Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Lost Tapes

With all the recent attention on the lost version of "Above You," I dug up a quick summary of the band's missing tapes:

  1. Matt and Vic running amok (8mm video) – circa March 1991. Master tape believed to reside with Matt.
  2. Question 81 Fire Hazard Christmas tape – almost certainly residing with Rich Amtower. The band’s first serious attempt at recording, Thanksgiving 1991.
  3. The Irrigation Song tape – Little is known about the contents of this tape, but it probably contained more than one first recording of the new songs from Victor’s garage in early 1992: Probably Not, possibly Gin, and others. One theory is that the tape might have been given to Ben George to practice along to, and never returned.
  4. “Yay” for the Stickmen (apparently lost by Bill in late 1990s) – fragmentary copies survive. This tape chronicled the band’s first six months, and contained snapshots of Bill’s songs as they developed.
  5. The Hunger That Feeds On Mankind operation sequence (8 mm video) – taped over by Bill’s dad. A fragment survives from an unfinished dub of the Gravity Video.
  6. 10/31/92 8mm video – master in hands of Debbie – VHS copy survives. A second handheld camera from the band’s first concert, supplementing the still camera deployed by Bill.
  7. Four-Track: Above You (lost prior to late 1990s) – mixdowns survive. One of the best early four-track demos, undoubtedly with other interesting four-track contents from Autumn 1992.
  8. Four-Track: You’ve Got the Look (lost in late 1992). A goofy four-track original recorded as a prank. Would be interesting for novelty value, and to see what else might have been on the tape, though probably nothing.
  9. The Gravity Video VHS – Bill and Don’s final dub, with a lost few seconds of Don beating on Fischer couch cushions, Spring 1993. Possibly lost by Don.
  10. 10/29/94 Betacam – master presumably in hands of Rich’s ex-girlfriend. The highest quality video format ever known to be taken of the band, which coincided with their worst ever performance.
  11. Ed’s New Year’s 12/30/95 SVHS – Hi-8 copy survives – the master is believed to reside either with Ed Zybel or his friend.
  12. Ed-a-Palooza 1996 SVHS – Hi-8 copy survives – the master is believed to reside either with Ed Zybel or his friend.
  13. Antiradio Soundboard tape, 12/23/98 – possibly still residing with Antiradio? One of the band’s most important shows, because of historical significance (being played on the radio) and quality of performance. Recovery of this tape, in combination with the two existing videos, would almost certainly result in a live CD or DVD.

The above list was draft 20 Dec 2005. Since that time, astute readers will note that some of these tapes have been definitively located.

1 comment:

MattMunson said...

Good list. There's the off chance that a couple MORE of those can be knocked off the list. I have at least three VHS tapes in a box at home that are mysterious. I think they might be just "mix down" videos, but I'm not sure. With Project VideoDrome nearing completion, I should soon have the answer to that. Still, great list. Sorry to hear about the above you tapes. At least we still have the "Statue of Liberty" sessions.