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'Festival Express:' Can We Talk Real Classic Rock?

Last night, the documentary channel was airing Festival Express featuring awesome acts like The Flying Burrito Brothers, Janis Joplin, The Band, The Grateful Dead and more. The film centers around the 1970 Canadian train tour of those acts.

Now, that's a tour! And the tickets were like $13!

The documentary kept flashing between performances and there were interviews, too. Now, I know The Flying Burrito Brothers are not Glam, but Gram Parsons was in the band for awhile...which makes me think of The Byrds [Festival Express doesn't feature Parsons. I *think* he left the Flying Burrito Brothers a month prior]. Parsons was in that band for a hot minute, too (along with a lot of other guys). I love The Byrds. Basically, all 60s protest music! And really, if not for The Band and The Dead, there might not have been Aerosmith...and eventually Motley Crue.

Levon Helm is the drummer for The Band and I got to see him last summer open for The Black Crowes. That was awesome and the crowd was going nuts! I always liked the song "The Weight"

Now the Byrds are awesome. Famous to be sure, but never as big as their due. Perhaps that was because of all the lineup changes?

There's a funny part of Festival Express that shows many of the musicians - including Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia - sort of stoned into outer space. The musicians are trying to sing but it's sort of a debacle. The footage is a little grainy - I love that someone way back when had the forethought to tape the music history. Festival Express is available on DVD. Maybe you've seen it - but it was completely new to me. Here's the trailer:

Now, I came to the party too late to experience the 60s and 70s first-hand. I wasn't on the Sunset Strip for the Glam 80s, either! I did, however, get to experience the grunge 90s by wearing some ugly flannel to school once in awhile. I think I got shortchanged! Now, I know some of you are younger like me...but some of you - and you know who you are - experienced the music of the 60s and 70s firsthand. Perhaps you'd love to weigh-in and share some stories?

Reader Comments (1)

I was at both days of the Toronto stop at CNE Stadium. Many acts appearing did not travel on the train and some did not play all cities. Also on the Toronto bill were, Mountain, Ten Years After and Traffic.
July 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersteve

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