One of our favourite record label’s, Metal Postcard, is run by a certain Mr. Sean Hocking who some of you may know from previous posts on Louder Than War and others of you may know as he’s one of the wonderful Dandelion Radio’s DJ’s. He’s sent us his “Top 20 Music Film Clips That Inspired Him & Therefore The Label”.
Arriving in the UK in 1972 from the West Indies where I’d grown up as a small child and having never seen a TV before the heady combination of music and TV had me immediately hooked as an 8 year old. And especially so when Roxy Music appeared in TOTP playing Virginia Plain. Most the clips that follow tend to be live or live TV performances. There’s the odd video that really sticks but in the main it’s a live film clip can just catch that moment.
Here are my favourites.
Jerry Lee Lewis on Ready Steady Go – Hi Heel Sneakers – Whole Lotta Shakin Going On
Channel 4 resurrected Ready Steady Go in the mid eighties and the battered VCR was always there to record the shows. When this came on I was blown away and still am. Without doubt the most rock n roll performance I’ve ever seen. His hair, his expression, that slight paunch and a backing band called the Plebs! Absolute perfection and without doubt, The Killer.
Sex Pistols – No Fun at Winterland
Why did they ever bother to reform? What better way for a band to end its career. “This is no fun at all” I had this gig as a bootleg album for years before I saw the clip and wasn’t disappointed when I saw the footage. To end where they did, how they did and when they did was perfect. Just a shame that had to join the cabaret circuit.
Saints – Know Your Product
Probably the most perfect video I’ve ever seen.
Richie Havens – Freedom at Woodstock
I know this one is a bit obvious but it’s the best Woodstock clip by a country mile and he means every word and note of it in the performance. Still as good to me after 30 + years of watching it.
Bronski Beat – Small Town Boy
Probably the best video ever made for anybody who grew up as a teenager in the 80’s and had a different outlook on life. Whether it be the way you dressed, your sexuality , the music you listened to, and so on an so forth. There was always this threat of violence because you weren’t the norm. This video and song captures it perfectly.
The Who – Live At Monterey Pop Festival
Everybody bangs on about the Hendrix performance which I’ll admit was great but can you imagine all those laid back west coast types seeing this literal explosion of UK mod culture. This video documents their whole set. Pure joy.
James Brown – Please Please Please
I could have chosen one of a 1000 live performances . There’s something about James Brown in the late 60’s , a little bit older, the theatre, the moves and that suit.
The Cramps – Live At Napa Metal Hospital
The wonder of you tube. Was a huge Cramps fan and was lucky enough to see them in 1980 but this would have been the ultimate cramps gig, although the back cover picture of Gravest Hits kept me occupied for hours on end imagining I was there.
The Clash – Live At The Rainbow
Too young to see the Clash but not too young to sneak out of school and up to London to see Rude Boy when it was released. We might have laughed at gangly roadie character Ray Gange but we were so jealous that he got to see gigs like these. Name me a current band with energy levels like this. The hairs still stand up on the back of the neck every time I watch.
The Happy Mondays – Step On
Those TOTP performances by the Roses and Mondays were great but this video says it all. Ryder and the band look perfect and the message was so on for the time. I think the expression they use these days is awesome. Although in reality it was so much better than that.
The Triffids – Hell Of A Summer
Those of you who saw my last chart will know that I’m a Triffids tragic. I make no excuses. God they were good and here’s further proof through the prism of dodgy 1980’s NZ telly.
Roxy Music – Virginia Plain
As mentioned in my introduction this was probably the TOTP performance that hooked me on this thing called pop music for life. Little did I know at the time that it was actually art.
The Specials – Ghost Town
The antithesis of all those dull cheery pop videos and tells it like it is/was. A great song and great video that’ll be entertaining and informing for years to come
Velvet Underground – Sister Ray Live At The Boston Tea Party
I choose this clip but really you could choose any of them from this period and I defy anybody to say they wouldn’t sell their grandmother to have seen them live.
Siouxsie And The Banshees – Metal Postcard
The song that named a label .. was so excited when they turned up on the telly.
Black Flag – Rise Above
Saw them at the Lyceum bottom of the bill around this time. They came on at 2.30pm and were finished half an hour later. For the few of us who bothered to turn up we knew that everything had changed by 3 o’clock. Still the best gig I’ve ever seen. Tried to stay on for the anti-nowhere league and all those other Sunday pm lyceum punk cabaret acts but it all just seemed so pointless after Black Flag had left the stage.
Morning After Girls – Run For Our Lives
Australia’s most criminally underrated band ever and you just have to love the video. Skinny boys in black with cool guitars and a tambourine player
LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge
Just another one of those songs and videos that changed it all. Simplicity is always the best
The Monkees – Hey Hey We’re The Monkees
You can tell that I’m a child of the seventies ! The first 50 seconds of the show was always the best.
Pink Floyd – Echoes Live At Pompeii
And last but by no means least the Floyd. Funny one this. because it is and isn’t a visual feast at the same time. I’m always drawn back to it because the music is so sublime. Another great clip worth checking out featuring Echoes is surfer / filmmaker George Greenhough’s Crystal Voyager.