D. A. Pennebaker Captures John Lennon's First Show Outside The Beatles In New 'Revival69' Doc


D. A. Pennebaker Captures John Lennon's First Show Outside The Beatles In New 'Revival69' Doc

(Shore Fire Media) Greenwich Entertainment has announced the June 28 release of REVIVAL69: The Concert That Rocked The World, a feature-length documentary that explores the nearly-unbelievable story of the 1969 Toronto Rock N Roll Revival.

Through the iconic verite lens of D. A. Pennebaker, once-in-a-lifetime moments are captured between the festival's cross-generational bill - like Jim Morrison admiring Chuck Berry's performance from side-stage, or Alice Cooper backing '50s icon Gene Vincent before launching into his own raucous solo show.

But perhaps most remarkable is the debut of The Plastic Ono Band, and how two Canadian kids in their early 20s came to organize John Lennon's first major performance outside The Beatles.

Promoted by John Brower and Kenny Walker, the 1969 Toronto Rock N Roll Revival marked the first time John Lennon had performed without The Beatles since before their rise to stardom - taking the stage that night with Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and Alan White. The behind-the-scenes road to booking Lennon is outlined in detail in the film - including near-cancellations, threats from biker gangs and rehearsals onboard transatlantic flights. The fact that Lennon quietly left The Beatles a week later (a decision that would not be made public until the following year) only adds to the historical weight of his performance captured in Revival69.

Additionally, featured throughout the documentary are commanding performances from legends in their prime like Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Jerry Lee Lewis - alongside an interview with Robby Kreiger about The Doors headlining set. First-hand perspective is also given by Alice Cooper, John Brower, Klaus Voorman and Alan White, as well as notable attendees including Geddy Lee, Robert Christgau, Claudja Barry and Shep Gordon. Revival69 is directed by Ron Chapman, written by Phyllis Ellis and produced by Chapman and Ellis alongside Trish Dolman, Andrew Williamson and Sally Blake. The film's executive producers include Chris Hegedus, Frazer Pennebaker, Kirk D'Amico and the late D. A. Pennebaker.

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