The Pinetar Rag

August 18, 2007

Beatles on Tonight Show, Johnny Carson, Joe Garagiola

There was a post recently and someone asked about the Beatles Lennon/McCartney appearance on The Tonight Show while Joe Garagiola was the guest host. I have never seen the bit and would guess that it doesn’t exist or it would have turned up somehow, somewhere. I seem to recall that much of the early Carson 1960’s era shows were not saved. That stuff always amazed me but I guess it was considered too expensive. You can buy every show Jack Benny ever did from 1938 to 1960 on ebay for about 10 dollars. Go figure.

But this had come up and I wrote the original post from memory and the memory was reading a book by Craig Tennis called “Johnny Tonight”, published in 1980. I was at my parent’s house last night and I found the book in a desk and opened it right to the Beatles page. Weird. So since I was photographing old family photo albums to digitize the shots, I took shots of the story from Tennis’ book. His words:







  1. There is an 8mm film of part of the interview floating around out there and there is also a “bad” audio version I heard once on the net made by someone who put a tape recorder up against their TV speakers. You can read a full transcript at this URL

    I hope this helps!

    Comment by Robert Rouse — August 19, 2007 @ 12:05 am | Reply

  2. Fog – Cool post. Here’s an interesting aside. Patti, Jack and I stayed out in Amagansett for a week recently. We went into town to grab some lunch and Paul McCartney rides his bicycle right up to the cafe where we were eating, ordered and sat down at the table next to us. I try not to get too star-struck, but I admit I was on this occasion. I didn’t bother him to get a photo or talk to him, but he was very nice to everyone, even though people were gawking at him. A brush with fame I guess.

    Comment by John Walker — August 19, 2007 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  3. Wow! That’s neat. Since he’s a Scouser, I would have b***ed about the call in the Chelsea match, to which he would have called security…

    Comment by mcgonnigle — August 20, 2007 @ 7:36 am | Reply

  4. I’ve been in that loading ramp. didn’t see ’em

    Comment by Tom — August 27, 2007 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  5. Thanks for the story, here’s the link to the video;

    Comment by dylan — January 12, 2008 @ 1:57 am | Reply

  6. Hello. It is four years since the last post on this site, but I have information of interest on “The Lost Beatles Interview.” In brief–I have it. Audio only, and also recorded by putting a small Sony reel-to-reel mic up to the TV speaker, but it sounds absolutely fantastic, clear and clean throughout. The tape runs almost 30 minutes, and includes the show’s opening, a musical tribute by the Tonight Show Band, and the entire interview with John and Paul by an awkward Joe Garagiola, with aging actress Tallulah Bankhead not helping any with her comments. I am open to offers on obtaining a digital copy of this historical piece of broadcasting, thought for over 40 years to be nonexistent, or any suggestions on how best to market it.

    Comment by Jon Katz — January 24, 2012 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  7. Hardly nonexistent — it’s been circulating for decades and is widely available on multiple bootlegs. A simple Google search will yield a number of places to download it.

    I likewise taped it when it aired but instead of holding a mic to the tv speaker, I connected two alligator clips directly to the inside speaker feeds to, in effect, create a line input.

    “How best to market it” is to erase that thought from one’s memory.

    Comment by donz — January 25, 2012 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

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