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FYI

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

REVIVAL69: The Concert That Rocked The World

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

By Bill King

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.

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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

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OPENS IN SELECT CINEMAS ACROSS CANADA BEGINNING DEC. 16, 2022
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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