“The World Sucks, Come Watch T.V.” . . . . : In Concert And The Midnight Special

Nobody exists on purpose
Nobody belongs anywhere
Everybody’s gonna die
Come watch T.V.
– Rick and Morty

I am a pessimist by nature. Over the course of the last several years that pessimism has morphed into a Rick Sanchez like cosmic nihilism. But when nothing matters it’s gets scary easy to just say “fuck it, fuck them all”. But with recent events, I’m trying to consider an alternative framework to view the universe. I’m still processing this all . . .

I remember when in the early 1970’s, television began to put on shows dedicated to rock music. They were on late Friday nights, after their respective networks late night talk shows. This is pre-internet, pre-cable television. I was too young to be out that late so I was glued to the television when these shows came on.

The best of the lot in my opinion was In Concert, which was shown on ABC. The format was straight forward: bands were taped “in concert”. It’s premier episode was the broadcast of a concert taped at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY on September 21, 1972 that featured Alice Cooper, Bo Diddley, Curtis Mayfield and Seals & Crofts. I recall that there was some “controversy” over Alice Cooper and his horror show theatrics prior to the show’s airing. In fact when the episode did actually air, the broadcast was terminated early in Cincinnati, Ohio. Apparently the station manager of the ABC affiliate station was watching the Alice Cooper segment and was so disgusted by it that he called the station’s master control room and ordered the station to take it off the air with a rerun of Rawhide quickly put in it’s place.

ALICE COOPER GROUP – I’m Eighteen ( ABC In Concert ’72)

ALICE COOPER GROUP / School’s Out (ABC In Concert ’72)


The second episode, broadcast on December 8, 1972 featured The Allman Brothers Band. This was the last performance of bassist Berry Oakley, who died following a motorcycle accident a month before the broadcast.

The Allman Brothers Band – Full Concert – 11/02/72 – Hofstra University (OFFICIAL)


The Midnight Special was a much slicker “Hollywood” production. Instead of filming a band live on stage, here bands performed in a television studio in front of an audience. To their credit, the bands did actually perform live which was uncommon for the time since most television appearances during the era showed performers lip-synching to prerecorded music. As the compilation videos below show, they had some really good bands on the show. A partial list of some of the bands: Doobie Brothers, T-Rex, David Bowie, Blondie, Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Fleetwood Mac.

The Midnight Special 1973 –

The Midnight Special Million Sellers – 


This all is but a temporary diversion from the dumpster fire that is our world right now but maybe we all just need a little nostalgic respite before we all go out to fight the good fight.

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Posted in Classic Rock, Music Appreciation and Analysis

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