Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cowtown Ballroom...Sweet Jesus!

Just over a year ago I posted about Joe Heyen and Anthony Ladesich's in-the-works documentary about the old Cowtown Ballroom.

Well, the wait is over and their film is playing at The Tivoli in Westport. It's a really good movie and a great look back at a unique time that changed the world.

I'm pretty sure that someone in the movie said "A lot of the sixties happened in the 70's". That is so true.

Think about it. The Counter Culture that gets the Right Wing's panties in such a twist began with the Summer of Love in 1967.

This was the same year that saw the formation of Vietnam Veterans Against The War.

It wasn't rock & roll, it wasn't Elvis, it wasn't The Beatles. It was the fucking hippies. and the Vietnam vets who came back home and called bullshit on the war.

March of 1968, Bobby Kennedy is assassinated.

April of 1968, Martin Luther King is assassinated.

August of 1969, Woodstock.

All of that energy bled over into the early '70s. The last helicopter out of Saigon. Watergate.

What does all of this have to do with a documentary about a Midwest rock venue that was only in existence for a few years?


Because Joe and Anthony didn't just produce a film about an ancient concert hall.

They captured what it was like to be a hippie in Kansas City. The head shops, Volker Park on Sunday afternoons, Larry Miller on KUDL FM, Underground Radio, The Westport Trucker (the progenitor of The Pitch), R. Crumb comics, Brewer & Shipley, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (with Steve Martin as the warm up act), the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Danny Cox.

And yes, the Cowtown Ballroom. Because it was the nexus of all that energy for just over 3 years.

The Flying Burrito Brothers
It's a Beautiful Day
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
Leo Kottke
Steve Miller
Frank Zappa
Savoy Brown
Alice Cooper
Freddie King
Linda Ronstadt
Rory Gallagher
Ravi Shankar
Arlo Guthrie
Seals & Croft
B.B. King
Van Morrison

And that's just a sample.

I saw my first concert there. Captain Beefheart was the headliner. Kansas was the warm up. I was 18 years old.

Go see the movie. Buy the DVD.

It was the best 3 years of the 20th Century.


I Travel for JOOLS said...

This right winger was at Cowtown with the rest of them and a few other places you'd never expect.

And, I'm getting that DVD !

Marti_L said...

God, that brings back memories for this old hippie gal! Thanks for sharing! Hope you are having a great weekend.

Xavier Onassis said...

JOOLS - See! I knew it! We DO have something in common! Ya ol' stoner!

Marti - I'm on a Holy Quest to find a 4x6, NOT, I repeat NOT, 5x7 rug to go in front of my couch to serve as a crumb catcher. I want greens, browns, tans, with possibly a leafy motif. Maybe a border. But can I find one? No. I. Can. Not.

God I sound gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

SmedRock said...

Actually this explains a lot about you. I feel dirty now.

Nick said...

gonna have to find some primo stuff to watch that....

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