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DVD Review: Various Artists' T-A-M-I Show



The Deal: Unearthed '60s time capsule captures iconic performances by Chuck Berry, The Stones and James Brown.

The Good: Held in the Santa Monica Civic Center in 1964, the Teenage Awards Music International was a strange beast even in its time. California surfer boy and girl go-go dancers prance around Chuck Berry as he tears into his classics including "Maybelline" and "Johnny B Goode." In a jaw-dropping segue, the cameras cut to bland British invaders Gerry and the Pacemakers picking up Berry's "Nadine" in mid-chorus and mangling it to death. And even though Smokey Robinson is a little squeaky on some of the high notes, he pours a bucket of smooth, greasy soul all over "You Really Got A Hold On Me." By contrast, Marvin Gaye's brand of soul is raw and gritty on "Can I Get A Witness." The main reason this film has been revered over the years is because of the footage of James Brown. Looking dapper in a polka-dotted sport coat and vest, Brown shimmies out doing things with his feet no human should be capable of. This was a pre-funk Brown in his soul heyday delivering screaming anguished soul on "Prisoner Of Love." But the highlight is his show stopper, "Please, Please, Please." The Rolling Stones didn't want to close the show after him and it's easy to see why. Mick Jagger looks like a scared school boy, but the screaming girls in the crowd quickly restore his confidence.

The Bad: Leslie Gore takes up a lot of film, as does Billy J. Kramer. You'll be fast-forwarding a lot.

The Verdict: A must-have for the JB footage alone. This thing's a classic.

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