September 13, 1969

September13Today in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono flew to Toronto with the Plastic Ono Band to perform at the Rock & Roll Revival Show.

The Plastic Ono Band featured members Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and Alan White, as well as Lennon and Ono. However, the band was so hastily put together that they rehearsed on the plane ride from England. The band wasn’t originally supposed to play.

Poor ticket sales threatened to cancel the show. Kim Fowley told the concert’s co-producer, John Brower, to call Apple Records and invite Lennon and Ono to emcee the show. Brower contacted Lennon, who said they wouldn’t want to come unless they could play.

Ticket sales, however, didn’t improve until a radio station in Detroit played an audio recording of Ono’s assistant Anthony Fawcett reciting the band members’ names to Brower for the plane tickets.

The Rock & Roll Revival Show was held at Varsity Stadium, part of the University of Toronto. Some 20,000 people arrived. Also performing were Bo Diddley, Chicago, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and The Doors, among others.

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