Music News

Time travel with the Rolling Stones and the El Mo

It’s one of those shows thousands of people claim they witnessed in person but few were actually there: The night in 1977 when the Rolling stones played a secret show at the legendary El Mocambo in Toronto. 

Now you can see what it was like to actually be in the room: On May 14, Universal Music Canada, the El Mo and MusiCounts are welcoming fans back into the place where it all happened to celebrate the release of the concert album after 45 years. 

“The Rolling Stones Revisited – Live at the El Mocambo will celebrate the legendary Canadian moment in the 60-year history of the Rolling Stones when, under the guise of The Cockroaches, the Stones returned to the club incarnation of their early years and produced two nights of exhilarating music. Now for the first time, these live recordings of the group’s two famous secret concerts at the 300-capacity Toronto club in March of 1977 are making their first official appearance,” Universal says.  The album can be pre-ordered on vinyl, CD and digital here.

The album features 23 tracks, mixed by Bob Clearmountain, and will be released on Friday, May 13. 

But for those who want to get a little closer, come down to the El Mo on May 14 to relive the experience. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and fans will be admitted, on a first-come, first-served basis, receiving “a replica backstage pass and 11×17 poster from the original concert. From 2-5 p.m., guests will be treated to an expert Rolling Stones panel of special guests, the premiere of the brand-new album Live at the El Mocambo, a Rolling Stones exhibit, and a silent auction of Rolling Stones box sets and collectables, with all proceeds going to MusiCounts.” 

Can’t make it to Toronto? Thankfully this is the digital age and the whole event will be livestreamed here and available to watch on-demand after. 

Speaking on the panel are: 

  • Duff Roman, former CHUM FM program director who was vital in helping make the secret shows happen
  • Rob Bowman, a Grammy-winning musicologist who snuck his way into one of the shows without a ticket and owner of some of the tracks being released for the first time on the new album
  • David Marskell, CEO of TheMuseum in Kitchener-Waterloo, who tried to get into the secret shows but failed, only to later host the Rolling Stones Unzipped Exhibit recently 
  • David Bluestein, the former booker at the El Mo who managed to see both shows and has stories to tell about them
  • Michael Wekerle, the current owner of the El Mo, who has spent years collecting Rolling Stones memorabilia and wants to talk about one of his favourite bands

The panel discussion will be hosted by Jeff Woods. 

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 523 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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