The San Diego Live Video Shoot
The 1986 San Diego concert video contains some of the best remaining footage of Stickband. With clear audio and video, this video captures eight Stickband songs, including perennial favorite ‘377’, ‘All By Myself” and ‘Tribute’. ‘Tribute’ has been previously released to the public, but this is the clearest version, with solid video and audio that far surpasses any other known versions out there. This is the definitive video capture of the band’s final iteration, showcasing the talents of Jim Bruno, Bob Culbertson, Mike Ardisson and the flamboyant and always entertaining Michale Milburn-Jones.
The San Diego live video shoot was part of a strategy to get us a record deal. The company we worked with flew us to San Diego and rented a television station. We spent a very solid amount of time playing live while being filmed and recorded. Ultimately, we spent the entire day in the television station and we videotaped eight songs using multiple cameras in different angles as we performed live.
The strategy was for us to have a very good demo tape of original material that we could use to shop a record deal. We understood that there was a game that’s played with the record company; after you sent them something, and they took interest, they would request more material. Usually bands sent everything they had up front and when would need to create more material, but with an understanding of the process, we put together these eight songs knowing that when the record company asked us for more, we would be ready with the second wave of songs. We had no intentions of giving them all eight of the songs at one time.
We performed and recorded all of the songs that you see from the San Diego live taping in a single, very exciting day. We were very prepared; we had rehearsed the originals we were recording that day and had played them live for audiences in various venues for almost a year and a half.Â We had a make-up artist, several different changes of clothes and everybody was healthy and ready to go.
It’s important to note that we had much more material then the 8 songs that we recorded. By the time we went to San Diego to record this material we already had over 5 1/2 hours worth of original material. We were so prepared – so ready. Our hearts where high, we were young and strong, and had a waterfall of creativity coming out of us when it came to writing songs.
Unfortunately, this material and the ‘Turn Around’ video was never seen by a record company, and none of this material was ever released. The only material that has been seen before are a couple of the videos that have made their way on YouTube; for the most part this footage has never been seen, although 15 years ago or so I did do a little documentary ˜The History of the Stickband’, for a local public access television station. Not all of these videos were included in that documentary, but they were shown in parts here and there.
As I write this and tell the story, it’s 2017 and everything looks very dated; it all happened in the late 80’s and we very much look the time period. But it’s a story that is more about the history of the instruments that we played in our group than the fashion of the time. The Chapman stick, the Lyricon, the Steiner, Bob’s crazy wacky guitar creations, the violin…even our singers were as unique as the instruments.
Truthfully, its a pleasure to knock the dust off of these tapes and to finally show them off. I hope that you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed making them 30 years ago.