In 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a stint as guest hosts on the Mike Douglas Show. Rhino released a DVD box VHS tape set of the episodes in 1998. Here's an excellent review of the shows from WFMU's beware of the blog.
Chuck Berry is famous for not using a touring band and hooking up with different ad hoc local groups everywhere he plays. And sometimes the results are less than inspiring– like the jumped up mess that was heard that day on the set of the Mike Douglas show. Lennon and Berry seem to be singing in different keys, the band sounds like it’s playing another song. Instead of a great rock moment, it’s three and a half minutes of atonal boogie.
But what makes watching the video of this performance so wonderful, and what has led me to watch it over and over again, is Yoko. During some random boogie moments Yoko grabs a nearby microphone and lets loose with some spirited Yoko-style caterwauling. It’s SO wrong that I almost can't believe it’s going to happen again every time I watch the video. A few times Mr. Berry’s eyes almost pop out of his head as his roots rock classic is injected with kooky downtown performance art on national television. One online critic describes the look on Berry’s face “as if somebody just poured an ice-cold beverage down his pants.” It’s that good.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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