Sunday, January 20, 2013

The T.A.M.I. Show (1964)

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. It was shot by director Steve Binder and his crew from The Steve Allen Show using a precursor to High Definition television, invented by the self-taught "electronics whiz," Bill Sargent. Electronovision" TV cameras, the second of a handful of productions that used the system. By capturing more than 800 lines of resolution at 25 frame/s, it could be converted to film via kinescope recording with sufficient 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.

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. Jan and Dean emceed the event and performed its theme song, "Here They Come (From All Over the World)". Jack Nitzsche was the show's music director. 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.

T.A.M.I. Show is particularly well known for James Brown's performance, which features his legendary dance moves and remarkable 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. Throughout the show, numerous go-go dancers were in the background or beside the performers. Among them were a very young Toni Basil and Teri Garr. They were under the direction of David Winters who played A-Rab in the film version of West Side Story (film) and went on to choreograph the Hullabaloo TV show (1965) and the film version of A Star Is Born (1976).
The show also featured The Supremes performing two back-to-back No. 1 singles, during their reign as the most successful girl group of that era. 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 more importantly her iconic Central Park concert, Live from New York Worldwide: For One and for All. The film was shown in its entirety on cable television in Canada in 1984 (20th anniversary of its release), on the First Choice Network. There had never been an authorized home video release of the film in any format until the authorized DVD release in March 2010, although bootlegs have abounded. (A DVD release of the complete film by First Look Studios was planned for 2007, but subsequently withdrawn.) Also, because of a rights dispute, the footage of The Beach Boys' performance was deleted from all prints made after the movie's brief initial theatrical run, and is therefore absent from most of the bootlegs. All of the four Beach Boys tunes eventually surfaced on DVD in Sights and Sounds of Summer, a special CD/DVD edition of Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys.

A sequel, 1966's The Big T.N.T. Show, was produced by the same executive producer, Henry G. Saperstein.

120 MIN

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