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topic icon Author Topic: TBF Video Tape Recordings WERE MADE for the entire TBF 1985  (Read 16595 times)
420Sugaree
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URL icon « on: January 30, 2011, 09:45:47 AM »

fwiw, 2 days ago on Jan 28, I just realized that my last TBF was 1985. I noticed this because Jan 28, 2011 was the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. I clearly remember the moment I heard about this disaster 25 years ago: where I was; what I was doing then; and what I had done the previous year.

I mentioned here once or twice that my last TBF was 1986. I was wrong. Now I know it was 1985. Several times during the past couple of years, I had looked into Planet Bluegrass' Archive for past festival performers over the years at TBF. The 1986 lineup listing was missing John Hartford. I almost challenged the accuracy of the Planet Bluegrass archives. I remember seeing Hartford at my last TBF. Now everything matches up for me.

The 12th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival -- June 21-23, 1985
Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band • John Hartford • Seldom Scene • Tony Trischka and Skyline • Hot Rize • Tony Rice • Nashville Bluegrass Band • Chris Daniels and the Kings • New Grass Revival • Doc and Merle Watson • The David Grisman Quintet • Peter Rowan and Crucial Country • Mark O’Connor • Bryan Bowers • Alaska’s Hobo Jim

A guy from Boulder, Colorado put together a TV Production deal for the entire 1985 TBF. Phone calls were made to video production houses in Denver. This Project was seeking free lance staffing for the TV crew, and they needed 2 engineer Free Lancers. Challenger Productions was hired to bring their brand new TV Production Truck to TBF, from Oklahoma. (Challenger was based in either Tulsa or Oklahoma City - I can't remember which.) Their 18-wheel TV Production truck was a state-of-the-art beauty, costing approx $6 million to build.

Denver's Telemation Productions was called first. Several of Telemation's video tape operators and camera operators signed up, went to TBF 1985, and worked free lance for the Boulder TV Production outfit - running cameras and video tape machines there. Computer Image Productions in Denver was called next. Challenger was needing 2 Free Lance video engineers. Glenn Hill and Monte Barry (me) signed on. Glenn and myself traveled together from Denver to Telluride, and back to Denver. We both worked at the TBF in 1985 as free lance video engineers for Challenger Productions. We both worked full time at Computer Image Productions as video engineers during this period. I think several other Computer Image Productions guys also freelanced as video tape operators, cameramen, and production assistants there.

The Challenger Truck came into TBF equipped with 4 cameras, 4 Ampex one-inch video tape recorders (VTRs) with Ampex time base correctors, Ampex ADO special effects systems, character generators, a large Grass Valley 300 switcher, Intercom systems, numerous Frame Synchronizers, and a huge Professional Audio system. Also contracted in were 3 more hand-held cameras. A 4th camera was contracted in, and it was set up on a camera Jib. So we had a very robust 8-camera shoot going. Audio for the TBF's PA system was run and staffed separately by the TBF sound crew. I believe Challenger was recording a 2-channel Audio feed from the Sound Crew's sound board. We worked shooting and recording the entire weekend for 1985 TBF. Everything was recorded on one-inch video tape -- Broadcast Quality!

WHERE THE HECK ARE THESE TAPES? Please, do not tell me they are "lost". Please, do not tell me they were "recorded over".



Bluegrass Alliance - lost video tapes from 1976:

My lost videotapes from 1976 - with Vince Gill and the Bluegrass Alliance. Monte is seeking a copy of this VideoTape - for The Internet Archive. We taped it over two Sunday nights in springtime 1976 at WDRB-TV in Louisville. I was working there as a video tape operator. I was roommates with the band. I was the sound man for Bluegrass Alliance. I received permission from the TV Station to put a Bluegrass Show together. We used a Peavey audio board and some mics that were borrowed from the guy who owned Far-Out Music in New Albany, Indiana. We only had one TV camera in the WDRB studio. On the first pass, we shot the close-ups. Then we set the camera up on a wide shot and played the tape back for the second pass. The band lip-synched to the taped audio during this part. We faded between the tape and the camera's live-shot on our Grass Valley video switcher.

