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September 15th, 1969: "They revived rock n' roll despite John Lennon's wife." The Plastic Ono Band perform in Toronto: Watch

John Lennon and his Plastic Ono Band made their first public appearance yesterday.

'They revived rock n' roll despite John Lennon's wife.' The Plastic Ono Band perform in Toronto: Watch

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1970.

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"It's hard not to conclude, even with the best will in the world that John Lennon hasn't saddled himself with an awkward, demanding, difficult and weird partner and co-leader in his current musical enterprises." Jack Batten, Toronto Star

John Lennon and his Plastic Ono Band made their first public appearance on Saturday night at the Rock n' Roll Revival Festival in Toronto. The band released their debut single, "Give Peace A Chance" in July. The single was written and recorded in June during Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-In at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Watch the clip below of the recording of "Give Peace A Chance."

Lennon's appearance at the festival was arranged at the last minute, so he wasn't included in any advertising for the event. He had been requested to participate as the emcee but, decided to perform instead. Lennon says he received a call earlier this week asking him to come.

"They really were inviting us as King and Queen to preside over the concert and not to play. But I didn't hear that part and I said, 'OK. OK. Just give me time to get a band together.' So, I thought, 'Who could I get to come and play with me?' We left the next morning."

On Saturday, Lennon's band included Eric Clapton (Cream) and Klaus Voormann (Manfred Mann).

Lennon had second thoughts on the way over from London and was sick with nerves.

"My God, I haven't performed before a large audience for four years. I mean, I did the Rolling Stones' Circus film with a small audience, and I did the Cambridge '69 gig; but they didn't even know I was coming. So we didn't sleep at all on Friday night, and I was nervous all the way across."

After The Plastic Ono Band's performance, Eric Clapton spoke to the press.

"John just stood in the dressing room, which was admittedly rather tatty, beforehand saying, 'What am I doing here? I could have gone to Brighton!' After all, it was a long way to go for just one concert."

The band played the following songs;

"Blue Suede Shoes"
"Money (That's What I Want)"
"Dizzy Miss Lizzy"
"Yer Blues"
"Cold Turkey"
"Give Peace a Chance"
"Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)"
"John John (Let's Hope for Peace)"

Watch the performance below (try to block out Yoko's wailing into the microphone.)

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