Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Johnny? Be Good.

John and Yoko's final Mike Douglas Show appearances were taped January 27th and 28th, 1972. The first of these shows included the most interesting performances of the whole week, when rock and roll icon Chuck Berry joined the panel.

John's schoolboy excitement at sharing the stage with one of his musical heroes was obvious during their two-song set and conversation (Chuck even joined in with a macrobiotic cooking demonstration!). The haphazard renditions of "Memphis Tennessee" and "Johnny B. Goode" proved anticlimactic, but Chuck liked the backing of Elephant's Memory enough to use them on his 1973 album Bio.

On the evening of January 27th, John and Yoko were interviewed by John Wade, for Philadelphia radio station WIBG. Wade had covered previous Beatle tours for WDRC-AM, and had recently interviewed George Harrison (anyone got a tape of that?). The conversation begins with similar topics to the Howard Smith interview four days prior, but touches on the problems with booking controversial guests during their week with Mike Douglas. Wade also talks about playing copies of "Attica State" and "Luck Of The Irish" on his radio show, and John says they were recorded "in bed", so presumably the VPRO versions were circulating in the US by now.

The final Mike Douglas Show appearance was the blandest of all, with no overtly political guests or avant-garde happenings (although "God damn" was bleeped from a rendition of "Luck Of The Irish"). John took questions from the studio audience, talking a bit about the Lennon-McCartney feud which both sides were now eager to put behind them. A pleasant and low-key way to end the week was with Yoko singing a Japanese folk song, "Sakura", accompanied by her husband on acoustic guitar:

John and Yoko's guest hosting week was aired in most US markets the week of February 14th through 18th and went off without any backlash from sponsors or viewers. Certain eyes in Washington DC, however, had been monitoring the Lennons' every move for the last few months, and things were about to get ugly.

1 comment:

  1. What's going on with the Chuck Berry song Bio? The guitar in the beginning sounds exactly like Attica State. Who copied who?