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Toronto Rock & Roll Revival 1969 (aka Toronto Peace Festival)

  

Varsity Stadium, University of Toronto
September 13, 1969
 
What a mix!
Here's a sure-fire late 60s idea for a concert: rock 'n' rollers from the 50s ("oldies") and the new groups that play their songs (and more). It'd feature good ole rockers like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Add new guys like Chicago Transit Authority and The Doors. Throw in some "local" talent and push that wheelbarrow full o'loonies to the bank! Well, nobody else thought this was a good idea and not many people bought tickets.
I know, sez promoter John Brower, I'll ask John Lennon if he'd intro the bands. That'll help. John goes him one better and sez, Heck, we'll play, man! But, nobody believed him. Sure, they said, John doesn't even have a band-how's he gonna play? A leaked phone call confirming flight reservations and the stadium sells out in hours.
Well, he had drafted Eric, Klaus, and Andy for the adventure and then didn't show at the airport. Eric calls: Look, John, you got us here--get your ass over here or you'll never play again. Off they flew, rehearsing on the flight. Played their asses off with "oldies" and some new stuff. And then Yoko started to wail...
You'll have to check the links for the complete story of this extraordinary concert event. Berry, Lewis, Little Richard went from playing bars to big tours and new recordings. Alice Cooper and that "chicken incident." The Doors closing the show at 1:45AM with, appropriately The End.
Oh yeah, D A Pennebacker filmed the whole thing and put out a documentary called Sweet Toronto that showed for a few days in New York in December, 1971 and then disappeared for 15+ years (too much Yoko—not enough rock 'n' roll). Wild tales.

Performers
Kim Fowley, MC
Whiskey Howl
Flapping
Bo Diddley
Tony Joe White
Jr Walker & The All Stars
Jerry Lee Lewis
Chuck Berry
Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys
Screaming Lord Sutch
Chicago Transit Authority
Alice Cooper
Gene Vincent
Doug Kershaw
Little Richard
Plastic Ono Band(link to album)
The Doors


Links!
How Toronto Helped Break Up The Beatles
Robert Christgau's review (and history)

 


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