VHS Mixtape 3: Letterman, Star Trek, Licensed to Drive, More
I have a box of VHS tapes. I want to revisit what is on the tapes. They are all full of hours of television recorded over the last 20-odd years. There are about 50 of them, that’s around 300 hours of content.
Tape 3 starts with the opening credits for the Corey and Corey movie Licensed to Drive. Growing up I watched this movie so much that I began to think that it was an option. I longed to find that mythical drive in. To eat hamburger sandwiches and French fried potatoes. Oh the magic, or whatever.
Got through almost all the opening of the movie and the tape segues into the Star Trek the Next Generation episode First Contact, not the movie First Contact. I still love this episode. It’s the one where Riker goes missing while investigating a developing culture that is about to break the warp barrier, the threshold where The Federation will make first contact. When The Enterprise loses track of Riker on the planet they move up first contact. They meet with the head of the government and introduce themselves. The planet is progressing but there is a powerful streak of xenophobia. The planet’s leader decides that his world isn’t ready for contact with the space aliens and The Federation leaves. It’s a nice twist on an alien invasion story. Plus, Will goes old-school Kirk with alien Dr. Lilith Sternin.
This must have been recorded at 6pm on KWGN Denver, because there is a prom for Star Trek the Original Series at 10pm that night. Channel 2 showed the best Star Trek promos. My favorite is a parody of The Grateful Dead’s "Truckin'." Of course. Star Trekin' across the universe...
Also, there was promo for an all new The Dennis Miller Show tonight at 11 with guest Sass Jordan. So, clear your schedule, I guess.
That day was a recording gold mine apparently, the 10pm episode of TOS that night was the Nazi Planet episode. This was one of the episodes that cemented my love for Trek. Like The Time Machine movie, my Star Trek love was started by a parent. This time it was my mom. One day I was flipping around the channels and came across Trek and my mom said from the back of the room,
“Oh Star Trek, I like this show.”
That was all it took. I started paying attention and the rest is nerd history.
Hey don’t forget, Dennis Miller and Sass Jordan tonight at 11!
Unfortunately, the recording ended after TOS and before Dennis. No Sass. But there is the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge" video. Recorded during Hanging with MTV! And the guest that day was Weird Al!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This site puts that appearance on the 7/7/92.
Al was there to promote the video for "You Don’t Love Me Anymore." This part of the tape is a supercut of the host segment with Al and the hosts, John Norris and some lady who seems to have memorized the producers questions very well. Gale, I think her name is Gale. There was also a MTV News bit about Dana Carvey preparing to host the VMAs and the VMA nomination announcements. The Chili Peppers led the noms that day. The bit ends with Al doing "Smells Like Nirvana" live and a reminder to return tomorrow for The Soup Dragons!
Next, the tape cuts to Megadeth’s "Symphony of Destruction." This song was on my favorite album from one of my favorite artists at the time.
Oh good, I recorded this video twice in a row.
That cuts to the movie Sleeper, the only Woody Allen movie I like. Dystopian Future, social commentary, comedy, Dixieland Jazz all the things I love. And Dixieland Jazz. Looks like it was recorded off HBO. Like Dr. Strangelove and 1984, I still find new things when I watch this movie. I see how the pragmatic cynic in me was fed by this movie. It’s about evil totalitarianism sure, but also about useless idealists. It’s a comic “We've always been at war with Eastasia" ethos that runs through the film that hits me square in my pragmatic soul.
After Sleeper is the last episode of the first season of The Real World. Yes, at the time I took this show seriously, but like 24 I was done by the third season.
Next on the tape is Terminator 2 recorded from HBO. I saw this film in the theater when it came out. It was released during the time that I saw every movie that came to town. I sat through a lot of crap (I’m looking at you Teen Wolf Too) but also I saw a lot that fed my mind, Rainman, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July and Schindler's List. Plus T2 was all about time travel so of course I would see it. And lots of cool ‘splosens.
I think I have it recorded because I wanted to memorize as much as I could. Why? A normal person may ask. Well, at the time a young lady, a 1992 riot girrl skate chick, asked me what was my favorite part of T2 was, and I couldn't think of any scene in the movie. Not even when the T picks up the baby by the overalls. So, as any young man desperate for any attention from women like that, I vowed to watch T2 as much as possible so this wouldn't happen again. Because as we all know, people will be talking about T2 for years to come...Won't they? WON'T THEY.
After T2 the tape cuts to Late Night with David Letterman (YEA)! And his guest Robin Williams. I must have watched this segment a hundred times. It had me on the floor in the 90s. He talks about his wife being pregnant and that he is hosting the Richard Pryor Roast.
END OF TAPE 3