Great Moments in TV Music History: The Rolling Stones – The T.A.M.I. Show
It may or not have been on December 29, 1964, when my brother and I first saw The T.A.M.I. Show on its original airing. T.A.M.I. stood for either “Teenage Awards Music International” or “Teen Age Music International,” both of which were used in promotions. The music for this show was filmed over two days at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium October 28 & 29, 1964.
It was a literal cavalcade of stars, including Chuck Berry, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Leslie Gore, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean (who also MC’d the show), The Barbarians, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, James Brown and the Flames, and The Rolling Stones.
It was spectacular. All of the music was performed live — no lip-syncing. Of particular interest is that fact that both the lineup and the audience were fully integrated, a rarity in many places in 1964. The crowd of teenagers, who had received free tickets to the show, was extremely enthusiastic.
The Rolling Stones were second only to The Beatles atop the British Invasion in 1964, and as such they drew the honor of closing the second night. However, it meant following James Brown and the Famous Flames. You can read about that performance here. To my mind, these are my all-time favorite live performances by both James Brown and The Stones.
Keith Richards opined later that choosing to play after Brown was a disastrous move; nobody was going to top that set, and he was right. However, this was by far the most animated that Mick Jagger and crew had ever been on stage to that point, and it propelled them toward even greater stardom.
There are several video clips of their performance. One of them cuts out the second number, “Off the Hook.” Another is colorized; the original show is in black and white. The best of the bunch is the 17-minute clip presented here.
00:00 Jan and Dean introduce the Rolling Stones, who then run on stage.
00:57 “Around and Around” is the first of four songs from their album 12 x 5, which had just been released October 17 in the U.S. It is a superb Chuck Berry cover, and they do it real justice. The late Charlie Watts immediately lays down the groove, and Bill Wyman’s playing is excellent, and how about that way he holds that bass! Oh, wait! He doesn’t get in the frame for the first three minutes! Jagger is “that rubber-legged” boy he sang about on their 1965 album The Rolling Stones Now! in “Down the Road Apiece.”
02:55 “Off the Hook” is a Jagger-Richards original about a girl who won’t answer the phone. This song pales in comparison to the rest of the set.
05:33 “Time is On My Side” was a song familiar to everyone as it hit #6 on the charts after its release in September.
08:12 “It’s All Over Now” is a brilliant cover of this Bobby Womack tune. Interestingly, it was a number one hit in the U.K. but only made it to #26 in the States. This and “Around and Around” really stand out. Richards and Brian Jones just kill on guitars.
11:32 “It’s Alright” is a song that was later recorded in March of 1965 on an EP titled got LIVE if you want it. This version isn’t full formed, but the band vamps superbly while Jagger struts with his two pairs of maracas.
14:43 “Get Together” is the closing song of the event. There is a studio band playing behind them now, and clearly the boys are going through the motions on their instruments as Jagger sings. Suddenly dozens of go-go dancers come dancing from behind and out in front of the band, followed by all of the performers from the show, including James Brown front and center, leading the dance party. there’s some spiffy guitar being played, but it’s not Brian, and it’s not Keith.
The complete T.A.M.I. Show is available on SHOUT Video, and it’s worth its weight in gold.
WE MISS YOU, CHARLIE!