This month's "Boot of the Month" is Rory's performance at the El Mocambo in Toronto, Canada on March 26, 1991. This concert was partly aired on Toronto's flagship radio station, Q107. Two short bootlegs of the concert have been uploaded to the server. The second cd contains the radio stations interview with Rory as well as several tracks from the concert not included in the first cd.
The El Mocambo Tavern opened for business in 1946 as a quasi-spanish themed nightclub (It's name was Spanish for "roadhouse") with live music on it's first floor and ballroom dancing on the second floor. In 1972 the club was purchased by Baird and Kristenbrun who transformed the nightclub, located a few short blocks from the campuses of George Brown College and the University of Toronto, into a popular hangout for the local college crowd. In the seventies, while disco took the country by storm, the El Mocambo, or "El Mo" as it was affectionately called, was a home for the live blues and rock acts that found themselves out of fashion with the latest dance craze. It was just this unwavering support of hard rock and blues acts amidst the ever changing musical landscape of disco, punk and new wave that caught the attention of the Rolling Stones.
"when the Stones came in, they selected the El Mocambo because it epitomized a certain kind of venue from a certain era --the kind of venue they started out in"--Dan Burke, El Mocambo booking agent.
On March 4th, 1977 The Rolling Stones performed for 2 nights to an over-capacity crowd on the 2nd floor of the historic El Mocambo billing themselves anonymously as "The Cockroaches". Their opening act was the popular Canadian band, April Wine. It was The Stones' first live performance in 14 years, and was recorded and released as the album "Love you Live"
The El Mocambo was "very similar to the Marquee in 1963," remarked Mick, referring to the famous London Marquee that the Stones played some of their very first gigs. It would not be the last time a famous rock act would record at the El Mocambo. Elvis Costello would record a live show at El Mocambo the following year, and in 1983 Stevie Ray Vaughn and his Double Trouble band would videotape his now classic performance there.
In 2001 the nightclub closed its doors, and most of it's interior decorations scavanged by bleery-eyed, nostalgic patrons on closing night. The club reopened in 2004, but gone was the historic 2nd floor stage that could boast performances from the likes of the Rolling Stones, U2, Elvis Costello, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Rory Gallagher. Rory performed at the El Mocambo on several occasions. His last visit to the storied nightclub was on March 26, 1991, four short days prior to his last ever American show at the Marquee in New York City.