I thought I would alert the list about a movie that I saw this
afternoon which, unfortunately, is only playing in NYC and there only
through October 2. Nevertheless, I think audio people who are
interested in the area of preservation of audio history and culture
will find more that a little of interest in "Radio Unnameable", a
documentary about the work of the unique individual Bob Fass,
primarily focused on his overnight program on WBAI, Radio Unnameable
that has had a (non-continuous) run of, I believe, 49 years. Laced
throughout the 90 or so minutes are dozens of audio clips associated
with the show, including live conversations with (and many musical
performances by) Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Jerry Jeff Walker, Abbie
Hoffman, Paul Krasner, Arlo Guthrie, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, et.
al. Most of the musical figures were barely, if at all, known at the
time of there appearance and many of the sound clips are of more or
less the first public airing of songs like Alice's Restaurant and Mr.
Aside from the in studio stuff, the film paints a vivid picture of the
era of be-ins, Yippies, happenings and the '68 Chicago convention
police riot. Of particular interest to preservationists is the final
section which shows Fass' home which housed thousands of air-check
tapes of his show that he came to posses when a new management of the
station said they were going to toss them in the proverbial dumpster.
I say housed, because a group of volunteers recently gathered them
together, did a rough inventory, and took them to a temporary home
(unfortunately, it looks like a basement somewhere in suburban New
Jersey. Fortunately they appear to be in relatively waterproof plastic
bins with secure covers). In a postscript, the movie states that they
are seeking a permanent repository, so maybe some one of you out there
is in a position to do something about this.
If you are in the NYC area, head to the Film Forum ASAP. If you
aren't, you can get more info on this film at: