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Author Topic: Surviving audio/video/photo documentation of The BBs vs. other bands  (Read 1410 times)
CenturyDeprived
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« on: March 09, 2017, 10:27:49 AM »

After reading the recent thread about the rare 1973 concert footage in the ESQ promo (which turned out to be home movie footage), it made me wonder:

Are we lucky, or perhaps shortchanged - relatively speaking - when it comes to the quantity of surviving audio/video/photographic documentation that exists of the band in the pre-digital age? And curious as to why this is... which I would tend to think would be a combination of factors including luck, popularity, etc.

I suppose my question is twofold: both in terms of the quantity of what ever actually even GOT recorded/photographed in the first place, as well as the quantity of what survives of that documentation.

We are certainly very lucky to have had Ed Roach along the way to document all that he did. Obviously bands like The Grateful Dead had dedicated tapers in prior decades which make them a freak case of having way more documentation. But sometimes I still feel like The BBs got the short end of the stick, especially when it comes to the very small amount of video footage of them in the studio during the '60s and '70s.

Another example, I've always tended to feel that there were a surprisingly few amount of live shows that got recorded of the band in the 1960s. Did other bands who were their contemporaries tend to have more surviving audio/video/photo documentation? I suppose the closest comparison to ponder would be The Beatles, who granted, were quite a bit more popular for a longer time than The BBs.

But even though I used the term "shortchanged", I'll also certainly say we're also lucky to have such dedicated fans who keep hunting for stuff in all sorts of creative ways.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 10:35:16 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
HeyJude
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2017, 11:27:40 AM »

One very broad/general thing I've always thought was intriguing (and frustrating) is the relative scarcity of pro-shot concerts and soundboard recordings that circulate of the band considering they toured pretty much non-stop through all of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Yes, there are plenty of pro-shot and soundboard things out there, but not as many as there seemingly should be considering they did THOUSANDS of concerts in this era. It just seems like there are other bands that didn't tour so heavily who have a lot more things (both legit and not) floating around out there.

Now, there are more items (especially on the audio side of things, and also some video) in the BRI archives that could be released. But it's surprising how few full-length pro-shot videos of key eras are out there. For instance, what's out there from, say, 1970 to 1975? Billy Hinsche home movies, a semi pro-shot murky show from 1975, short-length TV appearances and bits from documentaries, etc. Move to 1976 and obviously there's some Anaheim footage (although who knows how much raw footage exists of that). There's a couple of Largo shows from January 1977. I know BRI has a few other bits from 1977 and 1978 (seen in very brief bits in "Endless Harmony"). I could go on and on, but I guess the BBs *constantly* touring and yet not having any sort of Beatles or Grateful Dead level of devotion could have been key factors in how much stuff was captured and how much still exists, and how much is "out there" to find.

There should be easily two or three DVD boxed sets of live shows out there covering everything from 1962 to the late 90s, plus 2012.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 11:33:29 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 11:38:48 AM »

Heyjude needs to "make BRI great again!" Cool Guy
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2017, 11:50:40 AM »

I'd be very interested to see all of the surviving "jumbotron" footage from Houston 1978.
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 11:53:13 AM »

Interesting, Jumbotron footage?
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2017, 12:03:08 PM »

That little bit of footage of Brian dancing kind of manically while playing the bass in 1978 on stage during one of the video montages in "Endless Harmony" (I think it's the "Brian's Back" montage) is taken from a Houston 1978 show that, I believe, is in the BRI archives in full.

There's also a bit of live 1978 footage, I *think* from the same show (if not, then another 1978 show), used in the "An American Band" documentary, where they've synced it to the original 60s recording of "In My Room."
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 12:09:32 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2017, 12:07:00 PM »

Oh that footage is great, A live 1970s show (warts and all) would be a great release. Hell make it a bonus disk on a "Brian's Back" comp box set of 15BO/ Love You with all the outtakes from that era.
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2017, 12:08:53 PM »

One interesting tidbit someone told me *years* ago is that they had spoken to Jeff Foskett ages ago and Foskett had told this person that he had a full VHS tape of the pro-shot Atlantic City show from July 4, 1983.

