Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Watch The Beatles As They Fly Through The Air

On December 9, 1980, one day after John Lennon was murdered in front of the Dakota in New York by Mark David Chapman, Tom Snyder, the legendary host of NBC's popular TOMORROW SHOW, paid tribute to the fallen ex-Beatle. On that night's program, which aired at 1:00am Eastern after THE TONIGHT SHOW, its usual timeslot, Snyder replayed an interview he had performed with Lennon in April 1975. That was at the height of Lennon's well-known deportation controversy, in which the United States government tried to have Lennon kicked out of the country, claiming his 1968 marijuana arrest in London made him some sort of undesirable. We now know that President Nixon, prick that he was, along with Strom Thurmond, John Mitchell and other pricks, abused their political power to get Lennon tossed out, fearing his support for George McGovern could swing the 1972 Presidential election towards the Democrat.

In addition to replaying the five-year-old Lennon interview, which turned out to be Lennon's last televised interview, Snyder brought on journalist Lisa Robinson, who had interviewed Lennon several times for publications, and Jack Douglas, who co-produced DOUBLE FANTASY, the Lennon album then shooting up the Billboard charts.

This TOMORROW episode is now on DVD, courtesy of Shout! Factory, and is mandatory for all Beatles fans. It's very difficult not to become a bit shell-shocked as you watch this piece of history, and start thinking about where you were December 8 when you heard the news.

The episode is part of a 2-disc set titled JOHN, PAUL, TOM & RINGO: THE TOMORROW SHOW WITH TOM SNYDER, which also includes Paul McCartney's 1979 appearance and Ringo Starr's in 1981 (along with Barbara Bach and Angie Dickinson). I haven't watched that disc yet, but am looking forward to it.

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