Horseshoe Tavern

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Horseshoe Tavern
The Horseshoe or The 'Shoe
Horseshoe Tavern.JPG
The Horseshoe Tavern
Former names Country Roots n' Rockabilly Music Tavern
Address 370 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M5V 2A2
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 43°38′57″N 79°23′45″W / 43.649081°N 79.395889°W / 43.649081; -79.395889Coordinates: 43°38′57″N 79°23′45″W / 43.649081°N 79.395889°W / 43.649081; -79.395889
Type Nightclub
Genre(s) Indie
Opened 1947
Website
horseshoetavern.com

The Horseshoe Tavern (known as The Horseshoe or The 'Shoe to Toronto locals) is a concert venue located at 370 Queen Street West (northeast corner of Queen at Spadina) in downtown Toronto, and has been in operation since 1947. Owned by "JC", Ken Sprackman, Craig Laskey and Naomi Montpetit, the venue is a significant part of Canadian musical lore. It is captured in the memories of thousands of concertgoers, and in books such as Have Not Been the Same.[1]

History[edit]

The building, built in 1861, previously housed a blacksmith.[2] Originally known as a Country Roots n' Rockabilly Music Tavern, it was an 87-seat saloon. The Horseshoe Tavern welcomed blues and folk in the 1960s, reggae, mod rock, and punk in the 1970s, new wave and alternative rock in the 1980s, and everything from ska, surf, swing, Celtic and alternative country in the 1990s. Influential acts that have played concerts include The Rolling Stones, The Police, Etta James, the Ramones, and Talking Heads. Actor Dan Aykroyd was once part-owner.[2]

The Horseshoe has made an effort to support new Canadian artists through programs like Tuesday's Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite. Bookman is a Toronto radio DJ for 102.1, The Edge, CFNY. As a result, it has been a springboard for such notable acts as Bryan Adams, Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, The Watchmen, Big Sugar, Wide Mouth Mason, Great Big Sea, Stompin' Tom Connors, The Band, Helix, Prairie Oyster, and Our Lady Peace.

The Horseshoe Tavern celebrated its "60th anniversary" in 2007 with 6 shows in a row by Joel Plaskett. Plaskett played his entire catalogue during the six days (with each night devoted to one full album). Special guest appearances during the celebrations included: Peter Elkas, Sarah Harmer and Gord Downie.

Media appearances[edit]

Stompin' Tom Connors concert films This Is Stompin' Tom (1972) and Across This Land with Stompin' Tom (1973) were shot at the tavern. In 1978, it was the setting for the Colin Brunton's punk rock documentary The Last Pogo, featuring bands The Scenics, The Cardboard Brains, The Secrets, The Mods, The Ugly, The Viletones, and Teenage Head. An archival photo montage of the Horseshoe Tavern's history will be featured in Colin Brunton's up-coming feature film The Last Pogo Jumps Again.

The Horseshoe was featured on Live on MTV in September 1997, when The Rolling Stones began their Bridges To Babylon Tour with a thundering 75 minute show.

In 1998, the club was acknowledged in the Tragically Hip song "Bobcaygeon".

In 2000 it was the home to the Humble & Fred "Gift of Christmas" broadcast.

In 2006, a recording of Billy Talent's song "Red Flag" live from the performance at the Horseshoe Tavern was released on the "Red Flag" CD single.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Barclay, Ian Andrew Dylan Jack, Jason Schneider (2001). Have Not Been the Same. Toronto: ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-475-1. 
  2. ^ a b Cross, Alan (March 2007). "History of the Horseshoe Tavern". The Ongoing History of New Music Podcast from FM 96 (London). 

External links[edit]