WAKY disc jockey Tom Dooley was the host of the show. He had really long, full curly hair and a beard. The second week he showed up with short hair. So we had to do the intro at the top, and some dissolves (fade-ins and fade-outs), a second time. We didn't set up the questions for the interview ahead of time. Every time he asked one of the players a question about the band, they referred him to Lonnie Peerce. The songs were recorded on individual 2" tapes.

I ran audio, and I video taped it. Then I used the remote-control edit package they had installed for 2 of their 3 RCA 2-inch quadruplex video tape recorders. I did some very simple "video-only" insert-edits into the master tape. We ended up with a faked-out 2-camera shoot. This 60-minute program aired on WDRB-TV in Louisville in 1976, probably in May.

I am looking for a copy of this tape. I called WDRB-TV (Fox) over a year ago, and discussed this with them. One guy, who claims to have been there since the late 70s, swears to me that this tape doesn't exist in their tape library or their archives. It vanished! They probably recorded over it, since a 1-hour reel cost about $200 back then.

Louisville's WDRB-TV employees Monte Barry, Mike Harpring, and Steve Doss all shared the "producer" credit.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 11:23:56 AM by 420Sugaree » IP address Logged

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URL icon « Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 10:03:48 AM »

so Monte, my question is...


when should we expect ya this year? 
hopefully in time for a hippie wedding celebration Cake





 

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URL icon « Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 04:49:19 PM »

well, the deal on these is that, in the minds of some at least, they got released without final permission, which blew the whole deal up. bummer.
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URL icon « Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 05:00:20 PM »

Well, this exists.  But I think it is from 1981 since it is the 8th annual festival.  Great compilation video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMgaCseqZmU
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URL icon « Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 05:14:54 PM »

Nice post - that Hartford footage is magical!
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URL icon « Reply #5 on: February 02, 2011, 08:06:07 PM »

Well, this exists.  But I think it is from 1981 since it is the 8th annual festival.  Great compilation video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMgaCseqZmU

WOW big fun. Nice! Cheers
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URL icon « Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 11:01:58 AM »

I do not know where these 1985 TBF tapes are - that we recorded with Challenger Productions. I'm sure the client from Boulder had made arrangements in advance. Some release agreements and contracts "surely" were signed for this project. (correct, yes?)

All I know is, it was a guy in Boulder who put this together. He was a rookie producer, evidently. I don't remember meeting him. Thousands of dollars were spent on this, not to mention, a lot of people worked on this. I may vaguely remember the "Producer guy client" saying he was going to edit down the master tapes into "shows". I didn't get the name of "the client." I wouldn't know who it was.

This rookie Producer thought The Challenger Productions TV Truck would have an endless supply of blank one-inch videotape "on site" for him. Wrong. The Truck came with a truck driver, chief engineer, an engineer-in-charge, a few reels of test tapes for engineering use, and a brand new $6 million production facility. No blank reels of video tape were on this Truck, because Challenger was never asked to bring blank tapes there.

What happened was this rookie producer had to fly blank one-inch videotapes on helicopters from Denver to an airport nearby Telluride on multiple flights (before any Telluride airport existed). Then it was driven into Telluride. This is my best recollection. These costs were expensive, prohibitive, unplanned by him, and not in his budget. Because there was NO blank video tape there! Someone had to "buy it" and get it there.

Everyone at TBF working on this project was, throughout the festival, paying for their own individual costs up-front. Food was provided to all of us while we worked through our meal breaks, and that's it. When we started setting up all the equipment, 100% of us were completely stunned to learn that this guy was stupid enough to overlook stocking the Truck with blank video tape. I can't begin to tell you how many thousands of dollars Challenger Productions spent to Video Tape Record the 1985 TBF.

