Observations after watching a bunch of DVDs of archival footage from The Midnight Special

dlwalke

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The DVDs went from 1974-1980.

Here are a few random observations:

1) drum kits were significantly smaller back then - at least the ones that were used on the Midnight Special. Perhaps they weren't the main touring kits...I don't know, but many wouldn't have seemed that out of place is some teenagers basement.

2) music got much worse as the 70's wore on - at least the music that became hits and appeared on The Midnight Special. Maybe it's subjective but to me (born in '61), the songs became progressively less artistic with each passing year. A lot of the later 70's hits were kind of milk toast.

3) denim was quite popular, as were tight pants with an obvious bulge. Showing a lot of chest, for guys, was also quite popular, and it seemed that one might have gotten extra points for a hairy chest (within reason).

4) double necked guitars were also pretty popular...in some cases even for songs for which the guitarist only used one neck.

5) Open cowboy chords were more common than they are today. Like, I could recognize a lot of the chords that were being played, more so than when I watch a musical act today (e.g., on SNL).

I really enjoyed the DVD set btw. If you are of a certain age, you probably would to, especially the discs with performances from the early 70's.
 
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Buddhist#6

Courtney DIDN’T Kill Kurt!
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I agree with everything except number 2. Which is of course subjective. There’s a lot of bands from the late 70s in my opinion that are great that never were on midnight special, specifically a lot of punk bands. but again it’s all subjective.
 

andrekp

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The past is another country.

I would be curious if OP was around back then, or if he is approaching this for the first time.

This was how you learned about new music then. One of only a very few ways which were hardly more advanced than this. Another world.
 

iamdavea

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The past is another country.

I would be curious if OP was around back then, or if he is approaching this for the first time.

This was how you learned about new music then. One of only a very few ways which were hardly more advanced than this. Another world.
The OP told us he was born in '61.
 

dlwalke

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228
The past is another country.

I would be curious if OP was around back then, or if he is approaching this for the first time.

This was how you learned about new music then. One of only a very few ways which were hardly more advanced than this. Another world.
Yep, I was around back then. Early to mid+ teens. Starting to buy my own albums and listening to stuff other than what my parents listened to (some of which I liked a lot).
 

dlwalke

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yeah i went down a serious Midnight Special rabbit hole a few weeks ago. started with this one

me and my buddy did a Vanilla Strangiato podcast about it, links below somewhere if yer bored or curious

I agree with everything except number 2. Which is of course subjective. There’s a lot of bands from the late 70s in my opinion that are great that never were on midnight special, specifically a lot of punk bands. but again it’s all subjective.
That is true.
 

dlwalke

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228
And this one, which may be my favorite of all (these were my formative days and I never missed that damn show, LOL).


That one was not on the DVD (which is probably like 1% of what aired) but I enjoyed watching it. I've never seen Jeff so animated and verbose! ELO was my favorite band back in the day. Another great track from that era that I recently put back in rotation on my iTunes playlist is "Throw me Down a Line."
 
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Gevalt

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I used to watch a show that compiled Midnight Special stuff ,in the 90's.
I thought the 70's were really big on wood, lapels, flutes and wah-wah's with curly cables.

"Talking it up...On the Barry Gibb talk show...talking 'bout chest hair...talkin' bout...crazy cool medallions..."
 

steve T 667

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650
The past is another country.

I would be curious if OP was around back then, or if he is approaching this for the first time.

This was how you learned about new music then. One of only a very few ways which were hardly more advanced than this. Another world.
new TV Guide always came out on monday back then, so when mom brought it home id grab it immediately. First see what horror movies are on sat morning, then check fri/sat night for In Concert, Midnight Special, Don Kirshner, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail(oddly enough it always seemed to be on at like 11:30 or midnight once or twice a year.) then scan the rest of the week for whatever.
Those shows were the highlight of the week, outside of SNL and The Kenny Everret Video SHow. But thats a whole different thread
 

dlwalke

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228
I know I’m taking a risk with this one because it’s GASP, pop music, LOL … but this is four and a half minutes of impeccably sung and played pop music, dead live … and auto tune hadn’t been invented yet. ;)


The Bee Gees were awesome. They are tainted, some would say, by their disco period but even their disco stuff was top shelf IMO. No matter the genre, the truly talented rise to the top.
 
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Ok so I haven’t seen them all, but I really dig this performance, probably my favorite Fleetwood Mac song.



Phew! That was hot. I'd just like to add that, next time someone posts a TGP thread about "hey, uh, do you guys dress up for gigs or do you just play in your cargo shorts," someone needs to link to this video and tell 'em to they need to wear a billowy silk tunic like Lindsey Buckingham did.
 




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