Wednesday, January 21, 2015

International Pop Festival @ the Autostade

July 17, 1968

The Who
at Autostade, Montreal

Other headlining acts: The Troggs
DateJuly 17, 1968
BandThe Who
CityVictoriatown, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Many months ago, radio station CFOX teamed up with East\West Productions to plan the First International Pop Festival for last Wednesday at the Autostade. 
When arrangements were completed, contracts had been signed with The Procol Harum, The Who, The Troggs, Mitch Ryder, The Ohio Express, The People, and at least six local groups. The CFOX disc-jockeys would emcee the show, scheduled to run non-stop from 2 p.m. to midnight. 
Up until 2 p.m. that is how the promoters thought the festival, believed to be the largest international pop show to come to Canada, would work out. 
And ultimately, the show proved to be a success, but it may have taken years off the potential life span of both promoters and emcees. 

How it worked 

In part, this is how it actually worked: 
2:30 p.m.: The stage still requires a little work. The electronic equipment is dying of peculiar electrical diseases. A couple of groups are missing. The Autostade is hotter than the hinges of hell. The fans are restive. 
Deejay Charles P. Rodney Chandler, one of the (C) FOX masters of ceremonies, stimulates the audience with a critical lecture on what is wrong with the Montreal pop scene: "The problem is there’s no love in Montreal; I’ve been here for an hour and the only couple I’ve seen holding hands are those two guys up in Row 44." 
2:50: The Montreal-based quintet, "The Our Generation," begin their segment, including their single, "I’m A Man." The microphones give out one by one. 
They are immediately followed by the frenetic local group, "The Haunted." 
4:05: (C) FOX deejays admire each other, introduce Andy "Shoot ‘Em Up, Baby" Kim. 
4:10: The Ohio Express have arrived and play a set, featuring their rendition of the most vulgar song on the current Hit Parade: "Yummy Yummy Yummy." 

Worse and worse 

4:40: The Mozart Group from Saskatchewan perform a wide variety of songs. They may have the best lead vocalist so far, but it is hard to tell; the sound is getting worse and worse. 
5:30: Mitch Ryder performs, accompanied by two guitars, drums, organ, trumpet, trombone, and tenor and baritone saxophone. He does things with his voice that shouldn’t happen to a calliope; his infectious enthusiasm in "C.C. Rider," "Devil With the Blue Dress On," and "Sock It To Me, Baby," in particular, and the rhythmic dancing of his band bring the audience back into the spirit of the festival. 
6:15: Missing groups are anxiously awaited. 
The Troggs rouse the audience with their characteristic, wide-legged pump and grind. They sing "Wild Thing," 
"With a Girl Like You", and similar frankly erotic songs that have made them one of the world’s best-paid groups. 
8:05: The Who put on a real show, combining everything that has made them perhaps England’s third most popular group, especially the microphone spinning of lead singer Roger Daltrey, the pinwheel action on the guitar by Pete Townshend, and toward the end, the destruction of the drums by Keith Moon. 
Daltrey gives another explanation for one of the missing groups: "Too bad about the Procol Harum — they got busted." This is a humorous remark under the circumstances. 
8:35: End of the first half. 
8:45: Grapevine ‘has it that The People have not been allowed across the border; grapevine also supplies predictable reasons. The Ohio Express are missing. The Troggs are asked if they will open the second show; they are still dripping from the first performance and are not keen. 
8:50: A new set of backstage problems. They say some Autostade officials are claiming the show has to end at 10:30 rather than at midnight. Someone feels that it is too dangerous to continue the show with an estimated 6,000 spectators and no lights. 
9:05: Emcee George Ferguson keeps the audience awake, like a camp counsellor, leading bronx cheers for "the fuzz" as they insert themselves between the stage and the audience. 
9:10: The Haunted are called back into action; on the better amplification provided by’ The Who, they sound much more impressive. 
9:30: The Troggs return. On the stands behind them is an audience-participation Dance of the Seven Veils. 
10:20: Mitch Ryder does a second set. His group sounds more like Glenn Miller’s orchestra in parts this time. 
10:55: The Ohio Express return. It becomes popular to practise hitting the stage with some of the innumerable projectiles to be found on the stadium floor. Some of the shots are better than others. 

