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JR/other Canadians -- "Festival Express"

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by finishthehat, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    This was just on IFC this weekend; I somehow missed it in theaters. (For those not familiar with it, it's a documentary on a 1970 train tour of a rock festival featuring The Band, Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy, the Dead, etc. etc.)

    Very entertaining stuff, but what was the deal with the one city whose name I can't remember? (Let's say it's Winnipeg.) As the tour went on, there was a growing controversy that somehow tickets should be free, and at one point they said the mayor of "Winnipeg" came to the tour and demanded "that the children of Winnipeg be able to see the show for free." (The promoter, in a modern-day interview in the film, claims to have then punched Hizzoner out.)

    Did Winnipeg (or whatever town it was) have some sort of hippie mayor back in the day?

    Anyway, great performances, especially by The Band, and the drunken on-the-train jam stuff was hilarious. This was all a little bit before my time, but I always love watching, among other things, the usually rough collision between the music of that time and actual bottom-line commerce. The best example is in "Don't Look Back" with that smooth British promoter working the phones with Albert Grossman trying to get an extra thousand of so pounds out of a venue.
  2. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    My recollections of 1970 are rather vague. I was in university at the time. :)

    Remember the festival and it was the mayor of Calgary, not Winnipeg I believe who wanted the free tickets.

    The footage of Joplin is amazing. She died about three months after the tour.

    It's a great rock doc. Right up there with Woodstock and Gimme Shelter.
  3. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    Thanks. I wonder if the alleged punch-out ever happened.

    Also loved the train stopping so they could clean out a trackside liquor store.

    Edited to add the Wiki:

    Rod Sykes
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    James Rodney "Rod" Winter Sykes is a former Canadian politician who served as Mayor of Calgary from 1968 – 1977 and Leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party from 1980 – 1982. In 1984, he was nominated by the Liberal Party for a seat in the House of Commons, but lost in the general election.

    On July 4, 1970, he argued that the children of Calgary should be allowed to attend the Festival Express concert for free. The promoter knocked him out as a response.
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