Since I was only ever able to catch a few of them on TV (I moved to NYC the year it went off the air), I was always on the look-out for bootlegs of a cable access program called Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube, perhaps THE greatest (I can’t imagine what would compare to it) underground video archive of late 70, early 80s punk, post-punk, No Wave and New Wave music that exists.
The Gun Club, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, The Cramps, Blondie, Talking Heads, James Chance and the Contortions, Johnny Thunders, Television, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Dead Boys, The Ramones, Siouxsie and the Banshees… the list of bands seen on Inner-Tube goes on and on and on. Shows often shot in color, with two cameras and sound board audio. Performances taped at CBGB, Mudd Club, Danceteria, Max’s Kansas City, Irving Plaza and usually the camera was right up front.
Inner-Tube ran for ten years on Manhattan Cable (meaning that you could only watch it if you lived in Manhattan, the outer boroughs didn’t get it, TV Party, Midnight Blue or Robin Byrd, either). Seriously, it was the best of the best. Unbelievable shit.
I’ve been waiting in vain for years, hoping for a proper DVD release of the “best of” Inner-Tube, but the rights issues would probably make that a nightmare. Now it looks like Tschinkel is starting to put some on YouTube. This should be encouraged!
“This ‘Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube’ program appeared on his Manhattan Cable TV show in 1980. It features live performances at Max’s Kansas City and CBGBs in New York that epitomize the dynamic, exciting music of the time. We see a riveting performance by the Dead Boys and a fast paced one by Levi and the Rockats that also includes a guest appearance by rocker Jayne County. A short piece of old time fiddling music, taped a fiddling convention in Independence VA in 1973, rounds out the program.”
This has only been on YouTube since last night. Here’s hoping for more Inner-Tube!