Sunday, November 27, 2011
GIVING THANKS FOR THE MUSIC
We glorify their rudness
The vessel has been broken
Crys, his time has come
A sound of childhood friendship
And the phone goes silent
Canada's legendary 1980 Heatwave Festival was the brainchild of concert promoter John Brower, who was based in Toronto. Brower established his reputation a decade prior, as the man behind the 1969 Rock and Roll Revival concert at Varsity Stadium (AKA "Live Peace In Toronto," which featured John Lennon's debut live performance outside The Beatles) and the three-day Woodstock-esque Strawberry Fields Festival held at Ontario's Mosport Park the following summer. For Canadians, as well as thousands of Americans and Europeans who traveled to this event, Brower's Heatwave Festival would become one of Canada's most memorable musical events.
This 1980 Heatwave Festival performance literally captures The Pretenders at that breakthrough moment, just as their debut album began climbing the North American charts and their first American single, the soulful and sensual "Brass In Pocket" had become a bona fide hit. That same week, the New York Times began coverage on the band in anticipation of The Pretenders' upcoming Central Park performance (also available here in The Concert Vault) a week after the Heatwave Festival.
Performing in the afternoon between Rockpile and the B-52's, The Pretenders performed during the major influx of the 15,000 ticketless radio listeners descending on Mosport Park. With a take-no-prisoners approach, they kick things off with a lacerating "Precious," signaling to the audience that this is a band with plenty of attitude and swagger. This pummeling opener is followed by the taunting and playful "The Adultress," a full year prior to its release. Destined for the lead off spot on The Pretenders' second album the following August, this features one of Hynde's most immortal couplets of "I'm the adultress I didn't want to be" with "But I'm convenient and I make good tea." These two challenging openers are next counterbalanced by the sweet vibrato purr of "Kid," displaying the two extremes of Hynde's songwriting.
Read it all here: