Rock-A-Bye is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Canadian music industry and youth-culture scene of 1973. Things you'll see include: Outside the Montréal Forum at a Rolling Stones concert kids try to score hash. Cool on-stage footage of the Stones performing, "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Close-up of Jack Daniels bottles sitting on guitar amps. Mick tosses buckets of water into the audience. Concert tickets cost $7.00!
Zal Yanovsky (former Lovin' Spoonful) blows out dozens of four-letter words describing the music and teen culture of 1973. He talks about getting busted for drugs and working with the police for a few days ratting out dealers so he can get out of his charges! Ronnie Hawkins talks about his rock and roll beginnings in the 1950s and performs "Bo Diddley" on stage. Muddy Waters plays live on stage in a small club.
Alice Cooper gets mauled by fans (guys not girls!) at the airport and has to run for his life! Alice keeps a concert audience waiting 2 ½ hours so he can watch a hockey game then hacks up a baby doll on stage during the song "Dead Babies." Ah, the good old days!
Record pressing plant footage shows George Harrison's The Concert for Bangladesh and Rod Stewart's Every Picture Tells A Story LPs coming off the presses. Inside the office of Kinney National a conglomerate that owns WEA (Warner Music), auto parking lots, mobile homes and funeral parlors! The Canadian rock band, The Stampeders in the studio cutting their second album. Disc Jockey, Duke Roberts at CHUM-FM in Toronto.
Inside "Sam the Record Man" record shops; Canada's largest record retailer. (Oh man, all that vinyl looks cool!). Filming of the Saturday evening rock and roll TV show, "Jeunesse" with screaming girls in the audience (as if it were 1964!) Rock bands, Whiskey Howl and Crowbar. Capitol Record's lawyers assist in a contract negotiation. Footage shows teenagers getting haircuts and buying clothes.
This piece of social and pop history was created by NFB director Jacques Bensimon and script-writer George Pearson, and starring Douglas Rain, Kim Berly, Alice Cooper, Mick Jagger, and an assortment of Canadian acts of the time and available from Video Beat for a mere $19.99.
Anyone who can tell us more about this relatively unknown and forgotten treasure is invited to write us and tell us more.
- Thanks to That Eric Alper for this