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Iconic Toronto Masonic Temple (Rockpile) Closing

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TORONTO - After 95 years, the iconic Masonic Temple – the concert hall where Bing Crosby, the Ramones and Led Zeppelin once rocked out – may be set to close and be turned into condos.

CTV and Bell Media confirmed Friday they “are considering all options,” including selling the historic building to developers, after they move their MTV studios out of six-storey structure at the northwest corner of Davenport Rd. and Yonge St.

“We are moving the MTV studios to 299 Queen St. and as a result, there will be no further production done at the Masonic Temple as of now,” said Scott Henderson, Bell Media’s vice-president of communications.

“Staff were notified of it in September. The future of the temple has yet to be decided. They’re considering all opportunities, including potentially selling it. The real-estate team is trying to determine what the future will be.”

Henderson said there’s no deadline for a decision as of yet.

According to City of Toronto, the Masonic Temple was added to the list of its heritage sites in March 1974, which protects some historical aspects of the building, including the facade.

This isn’t the first time the temple was considered for condo development.

In 1997, the previous owners planned to tear down the building and build condos, reportedly marketed to Asians who believed the 888 Yonge St. address was “lucky.” According to a Bell Media backgrounder, the Heritage Board fought the case.

Since its construction in 1918, the Masonic Temple was home to 38 different different Masonic bodies and opened as a ballroom in the late 1930s.

In the ‘60s, it was known as the Rockpile, the venue that hosted Led Zeppelin’s first Toronto concert in 1969. It eventually became known as the Concert Hall for many years — where bands such as Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, the Tragically Hip and Depeche Mode played — before its sale to CTV in 1998 as a venue to host Mike Bullard’s late-night show.

When that flopped, it became the home of MTV Canada in 2006 and ceased being a concert venue.

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http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/02/torontos-iconic-masonic-temple-is-closing

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I saw many great shows there... good times.

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I saw Steve Earle and the Tragically Hip at this venue (and I even got to play guitar on the stage once, at a Caribbanna Festivel (long story).....tons of bands played this place. Years ago the band "Living Colour" played there and the ceiling started to come down as they were rocking out. But it managed to hang in until now....so long MT

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It will be interesting to see to what extent any redevelopment is limtied by the fact it was declared a historical site. I just hoped it is not razed for a condo development because the last thing the city needs are more condos

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I am an old Toronto boy and With all the development and Condo building in Toronto these days, I hope that City Council doesn't fall asleep at the switch if they redevlop this site.

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I am an old Toronto boy and With all the development and Condo building in Toronto these days, I hope that City Council doesn't fall asleep at the switch if they redevlop this site.

...indeed many many priceless memories of T.O...our weekend get away from KW....I have seen this historic Site many times being driven by our young parents back then including the memorable walk to El Mocambo, hoping to catch few Rolling Stones, circa late 70's...it was such a festive mood on the streets of TO...

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Too bad if it does close, many great shows from this ole stone house. Loved the Peral Jam opening for Janes Addiction, and the Bad Brains and Slayer Motorhead combo even Metallica Ride the Lightning Tour so many great shows...

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Well, thankfully reason and taste prevailed (thanks, in large part, to some strict heritage designations) and the Masonic Temple still stands, now owned by the consultancy firm Info-Tech Research Group. At the time of purchase (June 17, 2013), they planned on making what they considered slight changes to the building (the concert space will be converted to their office space...?!), but not drastic ones. Their plans include an annual charity rock concert in the iconic performance-turned-office space (they'll just move some desks...hmm...).

Bell Media sells Toronto Masonic Temple to IT consulting firm

Info-Tech Research Group plans to use the storied Toronto heritage building for office space — and an annual charity rock concert.

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AARON HARRIS / FOR THE TORONTO STAR

The main concert space in the Masonic Temple is protected by a heritage designation, but Info-Tech Research Group, which has purchased the building from Bell Media, says the space is good for its office operations without significant alterations

By: Rachel Mendleson News reporter, Published on Mon Jun 17 2013

After months of uncertainty about the fate of Toronto’s storied Masonic Temple, the legendary live-music venue has been sold to Info-Tech Research Group, an IT consulting firm that plans to use it for office space.

Info-Tech President and CEO Joel McLean said the Toronto and London, Ont.-based company was drawn to the history of the property, which was built in 1918 to house the Masons, a semisecret fraternal sect whose millwork adorns the upper-floor meeting rooms.

