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Vintage local concert archive surfacing online

Camera hidden in cowboy hat yields lost treasures

Mr. Rue's homepage
Mr. Rue's homepage

Recently, I was browsing vintage local concert footage on Youtube and discovered a relatively new user in the process of uploading dozens of San Diego concerts secretly videotaped in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. The Youtuber described the footage as never before available online, with everything from single song performances to full concert sets.

Video:

Dave Mason 1992-12-17 San Diego, CA

Sample from Mr. Rue's Music Library

Sample from Mr. Rue's Music Library

And then I noticed the Youtuber was also uploading vintage concert footage shot in my own hometown - a tiny, obscure 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 a diehard avid music collector since the late 80s," says the uploader behind Mr. Rue's Music Library. "While living in a small town in Illinois, I met a fellow Kiss fan who had all these really cool live concert tapes, and that was the beginning of my obsession. From there, I would continue to seek out more undiscovered and unheard live recordings. I had attempted to record a Kiss show in Peoria, IL in 1988, but it sounded horrible."

As for the San Diego-Connecticut hometown connection, it turns out that, in the late 80s, Mr. Rue just happened to move to the town where I grew up -- because he's related to some kids I went to school with! "In 1991, I was putting ads in the back of Goldmine magazine, typing out my list of tapes and mailing them out to other collectors worldwide and all countries, hoping to strike up a trade. I started pulling in live cassettes from all types of groups. I did this on a daily basis for many many years. My main obsessions were Led Zeppelin and BB King. Through years of intensive searches and networking with other collectors, I eventually amassed the largest BB King collection of audio and video anywhere in the world. I literally had thousands of tapes."

Mr. Rue's stash includes a selection of tapes purchased from a former concert bootlegger who used cameras and mics hidden inside a tricked out hat. Coincidentally, I also knew THAT taper, he worked for my publishing company. I actually thought that was the guy I was contacting, not Mr. Rue, because I recognized the tape collection that was being uploaded as "Third Eye" videos ("third eye," guy with the camera hat - must be the same guy!). But Mr. Rue only recently acquired the Third Eye stash.

Another crazy coincidence. Just as "Mr. Rue" was uploading videotaped concerts like Yes bassist Chris Squire at Sound FX (formerly the Bacchanal) in August 1992, which was undigitized and un-uploaded until just recently, I was also uploading my own AUDIO tapes from the same San Diego era to the BetaGems Lost Media channel...including some of the same shows, like the Squire set!

Video:

Chris Squire 1992-08-20 San Diego, CA (part 1)

Mr. Rue's videotape recorded via a camera and mics hidden in a hat

Mr. Rue's videotape recorded via a camera and mics hidden in a hat

So, after multiple videotapes and audiotapes recorded by two separate people sat around for 30 years. all of a sudden, both people uploaded their 30 year old concerts to Youtube at almost exactly the same time!

Video:

Chris Squire 8-20-92 San Diego UNRELEASED

BetaGems Lost Media audio version of the Squire concert

BetaGems Lost Media audio version of the Squire concert

Small planet indeed. "I started recording concerts in 1993," says Mr. Rue. "Two of the first shows I recorded was Guns N’ Roses in Hartford and New Haven. Though on a very cheap cassette Walkman these were some of my earliest recordings. Later in the summer of 93, I would tape a handful of shows at the Naval Sub Base in Groton Connecticut, such bands as the Allman Brothers and Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, 10,000 Maniacs, and a few others...the period from 1998 through 2006, I recorded approximately 125 shows, spanning every single type of genre you could think of. I taped artists that I didn’t even know the music. But if I knew they were popular, I was gonna capture them. That was a very fun and exciting time."

Audio sharing sites are exactly the reason people like Mr. Rue saved their recordings all these years. Although it's still an illegal copyright violation to SELL unauthorized concert recordings, it's perfectly legal to post 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 course of the next ten years, I would offer over 3000 live recordings that I had gathered from various collectors. This gave me a great sense of joy to be able to finally share so many live recordings that I had gathered with so many other collectors in the music community. I spent hours every day transferring and digitizing my analog and digital recordings and editing and doing research and writing up descriptions on each recording with source info and lineage."

