The Dick Cavett Show - Rock Icons

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Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Universal Music Group
Release Date: 2005-08-16
Running Time: 565 minutes


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Starring: Dick Cavett, Bobby Rosengarden, Rex Reed, Richard Harris, Truman Capote

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When Dick Cavett joined the late-night talk show parade in 1969, his intelligent wit pumped a much-needed breath of fresh air into the format. The show offered guests a forum for controversial opinions and didn’t shy away from an occasional debate about women’s liberation or the war in Vietnam. The Dick Cavett Show also became the late-night home of rock ’n’ roll, with a guest list that reads like a who’s who of the era’s top performers.

The Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons features 9 episodes from 1969 to 1974 featuring Janis Joplin, David Bowie, George Harrison, Sly And The Family Stone, Stevie Wonder and many more. Highlights include 3 episodes with Janis Joplin and "The Woodstock Show," taped the day after the festival with Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby and Stephen Stills. The shows also feature Cavett's interviews with many of the fascinating personalities of the day from Gloria Swanson to Debbie Reynolds to Raquel Welch.

Also included is the featurette Cavett Meets The Rolling Stones, featuring live performance footage from the Stones and a revealing backstage interview with Mick Jagger. Adding insight and perspective to the set are episode introductions and a brand new interview with Dick Cavett.

Over 25 Historic Performances on 3 DVDs including:

Chelsea Morning – Joni Mitchell
Somebody To Love – Jefferson Airplane with David Crosby
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again) – Sly And The Family Stone
Young Americans – David Bowie
To Love Somebody – Janis Joplin
Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) – Janis Joplin
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder
Bangla Desh – George Harrison
Still Crazy After All These Years – Paul Simon
Bridge Over Troubled Water – Paul Simon with The Jessy Dixon Singers

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While it's a stretch calling Paul Simon or Stevie Wonder "rock," this triple DVD set presents nine entire, commercial-free episodes where Dick Cavett welcomed music superstars to his stage. From 1969-'74 his was the only talk show to invite these acts to meet mainstream America, at least half way. Although he might have been more comfortable conversing with crusty Hollywood actors, Cavett's quick mind, relatively youthful demeanor and respectful if slightly stilted approach worked moderately well with music acts not accustomed to the restrictions of network television. Here he interviews the good (a post-Bangla Desh concert George Harrison is witty and honest, as is a very articulate Paul Simon), the bad (Sly Stone in a druggy haze) and the nervous (a painfully uncomfortable David Bowie fiddles with a cane, looking as if he wished he was somewhere else), while holding his own, sometimes barely, with the Woodstock generation. The latter dominates an entire show as Jefferson Airplane, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Joni Mitchell hold court the day after the 1969 event. Janis Joplin appears three times (July '69, June and August '70) and is sharp, intelligent and affable mixing with guests as varied as Raquel Welch, Gloria Swanson and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. A July '72 pre-concert chat with Mick Jagger demonstrates how effectively the comparatively straight-laced Cavett meshed with the Stones' lead singer backstage at Madison Square Garden. Sonically, the primitive mono sound is surprisingly well mixed, and the discs are conveniently chapter divided to find the musical interludes, an enormous convenience that helps skip some dull patter with Cavett's other guests. These appearances by musicians that were rarely interviewed on television are historically significant and will delight fans that previously sufficed with sketchy bootlegs of this material. --Hal Horowitz

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