“We’re not planning on gutting any floors or doing anything really traumatic,” said McLean. “The building itself is really good for our intended use.”

The main auditorium, where Led Zeppelin and David Bowie once performed, will be converted into office space for the company’s core research group of analysts and consultants.

However, once a year, the desks will be cleared out to make way for a black-tie charity rock concert.

“We’ve got an amazing, legendary concert hall, so it makes sense to try and leverage that,” McLean said.

Info-Tech bought the building at 888 Yonge St. from Bell Media for $12.5 million in an open-bidding process. The IT consulting firm outbid Toronto-area Masons, who partnered with a developer to submit an offer, according to Leonard Feldt, past district deputy grand master for Toronto Don Valley.

The Masons, who lost the property in the ’90s due to unpaid property taxes, had hoped to somehow reclaim it. But Feldt said he is “very happy that no part of the Masonic aspect of this building will be jeopardized.”

The property was listed in March after Bell relocated MTV Canada to the company’s Queen St. W. offices.

As city officials have told the Star, the property’s extensive heritage designation — which protects both exterior and interior features — would hinder significant redevelopment.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/06/17/bell_media_sells_toronto_masonic_temple_to_it_consulting_firm.html

The Globe and Mail's article at the time of purchase states that they were going to use the space for an unofficial TIFF 2014 opening party, among other ventures:

Toronto’s historic Masonic Temple sells to consultancy firm for $12.5-million

DAVID FRIEND TORONTO — The Canadian Press

Published Monday, Jun. 17 2013, 1:33 PM EDT

Last updated Monday, Jun. 17 2013, 3:19 PM EDT

Toronto’s storied Masonic Temple has found a new owner in an Ontario-based technology consulting firm after Bell Media decided to sell the former concert hall earlier this year.

Info-Tech Research Group says it has paid $12.5-million for the historic building, which was most recently home to MTV Canada and previously hosted famous rock bands like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.

Info-Tech, which is headquartered in London, Ont., will renovate the downtown building to accommodate its Toronto satellite office.

Joel McLean, the company’s president and CEO, says Info-Tech wanted a space that could house its employees, but also impress visitors from outside the country.

“We’re consistently inviting company after company into Toronto (and) we wanted something that was spectacular to come see,” he says.

“This spot not only offers an amazing space ... but it’s got great history.”

The six-storey building on Toronto’s Yonge Street has served as a concert hall that hosted famous musicians like Frank Sinatra. It was also a favourite rehearsal space for the Rolling Stones.

McLean says he will maintain the spirit of the entertainment era with meeting rooms named after some of the more famous musicians that played the Temple. He also plans to decorate the space with memorabilia that harkens back to the building’s rock star days.

The firm says it will also keep the main concert hall’s design so that it can move out office desks for its annual black-tie charity rock concert. In 2014, it plans to host, with its clients, an unofficial opening night party for the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Temple will initially house about 150 company employees, though McLean says the plan is to eventually increase that to 300 company staff.

Built for the Masons in 1918, the group sold the building to The Rosedale Group in 1996. The new owners pledged to reopen the hall and transform it into a centre for the arts, but a year later announced plans to tear it down and build condos on the site.

The Toronto Heritage Board fought back and it was sold to CTV in 1997, which utilized its cavernous spaces as television studios.

The smaller rooms, hardly larger than walk-in closets, became video editing bays while other small spaces became storage areas for archive footage.

Through the years, the Masonic Temple was home of the late night talk show Open Mike with Mike Bullard and various other CTV-owned programs including eTalk Daily, Canadian Idol and TSN’s Off The Record.

BCE Inc. took control of MTV in 2011 after it completed its $3.2-billion acquisition of CTV, bringing 29 specialty channels under its wing.

McLean says that buying the Masonic Temple serves more than one purpose, and perhaps design isn’t the priority.

“Some of the space just isn’t practical,” he says.

“But as a research and consulting firm — and given who our staff are and who our members are — I’ll take grand over practical any day.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/torontos-historic-masonic-temple-sells-to-consultancy-firm-for-125-million/article12602739/?cmpid=rss1&utm_source=dlvr.it_tor&utm_medium=twitter

Edited by Patrycja

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Here are a couple of blogs, one an article, the other a photo collection, chronicling the Masonic Temple's history.

