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I will be honest: as a kid I had NO IDEA who Don Kirshner was or why he
would have to show his face on every episode. What I did find was the
spoof of him on another of my favorite late night shows, "Saturday
Night Live" extremely funny. that being said, its amazing when you get
older you wish you knew then..what you know now.
What I know NOW is that Mr. Kirshner was the biggest mogul in the music industry and the television industry -- with many folks under his belt from Bobby Darin to the Monkees (okay, I was a kid and I loved these guys!), the Archies and running record label after record label and simultaneously President of Screen Gems, etc., etc. So placing his stamp on "Rock Concert" was not an ego thing, but an educational thing. And he brought a weekly series to late night TV that got us "into" the music.
This, along with "The Midnight Special" and "Saturday Night Live" defined the 70's generation. While placing this on DVD may be dated to some music fans of today, it should be done so many can see to whom the acts today obviously copied from. (Sampling, etc.) This show was exciting... raw...and for a kid like me who was NO WHERE near a legal age to get into rock clubs or go to concerts...this was the only access I had. I couldn't WAIT to get 18 and do the "circuit" in New York.
Watching Pat Benatar on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert was the defining moment for me. She was new, exciting -- and always at CBGB's in new York..a place I couldn't WAIT to go to -- or play in. Forget the GoGo's and the Bangles who were to come later - this was the lady to watch. Sadly by the time I got of age, CBGB's was gone....(at least I got to go to The Ritz..once!!!)MTV was in and many you know the rest of the story.
Don Kirshner's Rock Concert is another wonderful piece of music history that should be on DVD and a part of every music program in Colleges and Univerities..as well as the music fanatic's home.
The reason that is not out on DVD is that several years back, Kirshner
turned all the masters (reportedly they are in near pristine condition)
over to a company called Historic Films, which is a historical archive
organization. The footage is made available for a fee to Film and
Television Producers, Ad Agencies, Corporate Producers, Feature Film
Producers and Documentary Filmmakers as stock footage.
It sounds like, unless Historic Films agree to it, DVDs of Rock Concert will never be released. That is a shame because I lived and breathed for Saturday nights in the 70s when that show came on the tube. I would be the first in line to buy the DVDs if they ever were released. Rock Concert and the Midnight Special may be the only sources of quality footage of many of the 70s greatest rock bands.
In the days before MTV, this show along with "American Bandstand" and "The Midnight Special" was the only way for most fans of rock and r&b fans to see many of their favorite artists without going to a concert. Despite the boring intros by Don Kirschner (who acted as not only producer, but occasionally as host as well) this was one of the finest teen oriented shows on television. What made it especially great was that unlike "Bandstand", most of the bands actually performed live and didn't have to resort to the practice of lip synching. This show will always be one of the few bright spots of the 1970's music scene.
Growing up in the pre-MTV era, there was a slew of music video shows including "Rock Concert", "Night Flight", and others who wanted to transfer music to TV. This kind of show is what MTV and VH1 should have been. Every week Kirschner would give a little history of the band and the performance you were about to see then sit back and let the music roll. Some of my best Friday nights were spent watching this show... ;-)
This was the greatest late night rock show of the 70s. I just can't understand why this series has not been released on DVD.It showcased the best names in rock of the day.I remember when i was a kid i always tried to stay up late on Saturday nights to watch rock concert.Kirshner was the coolest announcing the bands before their performance. The show not only had the popular bands but also the underground groups as well. This made it very original a appealed to a wider audience.Again i am baffled why this is not available to the public.You will never see it on any TV station today.Although VH1 did air some back in 1996.Only problem was they butchered the shows and it was a tease but at the same time it was good to see a sneak peak of it after all those years. This Show Rocked!!!
Don Kirshner's Rock Concert is a television music variety show that ran during the 1970s and early 1980s, created and produced by Don Kirshner and syndicated to television stations. It premiered on 27 September 1973 with a performance by The Rolling Stones; its last episode was in 1981. In September 1973 Kirshner left "In Concert" to produce and host his own syndicated weekly rock-concert program called Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. With its long-form live performances, as compared to canned, often lip-synced performances that were the staple of earlier TV shows like Shindig!, it was a real breakthrough. The program featured many of the popular performers of the day during its run. Other notable guests included The Eagles, KISS, Foghat, The Ramones, Kansas and The Allman Brothers Band. The total number of episodes is 230.
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