Feb 082013


This 1973 TV documentary from Canada can be diverting. Rock-A-Bye gets you up close and dirty with shaggy bands and ill-dressed record company people, as a stentorian narrator describes the Business of Rock in very serious and occasionally cynical tones.

It is pretty random. We have clips of the Rolling Stones on stage, an interview with Ronnie Hawkins, an A&R man called John David Churchill Poser, the Canadian dude from the Lovin’ Spoonful, Muddy Waters, Alice Cooper mobbed at the airport by a group of gay guys, lots of obscure Canadian bands, and extremely bad hair.

BTW the fashion in 1973 was to be as ugly as possible.

Hat tip ——–> Voices of East Anglia

More of this fascinating documentary…after the jump!


  8 Responses to “Provincial Rock Biz Verite: Canada 1973”

  1. mockcarr

    Say, what you like about it, but the bucket hat allows for much more imagery than a baseball cap.

  2. That Stones clip, Mick’s clipped, barking dog vocals, I don’t like that.

  3. That’s how I was used to hearing Jagger on radio broadcasts while growing up. As much as I love the Stones, I never thought I’d like seeing them live and hearing that barking, tuneless voice. He’s one of my favorite studio singers.

  4. I’m only through pt 1, but this is amazing, Suburban kid. This is the true rock ‘n roll world milieu I always suspected was out there. I still want to dream that a world exists in which narrators take such great care to pronounce “record.”

    The Stampeders’ failed follow-up single was pretty good. I need to hear that again. Also, any help in identifying the masked wrestler with the X on his mask would be greatly appreciated. I suspect that our old Minister of Canadian Rock, Northvancoveman (if he’s checking in), would know. It wouldn’t surprise me, either, if cliff sovinsanity grew up a professional wrestling fan. That’s a solid quality in the Halls of Rock, you know.

  5. I would always veto anyone who wanted to put on Love You Live. Play the “real” albums, man!

  6. cliff sovinsanity

    I’m tracking down the wrestler with the X on his mask. Yes, I was a into wrestling as a kid. Our local CBC station had local wrestlers from Mid-West and Detroit as well as out of towners from Montreal and Calgary. Dick The Bruiser, The Sheik, Bobo Brazil, and Abdullah The Butcher come to mind.
    We watched lots of NFB films in school. Sadly, this was not one of them. I thought Zal came across as a big jerk, although he was much less bitter few years back when he did an interview on CBC just before he died.
    I really enjoyed this clinical take on the industry from the perspective of people who are clearly not “with it”.

  7. ‘boo-gie on Crowbar’ is now going to be my mantra for the week…

    I must say my opinion of Canadians has been changed by this documentary of their primitive culture. I used to think they we’re just Molson swigging hockey fanatics…now I also know that they all apparently smoke everything anywhere or is it anything everywhere?

    Alice in bondage drag was unnerving, too. I did attend his ‘Hanging with Black Rock’ show – albeit as an usher rather than as a fan – but I must of missed that part…

  8. oops! When I said ‘Molson-swigging hockey fanatics’ I meant to say – ‘Molson-swigging hockey fanatics – no offense’.

    Thanks for your understanding…

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