Thursday, February 19, 2015

1964: Leslie Goldstein, a.k.a. Gore, and the wrecking crew open one of the most legendary shows in rock history, and it was all free

If you were lucky enough to be a high school kid in Santa Monica in 1964, you could have scored free tickets to a show with the following performers (the Rolling Stones were last on the bill) backed by the hit-making "wrecking crew" of the best sidemen and women in the record industry. If you weren't in high school in Santa Monica in 1964 you can finally get the show on DVD but you gots to pay...

  • The Barbarians
  • The Beach Boys
  • Chuck Berry
  • James Brown and The Famous Flames
  • Marvin Gaye (with backing vocals by The Blossoms)
  • Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • Lesley Gore
  • Jan and Dean
  • Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas
  • Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Supremes
  • The house band, known collectively as The Wrecking Crew, was under the musical direction of Jack Nitzsche and included drummer Hal Blaine, electric bass player Jimmy Bond, guitarists Tommy Tedesco, Bill Aken, and Glen Campbell, upright bassist Lyle Ritz, and pianist Leon Russell, saxophonist Plas Johnson and others.

From Wikipedia:

     T.A.M.I. Show is a 1964 concert film released by American International Pictures. It includes performances by numerous popular rock and roll and R&B musicians from the United States and England. The concert was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 28 and 29, 1964. Free tickets were distributed to local high school students. The acronym "T.A.M.I." was used inconsistently in the show's publicity to mean both "Teenage Awards Music International" and "Teen Age Music International".
     The best footage from each of the two concert dates was edited into the film, which was released on December 29, 1964. Jan and Dean emceed the event and performed its theme song, "Here They Come (From All Over the World)" written by Los Angeles composers P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri. Jack Nitzsche was the show's music director.
     The film was shot by director Steve Binder and his crew from The Steve Allen Show, using a precursor to High Definition television called "Electronovision" invented by the self-taught "electronics whiz," Bill Sargent. The film was the second of a handful of productions that used the system. By capturing more than 800 lines of resolution at 25 frame/s, the video could be converted to film via kinescope recording with sufficiently enhanced resolution to allow big-screen enlargement. It is considered one of the seminal events in the pioneering of music films, and more importantly, the later concept of music videos.
     T.A.M.I. Show is particularly well known for James Brown's performance, which features his legendary dance moves and explosive energy. In interviews, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones has claimed that choosing to follow Brown & The Famous Flames was the biggest mistake of their careers, because no matter how well they performed, they could not top him. In a web-published interview, Binder takes credit for persuading the Stones to follow James Brown, and serve as the centerpiece for the grand finale where all the performers dance together onstage.
     The show also featured The Supremes during their reign as the most successful female recording group of the era. The band had three chart-topping singles from July 1964 to December 1964, with the album "Where Did Our Love Go" reaching number two. Diana Ross would go on to work with the director Steve Binder on several of her television specials, including her first solo television special and her famous Central Park concert, Live from New York Worldwide: For One and for All.
     Throughout the show, numerous go-go dancers performed in the background or beside the performers under the direction of choreographer David Winters. Among them were Teri Garr and Toni Basil. According to filmmaker John Landis, he and David Cassidy, both seventh grade classmates at the time, were in the audience for the show.
     In 2006, T.A.M.I. Show was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Dick Clark Productions later acquired ownership of the concert from Sargent.

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