Friday, August 28, 2009

David Bowie 11/16/1973 London

WHAT IS IT? The very last performance of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars :
"1980 Floor Show" filmed at the Marquee Club in London on Oct. 19 & 20, 1973 and shown on The Midnight Special TV show on Nov. 16, 1973


1984-dodo/ sorrow/ everything's alright/ space oddity/ 1984(reprise)/ i can't explain/ time/ the jean genie/ i got you babe (with Marianne Faithful)

35 minutes

The first thing that catches your attention here are the truly outlandish Halloween costumes that Bowie has put together for this. He wears more outfits in this program than there are songs and honestly, you can't fault the guy for a lack of individuality. Most people who try too hard to look weird fail miserably. Certainly not the case here.

The next thing that you notice is how Broadway theatrical it all is, people vogue posturing in odd dance numbers that vaguely seem like they are supposed to have some sort of message or something. I have zero appreciation for dance numbers, so I can't really appraise them for you. I will say that they would have been more effective if they had put it on in a bigger room with better camera work and editing. Parts of it come across like high school drama class auditorium.

All of these out-of-touch-with-my-feminine-side type comments aside, I will say that the band weighs in with great rhythm for their version of "I Can't Explain." It trounces the overproduced version on pinups and makes me curious about other live Spiders boots.

(in fact, reviewing this made me go back to take a look at "Moonage Daydream" from the Ziggy film, man is this hitting!)

A more in depth description of this TV special can be found at extremely well laid out presentation of the Ziggy Stardust years...If you are looking to satisfy your curiosity for audio boots of Bowie's live career, should keep you fairly well busy with the download links....

To sum up: This is a 4am cocaine in the living room kind of DVD, (I got the DVD, you bring the coke!) I gotta warn you, though, I'm gonna hit the mute button once or twice...To really sum up, Marianne Faithful puts on a nun's habit to sing: "I got you babe" with Bowie. Getting that on American TV in 1973 is kinda cool. Way cooler than that Zelig/Bing Crosby rot.


Man, have I got a shit version of this. It starts up with no menu. There's some high end noise and the brightness has been cranked up so much that a lot of the picture has disappeared.
Besides that, I suspect it isn't even the full broadcast version- could be wrong about that, though.

Stumbling around the internet in order to write this, I discovered that there is a 6 DVD set making the rounds which consists of all of the outtakes from the floorshow. That's a bit much for me, but I did find a torrent for one of them on minniova and had a look at it. It's got a timecode strip, but other than that the sound and picture are broadcast quality. It's interesting to skip through-My own peculiar bent of mind finds it more interesting than the finished show. I've seen some footage of Bowie where he was obviously getting a little delusional with one of his personae. Here, he's just hard at work on a TV show, always laid back in charge and kind of distantly amused at how silly it is. The Troggs do a couple numbers on this outtakes disc.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Missing Persons 05/30/1983 US Festival


this disc in mastered on a stand alone and is 3.04 GB

Here's somebody else description:

"This 3 part DVD includes the rare music videos produced in the early 1980s, the complete 1983 US Festival live concert, and an interview with Dale and Terry Bozzio by Martha Quinn when Missing Persons first made their debut in the early 80s.

First up is the complete '83 US Festival live concert (54:23). Tracks performed are as follows:

Mental Hopscotch
Noticable one
It ain't none of your business
Bad Streets
US Drag
Here and now
Walking in LA
I like boys
Destination Unknown
No way out


Promo Videos:

Right Now
Destination Unknown
Surrender Your Heart
I Can't Think About Dancing

An early live performance of "Windows" on Solid Gold

Martha Quinn interview with Terry and Dale Bozzio. (9:12)"


...The US festival footage is professionally shot and easy to watch...There is a little high end tape noise, but it is not too bothersome...Band performs well- a bunch of musos, really. They jam a bit during US Drag and its obvious they're far more skilled than the pop songs they're trying to hit with. I nodded off once or twice, so if the above tracklist is wrong, email me with the details..

The first three videos look and sound excellent, but the audio quality drops dramatically on the last two...

the "windows" is a lip synch...

There is footage in the MTV interview from their first video, but that is not found on this disc...