Challenger also rented a condo for us. Glenn and I crashed with the Challenger engineers in that condo. Again, the other free lancers that worked with Challenger were all contracting for this Boulder guy. They had to pay for their own lodging in condos, or, they used their free camping passes. They never got paid. You don't forget stuff like this, and who the guy was that didn't pay you, when you work your ass off and lose hundreds of dollars.

All the free lance crew were signed up from the Denver area. They were mostly from Telemation Productions and Computer Image Productions, both in Denver: camera operators; tape operators; audio operators; technical directors; production assistants; etc.

Many reels of video tape from Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1985 were recorded by Challenger Productions on broadcast quality Ampex one-inch VTRs. Glenn Hill and Monte Barry worked 16-hour days, as did most of the crew.

Challenger Productions was very proud and professional. They didn't get paid either. They were too embarrassed to not pay me and Glenn. That's why we were the only 2 dudes who got paid.

That's the last I ever heard of this gig. The years went by. I've hesitated to mention this very often because, frankly, I didn't want to embarrass the Colorado community.

I'm at least 99% sure of the following:

• None of us that worked on this gig knew anything about this guy.
• This guy was from Boulder, Colorado
• Challenger Productions TV Truck was brand new, state-of-the-art, valued at $6 million
• Challenger truck had a driver, Chief Engineer, and Engineer-in-Charge, based in Oklahoma
• Challenger truck was a huge 18-wheeler mobile teleproduction unit
• Challenger truck was parked backstage for the entire 1985 TBF (photos, anyone?)
• all of us were discussing how stupid and EXPENSIVE it was to helicopter blank video tapes into TBF
• we had 8 cameras -- 4 cameras on "sticks", 1 camera on a jib, 3 roving cameras hand-held
• we taped hours of footage in the Truck
• we taped on four Ampex one-inch VTRs
• we taped a video Program feed mixed in the Grass Valley 300 switcher
• we were taping isolated camera shots
• we taped interviews and performances
• we were taping the PA crew's Sound Board feed

Some simple detective work and a bit of elbow grease will easily (in my opinion) reveal enough facts and evidence to track this thing down. Phone calls to Denver: NAB Denver; free lancers who shoot camera for The Rockies games; etc.

Some people from Denver's Computer Image Productions alumni are listed on The Scanimate Alumni web page, at the bottom. You will find my name on this list.

The Scanimate Guest Book has more alumni listed, along with names and email addy's. You will find Glenn Hill's name on this list.

Glenn Hill went on to have a long career as a senior video engineer with Sony Corporation, in San Jose, Calif.

L to R is Tim Keefe, Monte Barry, Glenn Hill - Mt. Princeton summit - 1985


Monte Barry working on Ampex one-inch VTRs -- March, 1982 -- USA Cable Network
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URL icon « Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 05:36:30 PM »

Monty,
What's the point, Honey? Any chance you can give me an answer in less than three lines? Just get to the point. Are you asking FOR HELP to track this stuff down for further production? Are you asking for help to get a copy for yourself, because you did work really, really hard on this project.

JUST TELL US YOUR MAIN POINT and let's get on with future fest planning!

Thanks Man!  Thumbs Up

Auntie Hope  :festivarian2 :green
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URL icon « Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 09:52:37 AM »

Monte,
What's the point, Honey? Any chance you can give me an answer in less than three lines? Just get to the point. Are you asking FOR HELP to track this stuff down for further production?

Thanks Man!  Thumbs Up

Auntie Hope  :festivarian2 :green

Yes, can you please help me, Craig, and Planet Bluegrass track this stuff down? Let the chips fall where they may, regardless of self-interests or commercial potential. We've been waiting over 25 years. These tapes belong in Public Circulation.

Shrewd tape collectors -- who are selfishly hoarding tapes in private collections, should be called out for this. I have no shame about discussing this.

This is part of Americana. It's a national treasure.

Thanks for asking.

