Live Peace In Toronto 1969 Audience (Misterclaudel mccd-029)
Varsity Stadium, Toronto, ON, Canada – September 13th, 1969
Introduction, Blue Suede Shoes, Money, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Yer Blues, Cold Turkey, Give Peace A Chance, Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s only looking for her hand in the snow), John John (Let’s Hope For Peace)
Of the four Beatles, John Lennon has the fewest number of live appearances as a solo artist and only two with the Plastic Ono Band. The story behind this appearance in Toronto is well known. Not having a real band, Lennon hastily recuits Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman and Alan White and rehearses on the plane going to the concert. The Rock And Roll Revival was meant to be a showcase for the artists from the 1950’s like Chuck Berry and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and an appearance by The Doors.
But the show is chiefly known for Alice Cooper and the chicken incident, and John Lennon’s forty minute set. Review:The results are pretty good given the circumstances. “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Money” are performed very slow. “Yer Blues”, while not as confident a delivery as on the Rock And Roll Circus from December 1968 is pretty good nonetheless. “Cold Turkey” on the other hand sounds very sloppy here. The latter half of the set, with Yoko Ono’s two songs “Don’t Worry” and “John, John” have been target for many vicious attacks. I have to admit that I liked her contribution.
The final track in particular “John, John” is twelve minutes of mostly guitar feedback which doesn’t sound much different than King Crimson in the Lark’s Tongues era. Her screaching in the first half of the set is a bit much to take but it does work in the second half. Misterclaudel have issued an excellent audience recording of the event. They didn’t use a tape source for this as that is probably no longer available.
This was one of the earliest bootlegs, coming out soon after Great White Wonder and Live’r, but was made obsolete by the Apple release. The vinyl copy they used is very good with only hints of surface noise and the occasional pop and crack. But overall this is a great sounding, front row recording with the emphasis upon Lennon’s vocals and we can enjoy the show without the final mixing evident on the official Apple release. (GS)