27 June 2018 - As the legendary concert hall darkens for renovations, we gathered memories from throughout the venue's 124 years
Bruce Cockburn: Massey has always been one of those places that just seems like a milestone every time you play there. But my intro was not a positive one. I was in a short-lived band called the Flying Circus in 1968 that couldn’t decide whether it was the Band or Frank Zappa. We opened for Wilson Pickett at Massey Hall, and we were really just cannon fodder. The audience was there to hear Mustang Sally and In The Midnight Hour. They weren’t even slightly interested in our psychedelia. And then Wilson Pickett got held up at the border.
The PA wasn’t set up yet when we got pushed out on stage by the promoter, who said, “If you want to get paid, get out there.” So we started playing while they were still setting up our vocal mics and then the B3 organ blew up. There was a loud crack and a puff of smoke wafted out. The organist had to play the whole set on a clavinet. The audience was shaking their fists at us and screaming, “Come on, let’s hear some music!”
I went back four years later as myself and it was a lovely experience.
~from NOW Toronto