A truly insightful look at two people who have had a profound effect on art and music all over the world.
I think 2 discs might be a bit much for a DVD set that seems like it could have worked just as well with 1. Ugly use of colors on the inside of the packaging.
While at first the thought of watching The Dick Cavett Show - John and Yoko Collection seemed to be the equivalent of spending 10 years on the campus of UC Berkeley doused in petruli oil, I must say that I did find this 2 disc set fascinating. Maybe it’s because Dick Cavett is the kind of personality that is made to conduct interviews, or perhaps it’s because John and Yoko were nothing like I thought they would be. Their images and persona’s have been prostituted over the year to show a strong allegiance with the left. I am not saying that I don’t have some of those sympathies, but the last thing I wanted to hear for 3 episodes of interviews was a bunch of “I hate America” rhetoric. Thankfully, this was not on display here at all really.
What this 3 disc set does do is really give us a look at John and Yoko as people. Throughout the interviews they are candid, funny and most importantly honest. While I have sort of grown tired of seeing artists interviewed over the years, simply because they seem to have become mundane as the responses appear canned and overly thought out, these interviews work because there is none of that. In fact, after awhile it seems like John and Yoko are delighting in visiting with someone they honestly have many affections for.
Cavett And The Lennons
This is an interview in which Martin Lewis interviews Dick Cavett about the experience he had interviewing John and Yoko. Now, I think that having a special feature on a disc center around an interview about someone doing interviews could be seen as redundant. This isn’t to say that this piece isn’t. However, I have to admit that I really like Dick Cavett. While his answers and demeanor may seem like he’s being surly, one really comes to understand through watching these discs that this is just who Cavett is. He discusses what it was like interviewing John and Yoko, but more specifically, he addresses such issues as his effect on the people he is talking to. Does he make them uncomfortable? Does he make them answer in specific ways? It was these questions that he examined that I found the most interesting.
4:3 Aspect Ratio. As these shows are from the early 1970s it isn’t surprising that they look a bit dated and worn. Honestly, I think that the DVD transfer and compression was done as good as could be expected. It isn’t that these discs look all that bad, I just wondered as I watched them what they might look like on VHS. As these are DVDs of a celebrity talk show, there isn’t too much to say about the style of their look. As I mentioned above, it may seem weird that somebody would make a DVD out of these interviews, but once you start watching it becomes hard not to get engrossed in what is being discussed.
2.0 Mono. The sound on these discs is pretty good. I did have turn up my TV a bit louder but this had more to do with John and Yoko’s accents than it did with how these discs were mastered. Although, like most TV shows and movies, once you listen to people speak for awhile you basically get the idea of how they talk, the cadences of their speech and everything else. Before I screened these discs, other than being a Beatle fan, I didn’t really think that much of John and I certainly didn’t know anything about Yoko. There really is something about these interviews that doesn’t seem like celebrities coming on TV to pitch a product (themselves).
This is packaging that we really don’t see too much of anymore. It is essentially a 2 disc set in which the entire package is all in one and all the discs unfold out. The cover features a shot of John and Yoko holding hands. My only question is just what exactly is Yoko wearing? The back features 3 shots of John, Yoko and Dick Cavett. Thankfully there is a well written description that explains what this set is. There is a listing of what is on these discs as well as a “Bonus Features” listing. Inside is an informative booklet that puts the interviews in their proper historical context as well as breaks down each episode. Each disc has it’s own plastic tray and the colors employed here are green, yellow and blue. I could have done without the whole “hippie” motif inside this packaging, as I think it sort of takes away from what this set ultimately is, but that is my only real complaint.
Do not fear! There are performances on this disc as well. John Lennon performs his still racy tune “Woman is the Nigger of the World” and Yoko does her number, “We’re All Water.” Also, as a sort of bonus, we get to see a young Shirley MacLaine who was a guest on the third episode John and Yoko appeared on. What I liked the most about these interviews was that they were real. When the first one starts, one gets the impression that Cavett is in for a long night. Then magically as both John and Yoko loosen up, it’s as if we can see Cavett really deviate from the script. As if as an interviewer he has been waiting for the chance to be like this on his show.
Okay, I think I might be getting ahead of myself as these are really the only interviews I have seen Cavett conduct, but The Dick Cavett Show - John and Yoko Collection is a very nicely preserved moment in TV history.
The Dick Cavett Show was released .