in the front of the crowd tore the poor bird to pieces in a frenzy of rock and roll pandemonium.
Alice Cooper is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years. With his distinctive raspy voice and a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock". Though sometimes also called "The Father of Shock Rock", the former is Cooper's most commonly agreed-upon title. He has drawn equally from horror films, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people.
An unauthorized Doors recording from the Toronto performance features Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger playing the melody and chorus from The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" in the middle of his guitar solo on "Light My Fire." The Doors closed the festival and Morrison begins their song "The End" by telling the audience he was honored to be on the same stage as the "illustrious musical geniuses" who had preceded the group that day.
Various mutually supportive performances occurred at the festival. The Alice Cooper Band was the backing band for Gene Vincent,while a member of FLAPPING, Ron Marinelli, Danny Taylor, and Hugh Leggat a member of Nucleus, were members of the backing band for Chuck Berry. In addition, appearances at the festival served to revitalize the careers of certain performers from the 1950s. For example, according to one reviewer, in relation to Little Richard's performance:
...he and his extremely tight band proceeded to tear through his classics at breakneck speed. With sweat gushing down his heavily made up face, he jumped on the piano and drove the young crowd crazy, exhorting them to get up and dance to blazing numbers like 'Rip It Up', 'Good Golly Miss Molly', and 'Jenny, Jenny'. By the time he finished racing through the closing notes of his 'Long Tall Sally' finale, he was sopping wet with his shirt torn to shreds by the crowd below. In 30 frenetic minutes Little Richard had just made his comeback."
The Doors, as the headlining act, closed the show. The band's appearance at the 1969 festival would be their last appearance in Toronto, prior to the 1971 death of Jim Morrison.
D. A. Pennebaker, who had made the 1967 documentary Dont Look Back , concerning Bob Dylan's 1965 UK tour, and the 1968 documentary Monterey Pop , concerning the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, also filmed the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival. The resulting documentary, Sweet Toronto , was released in 1971. As a result of Pennebaker's involvement, the performances of most of the artists were recorded and filmed. This has led to many authorized and unauthorized audio and video releases. Authorized video releases include the complete concert performances of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.[ citation needed ]
The following artists live music performances were issued on album and cassette:
Chicago Transit Authority – "Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival 1969 – Vol. I" (Accord 7140, 1981)
Chuck Berry – "Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival 1969 – Vol. II & Vol. III" (Accord 7171/7172, 1982)
Alice Cooper – "Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival 1969 – Vol. IV" (Accord 7162, 1982)
Bo Diddley – "Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival 1969 – Vol. V" (Accord 7182, 1982)
[Some of above have also been issued on various titled CD/Cassette releases from many odd labels]
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – "Live Peace in Toronto 1969" (Apple 3362, 1969)
Yoko Ono is a Japanese-American multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art, which she performs in both English and Japanese, and filmmaking. She was married to English singer-songwriter John Lennon of the Beatles from 1969 until his murder in 1980.
Some Time in New York City is a studio album by John Lennon & Yoko Ono and Elephant's Memory, and paired with the live album Live Jam as a double album.
Live Peace in Toronto 1969 is a live album by the Plastic Ono Band, released December 1969 on Apple. Recorded at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival, it was the first live album released by any member of the Beatles separately or together. John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono received a phone call from the festival's promoters John Brower and Kenny Walker, and then assembled a band in a very short space of time to play at the festival, which was due to start the following day. The band included Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, and drummer Alan White. The group had brief rehearsals before appearing on the stage to perform several songs; one of which, "Cold Turkey", was first performed live at said festival. Eventually returning home, Lennon mixed the album in a day.
Live in New York City is a posthumous live album by English rock musician John Lennon with the Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory Band. It was prepared under the supervision of his widow, Yoko Ono, and released in 1986 as his second official live album, the first being Live Peace in Toronto 1969.
Elephant's Memory was an American rock band formed in New York City in the late 1960s, known primarily for backing John Lennon and Yoko Ono from late 1971 to 1973. For live performances with Lennon and Ono, the band was known as the Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory Band.
