The inner mounting wind chill.

I don’t have anything particular to say tonight, but I’m overdue to feed the beast.

So I’m gonna post a couple random links that have nothing in common but a shared place and time — Syracuse, N.Y., in 1972, as it happens.

First we have a live film of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, recorded at Syracuse University in April of that year.

(I was trying to figure out what time of year it was based on the clothing. At least two of the band members wear short sleeves; the students around the stage are wearing winter coats; but you can’t see anyone’s breath. Finally, I had to Google the concert to find out the exact date.)

I love when stuff like this washes up from some obscure date and place. I don’t know whose idea it was to film what was probably the university’s big spring concert, but it’s cool that they did. The student filmmakers did a nice job, too: The film sounds great and looks respectable.

The musicianship is just as exact as you’d expect. Drummer Billy Cobham is especially impressive: From time to time, he just explodes. The tightness and dexterity of the musicians make me embarrassed about all that sloppy Grateful Dead I’ve been listening to lately.

Next, from earlier that same month, we have film of a Charlotte Checkers-Syracuse Blazers minor-league hockey game.

The game included 232 minutes in penalties, and the film consists almost entirely of brawling.

Order disappears for so long, you almost start to forget there’s a game going on. At one point, three separate pairs of belligerents are skating around the ice, gripping each other like weary dancers.

The occasional hockey fight has its place, but what we have here is a view back to the worst excesses of the Seventies. This kind of thing, I suspect, is the reason people like my parents didn’t like hockey:

And finally, we have a few minutes of Syracuse TV news from sometime that spring.

The clip starts with a story about the state deciding not to expand Interstate 81 on Indian (er, Native American) land. The anchor chews on it at what seems like remarkable length, with no graphics or film to break it up.

Then, we get a couple of commercials featuring a Bette Midler lookalike luring her blind date with macaroni and a convertible-driving Stepford wife touting the benefits of milk.

The piece de resistance is the next story — a lengthy, heavy-handed, groan-inducing mood piece about the sale of heroin in a leafy city park.

Finally, the clip closes with a story about five men being chosen to head one of 14 task forces looking into New York City administration … a story that positively screams “slow news day.”

It’s easy to criticize the clip. I’m not sure today’s more rapidly paced TV news is any better, though.

2 thoughts on “The inner mounting wind chill.

    1. Why, thank you. Most people say almost the same thing … except they leave off the “MY MIND” part.

      You might enjoy parts of the Mahavishnu video, especially the period between 20 minutes and 23 minutes in. Cobham should be wearing Zildjian gloves, he’s that good.

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