John Lennon and Yoko Onoâ€™s two visits to The Dick Cavett Show stand out from their numerous television appearances as their most relaxed, in-depth interviews. Clearly they enjoyed being with Cavett. They even cast him in one of their films. The September 11, 1971, show is notable as the first American television interview John gave after the breakup of The Beatles. So comfortable were the Lennons that after the show was over they continued talking with Cavett. The additional portions of that first interview were shown as part of The Dick Cavett Show on September 24, 1971. During that visit theyâ€™d discussed coming back and giving a live performance. True to their word, for their appearance on Cavettâ€™s show on May 11, 1972, they returned with Elephants Memory and each sang one song.
3 complete episodes of the legendary late-night talk show featuring John Lennon and Yoko Onoâ€™s most candid interviews as well as rare live performances With New Episode Introductions and the Bonus Featurette Cavett And The Lennons
Three complete episodes: *September 11, 1971 â€“ John & Yoko are Cavettâ€™s only guests. They show clips from their experimental films Fly and Erection as well as promotional films for the songs "Imagine" and "Mrs. Lennon."
*September 24, 1971 â€“ Cavett introduces the three additional segments from John & Yoko's appearance on September 11, 1971 and also welcomes Stan Freberg and Robert Citron.
*May 12, 1972 â€“ John & Yoko perform live with the band Elephantâ€™s Memory in their second visit with Cavett. John sings "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World" and Yoko sings "Weâ€™re All Water." Actress Shirley MacLaine is also on hand. John Lennon devotees (and, to a lesser extent, Beatles fans in general) should be delighted with The Dick Cavett Show - John Lennon & Yoko Ono, which collects (on two discs) his three appearances on the TV talk show in 1971 and '72. It won't be because of the music; there's very little of that, and what there is, frankly, is not great. Of much more interest is the opportunity to see and hear Lennon, then in his early thirties, talk about matters both slight (his new haircut, the state of television in England) and significant (the Nixon administration's efforts to deport him, Lennon and Ono's battle for shared custody of her daughter from an earlier marriage). Always the most verbally agile of the Beatles, Lennon appears here with his rapier wit (on Yoko's chain smoking: "Every time I kiss her, I burn my chin") and penchant for punning (when Cavett appears without neckwear, Lennon calls him "tie-less in Gaza") intact. He also tirelessly plugs his and Ono's various activities, which gets a little old, but his passion for and commitment to their causes are undeniable. Don't expect much Beatles talk; while he evidences no bitterness about the band's demise, neither does he indulge in any sentimentality (although it's poignant, given his murder in 1980, to hear him say that he'd never want to be onstage singing "She Loves You" at age 50). As for the two live performances (there's also an "Imagine" film clip), both coming at the end of the third Cavett show, let's just say that the Lennons' collaboration with the New York band Elephant's Memory, which yielded the album Sometime in New York City and the two songs they play here (his strident "Woman is the Nigger of the World" and her "We're All Water"), wasn't exactly their creative zenith. --Sam Graham