[no title]Brucevideos/JEMS Date: 03 May 1988 Location: Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA Format: DVD Duration: –
01.01- BE TRUE
01.02- ADAM RAISED A CAIN
01.03- TWO FACES
01.04- ALL THAT HEAVEN WILL ALLOW
01.07- COVER ME
01.08- BRILLIANT DISGUISE
01.09- SPARE PARTS
01.11- BORN IN THE USA
01.12- TOUGHER THAN THE REST
01.13- AIN'T GOT YOU - SHE'S THE ONE
01.14- YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)
01.15- I'M A COWARD
01.16- I'M ON FIRE
01.17- ONE STEP UP
01.18- PART MAN PART MONKEY
01.02- DANCING IN THE DARK
01.03- LIGHT OF DAY
01.04- BORN TO RUN
01.05- HUNGRY HEART
01.06- GLORY DAYS
01.07- ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
01.08- HAVE LOVE WILL TRAVEL
01.09- TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT
01.10- SWEET SOUL MUSIC
01.11- RAISE YOUR HAND
01.12- LITTLE LATIN LUPE LU
01.13- TWIST AND SHOUT
A shocking 26(!) long years after we filmed it, JEMS and Brucevideos are pleased to mark that anniversary and present a previously uncirculated video recording of the longest and arguably best show of the Tunnel of Love tour: night two at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA, May 3, 1988.
The show was shot during the height of JEMS' otherwise indifferent interest in making audience videos. We brought the camera to town specifically to shoot both shows and in fact did not record audio ourselves, as our express purpose was to capture video. JEMS shot video of concerts as far back as 1982 but never fully committed to the medium for all the reasons you'd expect: hassle factor, venue security challenges, frequently poor results.
But in 1988, with a new video camera in hand and Bruce touring up the west coast, it felt like the time to try again with the new Sony CCD-V5 and its 6x zoom. We brought the camera into Shoreline for night one and about an hour of footage exists, shot from stage left high in the 200s. While it is not completely unwatchable, its close, as the shoot was marred by obstructions, cuts and very few steady shots.
We came out of night one deflated and frustrated, but not defeated. To shoot the show well and solve for those issues we needed an unobstructed view, a way to keep the camera steady and the opportunity to check the viewfinder on occasion without fear of being caught. But how? And then it came to us, like Bill Graham had suggested it himself.
Back in those days, there were no wheelchair tickets. If you came in a wheelchair with a ticket, the simply directed you to the wheelchair section. The wheelchair area was stage right in front of the 200 section. And while it was an obstructed view in the sense that part of the stage itself couldn't be seen given the severe angle, what could be seen had no heads or seats directly in front of it at all. Also, by sitting in the wheelchair, the camera could be steadied on the lap in the chair, and looking down into the viewfinder became possible.
And so it was that we rented a wheelchair and I did indeed push J into the venue. I seem to recall there's a long unpaved walk from where you park to the Shoreline entrance and we were debating how close we could get before J had to sit in the chair. But sit he did and exactly as we hoped, we were directed to the wheelchair seating area and J set up to shoot.
We had three tapes, extra batteries, the right vantage point and a plan. But as anyone who shoots audience video knows (especially back in those days), shooting for over three hours covertly is not easy, even from the wheelchair section.
The start of the show was missed while we got set up and much of "Be True" can't be seen in picture though the song is complete in audio. But after that point, dare I say it gets kinda good. There are cuts and battery changes. And there are moments where we lose the shot, something gets in the way, etc. Typical audience video shit.
That being said, there are long stretches of the show that are highly watchable, quite close and steady. You can't see the entire band (for instance, the Horns of Love are only visible when they come to the front of the stage), but what you can see I consider the best audience video of the Tunnel of Love tour. The super majority of what we shot, over three hours, is very good considering the era and the vantage point.
We picked the right show, too. After weeks of static set lists in '88, the most stagnant of his career, things started to loosen up during the five-night run at the Sports Arena in LA, notably the reintroduction of "Backstreets" and the debut of what for my money is still one of Bruce's greatest covers ever, The Sonics' "Have Love, Will Travel" (if it shows up on the current tour, I think we will have this torrent to thank).
Both songs are in the set here, but what made Mountain View 2 even more special was the encore, where Bruce blew past the set-closing "Raise Your Hand" and audibled "Little Latin Lupe Lu," not played since the legendary Boston Music Hall shows in 1977, and when that wasn't enough, "Twist and Shout" (both moments are highly amusing to watch and well captured). This show is as good as the US leg of the Express tour gets.
I was sitting elsewhere. On the lawn in fact. And why I wasn't audio taping escapes me, but I didn't need to be because Persic was. And our generous friend lent us his master tapes for this project. Persic himself once described this as one of his finer audience recordings and thanks to the shotgun Nakamichi mics and the repeater speakers on the lawn at Shoreline, it does sound uncannily close. You might ask why we didn't use the circulating soundboard recording of the show (surely the audio of a video feed, made famous on the Roses and Broken Hearts CD). Not only is it incomplete, but I find Persic's recording more satisfying to listen to. And its audience origin made it better suited for an audience video.
Persic's master tapes were key because the camcorder audio on our master video is quite poor and distorted. We knew we needed to swap it out and sync Persic's audio to our video. Having gone down this path before with our beloved compatriot Pete at Brucevideos with the Passaic and Widener College projects, I knew another three hours of syncing to picture threatened to put Pete in an early grave. And none of us want that.
What to do, what to do?
Then I had a novel idea and I knew just the man for the job, Hoserama. Many of his finest works involve the syncing and time alignment of multiple audio sources and he does so at a level the rest of us can't possibly achieve. So it occurred to me, rather than Pete syncing to picture, what if we asked Hoserama to sync Peric's audio to the camera audio to create a matrix with the camera audio as the baseline, then drop out the camera audio and leave Persic's audio in its place? All Pete would need to do then is rip out the entire soundtrack for each piece of the show (tapes one, two and three) and drop in Hoserama's synced Persic audio.
I have never heard of this being done before to sync audio to video, but it seemed logical and after talking it through with Hoserama, he agreed to do a test. Sure enough, the sync, drop and replace model worked, saving Pete literally dozens of hours of painstaking work. And Pete says the sync is better than he could do by hand anyway. A thousand Thank Yous to Hoserama for his invaluable contribution to this project.
Pete, as he has so graciously done before, did the rest, mastering and authoring to make the video and audio the best they can be. There are a few moments where the axis of the camera titled changing the horizon and in a few of the most egregious moments, Pete does some post-production to correct the problem. The image straightens but the quality worsens, so it is used sparingly. His work across the board is, as usual, top notch and there is no way this project happens without his involvement. Pete, once again, thanks.
Last but not least, I want to thank J, my friend of nearly 30 years, for allowing me to push him into the show in a wheelchair and for the staggering number of wonderful recordings he made under the JEMS banner low these many years. J has been having some health issues of late, and while I know he will bounce back again as he always does, I just want to say to everyone you couldn't find a better friend and partner in this crazy hobby of ours than he. Round for round, pound for pound, there ain't a finer man around.
From J's initial attempts to locate the video masters to the Apple ProRes transfer to borrowing Persic's cassettes to getting the files to Hoserama and Pete and then pulling them all back together again as authored DVDs, the Mountain View project has lasted over a year. We missed the true anniversary by a couple of days, but after 26 years, we're guessing you won't mind.
[click thumbnails to download full resolution artwork]