The Plastic Ono Band was a rock band formed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 for their collaborative and solo projects.
"Cold Turkey" is a song written by John Lennon, released as a single in 1969 by the Plastic Ono Band on Apple Records, catalogue Apples 1001 in the United Kingdom, Apple 1813 in the United States. It is the second solo single issued by Lennon, and it peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 14 on the UK Singles Chart. The song's first appearance on an album was Live Peace in Toronto 1969 where the song had been performed live on 13 September 1969 with Lennon reading the lyrics off a clip-board.
"Dizzy, Miss Lizzy" is a rock and roll song written and recorded by Larry Williams in 1958. Although identified as a "genuine rock & roll classic", it had limited success on the record charts. Seven years later, the Beatles recorded the song, and John Lennon performed it with the Plastic Ono Band in 1969.
"Garden Party" is a 1972 hit song written by Rick Nelson and recorded by him and the Stone Canyon Band on the album Garden Party. The song tells the story of Nelson being booed at a concert at Madison Square Garden.
Rock and Roll Revival was a back-to-basics musical trend of the late 1960s and early 1970s, in a sort-of backlash against the heavier and psychedelic rock sounds then in vogue.
Sweet Toronto is a documentary by D.A. Pennebaker of the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, a one-day festival held September 13, 1969 at Varsity Stadium on the campus of the University of Toronto and attended by some 20,000 persons. The event was produced by John Brower and Ken Walker. John Lennon played as part of the Plastic Ono Band, whose members also included Yoko Ono, Klaus Voorman, Alan White, and Eric Clapton. The video also features a selection of other acts: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Bo Diddley. The actual concert lasted twelve hours and included Alice Cooper and Chicago Transit Authority among other acts, but Pennebaker's documentary focuses mainly on the final hours of the concert. At the time of the performance Yoko Ono's popularity was sufficiently low that the audience booed and left the Plastic Ono Band performance. There was a similar response from film reviewers at the time. The performances "and this film have grown in interest and watchability since that time, particularly given the rarity of such thorough documentation of these key performers' work in concert."
The London Rock and Roll Show is a 1973 British-produced concert film directed by Peter Clifton chronicling a Rock and Roll Revival concert held at Wembley Stadium in London, England in August 1972.
Instant Karma: All-Time Greatest Hits, a three-disc compilation album of music recorded by John Lennon, is a budget release targeted for sale at warehouse-type stores such as Sam's Club and Costco. The album was released in 2002 by Timeless/Traditions Alive Music under license from Capitol/EMI Special Projects. Disc one, subtitled The Hits, contained 11 songs that were previously released on singles. Disc two, subtitled Sings Classic Rock 'n' Roll, contained 10 cover songs recorded during Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll sessions as well as "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy," which were recorded live in Toronto in 1969. Disc three, subtitled The Classics Live, contained 12 songs recorded live in New York City either in August 1972 with Elephant's Memory at Madison Square Garden or, in the case of "Well ," with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention at the Fillmore East in June 1971. All 35 songs on the album had been previously released.
Keep on Rockin', aka Little Richard: Keep on Rockin is a film of a 1969 Little Richard concert at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival originally released in 1970. The film is in colour.
The Strawberry Fields Festival was a rock music festival held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, about 100 kilometers east of Toronto, between August 7 and the early morning hours of August 10, 1970. Although accounts vary, the audience has been estimated at between 75,000 and 100,000 people. A three-day ticket for the festival sold for $15.00.
This is a summary of 1969 in music in the United Kingdom.
S.I.R. John Winston Ono Lennon is a bootleg album of rehearsals before a concert of British musician John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, recorded in studio in late August 1972.
"Don't Worry Kyoko " is a song by Yoko Ono that was originally released by Plastic Ono Band in October 1969 as the B-side of John Lennon's single "Cold Turkey" and was later released on Ono's 1971 album Fly. Several live versions have been released, including on Live Peace in Toronto 1969 and Some Time in New York City in 1972. An early version was titled "Mum's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow." It has been covered by several other artists.