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Thursdays, October 13–November 17, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM | REGISTER NOW


Enhanced health & safety protocols in place for all in-person Curious Minds courses, including mandatory masking (except while eating or drinking) and physically distanced seating. Registration is limited!

In this six lecture series, Curious Minds favourite Dr. Mike Daley delves into six classic rock albums of the 1960s and 70s, bringing to life the musical genius and irresistible tunes of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, The Band, Carole King and Simon & Garfunkel. With his usual impeccable research, engaging style and rare video and audio examples, Mike tells the story of the making of each album and the social and historical context from which they emerged. He celebrates the extraordinary music, lyrics and personalities that combined to make these albums into enduring classics, changing the course of 20th Century music.

This course is led by Dr. Mike Daley, a music historian and professional musician who has taught at Guelph, McMaster, Waterloo and York Universities. A longtime Curious Minds favourite, his past courses at Hot Docs have included Leonard Cohen: Words and Music; The Music of Yonge St. and Yorkville; and The Beatles and Their World.

Course registration: $69 (Hot Docs Members: $60, $48, Free)

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Curious Minds Speaker Series sponsored by

Hollywood Suite


October 13: Revolver

The Beatles' 1966 album was a peak achievement for this trendsetting, wildly popular group. Aside from its technical innovations, Revolver represented an expansion of the possibilities of rock music that would have wide-ranging implications in the following years.

October 20: Pet Sounds

Freed from the duties of touring the world with the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson let his compositional muse flow freely on this 1966 album, working with the LA studio musicians known later as the Wrecking Crew to create a fragile masterpiece. Bask in the LA sunshine and explore the songwriting genius of a melodic master.

October 27: Blue

Blue is widely considered to be the Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell's most fully realized album, combining sharp character observations with innovative musical structures. Learn why this 1971 classic confirmed Joni's legendary status in the popular music of the '70s and cemented her image as the model of a singer-songwriter.

November 3: The Band

With rock and roll roots on Toronto's Yonge Street, the multi-talented Band mined the music and lore of the American South for this 1969 masterwork. Mostly recorded in a poolhouse at the LA home of Sammy Davis Jr., the album represented a creative watershed for the homegrown quintet, producing classic tracks like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up on Cripple Creek.”

November 10: Tapestry

After establishing herself as a hit pop songwriter with her ex-husband Gerry Goffin in the early 60s, Carole King emerged as a major artist with this beloved, homespun collection of classic songs. Recently ranked one of Rolling Stone’s 25 greatest albums of all time, this all-time classic has sold an estimated 25 million copies worldwide – and won the hearts of generations of music lovers.

November 17: Bridge Over Troubled Water

The 1970 swan song of the popular Simon and Garfunkel duo, Bridge combines some of Paul Simon's most beloved songs with innovative production to create a durable classic. We’ll close our series by paying tribute to the album that produced soaring tracks like “Cecilia” and “If I Could” and is considered by many to be the duo’s greatest achievement.

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