It can be hard to track down some of the great classic rock performances, or it was, until YouTube became populated with them over the past three years. Performances that have not been available on video, or were only found on obscure videos, are available on the site.
The site is home to some incredibly rare performances, including the oldest known video of The Beatles playing live. The 1962 recording was taken at the Cavern Club amidst a crowd of suited boys and ratted-haired girls. The Beatles have countless other videos as well, including snippets from both Help! and A Hard Day's Night. Also present is the quintessential hippie video of all time- John and Yoko's rendition of Give Peace a Chance during the bed-in.
There are several Donovan live TV performances available, including a duet with Bobbie Gentry. The two sat on the floor singing There is a Mountain to Donovan's acoustic guitar. There are several other Donovan performances available, including more current ones. It's possible to watch his progression from a young, idealistic hippie to a graying, mature rocker in the span of an hour or two.
The Mamas and the Papas can be found playing on the show Hollywood Palace. Ok, they were lip syncing, but the members are there and the song Monday, Monday is playing. There is also a 1966 shopping-frenzy video to the song I Saw Her Again.
There are countless clips of performances from the Monkees TV show. One interesting one is the Randy Scouse Git video that appeared at the end of one episode of the show. Mickey is unable to lip sync to the scat portion and resorts to covering his mouth during much of it.
The Yardbirds can be seen in black and white in a 1965 performance of For Your Love as well as later songs.
There are several memorable Woodstock performances on YouTube. Jefferson Airplane's performance of White Rabbit features a spectacularly frizzy-haired Grace Slick. Janis Joplin performs Ball and Chain in a one-of-a-kind soulful rendition of the song. Also check out the memorable Woodstock performances of Country Joe and Joe Cocker.