Q Magazine

John Lennon and Alice Cooper Feature in the New Documentary ‘Revival69: The Concert That Rocked The World’ - Watch the Trailer Now

Other artists who performed at the festival included Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Chicago, Bo Diddley and the Doors.

wills q template
Source: MEGA

In addition to Alice Cooper's performance, the Plastic Ono Band made its debut at the 1969 Toronto Rock and Roll Revival

By
Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

It’s not necessarily a date that anyone other than diehard Beatlemaniacs have committed to memory, but September 13, 1969 was a pretty big moment in music history: it was the date of the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, a 12-hour festival which also served as an opportunity for John Lennon to deliver the live debut of the Plastic Ono Band.

The story of this iconic concert event has been captured in a new documentary: REVIVAL69: The Concert That Rocked the World, directed by Ron Chapman and executive-produced by Chris Hegedus, Frazer Pennebaker, Kirk D'Amico, and the late but still legendary documentarian D. A. Pennebaker, who was present at the festival and - as ever - armed with a camera.

You may already be aware that Pennebaker released his own film at the time, Sweet Toronto, a.k.a. John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band: Live in Toronto, but that was a decidedly Lennon-centric concert film, whereas REVIVAL69 places the festival in a historical context.

Article continues below advertisement
wills q template
Source: Greenwich Entertainment

The official movie poster for 'REVIVAL69: The Concert That Rocked the World.'

The performers at the festival included Canadian bands Whiskey Howl and Flapping, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys, Chicago, Bo Diddley, the Doors, Doug Kershaw, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Milkwood, Screaming Lord Sutch, Gene Vincent, Junior Walker and the All Stars, and Tony Joe White.

Oh, right, and John Lennon, who was accompanied by Yoko Ono and a decidedly impressive backing band featuring Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, and Alan White. “Interestingly enough, not a lot of other people know about this event, which Rolling Stone called the second most important event in rock history, and it happened here in Toronto," Chapman told Yahoo! Canada when REVIVAL69 made its Canadian debut back in December 2022. “This is one of the most important moments in the history of rock 'n’ roll and yet, Canadians don't know about it, Torontonians don't know about it, and the world doesn't know about it."

Article continues below advertisement
wills q template
Source: Greenwich Entertainment

A shot of Alice Cooper in mid-performance during the 1969 Toronto Rock and Roll Revival.

After reading the press release, there's little question that the film will easily sway potential viewers with its promises of containing "once-in-a-lifetime moments...like Jim Morrison admiring Chuck Berry’s performance from side-stage, or Alice Cooper backing ‘50s icon Gene Vincent before launching into his own raucous solo show. But perhaps most remarkable is the debut of The Plastic Ono Band, and how two Canadian kids in their early 20s came to organize John Lennon’s first major performance outside the Beatles."

Oh, yes, and there's also a story about Alice Cooper finding himself with an unexpected onstage guest...

Article continues below advertisement

Interviewees in the film include the Doors' Robby Krieger, Alice Cooper, co-organizer John Brower, Klaus Voorman and Alan White, along with a few folks who were in attendance, including Geddy Lee, Robert Christgau, Claudja Barry and Shep Gordon.

You can watch the trailer below, which will doubtlessly serve to keep you properly jazzed until the film's release, which is set for June 28 through Greenwich Entertainment.

Article continues below advertisement

Never miss a story — sign up for the Q newsletter for the latest music news on all your favorite artists, all in one place.

Advertisement

Subscribe to our newsletter

your info will be used in accordance with our privacy policy

Read More