Archives of vintage local gigs appear online
Mr. Street Home Page
Recently I was browsing vintage local concert footage on Youtube and discovered a relatively new user uploading dozens of San Diego concerts from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, mostly video taped events , but also audio-only recordings. The Youtuber described the footage as never before available online, with everything from single-song performances to full concert sets.
Dave Mason 1992-12-17 San Diego, California
And then I noticed that the Youtuber was also uploading vintage concert footage shot in his own hometown – a rural coastal New England village in Connecticut 3000 miles from San Diego! This unexpected coincidence made me curious enough to contact the uploader.
“I’ve been an avid, hardcore music collector since the late 80s,” says the uploader behind Mr. Rue’s music library. “While I was living in a small town in Illinois, I met another Kiss fan who had all these really cool live gig tapes, and that was the start of my obsession. From there, I would keep looking for other unknown and unreleased live recordings.. I had tried to record a Kiss show in Peoria, IL in 1988, but it sounded awful.”
As for the connection between San Diego and Connecticut, it turns out that in the late ’80s, Mr. Rue moved to the town where I grew up – because he’s connected to kids with whom I was at school ! “In 1991, I put advertisements on the back of Gold mine magazine, typing up my list of tapes and mailing them to other collectors around the world and in every country, hoping to start a business. I started pulling live tapes of all types of bands. I did this daily for many years. My main obsessions were Led Zeppelin and BB King. Through years of intensive research and networking with fellow collectors, I have finally amassed the largest BB King audio and video collection in the world. I had literally thousands of tapes.”
Mr. Rue’s stash includes a selection of tapes purchased from a former gig smuggler who used cameras and microphones hidden in a tricked-out hat. Coincidentally, I also knew THIS cone, he worked for my publishing house. I actually thought that was the guy I was contacting, not Mr. Rue, because I recognized the collection of tapes that were uploaded as “Third Eye” videos. the camera hat – must be the same guy!). But Mr. Rue only recently acquired the Third Eye reserve.
Another crazy coincidence. Just as “Mr. Rue” was uploading videotaped gigs like Yes bassist Chris Squire to Sound FX (formerly the Bacchanal) in August 1992, which wasn’t digitized or uploaded until quite recently, I was also uploading my own AUDIO tapes from the same San Diego era at the BetaGems Lost Media channel…including some of the same shows, like the Squire set!
Chris Squire 1992-08-20 San Diego, California (part 1)
So, after several video and audio tapes recorded by two separate people, they sat there for 30 years. all of a sudden, the two people uploaded their 30-year concerts on Youtube at almost the exact same time!
Chris Squire 8/20/92 San Diego UNRELEASED
Small planet indeed. “I started recording concerts in 1993”, says Mr. Rue. “Two of the first shows I recorded were Guns N’ Roses in Hartford and New Haven. Although on very cheap Walkman tape, these were some of my earliest recordings. Later in the summer of ’93 I recorded a handful of shows at the Naval Sub Base in Groton Connecticut, bands such as the Allman Brothers and Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, 10,000 Maniacs and a few others… from 1998 to 2006 I recorded about 125 shows, covering every kind of genre you could think of. I recorded artists whose music I didn’t even know. But if I knew they were popular, I was going to capture them. It was a really fun time and exciting.
Audio sharing sites are exactly why people like Mr. Rue have saved their recordings all these years. While selling unauthorized concert recordings is still an illegal copyright violation, it is perfectly legal to publish and share them for free. “Around 2010, I became heavily involved in sharing my recordings online using various torrent sites, all legitimate and nothing illegal. Over the next ten years, I offered over 3000 live recordings that I I had collected from various collectors. It gave me a great sense of joy to finally be able to share so many live recordings that I had collected with so many other collectors in the music community. I spent hours every day transferring and digitizing my analog and digital recordings, editing them, researching and writing descriptions on each recording with source and lineage information.”
“These over 3000 private recordings are still available for download on the website called The Trader’s Den, anyone who joins the site can download everything for free, my username is KingRue. I also have a website that lists all my audio and video collection of 7000 recordings. This is my swap site, and nothing is for sale. It’s not allowed. I will still do swaps from time to time through file sharing for collectors who really need something from my exchange collection.
Iron Butterfly 1994 09 25 San Diego, California [Third Eye]
Once his audio project was well underway, it was time to look at his filmed images. “I had a huge collection of videos that I had really done nothing with and it was all stored. I recently decided to start offering my videos and collected a huge amount of video footage from all types of musicians. This brought me to YouTube, I thought that would be the best way to share my video footage with the world rather than people on a particular website. I can post these videos to M’s music library . Street and it would allow anyone to watch them on any type of device.”
Mr. Rue’s large collection of San Diego videos was the main inspiration behind starting a Youtube channel. “Most of them hadn’t been seen or aired in many years, if at all, so I started uploading around the clock until all my San Diego material was uploaded. Then I started digging through my other collection and had quite a bit, so I’m digging up VHS, DVDs and 8mm cameras, scanning and downloading whatever I can find .
He discovers that he is no longer satisfied with managing his own recordings. “In many cases, I also work for other people. Other collectors send me their own master videos to digitize because they don’t have the means or the capacity to do so. I can do it for them .so this is part of the hobby which is very fun and interesting for me I run tapes and digitize them on DVD I have been doing this for many years so I have amassed quite a bit of video footage of all types of musicians and artists. Now I’m uploading daily to YouTube. I’ve only been working there for six months, but I have nearly 400 videos posted and you’ll find everything from Aerosmith to ZZ Top Here .”
BetaGems Lost Media channel has even more concerts and vintage San Diego TV footage
BetaGems Lost Media also offers a large collection of vintage San Diego concerts, as well as local TV footage and public access programs featuring local bands such as Neat, Manual Scan, NE1, and more.
Tell-Tale Hearts December 1983 San Diego Public Access “Hey Tiger”
The Monroes live set (Club 33)
The Tell-Tale Hearts “Hey Tiger” (Club 33)
Newscenter 39 report on Club 33, June 1984
Selections from the Beat Farmers episode of local public access show Club 33 are included, along with clips from the Tell-Tale Hearts, the Monroes and more can be viewed on the Reader site and on the BetaGems Youtube channel.
The Beat Farmers live set (Club 33)
Manual Sweep, “The American Way” (Club 33)
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