First, background details:

Toronto’s architectural gems – the Masonic Temple at Davenport and Yonge

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The Masonic Temple, at 888 Yonge Street, was constructed in 1917, during the chaotic days of the First World War. Today, the building is appreciated by those interested in the city’s architectural heritage, but judging by comments posted on the internet, it is viewed by some as an ugly structure of brick and limestone that is not worth preserving. Despite one’s view of the building, it has a rich heritage, and I believe that it is worthy of being saved from demolition. To aid in its preservation, in 1974 the Masonic Temple was designated a Heritage Property.

Designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival Style by architect W. J. Sparling, the six-storey structure contains an auditorium that has hardwood flooring and a decorated ceiling. It seats 1200 persons, including the wrap-around gallery. The Masonic Society (Freemasons) included the ballroom/concert hall in their new building as a means to raise revenue from rentals to support the costs of maintaining the premises.

John Ross Robertson (1841-1918) was a prominent Mason, and founder of the now defunct Toronto Telegram newspaper. He was one of the prime motivators behind the construction of the building, located on the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Davenport Road. When the Masons chose this site, a church was located on the property. It was estimated that the cost of the Temple would be $175,000, but by the time it was completed, the cost was $220,864. After the church on the site was demolished, construction began. The final stone for the new Temple was put in place on 17 November 1917 and the structure was consecrated with corn, oil, and wine. The first lodge meeting was held on 1 January 1918. On the upper floors, which were reserved solely for the use of the Masons, there were patterned tiled flooring and many Masonic carvings.

During the 1930s, the Masonic Temple was one of the most popular ballrooms in Toronto. Every New Year’s Eve, tickets disappeared long in advance of the date. Bing Crosby once crooned within its walls, and Frank Sinatra hosted an event there. Throughout the years, many famous entertainers have performed in the hall—Tina Turner, The Ramones, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin, who held their first Toronto concert there in 1969. In 1970, it was leased by a company known as the “Rockpile.” During the 1980s, it was rented by various groups, but the income never exceeded the costs of maintaining the building. In 1998, the property was sold to CTV, for use as a TV studio. The show, “Open Mike with Mike Bullard” was broadcast from the premises. In 2006, it became home to Bell Media (MTV), but they departed in 2012.

During the 1950s, I was in the Masonic Temple on several occasions to attend events. The view from the gallery, looking down onto the stage area was quite impressive. I remember the ornate plaster trim around the auditorium and the ornate carvings that decorated the space. As a teenager, I considered any event held within the walls of the Temple to be a special occasion, especially since the restaurants on Yonge Street were within walking distance. In that decade, the “Pickin’ Chicken,” south of College Street, Fran’s at Yonge and College, and Basil’s Restaurant at Yonge and Gerrard, were the gastronomic highlights of the “the strip.” Walking south from Davenport and Yonge to below College Street was less of a problem for me in those years, especially when my teenage hunger could be satiated by “chicken in a wicker basket with fries” at the PIckin’ Chicken, a toasted club sandwich at Basil’s, or rice pudding at Fran’s. Julia Child, eat your heart out!

Yonge Street has greatly changed today, although I am not certain that the culinary level of the avenue has improved much. However, the Masonic Temple remains, proudly resisting the onslaught of the modern era. I sincerely hope that a modern role will be found for the building, and that it will not be demolished. It would be a pity to have its ornate facade become a mere shell to add dignity to another faceless high rise condominium of glass and steel, lacking any value beyond the price of the suites per square foot.

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The Masonic Temple in 1918. In this year, Davenport Road, west of Yonge Street, remained a narrow roadway. The shop visible in the bottom, left-hand corner of the photo was demolished when the street was widened. Photo is from the City of Toronto Archives.

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The Masonic Temple today.

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The entrance to the Masonic Temple on Yonge Street, its ornate portico containing Doric columns.

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Detailed carvings on the southeast corner of the building.

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Corinthian pilaster on the south facade of the Masonic Temple.

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http://tayloronhistory.com/2013/02/24/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-masonic-temple-at-davenport-and-yonge/

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Next, photos of the interior by an intrepid photographer (check out his website for other cool shots of abandoned sites, rooftops, draining, etc. He takes pictures of some interesting places most people don't get to see http://www.freaktography.ca/home.html)

Masonic Temple – Toronto, Ontario

Built in 1917 as the home for the Freemasons, the largest fraternal organization in the world. This Toronto landmark is also rich in music history. In the 60’s it became the go-to place for concerts and performances by a long list of well known musical acts.

