OMG Did you ever see that show....
June 10, 2009 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Mark Richardson muses about memory, personal history and YouTube. Specifically, he uncovered a storied 1970 Steel Mill gig (with Bruce Springsteen on guitar, audio only) that his wife's uncle MC'ed. And then the 15-year old Boss' garage band, The Castiles. And verified dim memories of seeing Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger and Steven Spielberg discuss radios in your teeth on TV, and John Cale on a TV game show. And an old Highland Appliances TV ad. That kind of thing.
posted by msalt (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Warhol, Spielberg, Jagger thing is beyond WTF. Who'd have thought that with those three people in a room, Spielberg would be the one making the others uncomfortable with the sheer balls-out nutjobbery of his lunatic ravings?

Was this some weird performance piece or was Spielberg just trying terribly terribly hard to seem 'interesting'?
posted by yoink at 12:09 PM on June 10, 2009

To be fair, the first two Springsteen links are old "bootleg" recordings of shows with still images, not actual video from those times. I'm amazed about how many live shows were recorded, well before these artists were well known. Thanks to the internet, these items that were once rarities are now available through bootleg trading circles (often on P2P file sharing circuits).

For whatever reason, I'm more impressed with the 30+ year old videos that people upload to YouTube. Maybe because I can't imagine people actively trading old adverts the same way I can imagine people sharing music.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:10 PM on June 10, 2009

I thought I had imagined the clip where Porky Pig says "son of a bitch" until I saw it on Youtube. Despite the fact it was an injoke for the animators, I definitely saw it on TV as a kid- that's why I semi-remembered it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:04 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Right. That's like the story about a wife on the Newlywed Game TV show saying that the weirdest place she and hubby had made whoopie was "up the butt." It was generally thought to be an urban legend until Snopes found the clip.
posted by msalt at 1:45 PM on June 10, 2009

The Bruce Springsteen mp3 Bootleg Index. Boots for days.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:19 PM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

There's a lot to love about Youtube ... maybe more so if you're old enough to have gotten well into your 30s before the internet in general and filesharing in particular really got serious traction.

I remember a certain guy who wasn't exactly a close friend, but man did he have a cool collection of rare, weird recorded stuff (bootleg albums, cassettes, videos). He lived way the hell on the wrong side of town but I'd make a point of visiting at least once every few months just to check out his latest finds.

We were both prog-rock fans at the time and the one sort of Holy Grail videotape he was always on the lookout for, but never able to find, was a live performance of Suppers Ready by Genesis while Peter Gabriel was still in the band. He didn't even know for sure that it existed, just heard rumors that one of his vinyl bootlegs was in fact the audio track from a TV show that never aired, or maybe aired just once, or maybe just part of it was aired ...

Anyway, twenty odd years later I'm killing time on a Friday night with another old friend, searching for who knows what ... and guess what shows up?

Kids these days. They just don't know what they've got.
posted by philip-random at 2:21 PM on June 10, 2009

It's definitely disorienting to pull very dim memories into current reality. Like this Banana Splits song that was covered by a garagey band I really like. Girl Trouble

My 9 year old daughter thought they were really creepy. Mwahahaha, I thought, wait until you see Witchypoo!
posted by msalt at 2:48 PM on June 10, 2009

I'm more impressed with the 30+ year old videos that people upload to YouTube. Maybe because I can't imagine people actively trading old adverts the same way I can imagine people sharing music.
I always assumed they came from one of two sources: either they were on a VHS tape with a bunch of other stuff, or they were on a shelf in some ad agency or archive and forgotten until the advent of YouTube.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:55 PM on June 10, 2009

I wonder if this is going to continue the emphasis on things that were/are recorded, and diminish live events that aren't.

It's fascinating for collector-types to wonder about Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, or Buffalo Springfield live for example, but with all these amazing videos and audio tapes, how much impact can "you had to be there" stories have?
posted by msalt at 4:13 PM on June 10, 2009

Good article and these videos are great. As much as I hate youtube sometimes, I still love it.
posted by saul wright at 7:44 PM on June 10, 2009

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