"These 3000+ private recordings are still currently available for download on the website called The Trader's Den, anyone who joins the site can download everything for free, my user name is KingRue. I also have a website that lists my entire Audio and Video collection of 7000 recordings. This is my trading site, and none of it is for sale. That’s not allowed. I will still do trades from time to time through file sharing for the collectors who really need something from my trading collection."

Video:

Iron Butterfly 1994 09 25 San Diego, CA [Third Eye]

Once his audio project was well underway, it was time to look at his filmed footage. "I had a huge video collection that I hadn't really done anything with and everything was in storage. I just recently decided to start offering my videos and I have collected a huge amount of video footage from all types of musicians. This led me to YouTube, I was thinking this would be the best way to share my video footage with the entire world instead of just people on one particular website. I can post these videos to Mr. Rue's Music Library and it would enable anyone to watch them on any type of device."

Mr. Rue's large collection of San Diego videos was the main inspiration behind setting up a Youtube channel. "Most of them haven't been seen or circulated in many years, if at all, so I started uploading 24 hours a day until I got all of my San Diego material uploaded. Then I started digging into my other collection and I had quite a bit. So I'm in the process of digging out VHS and DVDs and 8mm cameras and digitizing and uploading everything I could find."

He finds he's not just handling his own recordings any more. "In many instances, I'm doing work for other people as well. Other collectors are sending me their own master videos for me to digitize, because they don’t have the means or ability to do it. I can do this for them so this is been part of the hobby that is very fun and interesting for me. I'm running tapes and digitizing them to DVD I’ve been doing this for many years, so I have amassed quite a bit of video footage from all types of musicians and artists. Now I am in the process of uploading to YouTube on daily basis. I’ve only been working on it for a six months, but I have almost 400 videos posted and you’ll find everything from Aerosmith to ZZ Top on there."

The BetaGems Lost Media channel has even more vintage San Diego concerts and TV footage

BetaGems Lost Media also has a large collection of vintage San Diego concerts, as well as local TV footage and public access programming featuring local bands such as the Neat, Manual Scan, NE1, and more.

Video:

Tell-Tale Hearts December 1983 San Diego Public Access "Hey Tiger"

Sample from BetaGems Lost Media

Sample from BetaGems Lost Media

Video:

The Monroes live set (Club 33)

The Monroes performing live in 1984 on Club 33

The Monroes performing live in 1984 on Club 33

Video:

The Tell-Tale Hearts "Hey Tiger" (Club 33)

December 1983 episode of Club 33 featuring the Tell-Tale Hearts performing "Hey Tiger."

December 1983 episode of Club 33 featuring the Tell-Tale Hearts performing "Hey Tiger."

Video:

Newscenter 39 report on Club 33, June 1984

San Diego's Newscenter 39 reporter Jack Gates does a story in June 1984 about Club 33, featuring clips of a taping with Urban Umbrella and an interview with Cox programmer Maya Gallagher.

San Diego's Newscenter 39 reporter Jack Gates does a story in June 1984 about Club 33, featuring clips of a taping with Urban Umbrella and an interview with Cox programmer Maya Gallagher.

Selections from the Beat Farmers episode of local public access show Club 33 is included, as well as clips of the Tell-Tale Hearts, the Monroes, and many others clips and concerts that can be viewed on the Reader site and on the Youtube channel BetaGems.

Video:

The Beat Farmers live set (Club 33)

The Beat Farmers performing live on a 1984 episode of Club 33.

The Beat Farmers performing live on a 1984 episode of Club 33.

Video:

Manual Scan, "The American Way" (Club 33)

December 1983 episode of Club 33 featuring Manual Scan performing "The American Way."

