It can easily be said that 1969 was THE year for seminal music festivals. While practically everyone knows about Woodstock Festival, mostly through the legendary music documentary, some other equally important music events have been in the shadows up until recently.
The first such event to get the documentary film treatment was the excellent Summer of Soul documentary that was released earlier this year. Now, as Deadline reports, another such festival is to be a theme 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, during his final days as a Beatle.
The film now bears the working title of Rock & Roll Revival and will be directed by Ron Chapman (The Poet in Havana). The one-day music festival, which was held at the University of Toronto’s 20,000 seat Varsity Stadium, was put together by young renegade promoter John Brower with 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 almost 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,” The Beatles’ “Yer Blues” and a new song “Cold Turkey,” as well as Ono’s “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow).”
It’s thought that upon Lennon’s return to London, that was when he decided to leave The Beatles.