Peace
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URL icon « Reply #9 on: February 04, 2011, 10:27:13 AM »

Monte,
What's the point, Honey? Any chance you can give me an answer in less than three lines? Just get to the point. Are you asking FOR HELP to track this stuff down for further production?

Thanks Man!  Thumbs Up

Auntie Hope  :festivarian2 :green

Yes, can you please help me, Craig, and Planet Bluegrass track this stuff down? Let the chips fall where they may. We've been waiting over 25 years. These tapes belong in Public Circulation.

Shrewd tape collectors -- who are selfishly hoarding tapes in private collections, should be called out for this. I have no shame about discussing this.

This is part of Americana. It's a national treasure.

Thanks for asking.

Peace

Well, that was at least 5 years  before Planet Bluegrass existed/ took over the festival. Obviously, I know nothing of this since it was YEARS before I came on the scene.

I'm sure Ferg will see this, but I'm not sure he will know anything about it either.

I'll look forward to the day when this is finally found...
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URL icon « Reply #10 on: February 04, 2011, 11:59:47 AM »

I'll look forward to the day when this is finally found...

Here's a 1985 TBF sound board recording I just found (KOTO feed?). Names and dates match up to those stored in the archives. Let's thank Béla and the boys for this priceless sampling of what's on these lost video tapes.

There is an embedded audio player on the web page in the link below. Béla's set will stream to your computer from there:

Béla Fleck's Sunday morning set, June 23 – Telluride 1985

See Rock City, Oma & Opa, Another Morning, Polka Dots & Moonbeams, Beatles Medley, Geocentricity > Hudson’s Bay, Irish Medley (1), Right As Rain (1), Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow (2), Four Wheel Drive (3), Spunk (4), Love’s Old Sweet Song (4,5), Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans (5), Crazy Dreams (5), Whiskey Before Breakfast > John Hardy (6), For Sascha (1:01)

Bela Fleck – Banjo, Guitar, (1) Pat Flynn – Guitar, (2) Pat Enright – Vocals, (3) Sam Bush – Mandolin, (4) Mark O’Conner – Fiddle, (5) Maura O’Connell – Vocals, (6) Tony Trischka – Banjo


note: The web author says "June 22" on the above linked web page. Sam says it's "Sunday" morning, at the end of the I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow track, at the 2:30 point. My computer's clock shows that June 22, 1985 is a Saturday. This date validity caluculator verifies June 22, 1985 was a Saturday.

This means to me that Béla's set on this recording was from Sunday, June 23, 1985.

I found Béla's set on The Archive. It looks like it's KOTO's feed.
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URL icon « Reply #11 on: February 04, 2011, 01:12:44 PM »

 Cheers This is nice!  Thumbs Up TYVM!
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URL icon « Reply #12 on: February 04, 2011, 05:09:49 PM »

+T for the fascinating history on all of this.  And for the linky to the Bela set from '85 (must download now!).  And for the flashbacks in general.   Medal

I've got my fingers crossed that these recordings surface in whole or in part, sooner or later, here or there, as long as they're out there somewhere.
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URL icon « Reply #13 on: February 05, 2011, 02:08:10 PM »

very interesting, too bad things didn't work out given the effort put in on the front end!

hopefully, something will surface!

(If so, hopefully it wont' be reduced to a "compilation".  I'm a much bigger fan of getting into the flow of a set/show vs. a mish mash greatist hits ... in which case  I'd feel like Father Mulchahie in M.A.S.H. when the corn he was faithfully tending to all season was "creamed" by the Army cooks.)

Personally, I'd lay down $$$ for a rougher mix of a full show vs. a well polished post production compilation piece.   On a related side note: it drives me absolutely INSANE  Mad  that the dead are probably sitting on top of piles and piles of footage (at the least from their 90's stadium feeds), but won't release it ... most likely due to shying away from what the industry says is the "right way" to release video - which is probably cost prohibitive.  </rant>

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URL icon « Reply #14 on: February 05, 2011, 07:08:38 PM »


I'd lay down $$$ for a rougher mix of a full show vs. a well polished post production compilation piece... the dead are probably sitting on top of piles and piles of footage...