It seems plausible, as some footage other than "Barbara Ann" was shown on "Solid Gold" back in 1983, where they showed "California Girls" from that same show.

There are also *two* full Largo '77 shows in the vaults (only one has circulated over the years; and I think that one has some tape damage at the source).

The unedited July 4, 1980 Washington DC footage was supposedly AWOL some years back, but I think they may have found it, as a brief outtake shot (of "California Girls") was used in a C50 TV spot back in 2012.

I recall one possible reason some of the old live "in house video feed" shows aren't usable is that sometimes the audio (especially if the BBs weren't recording the show themselves) on the videotape is problematic. For instance, check out the circulating May, 1983 Seattle Kingdome show taken from the in-house video feed. The audio is horrible; sounds like you're listening to the show on an AM transistor radio.
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 12:23:42 PM »

One very broad/general thing I've always thought was intriguing (and frustrating) is the relative scarcity of pro-shot concerts and soundboard recordings that circulate of the band considering they toured pretty much non-stop through all of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Yes, there are plenty of pro-shot and soundboard things out there, but not as many as there seemingly should be considering they did THOUSANDS of concerts in this era. It just seems like there are other bands that didn't tour so heavily who have a lot more things (both legit and not) floating around out there.

Now, there are more items (especially on the audio side of things, and also some video) in the BRI archives that could be released. But it's surprising how few full-length pro-shot videos of key eras are out there. For instance, what's out there from, say, 1970 to 1975? Billy Hinsche home movies, a semi pro-shot murky show from 1975, short-length TV appearances and bits from documentaries, etc. Move to 1976 and obviously there's some Anaheim footage (although who knows how much raw footage exists of that). There's a couple of Largo shows from January 1977. I know BRI has a few other bits from 1977 and 1978 (seen in very brief bits in "Endless Harmony"). I could go on and on, but I guess the BBs *constantly* touring and yet not having any sort of Beatles or Grateful Dead level of devotion could have been key factors in how much stuff was captured and how much still exists, and how much is "out there" to find.

There should be easily two or three DVD boxed sets of live shows out there covering everything from 1962 to the late 90s, plus 2012.

I completely agree.

So would you say it's fair to say that The BBs have an unusually and oddly small amount of photos/videos/audio from this era compared to their contemporaries? Both including amateur fan-recorded/photographed media, as well as pro-shot media?

What about compared to The Beatles/Doors/Byrds, etc? I'm sure it's case by case, but somehow it feels like The BBs got screwed a bit here from a documentation standpoint, unfortunately.

I wonder if it's in part because of The BBs' "reputation", where they were more laughed off by the nerdy elitists (who might have been more of the type to have been rabid documentarians), but perhaps those people didn't respect the band or their live show enough to document them as much?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 12:32:40 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 12:33:02 PM »

It's hard to say. There's also a difference between what still exists vs. what's "out there" vs. what has actually been released/published.

Photos and other documentation are also not something I'm *super* expert with as far as the BBs. I have more of a familiarity with what's around in terms of audio and video. I think it's on that front that some of it has to do with the lack of a huge fanbase looking for the stuff compared to, say, the Beatles. There are tons of Beatles collectors that seek out every concert fragment (there's also a smaller pool to work with in terms of how many live gigs they did of course). Whereas, the number of BB fans that really need a murky audience recording from the Cleveland Rib Cook-Off in 1981 are probably very few.
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2017, 01:01:22 PM »

The *other* of the two Largo 1977 shows(the one not circulating) is supposedly MUCH better than the one we have, and supposedly shows Brian in a great mood, and being very "animated". So of course we had to get stuck with the one where the Wilson brothers are having an "off night".  Roll Eyes

I have always wondered why the Washington D.C. 1980 show has never been released. You would think that being a "high profile HBO event", HBO would have wanted to cash in on a video release of it. Especially since most of the stand up comedy specials were released on video, and to this day HBO and ShowTime specials continue to see release on DVD.
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2017, 02:21:42 PM »

I'm not sure who retains ownership of the DC 1980 footage; I would assume BRI owns it now. But maybe HBO still has some claim on the 60-minute TV special.

