LOVE the Whistle Test (b.1971 d.1987). These two favourites are both from the first DVD compilation, which has some great stuff on it:
Dirty guitars because it's the Jim one’s birthday. (I may well have posted this before: it's one of my go-to rowdy songs.)
Live was good. Lots of this available on youtube now that I would have killd to see just once back then.
Apropos new year’s eve: I recall TVNZ ran a live music show to countdown midnight. T’was about early 1980s. On this particular show (mid-1980s), everyone got really pissed and Andrew Fagan and Karen Hay (host of RWP at the time) pashed. I think they did NYE music video shows in subsequent years.
Ah. I do dimly recall that pash causing a bit of excitement.
The era of New Year's Eve event television appears to be long gone.
My favourite of all the Whistle Test sessions is probably the Wailers' in 1973. It was a TV session tacked on to an otherwise failed visit to the UK, and they just owned it.
Amusingly, here’s how Top of the Pops in the UK dealt with the Sex Pistols in 1977 (goes straight to just before the relevant moment):
Watching it through gave me the shivers, TBH. Not sure the presenters had even the slightest clue of the significance. Then I guess they wouldn't.
It was made all the more startling by the fact Curtis really was suffering from epilepsy towards the end of his life.
To add, no method acting there at all in the Something Else clip.
Ah, the special musical guest. I can't look at David Letterman without a yearning, burning hatred of unfunny white dudes but sometimes...
LCD Soundsystem, 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House'. Perhaps the best cowbell solo, ever.
Lorde kinda Kate Bush-y...
...go-to rowdy songs
aaah, this must be that 'rowd sourcing'
phenomenon I've heard so much about!
I think they did NYE music video shows in subsequent years.
Yes! Just a countdown of the year in music videos. I was too young to stay up to midnight, but I’d record the show (on our fancy new Beta VCR) and then watch it over and over and over again, fast forwarding through the ones I didn’t like. So much videos.
Weirdly the thing that sticks in my memory the most is the ads from the show’s sponsor, Levis. They’d play these minute-long ads from Levis. Every few years I search on YouTube, but all I find is comments from other people from Australasia also looking for them.
EDIT: So of course I googled and discovered one of the epics Levis ads, uploaded earlier this year. Set to "Route 66", it's the tale of two young women hitch-hiking across America. It was filmed in 1976, the pre-lycra era, so their jeans are tight and inflexible. This is probably kept them out of any Thelma and Louise troubles. It's hard to run from the law if you can't bend at the knees.
The ad was directed by Adrian Lyne, who went on to direct Flashdance, 9 1/2 Weeks and Fatal Attraction.
I sometimes record Letterman just to flick to the end to see who's playing live. And what about this NZ moment from 2008, when Liam Finn plays Second Chance with EJ Barnes? Love how Letterman sounds a bit concerned when Finn finishes his fantastic drum solo in a frenzy.
Now all I need to do is find that Letterman clip - if it's out there - of the tiny Oscar-era Anna Paquin shooting a mean basket long-shot using her school netball skills and winning $10,000 for charity.
If you've not seen the DVD version, the chummy insiders' intro by Mark Ellen & David Hepworth sets the scene nicely:
ME: This is fantastic footage, and a couple of things struck me about it. One was that this is 'The Wailers', before Island Records repositioned them as 'Bob Marley & The Wailers' and before Peter Tosh and Bunny [Wailer] walked out, and Bob was then able to get a group roughly the same height as himself... and you hear the backing vocals done then by Peter Tosh, who is just a matchless singer.
DH: And this is the first time the Wailers came to the UK, so this is 1973.
ME: On a tour that was almost a disaster.
DH: As far as I know, they did Whistle Test, they played Leeds University, it snowed.
ME: They couldn't get any vegetarian food, they were homesick and miserable.
DH: And they said that's it, we're off home.
ME: The other thing that struck me about this performance is that it must have been really hard for them coming on and doing those Whistle Test shows. Coming to a big old cold studio, playing to three camera operatives.
DH: Three blokes in cardigans! Two of them would've had pipes. And they wore headphones in order to keep the noise away! So this was not the most sympathetic atmosphere for Bob Marley to work in.
Predates OGWT, Rockpalast etc here is Kraftwerk on German TV in 1970, performing Ruckzuck, off their first album. I believe it is Klaus Dinger (NEU!) on drums, but I could be wrong. He's not the drummer on the album version.
As a follow-on, here's a BBC4 dock on Krautrock:
This would be Mark Ellen and David Hepworth of the late--and much lamented-- The Word magazine?
And the co-founders of Q Magazine too, which held my attention for a good 15 years or so. Bit too much Coldplay for my liking these days.
Year we go again…
Grab your sacks,
When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top of the slide…
Oh, we’re 5 days in already…
To one and all,
good luck in the new year…
Mimi Cat is fun, too..
from Singapore a-go-go
you want Iraqi rock n roll?
Sublime Frequencies is the place to go…
This is a damn interesting interview, between Tavi,and Lorde. Two very intelligent young women in deep conversation about important things.
Great stuff from Beefheart and The Magic Band. They're in top form there and playing excellent versions of songs from the poorly recorded Spotlight Kid. The real mothers of invention!
German TV pop shows playing music which goes out on a limb seems to be as old as television broadcasting itself. Here are The Monks from 1965. They were a group of American GI's based in Germany who got together to form a band and then stayed on in after they were discharged and developed a bit of a cult following in that country. I can't imagine that they would have produced this kind of music or had much of a following had they returned to the United States which speaks volumes about the openness to experimentation that was prevalent in Germany at the time. A big influence on The White Stripes apparently...
Can't go past The Gorburger Show
or Soft Focus w. Ian Svenonius
You want German music TV from the 1970s? Okkervil River guy Will Sheff's piece here on his personal website on Doctor Hook & The Medicine Show: Live 1974, is a lengthy essay with clips from a German TV performance by this strangest of groups. Sheff calls it his favourite music DVD and this is a brilliant piece of music writing that will easily take an hour or two of your time to appreciate and enjoy, especially as the unfolding narrative of the clips takes hold. As he says, "Most concert films celebrate bands at the height of their powers, depicting their massive stadium tours, their virtuousic skill, their almost shamanic sway over adoring audiences. Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Live shows the opposite – in merciless, sweaty close-up." Doctor Hook, live on German TV, you say? Oh yes.