‘Pictures of Lily’ 

11:10: The Who make the scene. They play "Pictures of Lily." Someone has told Roger Daltrey that their section of the show should be kept to half an hour; he announces to the audience in so many words what they can do with that idea. The audience cheers. They play "Happy Jack." The drum- sticks start flying. They perform their "mini-operetta," a good satire and a vehicle for some belly dancing by Roger Daltrey in his silver pants. 
11:35: For some reason, the main lights go on. The Who work themselves up into a frenzy and begin their ritual of destruction, smashing their guitars, tearing up the stage and dumping the sections onto the drums. But suddenly the impetus seems to die and the show is over. 
11:50: The Autostade turf looks like a horticultural centre dedicated to growing new, exotic kinds of paper. The people have been herded out. 
The promoters announce that the Autostade has charged them $1,000 for care and grooming of the trampled field plus $500 an hour I or the time after 10:30 plus $200 for the use of lights at the end. Next year, they say, the Second International Pop Festival will be much bigger and better. But it will be held somewhere else in Montreal.

People who were at this concert

Stories from this concert

surfinsam 2010 Feb 2

The Who headlined. An astonoshing performance 
Other bands 
The Troggs 
Andy Kim 
The Haunted 
Ohio Express 
I was 14 years old and didnt keep any info on this event. 
Would love to communicate with someone that was there as well.
Les_F 2010 May 27
All Day Rock Concert
This concert at the Autostade in Montreal,(victoriatown-goose village property)... It was billed as the longest continous pop-festival, One of the MCees was a local DJ named Dean Hagopian from CFOX (at the time CFOX was a pop/rock station,later changed to talk/sports,but then disappeared. 
I remember being right behind the stage which was in the playing field ,when the Who arrived ( a very young Who at that time) 
Remember this concert / pop-festival ,as it was billed, was before Monterey & a year before Woodstock at was great, and it was a blast Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels were playing too.( I got a drumstick from one that went flying backwards)..blah blah blah.... and to cap it off Myself & a friend of mine sat on the trunk lid of the black caddy limo that ushered the Who out of the stadium,through the onfield exit tunnel at the far end of the Autostade.girls were chasing the car of course, & it was all a big laugh,when the last I heard of one gal saying "Oh Keith" as they tried to push girls away from the car (this gal they pulled inside the car ,to allow them to drive through the narrow exit...I imagine they tossed her out on the other side of the exit,(she would be neat to run across nowadays to hear her story) As for myself we just casually stood up as the car was nearing the exit,and walked back across the field, 
This all day party was about 12 hours long I think...all sorts of different bands. 
It's hard to find any info on the old Autostade,& so I was happy to come across this site, with 'surfinsam's story about it... 
Cheers ,it sparked my old memory banks for sure..... 
I was the same age, I really could not remember exactly what year it was ,until surfinsam said '68 ...and that's about right I guess... 
I will keep trying to find a line-up for this concert,...and I will post it here if I find more info.. 
I used to live in Verdun,& saw many concerts in the suroounding venues from the Montreal Forum to smaller bars etc etc as well as the typical teenage dances held in various schools/churches Y's .the Haunted were a great Montreal band Btw: 
best Regards from Canada's Westcoast ( Les & Teresa, Victoria BC)


BobB said...

Great memories of bygone days.

Thanks Les.


Les_F said...

By-gone days for sure Bob, thanks for the post. Cheers ! Les

Francois Globensky said...

I was there too! That was fantastic...

Anonymous said...

Was a long time ago I'm not 100% sure but besides bands mentioned in the comments here I believe Jethro Tull and Rod Stewart also played I hope it was that concert ,pretty sure .