Wednesday, April 15, 2009

John, Paul, 'Tom' and Ringo

The Virgin Records store here in San Francisco is closing and everything is on sale. Pickings are slim, but I found a great Beatles' DVD that I didn't know even existed.

It's three episodes of the 'Tomorrow Show' with Tom Snyder and features John Lennon's famous interview from April 1975. This is the last TV interview he did before his 'retirement'. I've seen it many times (including the original broadcast), but it's been a long time. I probably still have a copy I taped on VHS but God only knows if it's even watchable.

The broadcast they provide is actually the rerun that was shown the day after John was killed. Which is actually better from a historical point-of-view as it contains interviews with a reporter who interviewed John shortly before his death and Jack Douglas, the producer of Double Fantasy. And of course Tom, surprising cool and professional, talking about the murder.

The Paul and Linda interview is from December 1979. It's recorded via satellite an hour before a Wings concert. Denny Laine and Laurence Juber are also on hand. Everyone comes off really well, and Paul is much more funny and likable than he seems these days. An interesting tidbit is that this was recorded a few weeks before his pot bust in Japan which basically destroyed Wings and his relationship with Denny. So while nobody knew it at the time, this was the end of a major era for Paul. They also show a 'Spin it On' video and bits of 'Wonderful Christmastime'.

The Ringo interview is less interesting, and only half of the hour long show. The other half is Angie Dickenson talking about some 'new' but now forgotten TV series. But I'm glad they included it so we have the entire episode. They also show a lousy 'Wrack My Brain' video and Ringo is promoting his Stop and Smell the Roses album. The interview was done in November, 1981.

Ringo does reveal some interesting thoughts, like his regret over how the films A Hard Day's Night and Help! forever labeled his as 'dumb' because the public thought the Beatles' caricatures in their films as being real, i.e., John witty, Paul sexy, George mean and Ringo the dim, hangdog outsider.

There's also promos for a 'Tomorrow Show' DVD showcasing punk and new wave acts (including a Johnny Rotten interview) and another one for Acid Head types with Timothy Leary and the Grateful Dead (yawn). The punk one looks pretty cool.

I was so happy I found this DVD! It's great to see these old interviews and I was always a big Tom Snyder fan. I saw him once driving down the street in LA and I honked and waved and he waved back. And considering I was a young freaky long haired big brute at the time, it was cool that he gave me a wave and a smile.

So if you, like me, were really into the Beatles' solo careers back in the 70's, this is a must. Get it on Amazon or if you live in San Francisco, you've got a few days to pick up a copy cheap at Virgin. They had a few more copies.


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