We can easily say that 1969 was the year of the founding music festivals. While virtually everyone is familiar with the Woodstock festival, mostly thanks to the legendary music documentary, other equally important music events have remained in the shadows until recently.
The first such event to receive the documentary film treatment was the excellent soul summer documentary released earlier this year. Now, as Deadline reports, another such festival is to be the subject of a new documentary.
The music festival in question is the Toronto Rock’N’Roll Revival, September 1969, which is best known for a rare solo performance by John Lennon, the first for the Plastic Ono Band, in his final days as a Beatle.
The film now bears the working title of The revival of rock’n’roll and will be directed by Ron Chapman (The Poet in Havana). The one-day music festival, held at the University of Toronto’s 20,000-seat Varsity Stadium, was hosted by renegade young promoter John Brower featuring artists including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent, The Doors, and Alice Cooper.
However, as Deadline notes, with dismal ticket sales, the concert was nearly canceled before Brower invited John Lennon and he said yes.
Lennon, Ono and the band played songs including a cover of “Blue Suede Shoes”, as well as “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”, “Yer Blues” by The Beatles and a new song “Cold Turkey”, as well as “Don” by Ono. ‘t Worry Kyoko (Mom is only looking for her hand in the snow).
It is believed that when Lennon returned to London, that was when he decided to leave the Beatles.