There's been a lot of hype recently (including an end-of-year Time cover story) about the extent to which YouTube has revolutionized the sharing of video clips, and that's true enough. Still, it seems like most folks use the site to post home videos, see a Saturday Night Live skit or Colbert Report segment they missed, or just watch a couple of guys dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke. The thing that excites me the most, though, is that YouTube has become a vast and immediately accessible repository of some of the most fantastic musical performances ever caught on film. No, it's not DVD-quality footage -- okay, sometimes the quality is downright lousy -- but the breadth and diversity of clips that have been posted there is something else. A lot of people, with a lot of old VHS tapes lying around, have turned YouTube into a music lover's treasure trove. [Note to self: Make trolling YouTube for classic performances a semi-regular feature here?] Here's the tip of the proverbial iceberg:
Ever seen The Beatles deliver probably the best version of "Revolution" ever, on the David Frost Show on September 4, 1968?
(And some people say they couldn't hack it live towards the end. Yeah, right.)
Or the blistering "Down By The River" that CSNY performed on David Steinberg's The Music Scene show on September 22, 1969?
And of course, how can I not post a clip of The Clash, performing the song that gives this blog it's name, at Le Palace in Paris on February 27, 1980:
It just doesn't get much better than that.