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Barry Richards TV Collection, Vol. 1

    Ian Jane

  • Barry Richards TV Collection, Vol. 1 (DVD/CD)

    Released by: Resurrection Productions
    Released on: November 1, 2011.
    Director: Various
    Cast: Barry Richards
    Year: 1968-1971
    Purchase Here!

    The Movie:

    If, like this writer, you had no idea who Barry Richards was, don't let that stop you from digging right into this set from Resurrection Productions, as you'd be doing yourself a great disservice. Who was this guy? Evidently he was a popular disc jockey who operated out of D.C. and who, in the late sixties, had a string of oddball UHF TV shows in which he managed to book some pretty impressive talent. Not just a collection of flash in the pan/flavor of the month artists, Richards' shows put together a great mix of then current artists and more established acts as well.

    The early material, as seen on Groove-In, had more of a teen-centric approach showing Richards dressed neatly in a suit with a bit of a pompadour, interviewing local teenagers about fashion, the latest movies and more. This is entertaining enough from a novelty perspective and can be frequently hilarious, if unintentionally so. Once the sixties turn into the seventies, however, the content gets a lot more interesting.

    Before we get to that, however, let's take a look at the contents of the DVD:

    GROOVE-IN (1968):

    Prince George's Community Center / Cliff Nobles 'The Horse' / Groove-In Teen Panel Cliff Nobles Interview / Groove-In Movies: 2001 A Space Odyssey / Groove-In Fashions / The Flavor 'Sally Had A Party'


    Richie Havens 'Handsome Johnny' / Jamul 'Tobacco Road' / Jamul Interview With Little Richard And Uncle Dirty / Zephyr 'St. James Infirmary' / Uncle Dirty, Little Richard Interview / Little Richard 'Good Golly Miss Molly'

    BARRY RICHARDS TURN-ON (1970-1971):

    Alice Cooper 'Eighteen' and 'Black Juju' / Humble Pie 'Rollin' Stone ' / Bob Seger System 'Lucifer,' 'Song For Rufus,' Ramblin' Gamblin' Man' / Fats Domino With The Byrds 'I'm In Love Again,' 'I'm Ready, 'Blueberry Hill,' 'Walkin' To New Orleans' / Biff Rose 'Myrtle's Pies,' Jesus And Mary Magdalene,' and 'Nothing To Gain'


    The Illusion 'When I Metcha Baby,' 'Did You See Her Eyes,' 'Man,' 'Let's Make Each Other Happy' / Crow 'Cottage Cheese,' 'Don't Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock N Roll'


    Rory Gallagher 'Walk On Hot Coals' / Muddy Waters 'Baby Please Don't Go,' Interview Excerpt, 'Got My Mojo Workin'

    So yeah, there's a lot of stuff here. Some of the more obvious highlights include Fats Domino playing with The Byrds backing him. Fats is in fine form here, smiling his way through a few tracks, his grin sincere and infectious - just try not to smile along with him here. The Alice Cooper footage is amazing here. Richards does a really quick chat with Alice before the performance starts and then wisely gets out of the way as the band kicks into Eighteen and gives it their all. It's when they slide into Black Juju that they get really intense, though. Even here, performing on a small stage in front of a small and somewhat confused looking studio audience you can really get a feel for the direction that this band would soon take, and those theatrics that made Alice Cooper a household name, while somewhat restrained here compared to some of his later material, still make these two songs a lot of fun.

    Little Richard pops up but doesn't have much to say in the interviews, probably because Richards and beatnik comedian Uncle Dirty appear stoned out of their minds, but his live version of the classic 'Good Golly Miss Molly' is as flamboyant as you'd expect. And then there's the Bob Seger System. It's easy to associate Seger with garbage like Night Moves but there was a time when he rocked right alongside other Motor City greats like The Stooges and the MC5 and it's plain to see that, at this point in his career, Seger still knows how to bring it. The Humble Pie performance is fun, just to get a gander at a scruffy and bearded young Peter Frampton noodling away on guitar on the right hand side of the stage, while Muddy Waters' two tracks and interview here are just flat out awesome.

    Of course, how much mileage you get out of this set will depend on your musical tastes and preferences, and not everything here is going to be something you watch over and over again but even the lesser material (a stoned Biff Rose wailing away on the piano is funny enough but not very good) is worth checking out once. Throughout all of this is Richards' presence, introducing each band and providing some fun, psychedelic intros throughout the content. The fact that most of this material hasn't really been seen before outside of tape trader circles and has never been seen before in the condition its presented here will probably be enough to lure some in, but anyone with an interest in late sixties/early seventies rock n' roll is going to geek out over this collection.