Have you ever seen this Grateful Dead video clip? It's Next Time You See Me, shot in Copenhagen, 1972. This clip was upped to YouTube on Feb 18, 2009. Bobby has a poop-eatin' grin going, Jer is boppin' to the beat, and Pigpen is all business. All this is going on in the first few frames of video at the top, when they kick off this tune. Pig's vocals are sharp. Dig that funky hat of his.

Great quality for videotape - it was video taped on 2-inch quads. You'll see a couple of "hits" in the 2-inch video tape playback, due to momentary tracking errors. It's a multi-camera shoot, nice YouTube transfer, great sound in the clip (sound board), e/v RE-15 mics on vocals are lined up along the intimate stage setting. Phil is happy. Keith cam is iso'd, we have Pig cam tight shot, Jer cam - check him out "directing" - Jer is sending "signals" to the sound crew during Pig's harmonica solo. Jer is gesturing, "hey! - my solo is next", and he's signaling for more volume. Great Keith, Billy, and Bobby shots.

Near the end of this clip, notice the shot of Jer's pedal steel guitar on stage-right. Look at the tight "2-shot" scene of Pig and Jer - beginning at the 3:36 mark in the clip. Jer's pedal steel guitar is behind Pigpen.

imo, it's Priceless! -- here's the YouTube clip

Grateful Dead
Tivoli Theatre
Copenhagen, Denmark
17 April 1972

Jay Ashley has Digitally Remastered GD's sound board recording on The Archive from this night. He was using the Bertha DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This is A fantastic show with absolutely wonderful sound.

Did the video tapes from this Tivoli Theatre live TV production in 1972 ever get released? Many more clips from this night are on Youtube - just search Greatful Dead, Copenhagen. This TV production scenario is virtually a clone of what we did for Challenger Productions at TBF in 1985. In both cases, there were Millions of Dollars of TV Broadcasting cameras, switchers, sound equipment, and video tape recorders rolling for the whole damn thing!!! There were numerous people working as production operators, engineers, and broadcasters for these 2 projects. These Tapes are somewhere on Planet Earth!

GD's Dead-dot-Net web site is where Rhino is marketing and releasing the entire Europe '72 tour in a huge 60-CD boxed set. This is a new announcement - it's about 2 weeks old. $450 is the price.

There were several discussions about this. Rhino claims the Dead hauled a 16-track tape recorder around for the whole Tour. This was at Warner Bros (recording label) request. They taped the entire tour on a 16-track tape recorder. Alembic Sound and the Grateful Dead Gear book both claim Ron Wickersham modified the 16-track recorder to accept larger 14-inch reels, which helped minimize reel flips.

Interestingly, I asked some questions about Alembic's formation in an e-mail conversation I had with Bear in September, 2009. Ron Wickersham was working as an Audio design engineer for Ampex before Alembic Sound was started. It was Bear (Owsley Stanley) who brought Ron Wickersham and Rick Turner, a maker of acoustic guitars, together. He suggested they form Alembic. The idea was to work on sound systems, and to make fine modern guitars and basses.

I also worked for Ampex, from 1979 to 1984. So the other day I put together my thesis of what I believe Ron Wickersham was doing to tape record the Europe '72 Tour. Ron was building the most awesome "taper's" audio tape recorder in the world. Alembic would record the Europe '72 tour on a 16-track ATR, using larger 14-inch tape reels, and recording at 15 ips.

He stripped out the Audio electronics and the Audio headstacks from an Ampex MM-1000 2-inch 16-track ATR. Then he stripped out the Audio headstacks and the Audio and Video electronics from an Ampex VR-1200 2-inch VTR. Then he installed the MM-1000 16-track Audio headstacks and its Audio electronics into the VR-1200's frame. He may have made some design modifications to the VR-1200's tape transport and electronics to get it to work perfectly. Amazing!
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