My five-star rating requires some qualification. If you love John and Yoko, identify with their truly human blend of idealism and realism, and feel that the world has digressed politically since 1972, then you will agree with all five stars. For the more casual fan, there may be too many breaks from the “juicier” segments with John and Yoko. A good deal of time is spent with the other guests, and Mike Douglas isn’t exactly the ultimate host (although he isn’t bad). But for the kindred spirit, the array of radical guests chosen by John and Yoko (such as Black Panther leader Bobby Seale, political activist Jerry Rubin, consumer activist Ralph Nader, radical comedian George Carlin, and many other socially relevant people) may be seen as an extension of their personalities and of the era, thus providing valuable context to these two unique and precious people. It’s the human message in a variety of forms, and these perspectives are, at least to me, every bit as relevant now as they were then. And John and Yoko do interact with them all. All in all, a real slice of life from the era.
Not that there aren’t several John-and-Yoko gems, too. There are two or three live performances or rare video clips per episode, good questions from Mike Douglas (and, in episode 5, the audience), good banter, and some offbeat surprises (such as a Japanese folk song and cup reconstruction from Yoko).
So all in all, the amount of patience required (as well as how much you will use the fast-forward button on your remote) will be directly proportionate to how much of a die-hard fan you are of these two people and the times to which these videos return us.
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To the best of my knowledge, this set of John & Yoko’s appearance on The Mike Douglas Show was only ever officially released by Rhino on VHS. “Factory sealed” is a great way to ensure credible deniability. This is likely a DVD-R. A great week of shows, and well worth watching, but not worth nearly $1,300.00.
I think the first review about says it all, but I disagree slightly with some comments. I think that, considering the time period and the medium, Mike Douglas is a fantastic host. He’s easy to watch, so he won’t turn you off. Also, I found all of the shows to be completely interesting. Perhaps I’m just silly, but I found all of the guests to be facinating and had fun trying to think on which ideals being discussed then are now realities– like recycling.
I found viewing all of the tapes to be inspirational as, if it takes thirty years to make such-and-such happen, then in thirty years from now, we could expect such-and-so. For example, thirty years ago, we were just learning about the ill–effects of smoking. Discrimination meant demonstrations– which have now become legal issues that have worked themselves through the courts. Granted there is a good deal more to do to make the world work better, but the tapes gave me a good perspective on how persistence can mean good changes.
In any case, there is both a good history lesson as well as some good brain food in these tapes– and some great music, art, and humor to keep it entertaining. I don’t think that you need to be big John and Yoko fans to enjoy these. I think there is enough good content and variety to appeal to anyone simply interested in that period of time or issues regarding how mass media can be used to get out important information to people– even if controversial.