The US Festival 83, despite attracting 670,000 people, lost money for the people who put it on. I get the impression that people have finally discovered how to orchestrate financially successful festivals. More than a decade seemed to go by in the United States without much in the way of music festivals and now there's a couple well established multiday events. 670,000! That staggering number got me thinking about record attendances in general...Apparently there is
1 Rod Stewart at Copacabana Beach - 3.5 million people December 31st, 1994
2 New York Philharmonic in Central Park - 800,000 people July 5th, 1986
3 Garth Brooks in Central Park - 750,000 people August 7th, 1997
4 US Festival - 670,000 people

(how close can 3.5 million people actually physically get to a single stage? The Stones did a show which was TV broadcast at this venue 2/18/06...I'd be interested in seeing the layout)

The US festivals inspire some nostalgia these days. They have a fairly pleasant website commemorating the event and I believe that VH1 recently broadcast some of the material. I imagine that every moment of every performance was preserved by the MTV cameras, but I could be wrong about that. 26 years later, at least 20 full performances are available for trading. I know this because some industrious bootlegger has linked his well layed-out site to the US festival Wikipedia entry---I don't personally recommend spending money at sites like this, but they do give you an idea of what has made it out of the vaults and can be seen. If you are a fan of one of the bands who played these festivals and got $15 bucks to spend, you should track them down on the internet and buy something they are personally going to profit from. My gut feeling is that gray area dealers, which is to say, people who are selling officially unavailable gut feeling is that, in the download era, these are all one man operations which see about as much money for their efforts as they would doing something minimum wage. (please correct me if I'm wrong) Regardless of this, selling and buying bootlegs is bad vibrations...people freely trade this stuff out of fanaticism. When it takes on a money dimension, it threatens whatever permissibility this has acquired.

That little sermon complete, I'll mention the eyesore adverts served into this page. All I need is another ten thousand people to read this blog before I can earn $100 dollars! Hopefully, all the celebrity misfortune legions will find their way to my timely Dale Bozzio reference in search of lurid dead animal indignities. If only I had some bootleg Michael Jackson concert to ramble on about!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Black Sabbath 12/20/1970 Paris

What Is It?

Black Sabbath recorded their first two albums in 1970... This show, in December of that year was filmed at for L'Olympia for a Belgium Television show and was subsequently broadcast in other countries. A couple of the songs performed here would turn up on at least one officially released video in the decades to come. As bootlegs go, Sabbath in Paris is fairly easy to come by. At the time of writing, all of the songs from this set were available for viewing on you tube. The material is of such quality that you should attempt to see and hear this in the best resolution possible, however.

How is it?

The sound is excellent and the image is beautifully filmed. The cameramen are all over the stage for the program and the editing is superb. Every member of the band is giving it their all here. Even viewers who are not devoted to Sabbath will probably be interested in the intensity of this show- contained in such a small venue. Its strange to see Sabbath in anything less than a stadium setting. The small stacks of amplifiers and the meager drum kit are on the verge of being inadequate for the heaviness of the band. Osbourne gets caught up in the music several times and loses himself rocking out. It could be said that this is the bulk of his appeal as a performer, really. You feel a sense of camaraderie with the guy as he's so obviously and honestly enjoying the band and the music.

I just did a tapetrader search to see what else is out there by way of sabbath footage. It looks like this is pretty much it until 74. I know there are some promo clips, and I do seem to remember watching some Sabbath documentary or another and catching a few frames from other performances. Other than Paris 70, the band can be seen doing four songs for the Beat Club TV program...I'd don't have this, but you can catch a stream of it HERE, and it is very well produced. Stream cuts off a few second into the last number, however.

The Beat Club stuff, it turns out, might be available for official purchase. In march of 09, a DVD series featuring every episode of the program was made available. The site for it is in German, and I imagine the discs are all PAL. In other Black Sabbath history news. The first three albums have been re-released with bonus discs of material. For the first two albums, the songs seem to be merely different mixes of the same takes. It looks as if the the third disc features an unreleased song and some outtake material. Haven't heard them yet, so I can't say for sure.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Runaways Live in Japan

what is it...4.18 GB of the runaways!!

<<<<<<<<< 1. Cherry Bomb (Japanese TV)
2. School Days (Beat Club, German TV)


3. All Right You Guys

4. Neon Angels On The Road To
5. Queens of Noise

6. on stage interview of each member
7. Cherry Bomb (end clipped)

8. All Right You Guys

9. on stage interview of Cherie
10. Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin (end clipped)
11. Cherry Bomb

12. School Days

11. Come On

12. Queens of Noise
13. California Paradise
14. All Right You Guys
15. I Love Playin' Wit
h Fire (with scenes of the girls in Japan)
16. Wild Thing

17. Rock'n Roll
18. Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin

19. Cherry Bomb
20. Black Mail / I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are

21. American Nights
22. Secrets


The Live in Japan concert is a very good show, a little grainy and dark...there are a few places in the film where the video of the concert cuts away to scenes of the Runaways traveling around in Japan...I would guess that it was shot in 16mm and is a video generation down the line but it is still watchable.

