Thursday, April 01, 2010

DVD Review: THE T.A.M.I SHOW (1964)

(Dir. Steve Binder, 1964)

This time capsule of a concert film finally gets a proper DVD release and that's a great thing because it's a joy from start to finish. If you happen to like '60s rock, pop, and soul that is.

The Teenage Awards Music International show featured a mighty roster of the days biggest acts including Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Lesley Gore, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and The Rolling Stones filmed live in glorious black and white at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in 1964.

Era heart throbs Jan and Dean hosted the event and also performed. It's major proof that the teens at the time screamed at more than just The Beatles. The fact that they scream throughout the entirety of this concert can be as endearing as often as it's annoying. They even scream at the third tier bands: Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Barbarians and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.

But the music, most of it instantly recognizable if you've ever listened to oldies radio, shines through the squealing as well as the cheesy presentation featuring TV variety show style sets and go-go dancers constantly bopping behind most of the acts.

Most amusingly, one of those go-go dancers was a 17 year old Teri Garr (pictured above between the Supremes) who can be seen dancing her ass off almost the whole show. She's given plenty to shake to when James Brown hits the stage.

Backed by the Famous Flames, Brown steals the show out from everybody with a ferocious 5 song set in which an incendiary "Please Please Please" featuring his patented cape routine is the shows undeniable highlight. The Rolling Stones almost backed out after learning they were going to follow Brown. Maybe they should have; their set is fine but a bit lacking in fire. The band responsible for the classic album "Aftermath" come off a bit like an afterthought here.

However, by the time the Stones get to "It's All Over Now" a good deal of their power gets restored. It's all the same to the shrieking audience though, they scream as loud as ever right to the end.

Bonus Features: This digitally remastered film comes with a smattering of extras including several radio spots and an informative commentary by director Steve Binder assisted by music historian Don Waller. Director John Landis (ANIMAL HOUSE, THE BLUES BROTHERS, THREE AMIGOS), who attended the show as a teenager and said that the Rolling Stones were boring following Brown, also puts in a sprightly commentary on the trailer.

More later...

1 comment:

Ashley Pomeroy said...

Hey, it's Teri Garr! She was nice in Young Frankenstein. And she can dance!