Entertainment·Video

Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern marks 65 years

Toronto music mecca the Horseshoe Tavern, which has played host to acts from Stompin' Tom to Bryan Adams to the Rolling Stones, is marking its 65th birthday.

Venerable club and music mecca has hosted Blue Rodeo, the Rolling Stones

Horseshoe Tavern at 65

The National

9 years ago
2:46
Deana Sumanac looks back at the history of music mecca the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto as the venerable club turns 65. 2:46

Toronto music mecca the Horseshoe Tavern is marking its 65th birthday. The venerable club that has played host to acts from Stompin' Tom to Bryan Adams to the Rheostatics may look down at its heels, but the venue is still ready to throw a good party.

The Horseshoe began life in 1947 as a country music haven, but it recruited a diverse range of musicians for its stage. In the 1970s, it began accepting rock acts. Many Canadian bands increased their profile after Horseshoe performances, among them Blue Rodeo, Bruce Cockburn and Moxy Fruvous.

"Every band played the Horseshoe," recalled Josh Finlayson of The Skydiggers, another act that got its break with a gig at the club.

"You felt you'd arrived if you played the Horseshoe Tavern."

In the video above, CBC's Deana Sumanac digs into the club's longevity with music expert Richard Flohill and talks to long-time bartender Teddy Fury, who recalled a famed 1997 performance by the Rolling Stones.

"They'd only rehearsed four or five times and it was great because they were messing up songs and, at times, it sounded like the worst Stones clone band. And at the same time, when they were on, they were on...it was just a really fantastic vibe," Fury said.

"Just another of those wacky things that happen at the Horseshoe."

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