...The real substance on this disc is the Japan TV footage which is jaw droppingly good...I would even go so far as to say that you are not tr
uely familiar with the raw power of the Runaways until you have seen these clips...While there are a few glitches, the color and sound is phenomenal...Joan Jett often says that their Japanese visit was greeted with Beatlemania-style hysteria...Watching these TV performances helps you to appreciate the strength of this...A generation of Japanese girls freaking out with I-don't-have-to-be-a-dishrag inspiration.

As a postscript, I'm wondering if the show that was filmed here is the same as the "live in Japan" LP? Also wondering what might be expected by way of official video product? I haven't seen Vicki Blue's Edgeplay yet, but I'm sure it brought together a wealth of vintage footage. It would be well timed if they cleaned it up and coincided a release with the 2010 Runaways biographical movie...

The Runaway's website is fairly streamlined. If they had T-Shirts of the album covers, I'd have my credit card in hand this very moment.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Guns & Roses 02/02/1988 NYC


In 1988, MTV was a different empire. Cable television was available in most of North America
but the number of channels was rarely higher than 30. By virtue of this, showing musicians
to people on MTV brought them to life in the imagination of a large number of people with much more centralized power than ever before(and perhaps ever will again). Guns and Roses was perhaps one of the 10 biggest
beneficiaries of this. Their debut album was released in 07/87, sold 200,000 and stalled.
David Geffen flew to the MTV office and said, "Put this band on the air." and the momentum began, reaching its flashpoint in summer 1988, with the "Sweet Child" video. Accuracy in accounting has never been one of the music industries' strengths, but Wikipedia reports that the record went on to sell 28 million copies and was the fastest selling debut album in history. One of the events leading up to this was a MTV broadcast of a concert at New York City's the Ritz. There are five or six available audience shot videos of GnR dates prior to this date, playing to non-stadium crowds, but this event was pro-shot for cable television, and is perhaps the best video document of the band prior to their superstardom...

1. Intro 2. It's So Easy 3. Mr. Brownstone 4. Axl Rant/ Out Ta Get Me 5. Sweet Child O' Mine 6. My Michelle
7. Knockin' On Heaven's Door 8. Welcome To The Jungle 9. Slash Rant/ Nightrain 10. Paradise City 11. Mama Kin 12. Rocket Queen

This is the complete, uncensored version of the famous Ritz '88 concert. This version contains almost 10 minutes of exclusive, additional footage,
including the song "Mama Kin", and a few Axl rants (plus the complete Slash rant introducing "Nightrain").

SOURCE: Pro-Shot (TV broadcast) LINEAGE: Low Gen VHS > Stand alone DVD recorder > DVD Decrypter >
Re-tracked and menu authored on PC > DVD Maestro VIDEO: MPEG2 variable bitrate
AUDIO: Track #1: Linear PCM ("Silver Bullet" CD bootleg sound patched with original VHS sound) Track #2: Linear PCM (original VHS sound cleaned up)

TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 1h07min.19s.

PERFORMERS: W. Axl Rose on Lead Vocals/ Slash on Lead Guitar/ Izzy Stradlin on Rhythm Guitar
and Background Vocals/ Duff McKagan on Bass and Background Vocals/ Steven Adler on Drums


This show has been authored many times. A comparison of many different versions can be found HERE and the version I am reviewing HERE . What is particularly impressive about this disc is that someone has taken the audio from a kick ass sounding CD bootleg of the event and flown it into the DVD. The visuals themselves are merely OK...there are some color artifacts at the edges of the screen, an occasional warble, and mediocre resolution. While you never forget that it's a VHS sourced bootleg, it's not difficult to watch

None of us believed it would ever happen, but the proverbial Chinese Democracy has indeed arrived. All it took, apparently, was putting them to work for extremely low wages building personal computers and dvd players. Twenty years after the meteoric rise of GnR, the world has truly changed. I just finished watched a well-made video (the last fifteen minutes were a little slow) called Good Copy Bad Copy, whose producers traveled around the world talking to the rich and the poor about the state of recorded music and the music industry. But don't expect that the people who are in official control of the music of Guns and Roses are going to applaud your interest in DVDs such as the one I just described in this blog entry. In June of 09, a 32-year-old single mother of four, was instructed to pay $80,000 dollars for the illegal MP3 of Welcome to the Jungle found on her hard drive. (to add insult to injury, they also wanted another 8oK for "November Rain!") ...And then there was the blogger who got two months house arrest and a year of parole for posting some songs off of the soon-to-be-released "Chinese Democracy" CD. ....So yeah, I'd like to close this blog entry by explaining that all of this was just a theoretical review. Like, I've never actually owned or seen this video, this is just stuff I might say...if I really had.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Parliament Funkadelic 77-78-79 Houston Summit