The show *was* released officially in Japan, on VHS allegedly and then again on possibly VHS and definitely DVD in 1997. I have the Region 2 Japanese DVD from 1997 (released under the TV special's name of "A Celebration Concert."). The show looks and sounds pristine, amazing for a 1980 shot just shot on videotape.

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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2017, 02:25:59 PM »

Damn jude, you are a lucky guy! Could you post some screenshots some time?
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2017, 02:30:56 PM »

I'm not sure who retains ownership of the DC 1980 footage; I would assume BRI owns it now. But maybe HBO still has some claim on the 60-minute TV special.

The show *was* released officially in Japan, on VHS allegedly and then again on possibly VHS and definitely DVD in 1997. I have the Region 2 Japanese DVD from 1997 (released under the TV special's name of "A Celebration Concert."). The show looks and sounds pristine, amazing for a 1980 shot just shot on videotape.



Super cool. Was that an eBay acquisition?
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2017, 05:57:46 AM »

Jude, could do a list of your entire collection sometime?
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2017, 06:28:34 AM »

That "Celebration Concert" DVD is a weird one. In the relatively early days of the internet (1997), I somehow found out this DVD existed but I don't think it was something one could just buy on Amazon Japan back then. Or maybe I wasn't yet open to making purchases online. In any event, I found a fellow in France who was able to buy the DVD as an import at the Virgin Megastore in Paris, and we did some sort of trade.

Some sort of copy of that DVD is floating around, as some of the YouTube clips are pulled from it. While the quality of this YouTube clip doesn't quite match the actual DVD, here's one clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt2tvNzt1CU

You can tell it's from the Japanese DVD, as each song has a quick title graphic on the bottom of the screen as it starts (whereas the original HBO broadcast of course didn't).

The show is of course pretty similar to Knebworth; similar list of songs and performed only a couple weeks later. But it has a couple things not on the Knebworth DVD ("Catch a Wave" and "Good Timin'").



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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2017, 06:33:14 AM »

The really mind-blowing thing is that more time has passed between now and when I bought this DVD (in 1997) than the amount of time that has passed between the show's original date and this DVD release. This show was 17 years old when I got the DVD; now it's 37 years old. Whoa man!
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2017, 06:59:03 AM »

Jude, could do a list of your entire collection sometime?

Nah, I'm not like one of those collectors that have like 27 shrink-wrapped variations of every Scandinavian 8-track tape ever released. You know, like that one guy that used to post here!  LOL

I don't have much in the way of rare pressings or memorabilia or anything; I actually have very little Beach Boys material apart from CDs. It's mostly just all the released stuff in various versions.

I have boxes of videotapes and cassettes and CDs that should be better cataloged and transferred and all of that, that's the only somewhat voluminous aspect of my collection. 

I have probably a few boxes of totally random stuff, nothing too exciting. Anybody want a "Crocodile Rock" 1-track promo CD single? A "Summer in Paradise" backstage pass? LOL
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2017, 10:47:24 AM »

The Beach Boys are definitely not alone when it comes to pro shot live footage. 

For as big as they were, there is little to no pro shot live stuff of Pink Floyd between 1972-1980.  And for some reason, they're sitting on pro shot footage of concerts from The Wall tour. 

Led Zeppelin released a DVD set of live footage from the 1970s, including a full show from 1970, and apparently, there's not much out there of them. 

Even Van Halen, who debuted just three years before 1981, don't have much with the original lineup.  To this day, there has never been a legit video concert with David Lee Roth on vocals released. 

Those are just big time names that spring to mind. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2017, 11:15:49 AM »

Unfortunately as well, *some* of the pro-shot BB items that do survive aren't the greatest. The '83 Seattle show is certainly unique and interesting with all six guys there and some unique setlist picks from that tour, but the band isn't at their peak there.

