In 1999 I bought a Canon XL1 video camera and took off with my dad to create a platform where musicians could tell their stories, teach and even do a bit of shameless self-promotion. DVD technology was still a ways off, so we were limited to using CD ROM disks to share the interviews.
We called this CD ROM video music magazine The Down Neck Gazette and most issues had four to six hours of video that was pretty good quality for 1999.
The original CD ROM masters for the issues we released show the effects of time, but we only released about a third of the footage we collected. The original DV tapes have been tucked away safely all of this time. I ran some footage today to see how the tapes held up and it looks promising. Seeing the images uncompressed is startling.
As time allows I will start digging through this old footage and start making some of it available on YouTube and other clips will go directly to our Patreon sponsors.
I think the thing that made the Gazette unique is that we were musicians documenting other musicians. We had no agenda other than our love of the craft. Folklorists are infamous for stealing and condescending (look up the copyright on Cripple Creek and Old Joe Clark) so we tried to do right by the folks we shared time with. Dad interviewed and I ran the camera. There is no stage hogging by us. We do not perform or even jam on-camera. From 1999 to 2002 we ran up and down the East Coast and had one hell of a good time everywhere we went except for Galax. VA.
Someday I’ll write down everything that happened in Galax. When I told the story to my wife, she did not believe my tale. Later on she mentioned the story to a friend of hers that lived just outside of Galax. He pal already knew all about the story, and was surprised to discover that I was one of those crazy Costello guys who… No. That’s enough for now. I’ll get to the rest of the story. Someday.
You can catch some of the compressed interviews we released on my YouTube channel. As we process and restore unreleased footage I will let everybody know the where/when/how to tune in.