Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The first time

In every modernists life there's always a plethora of "first times": their first bespoke pair of trousers, the first time they heard The Jam, their first parka, the first Small Faces record they bought.  I was recently reminded of my first time I ever saw The Move on video.  In the 80's there was no YouTube, cool 60's videos were something that changed hands so many times they were over-duped to the point where you could hear the audio but you could not determine whether it was The Who or The Kinks you were watched because the quality had deteriorated so badly!  There were few "dealers" selling this stuff and if they were it was the same washed out crap: Cuby and The Blizzards in a zoo with Van Morrison miming "Mystic Eyes", Zachary Thaks in a rehearsal space, etc.

In May 1989 my friend Mike Sin and I took a trip to California for Mods Mayday '89.  We spent the week in San Diego and wound up hanging out with The Funseekers from Minneapolis who happened to be there the same week too.  One night after a Funseekers/Trebels gig at the Casbah Club, Mike Stax invited us all back to his pad to hang out and watch videos and he proceeded to show us live clips from a German TV show called "Beat Beat Beat" and here in crisp, black and white were the Move playing three songs live, rapid fire in their original 5 piece line up. I had never seen any footage of The Move (I also saw, for the first time that evening, live footage of the Small Faces and Creation for the first time as well!), and I was...well "moved".  It was aired on June 27, 1967 (the episodes other guests were P.P. Arnold and Graham Bonney lip synching and The Creation, The Warriors and Cherry Wainer and Don Storer performing live) .  This is classic pre-perm Move, they'd clearly been in their flower power gear for a few months, having ditched the gangster garb that spring and were obviously now more reliant on Roy Wood's quirky originals than the obscure soul/r&b covers that were part of their craft in their op art/mod gear pre-gangster days of their late '66 Marquee Club period.  As you can tell there is still some evidence of their syncopated soul/r&b onstage moves (no pun intended) in this clip that the peace and love flowers and bells have failed to erase, also present are their aggressive stage stance, something they incorporated into their act with their gangster suits and TV/car smashing antics onstage.  Regardless the Summer '67 Move are something to behold as you can see performing live "Walk Upon The Water", "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" and "Night Of Fear":


Supermod said...

So jealous of that 1989 visit! I used to hear about that show often when I first moved to the Bay Area.

I remember seeing a pic of The Move in a book back in high school, and let's just say it was too much too soon. It wasn't until hearing 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' years later on a video of It's Happening that I was won over big.

Great post and so true on those firsts!

diskojoe said...

An excellent video w/three killer Move songs in a row.

I remember a poster store in my town where you could special order compliation music video tapes. I remember first seeing Love's American Bandstand appearance there. The quality looked like you were seeing ancient Egyptians walking around the Pyramids.

Finally, I was amazed hearing about the San Diego mod scene. I didn't think that San Diego would have such a scene. Was there any bother between the East Coast & West Coast Mods?