Sunday, March 22, 2015

Follies 1988

For whatever reason, I guess I'm on a nostalgia trip. It started a few days ago when Microsoft allowed OneDrive users to upload their own music to the cloud for streaming purposes. In other words, music you have that may be indie or DIY, not available to mainstream streaming, can be uploaded and shared to your devices.

Cool.

So I immediately uploaded a bunch of rehearsal tapes that I had from previous bands. Long story short, I was listening to an old band I was in, Starchief, and remembered how great the tunes both Johnny and Brett wrote were.

Fast forward to this weekend. I decided to look through all my old Video 8 tapes from the Sony camcorder days. When I was in bands starting in 2000 or so, I would record a lot of our shows in the clubs around town. The video resolution is uniformly terrible (no greater than 480, I think), but the audio isn't bad and the entire package is quite viewable.

I uploaded a few videos to YouTube in the past year as I had burned a bunch onto DVD a few years ago. Total irony: I took videos off tape to burn to DVD, only to rip off of DVD onto the computer to upload to YouTube. Pretty convoluted process.

Anyway, I got a wild hair to look for that camcorder and after a search, I found it. I've had the videos all along in a cabinet in the basement, so that wasn't a problem. Heck, I even labeled most of the tapes that I have.

I figured it was time to get these onto YouTube to "keep them safe," but in reality, "to get attention from strangers," when I post them onto all social media.

But having them in the cloud would make access much easier than popping in a tape and hitting FF or REW to find the spot you want. Who has time for that anymore??

I have one video uploading now, a show from 2004 with Starchief. I don't remember the venue, or the show, but it must have happened as I have video. And it sounds pretty good, too. So, in another 303 minutes (slow-ass CenturyLink), it'll be in YouTube's hands. Until then, I'm looking at other tapes.

Including a possible cringe-inducing one from 1988, when I was taking Mom and Dad's camcorder all over the place. This particular tape was shot likely in April or May of 1988, during my high school's annual talent show, The Follies.

I haven't watched this video and I don't know if I can stomach it now, almost 30 years later. The opening act was one of the school's Hot Girls, Michelle Mains, doing a dance BY HERSELF to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal."

And it was criminal.

Just watching the first minute or so, I'm thinking to myself, "Why would ANYONE dance by themselves in front of the whole school? WHAT POSSIBLE PURPOSE COULD IT SERVE?" But then again, she was the Hot Girl, and Quite Popular, so perhaps for her, it was NBD (no big deal).

Hit FF, see another popular senior, Steve Elder, playing "Candle in the Wind" in full Elton John regalia.

Hit FF, see Steve Thomas and Matt Arnold, both fellow band nerds, playing electronic drums and keyboards (respectively) to something so 80s, I could hardly stand it.

Hit FF, see three juniors under the name of DDT for Dave, Darin (I think) and Troy doing some terrible rap act. Oh my god, it is so terrible.

And so on.

Since I was playing bass back then, and no one else really did, I always had a gig come Follies time. This particular year, I was in several bands, IIRC. One of them was a group of senior guys doing "I'll Melt With You" by Modern English. I had my horrible little white Steinberger clone (Hohner, I think), and couldn't have been more out of place.

But when it happened, it was quite fun.

I don't remember specifically which year I did what, but I remember playing bass to
  • "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul
  • "Fight For Your Right to Party" by the Beastie Boys
  • some song by Jethro Tull
There may have been more, but my memory is fogged.

I may have to take a look. Or at least have the kids take a look.