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Led Zeppelin played their first ever show in Toronto here in 1969 during their first ever North American tour.

Through the last 40 years the stage was graced by the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Jane’s Addiction, Pantera, Alice in Chains. Iron Maiden played here when Eddie was just a guy in a mask, Rage Against the Machine, Tool..the list goes on.

The Rolling Stones rented the space to rehearse for their 1997 Bridges to Babylon tour.

The building was purchased by major canadian broadcaster CTV for offices as well as broadcast, it was the home of the Mike Bullard Show and Canadian Idol and later the headquarters for MTV Canada.

Now, the building has been purchased by a 100% un-rock & roll and very un-cool Information Technology firm to “house its employees and impress visitors from outside the country.”

Recently, this IT firm held a corporate function in the main hall and they were kind enough to leave a door open unsecured, allowing for a curious photographer to come in and snoop around a while. I was able to see about 80% of the building, before I risked being found…I guess I’ll have to try for a return visit to see the rest!!

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You can see more photos of the interiors here: https://freaktography.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/masonic-temple-231.jpg?w=627&h=413

It's a shame that it was allowed to get so dilapidated, but I hope that the new owners will restore the interior with the respect they say they have towards its history.

Edited by Patrycja

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In reading about the Masonic Temple, I came across a bit of info that someone can perhaps shed some light on regarding Peter Grant and the bankrupting of the Rock Pile:

First, from the Canadian Encyclopedia:

The Rock Pile was famously the scene of two separate 1969 visits by Led Zeppelin, the first in February when the band was virtually unknown and the second in August after the group had stormed up the charts. Before the latter appearance, Zeppelin's manager extorted a crippling extra fee from the promoters, ultimately bankrupting the Rock Pile, which closed shortly afterwards.

And while the following excerpt from The Toronto Star provides some details, it does not clear up how much, or why exactly it resulted in bankrupting the Rock Pile:

"When Led Zeppelin were booked for the first gig in February, the promoters – John Brower and Rick Taylor – were canny enough to book them for a second show in August – in fact, for two shows in one night, for the same money," said Toronto musician and progressive rock auteur Nash The Slash, who hung out at the Rock Pile as part of the Catharsis Light Show crew, and had seen countless acts on the tiered venue's proscenium stage during the great musical explosion in those years.

The house had been turned and a second batch of 1,200 devotees, clutching their $2.50 ticket stubs, were anxious for Led Zeppelin's second show to begin when the band's manager, Peter Grant – a notoriously violent man – walked into the office and demanded more money, "or the band would not do the second show," Flohil said.

"When (promoter) Taylor produced the signed contract, Grant grabbed it and tore it up. He said the band wasn't going on unless his demands were met, and that the promoters would have to deal with the mess that would surely follow."

The Rock Pile stage crew tried to impound Led Zeppelin's gear. Nash, standing at the dressing room door with Plant, witnessed the ensuing scuffle between the band's roadies and the stage hands.

"At one point the back door swung open and one of the Rock Pile guys came in holding up the distributor cap from Led Zeppelin's equipment truck," he said. "He yelled out, `Hey Rick, these guys aren't going anywhere!'"

Nevertheless, Flohil added, extra money did change hands, and Led Zeppelin went back on stage.The house had been turned and a second batch of 1,200 devotees, clutching their $2.50 ticket stubs, were anxious for Led Zeppelin's second show to begin when the band's manager, Peter Grant – a notoriously violent man – walked into the office and demanded more money, "or the band would not do the second show," Flohil said.

"When (promoter) Taylor produced the signed contract, Grant grabbed it and tore it up. He said the band wasn't going on unless his demands were met, and that the promoters would have to deal with the mess that would surely follow."

The Rock Pile stage crew tried to impound Led Zeppelin's gear. Nash, standing at the dressing room door with Plant, witnessed the ensuing scuffle between the band's roadies and the stage hands.

"At one point the back door swung open and one of the Rock Pile guys came in holding up the distributor cap from Led Zeppelin's equipment truck," he said. "He yelled out, `Hey Rick, these guys aren't going anywhere!'"

Nevertheless, Flohil added, extra money did change hands, and Led Zeppelin went back on stage.