In the mid-seventies, excess and extravagance took hold of the pop music world. Fueled by the success of the Moroder/Summer disco phenomenon, Casablanca records determined that they would spare no expense when it came to promoting their music acts. In 1976, the record company gave Parliament-Funkadelic a quarter of a million dollars which was used
to put on a "...Space Age Mardi Gras...featuring absurd costumes, lavish staging and special effects " For four or five years, upwards of twenty performers took it to the stage on a series of grandiose rock tours that really have no genuine parallel. Interstellar fantasies like Star Wars and Close Encounters had taken hold of the public imagination in those years. P-funk tapped into this current and fashioned shows in which a diaper clad guitar player carrying a laser beam rifle flew over the stadium on a wire, a twenty foot tall human skull smoked an enormous joint, and, of course, an eagerly awaited Mothership touched down on stage in a flurry of smoke and flashing lights. What was most remarkable about these productions was that they were all secondary to the ability of the musicians themselves. Despite the number of people on stage, the group managed a synthesis of improvisational jam and taut cohesion that always kept the songs and the audience in motion.

Part of the problem in collecting bootlegs is that there is no definitive version of a recording. I might have a video of a show and someone else might have a different video of the same
performance- or they might have a digital rendering that is of superior quality. For a while I considered ripping the discs to my harddrive a
nd getting a checksum of the image. I don't precisely understand this process, but know enough to figure that it's pretty time-intensive. A better solution, hopefully, is simply to screen shot the menus. If someone has gone to the trouble of authoring some distinct version of a disc, it's very likely that they will construct a unique menu.


The Houston Summit was a very responsive venue for the glory years of the P-funk spectacular. The official video of that era: The "1976 Mothership connection" was filmed at this location. But there are, additionally, three other dates where film cameras captured the grou
p's performances at this venue: 12/??/77, 03/21/78 and 03/18/79... The 1978 show, in fact, did see a release. It was commercially available for a short time on the Japan based P-vine label

The camera work, editing, and sound recording of all these shows resemble the officially available 76 show and it makes you wonder that the substandard quality in
the existing bootlegs is merely a fault of generation loss. Hopefully, better copies of these shows exist in the archives of the P, if not the original footage
itself... And hopefully, all of this material will someday see some competent digital enhancement and can be presented in some sort of deluxe disc package...Of course, given the contentious nature of the players involved in the creation of this: Clinton, the various record companies, the various ex-bandmates and associates...anything resembling this is something that might be a long time coming, if ever.

Here's some notes on each particular disc...

image is fair...needs some tweaking on the brightness and the would be good but for an intermittent buzzing that is present about half the time. This is particularly a drag during the intro to "Red Hot Mama" which has one of the rippingest guitar solo intros that you're ever gonna hear.

"The P-Funk Earth Tour"
The Summit" Houston, TX 1977 (90mins)Ex


Red Hot Momma
Undisco Kidd
I Call My Baby Pussy
Children Of Production
Mothership Connection
Take Your Dead Ass Home

Bop Gun
Swing Down Sweet Chariot

Give Up The Funk (tear the roof off)
Night Of The Thumpasarus Peoples


There is a lot of audion noise in the cartoon prelude, but I believe this has the cleanest sound of the three shows. On the other hand, the image is not as good as in the others

"The Flashlight Tour"
The Summit" Houston,TX 3/21'78 PRO(100 mins.)

The Cartoon Prelude
Funkentelechy ~ We Are The Funkadelic
Cosmic Slop
Maggot Brain
Bop Gun

Mothership Connection

Give Up The Funk (tear the roof off)
Put Your Hands Together ~ May We Funk You


maybe the best image of the three
...some audio noise similar to the clipped mids in the 77 show

Some Japanese vendor has a disc with the following set list and also includes the opening set by the brides...

Cosmic Slop/
Give Up The Funk-Night Of The Thumpasorus Peoples /
Undisco Kidd /
Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On
Good To Your Earhole-Jam(Fade Out)/

Aqua Boogie(Cut In) /
One Nation Under A Groove
/Flash Light
/Mothership Connection/
Swing Down Sweet Chariot

Rumpofsteelskin Aqua Boogie on my copy

a beautifully laid out introduction to parliament/funkadelic is this issue of wax highly recommended issue of wax poetics

here are some websites, a little abandoned of late, but the info is still here:

"the motherpage: bare bones text but some sch
olarly attention to the fine details"
"tour date list"
"a very dedicated effort to organize P-Funk related video materials"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rolling Stones: Big Cocksucker Blues

what is it?

