VHS Tapes

Or, How I Spent My Summers in High School

Back in the old days (mid-80s), when I was still in high school or not long out, I watched a lot of tv late at night. That’s when all the good stuff came on. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was followed by The Late Show With David Letterman, then Later with Bob Costas. Some good stuff also came on the few movie channels there were then.

One of those summers, I’m going to guess around 1983 or so, my family bought our first VCR. You younguns out there cannot imagine how dramatically VCRs changed things. Not only could you now watch feature films in your own home at your convenience, but you could RECORD TV! I went nuts. The VCR and I became as One.

Several years ago I attempted to transfer a videotape of a band to my old computer but the results were unusable. After about half a minute the video started to lag behind the audio so badly that by the end of the show the band was already on the bus and down the road while the music was still playing. Computers have gotten better, and after putting it off for way too long I’m tackling the job of copying all this old shit to digital. It’s extremely time consuming. Each videotape, which has anywhere between 2 and 4-5 hours of various clips on it, has to be copied from a VCR to a hard drive, then the resulting HUGE file has to be broken into individual clips, then each clip has to be transcoded to Flash and watermarked and uploaded with a snapshot of the video for a splash picture…

Some of the clips look and sound better than others because I recorded this stuff at different speeds, sometimes just depending on how much tape was left. Remember SP, LP, and SLP? 🙂 The stuff that I recorded at SLP really looks rough nowadays, especially since I used to watch these tapes over and over.

Some of my clips are available elsewhere on the Web, but many are just not out there. Or, if they are, I can’t find them anywhere. The clip I’m going to put up, for example, of Mick Jagger imitating Keith Richards on Saturday Night Live. The only place I see that is on some Russian site with subtitles. Or comedian/writer A. Whitney Brown’s great monologue about fate on Carson.  I believe that I will be the first to make this one available.

Enjoy them. As I write this, I’ve uploaded four videos. There are more than fifty more clips in the folder I’m working out of now. That’s from two of the tapes, and there are at least fifteen more tapes to rip and clip. I’m going to have hundreds of clips when I’m done.

VHS Rips

–   freemont

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