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I'm A Freak For Toronto Rock And Roll Concert Posters
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I\'m A Freak For Toronto Rock And Roll Concert Posters

Toronto, Canada is mainly known for it's trophy winning ice hockey team The Maple Leafs (11 Stanley Cups) and Maple Leaf Gardens arena. What many Americans may not know is Maple Leaf Gardens hosted some very famous rock stars and concerts for decades. There was also the art of rock and roll concert posters promoting those shows which continues to flourish in Toronto, even today.

Who is Tad Michalak?

Artist Tad Michalak was honored the weekend of April 26, 2013 by "Toronto Laser Services" for his collaged / hand-drawn events posters for nearly a decade. These posters were influenced by comics, movies, expert screen-printing from Toronto and Internet meme's. Michalak's art is guttural, primal and looks like a fifth grader had put it together sometimes. None-the-less these posters are hand crafted, recognizable (with a style that is expected by the fans) and are wildly popular.

But, Michalak is much more than that. His love of music (which ranges from jazz, experimental and avant garde rock) drives him to promote musical events, publish a magazine plus create these abstract rock and roll concert posters. He is famous for the Feast in The East monthly concert series and Burn Down The Capitol concerts. Michalak's magazine is named The Offering. With the energy and passion he has for music, he reminds me of a young Bill Graham (Fillmore East & West)

Vintage Rock from Toronto

Toronto Rock and Roll Revival - 1969 is one of my favorite rock and roll concert posters from Canada. Unfortunately in original condition it's coming in at around $3000. You can get knockoffs for like $24 bucks easily. But, this Rinaldo, Hiller and Associates poster is very good one and comes with a great back story.

John Lennon Saves The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival

Although there are many stories and rock concerts that were played in Toronto thru the decades, there is one that I find particularly noteworthy. It was called the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival - September 13, 1969 and held at Varsity Stadium.

Starring: The Doors, Chuck Berry, Alce Cooper, Chicago, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Junior Walker and the All Stars, Little Richard, Whiskey Howl, Tony Joe White, Gene Vincent, Doug Kershaw and Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys.

What a classic line up, right? Believe it or not, it was the week of the show and ticket sales were really down. The brothers Eaton (George and Thor) of Canada largest department store chain were backers of the festival and pulled out their funding almost shutting down the show.

Kim Fowley (The master of ceremonies) suggested to the producers that they call John Lennon at Apple records for help with the backing. Fowley knew that Lennon worshiped Chuck Berry's work and that he may be inclined to save the concert. In fact, John Lennon was very interested in helping the producers. But, he did them one better by offering he and Yoko Ono to play at the concert, as well. In a nutshell, That is what exactly what happened. The concert that almost never happened is part of Toronto's rock history forever.

Toronto is steeped in rock history (bringing The Beatles there 3 years in a row '64,'65 and '66) and very happening today with fresh, new art & music as we speak. To discover Toronto as a cultural center rather than just a mecca for ice hockey is amazing to me.


Street Talk

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