December 1983 episode of Club 33 featuring Manual Scan performing "The American Way."

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Mr. Rue's homepage
Mr. Rue's homepage

Recently, I was browsing vintage local concert footage on Youtube and discovered a relatively new user in the process of uploading dozens of San Diego concerts secretly videotaped in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. The Youtuber described the footage as never before available online, with everything from single song performances to full concert sets.

Video:

Dave Mason 1992-12-17 San Diego, CA

Sample from Mr. Rue's Music Library

Sample from Mr. Rue's Music Library

And then I noticed the Youtuber was also uploading vintage concert footage shot in my own hometown - a tiny, obscure 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 a diehard avid music collector since the late 80s," says the uploader behind Mr. Rue's Music Library. "While living in a small town in Illinois, I met a fellow Kiss fan who had all these really cool live concert tapes, and that was the beginning of my obsession. From there, I would continue to seek out more undiscovered and unheard live recordings. I had attempted to record a Kiss show in Peoria, IL in 1988, but it sounded horrible."

As for the San Diego-Connecticut hometown connection, it turns out that, in the late 80s, Mr. Rue just happened to move to the town where I grew up -- because he's related to some kids I went to school with! "In 1991, I was putting ads in the back of Goldmine magazine, typing out my list of tapes and mailing them out to other collectors worldwide and all countries, hoping to strike up a trade. I started pulling in live cassettes from all types of groups. I did this on a daily basis for many many years. My main obsessions were Led Zeppelin and BB King. Through years of intensive searches and networking with other collectors, I eventually amassed the largest BB King collection of audio and video anywhere in the world. I literally had thousands of tapes."

Mr. Rue's stash includes a selection of tapes purchased from a former concert bootlegger who used cameras and mics hidden inside a tricked out hat. Coincidentally, I also knew THAT taper, he worked for my publishing company. I actually thought that was the guy I was contacting, not Mr. Rue, because I recognized the tape collection that was being uploaded as "Third Eye" videos ("third eye," guy with the camera hat - must be the same guy!). But Mr. Rue only recently acquired the Third Eye stash.

Another crazy coincidence. Just as "Mr. Rue" was uploading videotaped concerts like Yes bassist Chris Squire at Sound FX (formerly the Bacchanal) in August 1992, which was undigitized and un-uploaded until just recently, I was also uploading my own AUDIO tapes from the same San Diego era to the BetaGems Lost Media channel...including some of the same shows, like the Squire set!

Video:

Chris Squire 1992-08-20 San Diego, CA (part 1)

Mr. Rue's videotape recorded via a camera and mics hidden in a hat

Mr. Rue's videotape recorded via a camera and mics hidden in a hat

So, after multiple videotapes and audiotapes recorded by two separate people sat around for 30 years. all of a sudden, both people uploaded their 30 year old concerts to Youtube at almost exactly the same time!

Video:

Chris Squire 8-20-92 San Diego UNRELEASED

BetaGems Lost Media audio version of the Squire concert

BetaGems Lost Media audio version of the Squire concert

Small planet indeed. "I started recording concerts in 1993," says Mr. Rue. "Two of the first shows I recorded was Guns N’ Roses in Hartford and New Haven. Though on a very cheap cassette Walkman these were some of my earliest recordings. Later in the summer of 93, I would tape a handful of shows at the Naval Sub Base in Groton Connecticut, such bands as the Allman Brothers and Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, 10,000 Maniacs, and a few others...the period from 1998 through 2006, I recorded approximately 125 shows, spanning every single type of genre you could think of. I taped artists that I didn’t even know the music. But if I knew they were popular, I was gonna capture them. That was a very fun and exciting time."

Audio sharing sites are exactly the reason people like Mr. Rue saved their recordings all these years. Although it's still an illegal copyright violation to SELL unauthorized concert recordings, it's perfectly legal to post 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 course of the next ten years, I would offer over 3000 live recordings that I had gathered from various collectors. This gave me a great sense of joy to be able to finally share so many live recordings that I had gathered with so many other collectors in the music community. I spent hours every day transferring and digitizing my analog and digital recordings and editing and doing research and writing up descriptions on each recording with source info and lineage."