Full articles here:

Toronto Feature: Masonic Temple

"Led Zeppelin at the Masonic Temple"

75e64be0-f632-43af-8455-5687f2ae1d3d.jpg7195daf3-b64d-4ef3-9baa-262772b085b1.jpg

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1. Masonic Temple, 1919

The Masonic Temple was the Freemasons’ official headquarters (courtesy City of Toronto Archives/Fonds 1231, Item 755).

2. Led Zeppelin Concert Poster

A poster featuring Led Zeppelin at the Rock Pile, 1969 (courtesy Nicholas Jennings Collection).

3. Masonic Temple in 2012

Masonic Temple, now the home of MTV, 2012 (photo James Marsh).

The imposing, six-storey building at the corner of Davenport Road and Yonge Street stands as a testament to the strength of the city's earlyFREEMASONS. As a venue for concerts, the Masonic Temple saw everyone from Frank Sinatra to David Bowie grace its stage. Its glory days came in the late 1960s when it was known as the Rock Pile and featured now legendary performances by Led Zeppelin and others.

Opened in 1918, the Masonic Temple was the Freemasons' official headquarters; by 1920 it was home to 18 lodges. In the mid-1960s, after decades of stability, the temple began to experience financial difficulty as tenants relocated to temples constructed in other areas of the growing city. The Masons began renting out the facility for music, theatrical and public speaking events. Among the many stars who performed there were Bing Crosby, Stan Kenton, Iggy Pop and King Sunny Adé.

The Temple's heyday came during the psychedelic era when it was called the Rock Pile and featured concerts by the Who, Procol Harum and the Mothers of Invention lit up by strobes and liquid projectors provided by Catharsis Lights. The Rock Pile was famously the scene of two separate 1969 visits by Led Zeppelin, the first in February when the band was virtually unknown and the second in August after the group had stormed up the charts. Before the latter appearance, Zeppelin's manager extorted a crippling extra fee from the promoters, ultimately bankrupting the Rock Pile, which closed shortly afterwards. The building remained a Masonic asset until 1994, when costs for its maintenance and improvement became prohibitive.

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/toronto-feature-masonic-temple/

Some interesting tidbits below about reactions to the show and interactions with some band members:

Led Zeppelin's Toronto memories As Led Zeppelin reuintes, locals recall when the band's three shows gave Toronto a whole lotta love, and we returned the favour ... gradually

By: GREG QUILL ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST, Published on Sun Dec 09 2007

As the rock reunion concert of the millennium draws near – three of the four founding members of Led Zeppelin, joined in London tomorrow by Jason Bonham, son of original drummer, the late John Bonham – some Toronto fans are already contemplating the prospect of a concert in these parts in the very near future.

The rumour mill last week was indeed buzzing with reports that the so-called one-off London event will actually launch a world tour.

But other fans are recalling three Led Zeppelin shows here 38 years ago that set this town on its ear – on Feb. 2 and Aug. 18, 1969, at the 1,200-capacity Rock Pile (formerly the Masonic Temple, now MTV's headquarters) at Yonge St. and Davenport Ave., and a third at the 4,000-seat O'Keefe Centre Nov. 2.

For a few months, still feeling the effects of the Summer of Love, Toronto seemed to be in the grip of Zeppelin frenzy.

That was more luck than love, say those who were there.

"When Led Zeppelin were booked for the first gig in February, the promoters – John Brower and Rick Taylor – were canny enough to book them for a second show in August – in fact, for two shows in one night, for the same money," said Toronto musician and progressive rock auteur Nash The Slash, who hung out at the Rock Pile as part of the Catharsis Light Show crew, and had seen countless acts on the tiered venue's proscenium stage during the great musical explosion in those years.

Led Zeppelin, seen on this side of the Atlantic as little more than a flashy vehicle to showcase the talents of emerging guitar hero Jimmy Page, was just another in a long line of bands for whom the Rock Pile was a necessary Canadian stop. In February 1969, Led Zeppelin had little more going for it than a killer debut album not yet been released in North America, and a hotshot guitarist and arranger who might or might not be the next Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck or Jimi Hendrix – and every band that came through had one of each.

In fact, to add shine to their package, Brower and Taylor had added American blues guitarist Albert King to the bill, along with local rock footnotes Sherman and Peabody, the Rock Pile's house band, Mary-Lou Horner, which featured post-adolescent Toronto guitarist Ben Mink, later k.d. lang's chief musical collaborator.