    Well, the video quality here is probably as good as it's going to get. Taken from existing tape elements (that's all there is!) some of this stuff is clean, colorful and quite watchable, other clips, not so much. The good outweighs the bad though, it's really just the 'Lost Turn On B&W Footage' section (with performances by The Illusion And Crow) that looks bad. With that said, it's far better to have this material included than not.

    The Dolby Digital Mono sound is actually pretty good for the most part. There is some distortion here and there but dialogue, what little there is (it's mostly just Barry introducing the bands or conducting quick interviews with them) sounds fine and thankfully the music comes through quite nicely.

    Extras on the DVD itself include an introduction from Barry Richards himself, who notes that most of the people involved with this show were high, and some menus and chapter selection options. Additionally, there's a bonus clip where Barry Interviews a black guy calling himself Iron Jaw Samson who eats a light bulb on camera. Dig a bit deeper into the disc and you'll find a cool still gallery of shots from throughout Barry's career and some audio extras including interviews with Buster Crabbe, Little Richard, James Whitmore, Alice Cooper, and Chris Mitchum (!) with Patrick Wayne. These are pretty fun and worth checking out, the Cooper interview in particular.

    Inside the gatefold packaging, however, is a bonus audio CD including the following:

    -Barry Richards Interviews The Beatles, Parts 1 -3, August 1964.
    -Little Richard With Barry on WUST, 1966.
    -Little Richard's Performance of The Barry Richards Theme, 1966.
    -Turn-On Premiere (show opening with Barry's rap)
    -Turn-On Episode 2 (show opening with Barry's rap)
    -Dr. John Interview from Episode 2
    -Dr. John 'Gris, Gris'
    -Ace Trucking Company performance from Episode 2
    -Ace Trucking Company with Dr. John from Episode 2
    -Dr. John 'Wash Mama Wash'
    -Emmitt Rhodes 'Live Till You Die'
    -Emmitt Walsh 'She's Such A Beauty'
    -Alice Cooper Concert Ad, December 19, 1973, with Barry's voice over.
    -Alice Cooper checks in with Barry on WHMC, 1972.
    -Alice, Phlo and Eddie with Barry on WKTK

    Also included inside the packaging is a nice twenty-four full color booklet containing some writing from Richards himself and from author Joe Hasselvander alongside some great archival clippings and photographs with Barry hanging out with the likes of Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath and Ringo Starr!

    The Final Word:

    So maybe this set doesn't look like the latest and greatest Hollywood blockbuster but who cares! It's a fantastic archive of performances from a great selection of artists that otherwise would have been lost to the ages. Add to that the fact that it's got some great extras too and you wind up with a pretty great set - this one is worth getting just for the Alice Cooper footage alone, here's hoping Volume Two makes it to the market sooner rather than later.

    • David Szulkin
      David Szulkin
      Junior Member
      David Szulkin commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for this review! My best friend produced this disc with Barry RIchards.A note on the footage: Almost ALL of it has never been seen or released whatsoever since it was broadcast over regional UHF television airwaves 40 years ago. And none of it has ever been released as it has here, from the 2-inch broadcast tape masters. This is as good as it gets. The Alice Cooper & Humble Pie footage is incredible. My favrotie is the Bob Seger System footage, which is the only existing LIVE (not lip-synch) video of that band. And the fact that Barry dug up a completely unreleased interview he did with all four Beatles from 1964 is pretty incredible. Plus not one but two unreleased Little Richard songs! Please support this completely independent labor of love. DO not "rip" it, torrent it, YouTube it, etc. Years and years went into making this disc, not to mention the hard work and thousands of dollars. This is straight-up DIY, it's a beautiful package, and it's worth the purchase.Here's a link to a great blog by the drummer of Pentagram, Joe Hasselvander, who also wrote the liner notes fore the DVD...Joe explains what these shows were all about firsthand.

      The DVD got a rave review from filmmaker Nick Zedd which I will post if anyone wants to see what the maker of GEEK MAGGOT BINGO has to say about all of this! Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi also praised the DVD. Here is the website where you can get it:
      David Szulkin
      Junior Member
      Last edited by David Szulkin; 12-04-2011, 02:06 PM.

