Often called one of the greatest rock movies ever made, The T.A.M.I. Show features a cavalcade of live performances from the most iconic acts of 1964: The Supremes, Lesley Gore, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, Jan and Dean, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Merseybeat chart-topper Billy J. Kramer, garage rockers The Barbarians, and a notorious set by James Brown and his Famous Flames. Television director Steve Binder (later responsible for Elvis’s 1968 Comeback Special and the music show Hullabaloo) teamed up with Hollywood producer Bill Sargent to stage a two-day Teen-Age Music International Show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, packing the venue by giving away free tickets to 5,000 local high school students, and filling the stage with gyrating go-go girls (among them young Teri Garr and Toni Basil).
Binder shot the event on TV cameras in “Electronovision”—an early higher-definition video system—then transferred it via kinescope to 35mm film for distribution by Roger Corman’s American International Pictures. Binder later remarked that: “I wanted the audience to be there, see the talent on the stage, the sweat on their faces, the guts of it,” and his up-close approach forever influenced the way music shows and concert documentaries were shot. Despite its seminal status and legendary reputation (James Brown said his set was one of the best he ever recorded), The T.A.M.I. Show has never been released on video or DVD, making it one of music history’s most sought-after holy grails. This rare screening presents one of the few prints available: don’t miss the chance to see what its distributors dubbed “the excitement, entertainment and music of teenage America!” – Ed Halter, Light Industry
Pure pop heaven, from Lesley Gore’s Aqua-Netted flips to James Brown’s mile-high pompadour. Few concert films have ever matched The T.A.M.I. Show’s exuberance and energy, both on and off the stage—captured in the impeccably dressed performers, the hip-shaking go-go dancers, and the gaga fans.” — Melissa Anderson
With special introduction to the film by Jamie Hook. Jamie is a producer and director who has an unfortunate weakness for trying to build cinemas and film organizations wherever he is. He founded the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, and helped to create Minnesota Film Arts in Minneapolis. He is currently trying to get a triplex cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, off the ground.
ALSO RARELY SEEN SPECIAL ADDITION…
Shortly after The T.A.M.I. Show was released, the Beach Boys’ set was expunged at the band’s request. The only explanation that seems to be offered is “rights-management.”
However, the set was included in a DVD inserted into the band’s “Sounds of Summer” greatest-hits CD a few years ago, and includes “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “I Get Around,” “Surfin’ Girl,” and “Dance, Dance, Dance.” It’s one of the few filmed live performances of the Beach Boys original lineup at their peak; Brian Wilson appears to be having a great time, soon before stage-fright sidelined him from touring.
We will be bringing the cut back in for this special screening.
Special thanks to Mike Maggiore and Film Forum.