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The Dick Cavett Show - Rock Icons

4.1 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Dick Cavett, Bobby Rosengarden, Rex Reed, Richard Harris, Truman Capote
  • Directors: Dick Cavett
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Universal Music Group
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2005
  • Run Time: 565 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009MAPX6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,112 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Dick Cavett Show - Rock Icons" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I agree with much of what other reviewers have already said. In a nutshell: (1) valuable and fascinating footage of performers you probably haven't seen anywhere before; and (2) if you're expecting a DVD of back-to-back performances/interviews with rock/pop stars you'll be disappointed--what you get is full-length 90-minute Dick Cavett shows including his pretty lame monologues (which are not at all political, even during those politically charged years, which--to me--would have been more interesting than his corny, apolitical, dated jokes), as well as lengthy, often awkward interviews with people like Pancho Gonzales (tennis player?) and Debbie Reynolds--but if those don't interest you, that's why fast-forward was invented.

The opening segment of disc 1 is of Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell, and Stephen Stills (also David Crosby joins Jefferson Airplane on a wildly struck tamborine). What was interesting to me was this: Dick Cavett is so uncomfortable with these hipster hippies, he's a total "square," and yet he deserves credit for being brave enough for being himself and trying to set up a "rap session" for the performers, who have to sit in a circle on these Day-Glo cushion cubes. At one point he says politely to Grace Slick (of Jeff Airplane): "Are you comfortable?" and she sort of sneers back, "No." Most of the other performers are sprawled on the floor using the cushions as pillows--they're clearly unimpressed (or trying to give that impression) of being on Dick Cavett, and they're also dead tired and wired from having just been at Woodstock. Joni Mitchell listens raptly to them all talk about the experience at Woodstock. Her handlers had convinced her to blow off going to Woodstock to make the Dick Cavett appearance.
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Format: DVD

In the original telecast of the Rolling Stones segment, Cavett interviewed Mick Jagger backstage moments before he was about to perform. The occasion: one of the Stones' famed Madison Square Garden shows on their 1972 US tour. Mick excuses himself to walk onstage, and the cameras follow -- way cool.

Jagger dances out, and the Stones tear into a sledgehammer version of Brown Sugar. It's one of the few times in the band's patchy concert film history cameras manage to perfectly capture the feeling of seeing them live back then. You *are* there -- and it's wonderful.

The original Cavett footage also includes the concert closer, Street Fighting Man. The Stones were on fire this night. They were a year away from what many consider their performing peak, the 1973 European tour. Second guitarist Mick Taylor propelled them to an unprecedented level of intensity.


The Stones footage was a late addition to this set, delaying its originally scheduled release date. Previously, permission had been denied by the band. For reasons unknown, Jagger relented at the last minute. But with a caveat -- the DVD could only feature two minutes of each of the Stones' two songs.

-- WHY?

One might guess, concern about bootlegging. But the Rolling Stones would take a paltry financial hit if copies a 32-year old performance of two songs hit the black market. No. The more likely suspect is ego.

Jagger has been scrupulously blocking the release -- on either CD or DVD -- of (additional) Mick Taylor-era live material. Mick admitted years back in a lengthy interview with Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner that a lot of people consider the Taylor years the band's finest incarnation.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Dick Cavett Show aired on ABC at 11:30 pm from 1969-1974 as an alternative to The Tonight Show Staring Johnny Carson. Both shows were 90 minutes then, and while both men were comedians, Cavett having been a writer for Jack Paar, The Dick Cavett Show had less emphasis on humor and more on intelligent conversation. As a result, Cavett was able to secure guests that other talk shows could not. He often devoted the entire show to a single guest. Groucho Marx was once Cavett's only guest for entire week. Marlon Brando, Katherine Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Noel Coward, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine all made appearances on The Dick Cavett Show. Cavett always engaged his guests in conversation, rather than simply interviewing them, or waiting for an opportunity to make a joke as talk show hosts constantly do nowadays. I am hoping that this release will be the first in a long line of excerpts from the Cavett archives. Many great rock stars joined Dick Cavett for a performance and interview. One classic episode featured Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Jefferson Airplane, fresh from Woodstock, sitting on the floor surrounded by young fans and Joni Mitchell. Dick replaced his usual neck tie for a corny neckerchief. Cavett has recorded new introductions to the segments included on this DVD set, which appears to be a very good beginning of what could be a great series of DVDS.
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By A.S. on March 23, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great video collection if you have any interest in rock & cultural history. I was born in '72, and find this stuff an interesting statement on the cultural norms & upheavals of the late 60s & early 70s. I haven't made it through all the episodes yet, but Janis Joplin is electric in her performances.

The Sly Stone interview is funny and sad at the same time. Fresh performance.

The Bowie interview intriguing. Check out the late Luther Vandross singing backup in his leisure suit.

Finally, the Jefferson Airplane, CSN and Joni Mitchell episode is fresh off the heels of Woodstock - something I didn't know until I watched.

If you like music and rock history, get it.
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