The Cramps - Live at Napa State Mental Hospital
The Cramps - Live at Napa State Mental Hospital

The Cramps - Live at Napa State Mental Hospital

San Francisco: Target Video, 1983. VHS in case measuring 7 7/8 x 4 5/8 x 1 in., with Xerox and hand colored insert. Very good. Item #6109

The first VHS produced of the 1978 performance by the Cramps and San Francisco punk band the Mutant at Napa State Mental Hospital.

This is the first release of the Napa State Mental Hospital show, shot on the first ever commercially available model of the Sony Portapak by Target Video, a small local video operation. The cassette case features Xeroxed artwork and manuscript illustration un unknown hand.

The existence of this tape, along with the feasibility of such a performance, is demonstrative of the shifting media and cultural landscape of the late 1970s and early ‘80s. VHS tapes and the Portapak made shooting and distributing video accessible. Had it not been for Target Video and the portability of the Portapak camera, this performance may have remained nothing more than punk folklore. Though the show at Napa State is one of their most notable distributions, Target Video has also shot footage of other influential punk bands including The Screamers, the Dead Kennedys, DEVO, Iggy Pop, Throbbing Gristle, the Damned, and Black Flag. It should also be noted that this performance was additionally documented by legendary punk photographer Ruby Ray.

An exceptional artifact of the punk scene in the late 1970s and early video counter-culture.

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