A new book details 150 years of Toronto concert history

Back in the day, CFNY/The Edge had evening program called Live in Toronto. Skot Turner, one of the regular contributors has a feature called “This Day in Toronto Concert History,” during which he consulted a big handwritten book, filled with scribbles detailing hundreds and hundreds of Toronto gigs over the decades. The work that went into compiling this pre-Internet tome must have been incredible.

Later when the Internet came along, I pushed for the creation of a Toronto Concert Wiki that would expand on what Skot had done. For a variety of reasons, though, it never got off the group. The idea was eventually made redundant by Setlist.fm.

But now there’s a new reference source. Daniel Tate and Rob Bowman have moved The Flyer Vault from Instagram to a physical edition.

I gotta get me one of these.

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⏩ Swipe right for the full cover… _ STORY TIME 👉 I started The Flyer Vault on Instagram in 2015 simply to upload all the flyers I saved when I was a little raver and hip-hop head back in the 90’s and early '00’s. I thought nothing of it. As the popularity of the project grew, I realized two universal truths: everyone loves music, and everyone loves nostalgia. Four years later, here we are. This account has been so much fun (and at times exhausting) to keep up with, but I love that it’s become a meeting place for people to wax nostalgic about past concert and club experiences. Therefore it feels like a natural progression to introduce the next chapter of this project: The Flyer Vault book! It seems only right to take all this epic history and try to encapsulate it in a printed volume (an almost impossible task). Thanks to @dundurnpress I had the opportunity to take a digital project and return it to its original analog form. This book is one of the first real deep-dives into the history of popular live music in our fair city. Working with my co-author, Grammy-winner and walking music encyclopedia @robbowmanmusic, we take it way back – all the way to when Vaudeville first arrived in the 19th century, and go into all sorts of rabbit-holes including the first gospel/jubilee shows, the arrival of the Grand Ol’ Opry and country, the earliest rock n’ roll shows, the arrival of Motown and Stax, the incredible jazz at Massey Hall shows, the rise of the rave scene, the genesis of hip-hop, and much, much more. We even included anecdotes from you – The Flyer Vault followers! The foreword is written by His Royal Rockness, @geddyimages, and also features the first Toronto venue word map by renowned illustrator @dave__murray. The book will officially hit stores on October 26th. I don’t know how many runs will be printed, but you can guarantee your copy by pre-ordering right now on Amazon or Indigo. Link in bio! 🤘🏻🤘🏻 . . . #theflyervaultbook #torontomusichistory

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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