Even for the time (1997) it was an old camera/VCR setup, and the video quality in a dingy, poorly-lit club was beyond bad. You had to bring a VHS tape and $20 in cash to get the sound engineer to hit record at that start of your set. On the plus side, though, sound was straight off the board and they took that part pretty seriously. Besides, it was CBGB, and we had no idea that we would continue to play there, so we really wanted a keepsake for that first show.
Considering how unlike the other bands we were, I something think that maybe this was the most punk thing we ever did: going to CBGB and playing a straight rock set in 1997. Clearly, the ska/DMB crowd had no idea what to do with us, but they were gracious about it, regardless. We got the recording, watched it once, then didn’t think about it again for years. John A. ended up with it and brought it to Oregon when he moved, where it ended up in a box in his basement. He sent it to me around 2010 and I promised to digitize it, so of course I threw it in a closet and forgot about it myself. When I finally dug it out in early 2023, it had problems: dropouts on the tape where the sound and video just disappeared. After some painstaking editing in Reaper all the songs were whole again and we realized that this was an album that deserved to be heard.
I only noticed it as I was putting the album together in March, but the set list inadvertently tells a story with the titles:
Partners – We’re really not. Yikes, things are going bad, fast
Day Before We Met – It’s over. Remember how we felt at the beginning, though?
Huddleston Pond – Watching the people in a park on a summer day, trying to forget about it for an afternoon at least
How Does It Feel To Be a National Joke? – Everyone needs to stop talking about what happened. Except me, obviously
Time That I Forgot – For the love of Mike get up off the floor, already
Public Therapy – Please stop oversharing. Please?
Seen This Episode Before – DON’T GO BACK DON’T DO IT NOOOOO
The DJLB was a great live band and I’m so excited to be able to share a small piece of that history. Now if we could just get the video cleaned up…