Two months ago, the first Desert Trip Festival was held in California.
The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Who and Neil Young performed complete sets over a two-weekend span than attracted fans who spent as much as $3,000 for admission.
It was the highest grossing festival in U.S. history, more than doubling the business of the internationally-known Coachella Festival.
Sure, that’s an astounding half-dozen Hall-of-Fame acts at just one festival, but in 1964 a “pay-for-view” concert called the T.A.M.I. Show showcased rock and soul acts at the prime of their careers … and it featured twice the number of top-notch performers.
Teenage Award Music International Dept. Can you imagine James Brown, Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones on the same stage? It happened just once … and this is it!
Along with Marvin Gaye, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, Lesley Gore, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, these musicians helped make the T.A.M.I. Show one of the most outstanding musical events of the ’60s.
It gets even better: Because the T.A.M.I. Show was filmed in Los Angeles, the musical acts that required musical backing used the legendary Wrecking Crew Band that included Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine, and even a very “clean-cut” pianist named Leon Russell!
Even some of the dancers would eventually be famous, including Teri Garr and a young Toni Basil, later known for her smash hit Mickey.
The concert was hosted by surf-rockers Jan and Dean who were at their peak of popularity at the time. Their performances are bittersweet as Jan Berry was just a year-and-a half away from the tragic car wreck that cost him his career and almost his life.
Lost in the Vaults Dept. The T.A.M.I. Show footage was out of print for decades but happily is now available on Blu-Ray along with the show’s sequel, The Big T.N.T. Show.
The T.N.T. show was filmed almost a year after the T.A.M.I. Show and boasted another stellar lineup of acts – all performing live with no “lip-syncing” whatsoever.
The Byrds, Ray Charles, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Petula Clark, Donovan, The Ronettes, Roger Miller, Bo Diddley and Ike and Tina Turner were the stars of the show. Even famed producer Phil Spector is seen performing with folk star Joan Baez!
David McCallum of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. fame did the hosting duties for the show.
This two-DVD set features many artists who did very little or no live recordings. The combination of musicians on these two concerts marks a time in history that, of course, will never happen again.
Oh, and by the way: these concerts were free to the public and pay-per-view tix were less than $5!