The Stones made a documentary of their 1972 American tour that was subsequently shelved. The film itself consists of some really rough quality 16mm images, and earlier bootlegged VHS tapes of it were so poor that you could rarely make out what was being shown or said. Some company called 4reel productions produced a two disc set called Big Cocksucker Blues, and the film has gotten a pretty good rendering onto dvd.

The "big" in the title is that you get an extra disc, with some interesting ephemera from the Taylor era:

1) "Satisfaction", "Jack Flash" and half of "Carol "from a Savoy theater show. Single camera from the balcony. Image is good but usually static and distant...Sound is good but vocals a little two hot.

2 ) The Rolling Stones in interesting documentary and nice counterpoint to cocksucker. Canny Australian media crew subjects STP invasion to a fairly rigorous expose.

3) 5 PROMOS:" angie, silver train, dancin with mr. d, till the next goodbye. aint to proud to bed...all lipsynch play acting to the music on these...some remarkably ridiculous wardrobe for Jagger. I read on some other page that these were created in association with Don Kirshner's Rock Concert

4 ) a camera man up on the stage for bits and pieces of "brown sugar" sound is pretty raggedy

5 ) David Frost..."you can't always get"...Jagger sings live over the canned track while all else play act ridiculously

6 ) 2 interviews with mick Jagger and really only a fragment...and this is a shame because it's pretty fascinating. Jagger is placed before the press conference cameras like some sort of pied piper for hippie liberalism. He accepts and rejects the whole affair with a very honest grace...The second is dismal, the interview is an idiot- Jagger struggles and fails to make something of the occasion

how is it?

...Always been a little more interested in misbehavior rather than music. I put the word "illegal" in the title of this blog because I plan to put some thought into breaking the law as it's related to good old fashioned rock and roll...One sense is what we have here: the Stones in their mythological glory years...doing things in front of a home movie camera that, afterwords, they didn't want people to see, because they didn't want to assist people who were trying to lock them up...the rebellion of summer of love idealism was dead...Here you have
the rebellion of rock stars turning their private world into a continuous party. You almost get this, but not exactly. Because oftentimes, all that really seems to be going on is a sense of confined boredom and vague confusion.

Honestly, I'm too poor of a writer to do this thing justice...some guy named John Dougan over at Perfect Sound Forever has nailed a superb introduction for this movie for both the uninitiated and the aficionado

The average person is going to drift away due to the hazy quality of its image and sound and its lack of any real narrative. Precisely the things that make it so enjoyable, really. Its sort of something you can have on in the background and look up at occasionally.

With this disc we can start talking about another sense of illegal; the sense that unofficial recordings of musical artists are in some way illegal...A disc like this has an illegal aura about it because those who made it aren't the ones selling it. There is a pretty fair demand for it, but whomever owns the rights hasn't yet gone to the trouble of knocking it out for an official release. It's easy to understand why: for the Rolling Stones empire, there's far more money to be made with other things...People will have to wait for their demise and Anthology box set before anything from Cocksucker Blues becomes official Stones product.

When a disc image of the recently released ",Shine a Light" is uploaded and downloaded, I would assume that both uploader and downloader are pretty much breaking the law in most countries. Neither of them is necessarily seeing a profit; money is not necessarily changing hands- money is not necessarily being diverted from the creator of the video...Of course in some cases it is: for instance, web pages that facilitate file sharing acquire advertising income which would not exist but for the popularity of the files.

How all this affects the actual sales of the "Shine a Light" DVD can never be definitely known. Some, conceivably, will not buy the disc because they have downloaded it. Some, conceivably, will buy it because they have downloaded it. Until recordable blueray becomes more widespread...or the distinction between the TV and the PC becomes a little less formidable...there is still some value and convenience to the officially published optical discs.

A pretty complex situation. Figuring out whether somebody selling or uploading Cocksucker Blues is taking money away from anybody involved in creating it...that's even more so.

Last thing I wonder, does CB exist in better quality that the 4reel edition?...If you are out there and have multiple versions to compare, I'd like to know. A print of CB was shown at the Tate Modern as recently as 2004...It will be interesting to see what will be done with it when someone finally loads it into a hundred thousand dollar computer editing suite and start tweaking for detail. Its one of those things that, if you clean it up too much, you'd be destroying what it is...

For Robert Frank, generally, Microcinema has put together DVDs of his film work. Pull My Daisy has found its way onto Google Video HERE.