‘The High School That Rocked!’ Tells the Story of the Connecticut School That Hosted Rock Legends Like Cream, the Doors and the Yardbirds
Before touring became big business for promoters who elevated rock shows to an art, even name-brand bands played pretty much anywhere. It's an interesting component of the early rock era that's explored in the upcoming documentary The High School That Rocked!, which takes a look at one Connecticut school that somehow managed to lure a slew of classic-rock legends — including Cream, the Doors and the Yardbirds, among others.
Producer Fred Cantor, who also had a hand in the Remains documentary America's Lost Band, tells Ultimate Classic Rock that the story of Staples High School in Westport, Ct., is a distinct one. In addition to the aforementioned acts, Staples also hosted Sly and the Family Stone, the Rascals and the Animals — all over a two-year span between 1966-68.
"I've done a lot of research on this subject, and I haven't found any other high school venue that came close to matching this concentration of big-name bands — at or near the height of their fame — in such a short time period. It happened shortly before the change in the concert marketplace to dedicated rock clubs, major arenas, and finally stadiums," says Cantor. "And it all happened thanks to the efforts of two precocious students, one of whom went on to become one of the most prominent DJs in England."
While The High School That Rocked! doesn't yet have a release date, it'll be screening at some limited engagements this year. Film Fest 52 in Bethel, Ct., is hosting the film on March 8, and it's also scheduled to open the SENE Film, Music & Arts Festival in Providence, R.I. in April.
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