    • Ian Jane
      Ian Jane
      Ian Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      David, there's a typo in your link - - again, this is a release well worth supporting.

    • David Szulkin
      David Szulkin
      Junior Member
      David Szulkin commented
      Editing a comment
      Fixed - and here is Nick Zedd's review in full.

      The Boss with the Hot Sauce

      Barry Richards TV Collection Vol. 1: Turn-On / Groove In / Rock Out, just released as a two-disc set, is a mesmerizing and fantastic collection of early performances by Alice Cooper, Little Richard, Richie Havens, Bob Seger System, Dr. John the Night Tripper, Biff Rose, Humble Pie and a bunch of obscure rock n roll bands who passed thru the Maryland / D.C. / Virginia area in the late 60s and early seventies when I was growing up there.

      This collection is a lot of fun, bringing back memories of the only counter-culture to make it on local TV at the time...on WDCA channel 20 (a station that actually aired gerbil races as entertainment, along with curiosities like Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark and the first televised airing of Monterey Pop.) Forty years later (with Internet and thousands of TV channels) anyone under the age of 20 will have no idea how deprived we were for excitement at a time when revolutionary changes were taking place around the world.

      For a 12-year-old kid, living in Hyattsville, then Adelphi, Maryland, the world of rock n roll was an exotic other dimension accessible only on 45 records and LPs (bought with allowance money at Drug Fair after listening to Top Forty Radio on a portable transistor radio.) Live concerts were years away on my limited budget, so television was the magical portal when Dick Clark, Ed Sullivan or the Smothers Brothers featured nationally aired performances of top bands to millions of viewers.

      Life in Maryland in 1970 was particularly boring to anyone with a brain reading about what was going on in the big cities. In Adelphi, everyone was square; classmates in Junior High were conformists kept in line by bullies, assistant principals and local church leaders. Jocks and cheerleaders were considered royalty. Dullards and fools ruled. There were no blacks in our school until court-ordered busing introduced immigration to us. Racism was the norm. Long hair on males didn't happen in our section of the planet until the year 1971. Most kids were mean or stupid back then, brainwashed by conformity, religion and racism.

      When a local DJ named Barry Richards hosted a new show on UHF channel 20 called Turn On, informing us that it would be "free form television" I was hooked. Little did I know that Richards had been around since the early sixties, DJing on local radio in Washington, Maryland and New Jersey, actually interviewing the Beatles and later Little Richard (who custom-wrote and performed the Barry Richards Theme; major props for sure.) Both interviews are on the Disc Two Bonus CD. Barry Richards was so hip, intelligent and funny he makes the Beatles seem mundane by comparison. Likewise in his conversations with Dr John, Chris Mitchum and Patrick Wayne (sons of Bob Mitchum and John Wayne promoting their movie) his hipster patter propels communication to a higher level. His vocal skills are astounding.

      Visiting Barry Richards' website, I checked out old recordings of his on-air rants, brilliant excursions in linguistic inventiveness and bebop patois; revelations from another dimension. Barry Richards must have been the greatest DJ that ever lived, from the evidence I heard. He was the fastest, funniest and hippest voice on the airwaves and he belonged to us! He blew away Wolfman Jack, Murray The K and Cousin Brucie!

      Barry Richards TV Collection Vol.1 starts with a brilliantly amateurish achievement from 1968 called GROOVE-IN featuring local teenagers at the Prince George's Community Center, assembled to witness one-hit wonder Cliff Nobles and his band do the soul hit "The Horse." Shoving his microphone into the mugs of bewildered teens to demand their ages and what high school they attend, Richards, resplendent in a psychedelic black and purple silk shirt with paisley patterns and an out-of-date greaser DA with fashionable sideburns, exudes an infectious nervous energy that rivets one's attention.

