Monday, March 12, 2007

Festival Express

Sunday evening we watched the movie, "Festival Express" which is about series of rock concerts moving through Canada in the summer of 1970 via a train. The movie itself was made in 2003, but almost all the footage & video is from the original train and festivals. Wowza, did that bring back memories! The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and The Band were the main groups. The train was a continuous party & music festival. They sure had fun. Here's a great line [from memory]: "Drinking was a new experience for us". Being on a train, they couldn't use their usual, uh, chemical stimulants, so resorted to liquor. The train had an unscheduled stop at a liquor store in Saskatoon when the train ran out of liquor. That reminds me of college rugby bus trips for out of town games.

We had a good time watching and I recommend the movie, If you lived through the period, you'll have enjoyable recollections. If not, you'll see a slice of the craziness of the period.


mern said...

didnt i suggest that movie to u? thats one of my fave movies. i believe you quoted bob wier(d) on the alcohol thing. that movie was fantastic. as the guy running the festivals said, woodstock was for the fans. the festival express was for the musicians. this movie really shows the genuis and the passion of jerry garcia (before he started doing heroin in 1973). in almost all those on train jams, there was jerry, somewhere, picking away. watching him, bob, and janis jam at the end, surely brought a tear to my eye.

this weekend i watched the closing of winterland 12/31/78 starring the dead, blues brothers, and others. that was absolutely great as well, but in 78 the deads piano player stunk and was booted from the band shortly after this 5 hour monster of a show.

68-70 while pigpen was still healthy, great yrs for the dead.

everyone seems to love 74, i say 74 was a solid yr.

77 was a great yr, but still keith and donna were in the band, pulling them down.

for me, the real powerful stuff came from 87-90. thats when they were a machine.

since jerry died, anything phil has done since 98 has been sublime.

bob wiers band, ratdog, is getting really gud. they still tour constantly.

then there has been 2 attempts to put the dead back together.

1998, shows were ok

2002-03 that was very very gud, especially when joan osborne sang. i dont know y they messed up with the lineup in 2004, but as i predicted the 2004 tour was a nitemare. too many guitars, too many people wanting to sing, and the whole vibe just stunk.

festival express is a must see if u find that time of peroid as interesting as i do. even though i wasnt there, i lived very similar to that since i was about 16.

im getting horny for some shows


Bunkerman said...

yeah, mern, I put it on my Netflix list on your suggestion - a good one, thanks.

I was surprised how much Mrs. Bunker knew about those bands.

mern said...

glad u enjoyed it


Bud said...

Wow....I have to see this flic. Sex, drugs , rock 'n roll. My 3 favorite subjects. Just ordered from blockbuster online.

mern said...

nice job bud