Before Woodstock: T.A.M.I. Show (1964, directed by Steve Binder)


Five years before Woodstock, there was T.A.M.I. Show.

In 1964, a concert was held over two days at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.  Free tickets were distributed to local high school students and the best footage from the two shows was edited into one movie.  Distributed by American International Pictures, T.A.M.I. Show was one of the first concert films.

T.A.M.I. stood for Teenage Awards Music International but no awards were given out during those two days.  Instead, 12 of the most popular music acts of 1964 performed on one stage.  The Beatles may not have been there but almost every other hitmaker of the year showed up.

Among the highlights of T.A.M.I. Show was the performance of James Brown and The Famous Flames, which many consider to be one of the best musical performances ever captured on film.

James Brown’s performance was followed by The Rolling Stones.  Though Keith Richards once claimed that trying to follow James Brown was the biggest mistake of their careers, T.A.M.I. Show was the first time that many American teenagers actually saw the Stones perform.

Also performing: The Supremes, at the height of their popularity.

The Beach Boys’ performance has become semi-legendary because, as a result of copyright issues, it was edited out of prints of T.A.M.I. Show following the initial theatrical run.

For years, T.A.M.I. Show was unavailable for home viewing but finally, in 2010, Shout Factory released this landmark of movie and music history on DVD and they even included the long censored footage of the Beach Boys.  For music lovers, T.A.M.I. Show is a must-see record of the rock scene in between the start of the British invasion and the rise of the counterculture.