Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder: John, Paul, Tom & Ringo DVD Review
Written by General Jabbo
In the near decade The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder aired on NBC, Snyder had a number of cutting-edge performers appear on the show. Not many American talk shows would have ever touched the Plasmatics or Johnny Rotten, yet there they were in interviews and performances with Snyder trying to establish a rapport with them as well as understand them (While a good interviewer, Snyder could come across as a bit square on occasion). The most famous of these musicians were arguably the three former Beatles he interviewed: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. Those interviews make up the contents of this two-disc set.
Disc one is a tribute to John Lennon with his interview from April of 1975, which Snyder rebroadcast on December 9, 1980, one day after Lennon’s death. In it, Lennon discusses his time with the Beatles, his solo career, his life in New York with Yoko Ono, and his immigration status (His immigration lawyer, Leon Wildes, joins the interview during that segment). It was to be Lennon’s last televised interview. The rebroadcast added then-new interviews with journalist Lisa Robinson and producer Jack Douglas, who produced Double Fantasy and had done a session with Lennon the night of his murder.
Disc two begins with an interview with Paul and Linda McCartney just before one of their 1979 concert appearances in London, England. Wings were on the road for Back to the Egg (The video for “Spin it On” is included in the broadcast) and were about to play the Concert for Kampuchea. The interview was taped the day after the Who concert at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati where 11 people were trampled to death as fans rushed to their seats. McCartney said the key to better security at such shows where festival seating is used such as the Who concert, is have more entrances for fans, so everyone isn’t all going into the same doors. Paul also talked a little about his time with the Beatles and life at home with the kids and how he enjoyed having a family and being able to take his kids on the road with him. Snyder asked Linda McCartney how she met Paul and asked Wings members Laurence Juber and Denny Laine how they came to be in "the Wings organization" as Snyder called it.
The final interview on disc two is with Ringo Starr from 1981. Ringo was promoting his then-new album, Stop and Smell the Roses, which featured contributions from Paul McCartney and George Harrison (the video for Harrison’s “Wrack My Brain” is shown) and was to have also included songs written and produced by John Lennon. The two were to work together in January of 1981, but Lennon was killed the previous December. This interview was less than a year later and Starr was still very shaken up at the loss of his friend. The interview also includes Ringo’s wife Barbara Bach, who he met on the set of the film Caveman. Angie Dickinson fills up the second half of this episode where she promotes her series, Cassie and Company, and discusses why she returned to television.
For Beatles fans, John, Paul, Tom & Ringo serves as an interesting time capsule, both in terms of the various Beatles careers at that point, as well as world events of the time. It’s nice to have the interviews all in one collection and is well worth owning.