"My impression of Led Zeppelin wasn't positive," continued Nash, who had been taken on as the club's official photographer. "I had just seen Jeff Beck at the Rock Pile, and by comparison Zeppelin was very sloppy."

At least one critic begged to differ.

"Of all the memorable things which happened during Toronto's s two heavy shows last night (Led Zeppelin at the Rock Pile and the Turtles and Iron Butterfly at Massey Hall), one visual image easily stood out," wrote Globe and Mail rock reviewer and expatriate Australian showbiz publicist Ritchie Yorke, who also emcee'd the show.

"It was the sight of Led Zeppelin's hero-worshipped lead guitarist, Jimmy Page – resplendent in avocado velvet suit – bent over, as if in agony, to the audience, his fingers working like a touch typist's, his foot thumping like a kangaroo's tail, the sound as clear and as piercing as a bedside phone in the stillness of 3 a.m. Considering the group was only formed a few months back, it's remarkably tight and together."

The February debut was a resounding success – with as many fans outside as were jammed inside, Nash remembers. By August, when their second date rolled around, Led Zeppelin was a bona fide international phenomenon, on its way to rock `n' roll glory.

Music journalist, publicist and concert promoter Richard Flohil was in the club's back office between the first and second shows.

The house had been turned and a second batch of 1,200 devotees, clutching their $2.50 ticket stubs, were anxious for Led Zeppelin's second show to begin when the band's manager, Peter Grant – a notoriously violent man – walked into the office and demanded more money, "or the band would not do the second show," Flohil said.

"When (promoter) Taylor produced the signed contract, Grant grabbed it and tore it up. He said the band wasn't going on unless his demands were met, and that the promoters would have to deal with the mess that would surely follow."

The Rock Pile stage crew tried to impound Led Zeppelin's gear. Nash, standing at the dressing room door with Plant, witnessed the ensuing scuffle between the band's roadies and the stage hands.

"At one point the back door swung open and one of the Rock Pile guys came in holding up the distributor cap from Led Zeppelin's equipment truck," he said. "He yelled out, `Hey Rick, these guys aren't going anywhere!'"

Nevertheless, Flohil added, extra money did change hands, and Led Zeppelin went back on stage.

Less than three months later, with Led Zeppelin II hot off the presses and scoring rave reviews, the band was back in Toronto – technically as part of its fourth North American tour, though in reality they hadn't been off the road since mid-1968 – for a big-ticket show, $5, at O'Keefe Centre (now the Sony Centre).

Toronto band Edward Bear was hired to open.

"I was walking around backstage in the afternoon with our roadie," said guitarist Danny Marks, a founding member of the blues-rock band that became famous for ballads "You, Me and Mexico," "The Last Song" and "Close Your Eyes."

"The place was empty. We noticed something sticking out from behind a curtain and took a look ... it was a guitar case, and inside was Jimmy Page's sunburst Les Paul, just left there unguarded. We took a long look at it and put it back."

Later, at the sound check, Plant had plugged the same guitar – a Page signature instrument before he took on the Fender Stratocaster – into Marks' Fender amplifier, and was giving it a thrashing.

"He hadn't even asked ... he just took over my amp," Marks said. "That was pretty rude, so I walked over and turned it off. Plant yelled, `Hey, that's not your guitar!' And I yelled back, `And that's not your amp!' I could have used to moment to forge a friendship, but I couldn't believe the nerve of that guy."

Veteran Toronto guitarist Bernie LaBarge, who was in the audience and was then just 17, recalls that Marks outplayed Page in every way.

"Danny killed me ... I was a huge fan," said LaBarge, who was disappointed that Led Zeppelin didn't even attempt to duplicate their recorded work.

"They jammed on everything. Page just made a lot of noise.

"The place was packed, and the crowd loved it. But what sticks in my mind is how well Edward Bear performed that day. This little blues band from Toronto made me proud."

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2007/12/09/led_zeppelins_toronto_memories.html

Edited by Patrycja

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Just visited this place the other day while in Toronto visiting family. Glad to see it's going to stick around.

I also made a pilgrimage over to Maple Leaf Gardens, which is now an athletic club/grocery store.

Edited by ZosofanCMR

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Saw a few bands over the years at "The Concert Hall" including Stevie Ray Vaughan on a hot August night in 1984. Also Saga, a local Toronto band back in 85.

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