(the sound of a needle can be heard ripping across vinyl)
"rock and roll has got to go!
and go it does at KWK”
(records being smashed)
“we're all thru playing rock and roll records…
this week is record breaking week at KWK
and after this week…
no more rock and roll will be played on the air"

~ a balding disc jockey with thick black-rimmed glasses in a 1958 b&w tv clip
as a result of the station manager’s directive to a "simple weeding out of undesirable music"

If the Phoenix Concert Theatre contained a hotel
I would’ve reserved a room for the months of July and August
To have been that much closer to the thing it houses called
Classic Albums Live
Unlike the words spoken above by the 1958 balding disc jockey
Who simply couldn’t see past his thick black-rimmed nose
Rock and roll is here to stay
As was evidenced between the dark red walls of Toronto’s live music venue
Every Friday night on Sherbourne St during the summer months of 2008
Rock and roll has only thrived since those words were spoken 50 years ago
And there are too many involved with Classic Albums Live to thank
For being part of the journey
But from the opening Speak to Me scream of Leslea Keurvost’s
Dark Side of the Moon
To Terrance Gowan, Mike Daley and Joe Power singing This Boy
To the thrilling ride that is Marty Morin’s chaotic Helter Skelter
And Rob Phillips’ perfect playing and leadership on Meddle
I think it’s safe for me to say that for most of us in attendance
The applause that followed
Each and every time producer Craig Martin made band introductions
The applause bounced back with a boom
From the parking machine across the street
Straight up the covered ramp that leads to the Phoenix front door
Right over the pre-show Elvis, James Brown and Jerry Lee Lewis big screen
To the ladies room way down below the floorboards
Loud and clear
Cheers shot directly back with love to the black-clad musicians
Otherwise known as the CAL alumni
Standing up there on that stage in all their musical genious
They deserved every one of those whoops and whistles
As does the producer, his sister and his staff that organize it all
For all the teens and twenty-somethings who were there
They’ll certainly remember the party
But for us mid-life rockers in crisis and silver-haired old timers
It’s more than just a memory of a good time
The effect Beatle music and the music of Pink Floyd had on many of us
As it was re-created by these dedicated and multi-talented CAL musicians
Had all of our eyes and ears pointed east
Watching and listening intently
For this band to nail each nuance and every sound
That came out of the spinning black vinyl grooves
Of the original 45 and 33 rpm recordings
Sounds so ingrained beneath our foreheads
That every time they got nailed we got goosebumped
The effect cannot be minimalized
As many of us even got excited over the fade outs
To the songs that were the soundtrack to our coming of age
This music will never die
Because unlike the KWK radio quote implies
Rock and roll will never leave
Because for those of us who jumped on the bus
Classic Albums Live is home
For this kind of rock and roll to live
For many generations to come
Live Music Head
September 2008