"These 3000+ private recordings are still currently available for download on the website called The Trader's Den, anyone who joins the site can download everything for free, my user name is KingRue. I also have a website that lists my entire Audio and Video collection of 7000 recordings. This is my trading site, and none of it is for sale. That’s not allowed. I will still do trades from time to time through file sharing for the collectors who really need something from my trading collection."

Video:

Iron Butterfly 1994 09 25 San Diego, CA [Third Eye]

Once his audio project was well underway, it was time to look at his filmed footage. "I had a huge video collection that I hadn't really done anything with and everything was in storage. I just recently decided to start offering my videos and I have collected a huge amount of video footage from all types of musicians. This led me to YouTube, I was thinking this would be the best way to share my video footage with the entire world instead of just people on one particular website. I can post these videos to Mr. Rue's Music Library and it would enable anyone to watch them on any type of device."

Mr. Rue's large collection of San Diego videos was the main inspiration behind setting up a Youtube channel. "Most of them haven't been seen or circulated in many years, if at all, so I started uploading 24 hours a day until I got all of my San Diego material uploaded. Then I started digging into my other collection and I had quite a bit. So I'm in the process of digging out VHS and DVDs and 8mm cameras and digitizing and uploading everything I could find."

He finds he's not just handling his own recordings any more. "In many instances, I'm doing work for other people as well. Other collectors are sending me their own master videos for me to digitize, because they don’t have the means or ability to do it. I can do this for them so this is been part of the hobby that is very fun and interesting for me. I'm running tapes and digitizing them to DVD I’ve been doing this for many years, so I have amassed quite a bit of video footage from all types of musicians and artists. Now I am in the process of uploading to YouTube on daily basis. I’ve only been working on it for a six months, but I have almost 400 videos posted and you’ll find everything from Aerosmith to ZZ Top on there."

The BetaGems Lost Media channel has even more vintage San Diego concerts and TV footage

BetaGems Lost Media also has a large collection of vintage San Diego concerts, as well as local TV footage and public access programming featuring local bands such as the Neat, Manual Scan, NE1, and more.

Video:

Tell-Tale Hearts December 1983 San Diego Public Access "Hey Tiger"

Sample from BetaGems Lost Media

Sample from BetaGems Lost Media

Video:

The Monroes live set (Club 33)

The Monroes performing live in 1984 on Club 33

The Monroes performing live in 1984 on Club 33

Video:

The Tell-Tale Hearts "Hey Tiger" (Club 33)

December 1983 episode of Club 33 featuring the Tell-Tale Hearts performing "Hey Tiger."

December 1983 episode of Club 33 featuring the Tell-Tale Hearts performing "Hey Tiger."

Video:

Newscenter 39 report on Club 33, June 1984

San Diego's Newscenter 39 reporter Jack Gates does a story in June 1984 about Club 33, featuring clips of a taping with Urban Umbrella and an interview with Cox programmer Maya Gallagher.

San Diego's Newscenter 39 reporter Jack Gates does a story in June 1984 about Club 33, featuring clips of a taping with Urban Umbrella and an interview with Cox programmer Maya Gallagher.

Selections from the Beat Farmers episode of local public access show Club 33 is included, as well as clips of the Tell-Tale Hearts, the Monroes, and many others clips and concerts that can be viewed on the Reader site and on the Youtube channel BetaGems.

Video:

The Beat Farmers live set (Club 33)

The Beat Farmers performing live on a 1984 episode of Club 33.

The Beat Farmers performing live on a 1984 episode of Club 33.

Video:

Manual Scan, "The American Way" (Club 33)

December 1983 episode of Club 33 featuring Manual Scan performing "The American Way."

December 1983 episode of Club 33 featuring Manual Scan performing "The American Way."

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