How did I miss the Festival Express?

I’m catching up on the enlightening, educational and hilarious Proopcasts by wit and raconteur Mr. Greg Proops – better known to most as a regular on Who’s Line is It Anyway? during the 90s. In one of them he mentions a film (of which he can’t remember the name) featuring Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and The Band touring across Canada on a train. One Google later and I find out that he’s talking about Festival Express.

From an extremely thorough Wikipedia article (detailing, amongst other things, ticket prices per venue both in advance and POTD), this film was shot on the train that was chartered to ferry the entire touring party from venue to venue over the course of the two weeks. Due to a number of reasons, two cities – Montreal and Vancouver – were dropped leaving just three concerts in Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary. The tour was a financial flop and the footage, which was intended to be made into a film, was canned.

Fast forward 30 years and the footage is rediscovered after having spent some time in garages and being used as hockey goals. It’s released to a limited run in some cinemas before being bunged out on Region 1 DVD only. It also has what appears to be the worst poster/cover design ever.

“Er, hey, since we’ve really gone to town finding, editing and releasing this incredible footage, shall we put some effort into a poster design that reflects the status of the musicians involved and which gives a flavour of the unique and tumultuous era during which it was shot?”

“No. I’d rather have a model dressed like she’s from 2001, airbrushed to within an inch of her life and slung on a background that looks as if she’s about to be run over by a lorry.”

I’d never heard of this until yesterday, nevermind seen it. Has anyone else?

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