      Followed by the Groove-In Teen Panel in which local kids with as much personality as a row of cabbages recite what appear to be pre-written questions for the equally inarticulate but amused 18-year-old Cliff Nobles, I felt my mind being warped by the sheer strangeness of the proceedings. The cardboard sets with Day-Glo letters were a perfect repository for these teen mutants, creatures devoid of style or apparent grey matter placed in chairs behind a snazzy wooden construction similar to “Mac McGarry's That's Academic” (another local show designed to showcase the intellectual skills of local high schoolers.) This bargain basement bizarro world inquisition, refereed by Richards (in a red turtleneck, black nehru jacket and silver medallion) is a marvel to behold, a rare gem of awkwardness and bright-eyed cluelessness, later trumped by a movie review segment in which the squarest-looking humanoid imaginable, a kid named Barry, resembling a giraffe in a monkey suit offers his opinions on Kubrick's 2001. "It didn't look like they were, ah...y'know, like shooting it off a walls or something. It seemed like it was, you know, really shooting it right there in the moon or right, you know, on Jupiter or whatever. The plot was really average. You had to really think a lot."

      This is followed by Kathy, 16 from Fort Hunt High School on the teen board representing a Hechts Department Store, showcasing local fashions, as Barry holds up "threads" on a hanger representing "the Indian look." Resembling a young Stepford Wife, Kathy recites her programmed screed concocted to immortalize mediocrity in clothing apparel for all gullible consumers. Beige is the dominant color, probably in polyester for all style conscious Marylanders.

      Local band Flavor then lip synch "Sally Had a Party" under a cheesy red jet on a pedestal in a park I recognize from my personal stone age. Barry saunters in to conduct an abortive interview, exuding hipster charm in spite of his '50s 'do. "It's gonna be a stone gold nugget!" Barry opines regarding their ditty.There follows Barry Richards Presents: Turn-On Pilot featuring the intense and excellent Richie Havens, before the unaccountable spectacle of talentless hippie buffoon "Uncle Dirty" and a band called Jamul playing in the woods somewhere near the TV station with a now long-haired and bearded Barry in a hippy ensemble next to Little Richard reclining on a car perusing the proceedings.

      What strikes me with some of the more forgettable bands showcased on the tape is the intensity of the vocal performances, raw, ragged and inspired; influenced no doubt by black blues singers from less homogenized origins. The passion and energy of these singers, like Jamul's vocalist, as well as a young Bob Seger (pre-Night Moves) exude genuine fury and are riveting. Seger appears to be having a seizure, channeling years of pent-up angst in a wild performance that left a permanent mark on my psyche when I first witnessed it on the tube 40 years ago. It still lives up to the memory, as does Alice Cooper, performing "Eighteen" and "Black Ju Ju" to a studio audience sitting cross legged on the floor. This performance, following the bands national debut in the one-shot TV special Midsummer Rock left a lasting impression on every teenager who witnessed it in the summer of 1970. They were one of the top three bands in the country by then, breaking new ground and making history by returning rock n roll to its punk roots while bringing horror, fun, sexual perversity and theatricality to a medium in dire need of rejuvenation at the time. Just the idea that this band of trailblazing freaks was performing in a little TV studio a few miles from where I lived gave me a reason to live. A couple years later I saw them live at the Capitol Center, from a coveted third row seat which left me deaf for a week. I loved them.

      Humble Pie, a stadium band that were relentlessly hyped on the radio at the time, are also on this collection, featuring the riveting Steve Marriott whose greatness was cemented as the lead singer of the Small Faces in the 60s, and a very young and bearded Peter Frampton on lead guitar. Marriott, one of the finest singers in the history of rock n roll, is incredible. It doesn't matter what he sings about; the energy he channels is always powerful. He was a kind of rock n roll animal, the likes of which the world will likely never again see. Current singers could learn a lot from watching these performances; irony and ennui are boring; passion and raw power delivered in a forceful manner by a vocalist who cares and means what he's singing about is what real rock n roll is all about. Barry Richards had a keen eye for recognizing such talent. On one of his later shows he presented for the first time on TV a Mick Rock directed promo film of David Bowie on the cusp of achieving world fame as Ziggy Stardust.

      Missing on this collection are historic performances by Captain Beefheart as well as Black Sabbath and Steppenwolf. Lets hope they appear in a Volume Two, along with more of Barry Richards great interviews with visiting actors and celebrities. Included on the new volume is an audio interview with Flash Gordon's Buster Crabbe. One of the best things about the free-form series Turn-On was its eclectic flavor; in between episodes of old serials like Jungle Girl and The Bowery Boys would appear interviews and performances by singers like Biff Rose and comedic interludes with visiting talents like The Ace Trucking Company.

      I give this collection five stars.

      -Nick Zedd

      link to DVD website:
      David Szulkin
      Junior Member
      Last edited by David Szulkin; 12-04-2011, 02:12 PM.
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