A Podcast Conversation With ..Revival 69's John Brower and Ron Chapman

REVIVAL69: The Concert That Rocked The World

Toronto’s John Brower, one-time concert promoter/full-time hustler, brings clarity to one of the nearly mythical happenings that put the Toronto music scene on the map in 1969. 22-year-old Brower and 23-year-old promoter Ken Walker find themselves in a swamp of inconceivable circumstances while setting up the historic retro music revue, the Toronto Rock n’ Roll Revival. Documentary producer/director Ron Chapman deftly patches footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker and hand-held Super 8 cameras circulated among trusted cameramen and women. With Brower as the tour guide and in half-lit face, Chapman builds a narrative that holds true from beginning to end. The extended plays are Chuck Berry and John Lennon and Plastic Ono Band.

Brower had balls. Canvassing the leader of the motorcycle gang, the Vagabonds, for a $25,000 loan to pay the Doors appearance fee was both desperate and reckless. Witnessing ticket sales flatline - lightning strikes, landing Brower a newly minted headliner in ex-Beatle John Lennon. A much-welcomed intervention from the angels of risk and rescue. Revival 69 was also a coming out for Lennon's partner, Yoko Ono. Lennon went all in and cut Yoko ample space to indulge in performance art. The looks on the sidemen’s faces are priceless.

I caught up with both John Brower and Ron Chapman – this is where we begin with this week’s FYI Music News.ca podcast.

REVIVAL69: The Concert that Rocked the World tells the incredible story of how, against all odds, a life-changing concert came together. A story of passion and perseverance, this never-before documented story reveals a series of colourful characters, murky deals and broken promises, culminating in John Brower, a young renegade promoter, putting his life on the line (literally) to achieve his goal.

The film includes present-day interviews with the concert organizer and those who attended the concert, including John Brower, Klaus Voormann, Alice Cooper, Robby Krieger, Danny Seraphine and Geddy Lee.

Ron Chapman - Director
John Brower - Concert Promoter | doc subject

Hamilton - Playhouse Cinema  Dec. 16-19
Waterloo - Princess Cinema. Dec. 16-19
Toronto - Hot Docs Cinema. Dec. 17 - Q+A with director & special guests; Dec. 18-22 / 27-29
Toronto - Fox Theatre Dec. 20 Q+A with Director Ron Chapman; Dec. 19-22
Ottawa - Bytowne Cinema. Dec. 18 + 22
Vancouver - Vancity Theatre. Dec. 18 / 20 / 22 / 23

VOD starts Jan 3, 2023. This is presented by Screen Siren, Chapman Productions, Photon Pictures. 

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