Tomorrow Show: John, Paul, Tom & Ringo
For those out there who had insomnia and where around between the years 1973 to 1982 you have most likely seen your share of the Tomorrow Show. This interview show was usually scheduled around 1 a.m., after the late night juggernaut, the Tonight Show, which back then featured Johnny Carson. The star of the show was veteran television journalist Tom Snyder. For those able to watch television at that hour it was definitely worth staying up so late. Unfortunately, this series was just before the advent of the video recorder so it was either stay up or miss the show. Snyder was one of the last vestiges of the great classic television interviewers. For most shows that feature interviews with celebrities and news worthy people the audience usually gets only five minutes or so of air time with the subject. Typically there is a little humorous story and a plug for the person’s current project. Snyder played by the rules set up by giants in the television news industry like Edward R. Murrow, David Frost and Dick Cavett. With series like this the interviewer spent time with the subject. Most times Snyder had only one guest for the entire episode. Other times if the subject was a group, such as his now famous interview of the band, ‘Kiss’, he would have all members on stage at the same time to interact together. Snyder may have looked like a real conservative ‘establishment’ type (as we used to say in the early seventies) but his interviews included the greats of rock music. With his ever present cigarette, trademark hairstyle and hearty laugh he was more than a staple of late night television; he was an institution who bridged the generations. The latest DVD of the Tomorrow Show features three interviews with some guys from Liverpool, England; Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. These are the most famous and in depth interviews these icons of rock have ever submitted to and now Shout Entertainment has them all for you entertainment and enlightenment.
John Lennon Tribute December 9, 1980
One day before this episode of the Tomorrow Show was aired John Lennon was gunned down and murdered in front of his apartment building in Manhattan, New York. This was a day that shocked millions of fans all over the world. As make shift shrines popped up near the site and in the section of Central Park called ‘Strawberry Fields’ Tom Snyder prepared a tribute to John Lennon. Snyder conducted the last televised interview with Lennon back on April 25, 1975. Respectfully Snyder and the producers of the Tomorrow Show rebroadcast this interview along with interviews with people involved with the life of Lennon. This was not done as a ratings gimmick; there is a somber tone to the episode that reveals a reverence not often found today.
The episode opens with part of the 1975 interview. Lennon speaks about his personal view of his celebrity. After going through the mad rush of Beatlemania Lennon enjoyed his life in New York City. He could walk down the street and someone would just come up and say ‘Hi John’. He was doing just that, walking down the street when he was killed. Snyder is visibly upset with the senseless nature of the murder of this man. Snyder addresses his audience. The 1975 interview does not contain any startling information or much that would be considered ground breaking. It is historically significant as Lennon’s last TV interview and the fact that Lennon was at the forefront of a cultural revolution that shook the world. The first topic of the interview was the immigration problems Lennon experienced. He was on the verge of being deported back the England. The spoke about the generation gap and how it divided the people based on taste in music. Lennon was certain that it started with the parental dislike of rock and roll. He notes that this did not start with the Beatles but was around since the start of rock. He muses that he may have been due to the fact that rock music had its roots in black music and the predominately white parents felt threatened. Snyder probes Lennon asking questions such as whether it bothered him that in the Beatle days you couldn’t hear the actual music over the shouts and screams of the audience. Lennon states that it was boring, that things would break down during a concert and no one realized it. It obviously was not satisfying for a musician like Lennon. Also included in this tribute was Lennon’s immigration attorney Leon Wildes, who was with Lennon and his wife shortly before the murder, journalist Lisa Robinson, who conducted the last print interview with him and his producer Jack Douglas.
Paul McCartney December 20, 1979
This interview also included members of McCartney’s then current band Wings which included his wife Linda, Denny Lane and Laurence Juber. The interview was conducted just before the band was to appear in a holiday concert in London. The interview was conducted via satellite. Snyder sat in front of a television monitor placed where the interview subject would normal sit. This technology was so new that Snyder explained it to the viewers. Now, of course, remote interviews are a daily occurrence. Snyder goes on about the make and manufacture of the TV set since it was not available to consumers in the States yet. The set was a massive 36" and brighter than most TVs. As he talks about the dials, covered for the telecast, are all in Japanese. As he goes on Paul and Linda sit on the screen smiling. Paul tries to start the interview but Snyder tells him it is not time yet and plays of clip of Wings. Finally the interview does take place. Snyder mentions the tragic deaths at a concert in Cincinnati referring to them as a week and a half ago. McCartney corrects him saying it happened just last night. Snyder counters that the interview would not be shown for another week. It was this kind of off the cuff talking that makes these interviews more natural in their feel. They didn’t edit out the discussion; it was part of the record.
Ringo Starr November 25, 1981
In this episode Snyder moved from his usual studios in New York to Los Angels. Ringo was interviewed at home in England beside his pool. Joining them a little later on was his wife Barbara Bach. Snyder starts off by asking Ringo what it is like to be forty. After such a teen idol he is now fully an adult. The questions range from life with a new wife to the new home and Ringo’s new career as a producer. This was an interview concerning Ringo reinventing himself.
This is a set that any serious music lover needs to own. It is more than a DVD of three interviews; it is a piece of history. Shout is great at doing this. They have a large collection of vintage television that most of us Baby Boomers grew up with. Get this set and enjoy it.