rock n' roll royalty
James Brown and Mick Jagger circa 1964

(Carpinteria, CA)   Brought out of the vault and finally released to DVD after 50 years of sitting on the shelf, the star-filled rock n’ roll 1964 concert film, “The T.A.M.I. Show” will be screened Saturday, August 23 at 7:15pm at the Plaza Playhouse Theater, Carpinteria. The Playhouse will use the one-time only event to raise funds for the purchase of a real ‘big screen’ for the intimate theatre.

The show, conceived as a live-concert-to-tape-to-film event, was shot over a two-day period in late October 1964 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. It featured many of the greatest rock n’ roll acts of the day: Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Lesley Gore, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and the Famous Flames, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, plus Jan and Dean (who were the hosts). Roster of entertainers also included: The Barbarians, Gerry and The Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas. The house band for the T.A.M.I. show was the famous group of studio musicians called “The Wrecking Crew.” In the audience were students from nearby junior and senior high schools who had been given free tickets—including future director John Landis and actor/singer David Cassidy.

This one-time only presentation of the “T.A.M.I. Show” will serve as a fundraiser for the non-profit theater, which is on track to purchase a new, much wider screen for the venue. It will be 20’x12’ and allow for the showing of many of the great wide screen classics of the past 60 years as well as contemporary films.

“It needs to be electrically retractable so we can use the stage, it’s a lot more expensive that your typical static screen,” said Peter Bie, Film and TV Coordinator for the theater, who also serves as secretary on the board of directors. “We’ve received a generous pledge of $10,000 toward the new screen, but our challenge is to match that amount by the December 31, 2014 deadline this year.”

Wondering what the acronym “T.A.M.I.” means? Alternately known as ‘Teenage Awards Music International’ or ‘Teen Age Music International,’ the film was released to theaters on December 29, 1964. It later suffered a serious alteration after the Beach Boys requested more money for their sequence. When the producers declined, the group demanded their set be cut from the film.

“After it was taken off the theatrical circuit, it seemed to just disappear and over the years took on rather mythical proportions, becoming known as the best rock n’ roll concert movie most people have never seen…or heard of,” said Bie.

It took many years of working out all the legal rights, but Dick Clark Productions was finally able to issue a fully restored DVD in 2010 — with the Beach Boys set intact. This is also the version that will be screened at the Plaza Theater in Carpinteria.

“One of the most amazing things about this film is its clarity,” noted Bie, “which is due to the use of a whiz bang technology of the day called Electronovision–a very early type of higher definition process for recording to videotape. And then it was transferred to 35mm film.” Bie said the concert will look great on the theater’s current screen, and added, “It will really rock on our sound system.”

To provide an insider’s look at how it all came together, the Plaza Theater has invited the film’s producer/director, Steve Binder, to give a first person account of what was involved to gather all the acts for a show that would require two days of performances; the best of each then edited into the final cut.

Binder will take the stage at 7:15pm to give some background on “The T.A.M.I. Show” which will roll at 7:30. He’ll return for the full Q&A after the screening so stick around. He’ll also have on hand copies of his 2008 book, “68 at 40,” a retrospective about the making and airing of the highly rated Elvis Presley “Comeback Special” which he produced and directed in 1968.

“This is a great way to end the summer with such a ‘feel good’ movie”, said Bie. “If you lived through the mid ‘60s, this will send you right back; if you’re too young to know the era, this is a great way to see what was happening, musically, at the time. Keep in mind this show was recorded just seven months after the Beatles hit America’s shores. Even the Rolling Stones appear a ‘bit wet behind the ears.’ It’s a piece of musical history never to be replicated and Steve Binder was there to see it all happen. Imagine the stories he’s got to tell.”  With the new film biopic of James Brown about to hit theaters on August 1, Bie said to see that movie and then “come see the real deal in the “T.A.M.I.” Show. “You’ll leave the theater amazed at Brown’s electrifying stage performance!”