All the '81 stuff is of course really wonky. Some of the stuff from the 90s is okay, but they were on autopilot for those shows. There's a Berlin (I think) show from 1994, the Philly '95 show, probably some other stuff as well. Belgium '87 is okay. Washington DC '84 is all over the place.
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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2017, 11:20:33 AM »

Unfortunately as well, *some* of the pro-shot BB items that do survive aren't the greatest. The '83 Seattle show is certainly unique and interesting with all six guys there and some unique setlist picks from that tour, but the band isn't at their peak there.

All the '81 stuff is of course really wonky. Some of the stuff from the 90s is okay, but they were on autopilot for those shows. There's a Berlin (I think) show from 1994, the Philly '95 show, probably some other stuff as well. Belgium '87 is okay. Washington DC '84 is all over the place.

There's also the Melbourne Show from 1978, but I don't see that show ever getting a legit release considering the state Carl was in that night.
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« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2017, 11:23:17 AM »

Unfortunately as well, *some* of the pro-shot BB items that do survive aren't the greatest. The '83 Seattle show is certainly unique and interesting with all six guys there and some unique setlist picks from that tour, but the band isn't at their peak there.

All the '81 stuff is of course really wonky. Some of the stuff from the 90s is okay, but they were on autopilot for those shows. There's a Berlin (I think) show from 1994, the Philly '95 show, probably some other stuff as well. Belgium '87 is okay. Washington DC '84 is all over the place.

There's also the Melbourne Show from 1978, but I don't see that show ever getting a legit release considering the state Carl was in that night.

Considering how conservative they already are about releasing live material, the Australia '78 footage, and stuff like the '81 Queen Mary show, will surely never be released other than possibly being used in some documentary in very brief clips (a few brief shots of the '81 Queen Mary show are in the EH documentary).
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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2017, 11:25:53 AM »

Unfortunately as well, *some* of the pro-shot BB items that do survive aren't the greatest. The '83 Seattle show is certainly unique and interesting with all six guys there and some unique setlist picks from that tour, but the band isn't at their peak there.

All the '81 stuff is of course really wonky. Some of the stuff from the 90s is okay, but they were on autopilot for those shows. There's a Berlin (I think) show from 1994, the Philly '95 show, probably some other stuff as well. Belgium '87 is okay. Washington DC '84 is all over the place.

There's also the Melbourne Show from 1978, but I don't see that show ever getting a legit release considering the state Carl was in that night.

Considering how conservative they already are about releasing live material, the Australia '78 footage, and stuff like the '81 Queen Mary show, will surely never be released other than possibly being used in some documentary in very brief clips (a few brief shots of the '81 Queen Mary show are in the EH documentary).

Or, if they did a massive anthology box set, but I agree those are not likely to get stand alone releases.
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« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2017, 11:35:40 AM »

If they actually aimed towards a DVD boxed set, they'd have a few options. Multi-disc with several complete shows, or a compilation with a few songs from various shows. The latter would allow for some weird stuff from shows like Largo '77 where there's little chance of ever issuing the uncut complete show.

Ideally, we'd get 4 or 5 DVDs with several full shows and then maybe a disc or two with highlights from various other shows. A huge number of uncut shows would become redundant in terms of some of the same hits appearing on all of the shows.
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« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2017, 11:44:56 AM »

If they actually aimed towards a DVD boxed set, they'd have a few options. Multi-disc with several complete shows, or a compilation with a few songs from various shows. The latter would allow for some weird stuff from shows like Largo '77 where there's little chance of ever issuing the uncut complete show.

Ideally, we'd get 4 or 5 DVDs with several full shows and then maybe a disc or two with highlights from various other shows. A huge number of uncut shows would become redundant in terms of some of the same hits appearing on all of the shows.

I'd like to see something like that, hopefully with complete shows from distinctly different eras (ie. early 60s, late 60s, early 70s, mid 80s, C50).  Other than a few hits, that should cut down a bit of repetition.
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