August 2020 marks not one, not two, but three crown-worthy milestones in the land of Canada’s iconic band The Kings:
1 | 40 years ago this month, they released their Bob Ezrin-produced debut album The Kings Are Here on U.S. major label Elektra Records.
2 | That same month, their smash hit single This Beat Goes On / Switchin’ to Glide first entered the Billboard Hot 100.
3 | And on Aug. 23, 1980, The Kings closed the now-legendary Heatwave Festival, holding court alongside fellow rock royalty Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, Nick Lowe and Rockpile, Teenage Head, The B-52’s and more.
It’s that third one — their midnight appearance at the now-storied Toronto-area festival — that’s inspired the exclusive release of The Kings: Live at Heatwave, a 30-minute concert movie available in a premiere at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday Aug. 23.
“The Kings and Teenage Head were the only bands that gave permission to be filmed,” recalls founding member Dave Diamond. “As Teenage Head’s audio has disappeared, this is the only surviving, authentic, and original-synch footage from that day. For some reason, they didn’t film our whole 55-minute set. But there’s almost half an hour here, and we’re very proud of it.”
Adds fellow founder Mister Zero: “It was digitally restored frame by frame from its 16mm colour negative, and combined with authentic, remastered sound.” Sonny Keyes chimes in: “The sound was recorded onsite by Comfort Sound’s Doug McClement on 8-track half-inch analog tape and sounds amazing!” Concludes drummer Max Styles: “We’d worked hard and were ready for a gig like this.”
The Heatwave Festival at Mosport Park turned heads from the onset between its high profile roster, ultimate crowd size, and timing at a cultural turning point in the evolution of new wave music. (It was also marred with some scandal, but… Aren’t they all?)
Tune in to their YouTube channel on Sunday August 23, at 8 p.m. EST to watch the fun, listen to more of The Kings below, and keep up with The Kings on their website and Facebook.