VHS Mixtapes: Tape 1 Seinfeld, Ice T and More
Alright, let's dive into the first tape. The tape itself is about 25 years old. Everything on here was recorded in the early 90s while I was in Sidney, Nebraska.
The first thing on the tape is The Boyfriend episode of Seinfeld from its original broadcast on February 12, 1992. I was down with Seinfeld from its premier. My obsession with stand-up comedy was well established in the summer of 1989 when NBC aired the first season. This episode was from the third season and all of the show's pieces were in place. Small goofy premise, Newman, clever pop culture references, Art Van Dalay. This was the episode where Jerry tries to establish a grown up friendship with Keith Hernandez, until he asks him to help him move! Also, it had the JFK movie parody where Kramer got to the bottom of who spit on him.
This was followed by some quick clips of various things. Then a few seconds of KDUH news from Scottsbluff Nebraska, Our local-ish TV station in the Nebraska Panhandle. If I remember correctly, they would play the ABC network feed an hour earlier than the Denver stations. So you could see Home Improvement twice if you really needed a fix. Or I'm making that memory up. The clip is like this, but not this:
Next we have an entire episode of Pump It Up! Recorded from the Sterling, Colorado TV station KTVS at like 12:30 AM on a Sunday morning. This episode was all about Ice-T. It was at the time of the O.G.album.
Dee interviewed Ice in his house in LA. Pretty standard interview stuff. But remember this was 1992. Before the Internet. I was living in Nebraska. There was an Alco store and occasionally someone would try to open a record store. Access to the music and artists that I liked required at least a trip to the mall in Scottsbluff. Once on a band trip we stopped at a mall in Golden Colorado, I nearly had a heart attack at a record store there. They not only had Vanilla Ice and Hammer, I found NWA and BDP cassettes. So, any long form interview with a rapper was something to record and study.
Staying up until 1:30 AM to record a whole hour of rap videos and an interview with Ice T was a gold mine. This time I got a couple Ice-T videos and WC and the Maad Circle’s "Dress Code" video!!
And an 'urban' McDonald's commercial. So 90’s.
After Ice-T recaps the plot of the movie over the credits, the tape goes into Metallica’s video for "One." This video was a major inspiration for me. The video uses clips from the movie Johnny Got His Gun. It uses the visuals and dialogue from the movie in conjunction with the music to generate a new creation. This is a style that is common today, but at the time it was so new and innovative and expanded what I thought was possible.
At the time Ice was the embodiment of rebellion for me. Not retro hippie rebellion. Not sanctimoniousness wishing. But a figure that said that the world may stomp on you, but you must stand up and do what needs doing and take care of your own.
We’re coming to the end of the tape and this is where the gems hide. Most of the tapes in the Collection were used over and over until they got full of stuff that just couldn’t be taped over. In EP Mode there is six hours of fun to fill. That leads to a delightful hodgepodge of stuff at the end. This time it starts with what seems to be the world premiere of Weird Al’s video for "Smells Like Nirvana" on Hanging With MTV. And the VJ was Duff! Again like this but not this:
The night I recorded it I was sitting with my friend, around the cabinet television awaiting the moment. When it came there was rejoicing that had not been seen since I heard the world premiere of "Stuck in a Closet With Vanna White" on the Dr. Demento Show. A few weeks later on a different band trip I found the Off the Deep End album in a Wal-Mart in Scottsbluff. It had been stocked with a bunch of Nevermind cassettes.
And a commercial to get a free OakTown's 357 cassingle in a box of Cinnamon Mini Buns Cereal. Which I did of course.
Darkwing and Oaktown’s were followed by videos from Yo! MTV Raps by NWA, House of Pain and Cyprus Hill.