411::  Tickets for the “T.A.M.I. Show” are $20 each and available for purchase now on the theaters’ website: www.plazatheatercarpinteria.com. Doors open at 6:30pm and tickets (if available) can be purchased at the box office the night of the show. Located at 4916 Carpinteria Ave. the theatre is wheelchair accessible. Phone number for more info: 805.684.6380 or e-mail us at: info@plazatheatercarpinteria.com. Along with the typical fare of popcorn, soft drinks and candy, the theater also serves beer and wine at the concession stand for your pleasure.


this story was in the Winter 2014 issue of Food & Home magazine



By Maureen “Mo” McFadden


There’s a catch phrase in the American lexicon, “You can’t go home again,” but I beg to differ because my favorite watering hole, located at 126 E. Canon Perdido Street once home to the legendary Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens re-opened as the Pickle Room on October 5, 2013. Entering that night, was like walking back in time; proving I could go home again to the “Cheers” like bar where ‘everybody knew my name.’ Legions of fans agreed and they all showed up for the grand opening. Restored lovingly by the father and son team of Bob and Clay Lovejoy, the Pickle Room is welcoming new admirers as well as embracing the old regulars who, like me, found friendships and camaraderie inside its walls. The vibe is still alive.


The room is pitch perfect with the signature pagoda roof now matching the length of the restored red bar, the original oriental lanterns, vintage Asian pin-up girl posters, the “double happiness” symbols and a giant good luck red knot on the gold painted walls, make this a room an authentic throw back while honoring the people who worked and lived there for 66 years – the Chung Family. The original outdoor sign now dominates the back wall of the bar. Tommy Chung, who took over the reins from his dad Jimmy in the 1970s, gave the Lovejoy’s his blessing to use the sign. One of the most important parts of the successful equation was to include Willy Gilbert, who dominated as bartender, DJ, conversationalist, and master joke-teller at Jimmy’s for more than 25 years. He came back to manage the bar and works a few nights a week. Yes, Willy’s eclectic jazz soundtrack is back fueled by a great sound system from Sonos.


Willy and the Lovejoys’ have assembled rock star line up of well-known bartenders including: Chris Wright (who tended bar at Piatti’s for 15 years before it closed), “Jersey” Dave (formerly at Piatti’s and Palmieri’s), PJ Sweet (from Chase and Wine Cask) and “Boston” Jack (whose Bloody Mary was named one of the ten best in the U.S.). These men all come with advanced degrees in mixology, warmth and knowledge of how to create loyal customers – important ingredients for any cocktail lounge. House special signature drinks include: Willy’s Hornitas Margarita; Tommy’s Mai Tai; Old Fashioned; Singapore Sling; and Moscow Mule. The Pickle-tini and shots of pickle juice drawn from the large pickle jar as backs for shots of hard liquor bring the name Pickle Room to life… so, you can get pickled there, literally. (Just take a cab home if you do get pickled).


But wait, it gets better. Chef Weston Richards, whose work at Julian and Wine Cask has been heralded, helped to design the menu with Clay. One of the most popular items on the menu is a hybrid of deli + Chinese cuisine – the Reuben Eggroll. The gastronomic delight has three eggrolls filled with pastrami & Swiss cheese served with Russian dressing dipping sauce that has a slight bite of horseradish. It is a taste sensation. If you appreciate a really good hamburger – look no further. Clay, who had his own meat business in Ventura, grinds all the beef in house making the burger one of the juiciest on the planet. Munch the deep fried pickles with panko crust or try the shrimp – both a treat for the taste buds.


Longtime regular of the bar is artist Gary Chafe whose painting of the old Jimmy’s now adorns a t-shirt available for purchase. 


Open six days a week: Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4:30 to 6pm; Kitchen opens at 5:30 Monday to Saturday. Closing times Monday – Wednesday 11 pm and Thursday through Saturday till 1 am. Kitchen closes earlier. Phone: (805) 965-1015. For more info visit: https://www.facebook.com/PickleRoom

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