When Supertramp made their debut on The Midnight Special in the summer of 1975, the show’s producers were in the mood to innovate. The broadcast would be an A&M special, with label head honcho Herb Albert (the ‘A’ in ‘A&M’) hosting and performing, plus appearances from roster acts The Captain and Tennille, Billy Preston and Phoebe Snow.
That wasn’t all. A “rock rap” section was planned, during which actress Carol Wayne (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I Dream Of Jeannie, Celebrity Sweepstakes) would perform a two minute narration about musicians in the news.
And, for unknown reasons, Suprtramp’s performance of Bloody Well Right would be broadcast mostly in negative. It’s horrible, but singer/pianist Rick Davis gets off lightly, his parts shown in normal colour before the camera fades back to garish shades of red as green as the rest of the musicians appear. We imagine the experiment was not repeated.
It’s some performance, mind, finding Supertramp playing their debut US hit (Bloody Well Right was initially released as the b-side to Dreamer the previous year, but radio stations picked up on it, and it became the band’s breakthrough). It’s shorter than the live version that evolved in time to be included on the Paris live album four years later, but Rick Davis’s iconic Wurlitzer intro is in place, as are Roger Hodgson’s wah-wah guitar and John Helliwell’s sax – assuming you can get past that bathed-in-vomit lighting.
Supertramp also played Hide In Your Shell on the show, which was added to The Midnight Special‘s online archive in July. Both clips are below.