So I said I'd get back to you all about this super cool thrift score I made. Well, now that I've had a little time to dig in to it, I can give you all a full report. Yeah, there was the usual assortment of records and whatnot, but the really interesting stuff was a stack of five Scotch VHS tapes with labels promising such things as Headbanger's Ball and the Mask 3-D.
It didn't quite pan out like that 100%, but what I ended up with was still pretty interesting.
First off, let's discuss just what the hell is going on here. If you've been to a site like YouTube, you'll notice tons of old TV stuff. There are many ways people come across stuff like this, but one of the ways is thrifting old tapes people recorded at home.
Usually I've only found movies taped from HBO. To be sure, there's a fair amount of that here too. But I've also got quite an interesting little time capsule of 1988 and 1990 television in Minnesota.
Yeah, funny thing. I'm here in Indiana and that's where I thrifted these tapes, but they're from Minnesota.
Whoever recorded these tapes seemed to have a taste for the following things: stand up comedy, channel surfing, music, serial killers and Satanism.
The first tape shakes down kind of like this: we start out with part of Van Halen's Live Without a Net concert vid. Then we go into a random pair of videos (David Bowie and T. Rex) and it's Les Paul and Friends - He Changed the Music. After Les, it's Lost Boys, looks like it's recorded off HBO.
This is the point it gets interesting, and a little disappointing, as here comes the Headbanger's Ball. Actually, it's the 1988 Halloween show with the incredibly annoying San Kinison hosting. Strangely, my taping friend chose to edit out almost everything except Sam's screaming in between videos. Ugh.
For some reason, the November 03 10 PM news was recorded next, though my friend wasn't able to decide on which station they liked best so we get bits and pieces of all three of the majors in the Minneapolis area. This is followed by a few minutes of a Geraldo on Satanism. Geraldo also featured in the news casts as this was the time of the infamous chair throwing skinhead incident, for those of you who remember that.
Whew. At this point, we're about four hours into it. How about a little Skinemax? Radley Metzger's Princess and the Call Girl shows up next. After that, it's bits and pieces of a show about Jack the Ripper that was really an excuse to get people to call 1-900 numbers and vote on something. (Remember those?) Our friend did some channel flipping and also taped over a little of the show with...the chair throwing skinheads episode of Geraldo!
That's a lot of really random crap packed in to six hours. The good thing is, there's a lot of period stuff shoved in there. The news cast, even though there's a lot of channel changing, is pretty interesting. Dang, women news casters had some HUGE hair! And I really wish the Headbanger's Ball was more complete, but at least our taper left in a couple of videos (Helloween, Grim Reaper and Iron Maiden. \M/ )
There's also a lot of boring stuff. Well, not necessarily boring, just nothing special about watching movies someone taped off HBO or Cinemax. And personally, I don't care at all about Geraldo, but he was definitely topical, so I guess it's part of that late 1988 vibe.
I'll tackle one more tape here then I'm going to call it a night. There was one unlabeled tape which looked like it belonged with the rest. It did. Though it's from December 1990/January 1991 and all the rest of the tapes are 1988, it's from Minnesota again.
The bulk of the tape, which was recorded at the two hour speed is the Saturday Night Live Christmas Past special for 1990. For a while, the taper was editing out commercials on the fly, then they stopped. So about half way through we get commercials again, and the extra time means we catch a little of the program that followed SNL on KARE 11 in Minneapolis, some kind of video request show called Smash Hits. Ice, ice baby. Can you take me higher?
Tucked in the middle of the SNL special is this little gem: about 30 minutes of CNN from January 17, 1991. Date mean anything to you? That's the day Bush the elder announced the beginning of Operation Desert Storm. So we get most of that speech, with on the ground reports from CNN correspondents and then a press conference with a much younger looking Dick Cheney and Colin Powel where they dodge questions for about 15 minutes. Kind of interesting this person had the idea to tape this, but whatever. There it is.
This is a long ass post. I'm done for the night, but there's more where these came from.