Various Artists

Detroit Tube Works '69-'70 [DVD]

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In the late 1960s and early '70s, the locally broadcast Detroit Tube Works television show featured numerous rock musicians. This bootleg DVD, Detroit Tube Works '69-'70, has no less than two hours of rare footage from the programs, in both color and black-and-white, with spots from Johnny Winter, Humble Pie, Alice Cooper, Terry Reid, Fleetwood Mac, the MC5, Joe Cocker, and the one-hit wonder, organ and drum duo of Teegarden & VanWinkle. If the image quality was in reasonable shape, this would be a great find for fans of blues-rock and hard rock from the era. But it's not in such hot condition -- in fact; everything here suffers from imperfect visual transfer and preservation to some degree. That's a polite way of saying that a lot of this is pretty hard to watch, due to waviness, fuzziness, frame shakes, and worse. Still, it's rarely been screened since it was first shown, and it might never come out officially or in better quality, so it might be your only chance to see it whatsoever.

As for the individual segments, Johnny Winter's portion is surprisingly long -- at about an hour, it takes up around half the disc -- and mixes pretty sparse blues (on which his singing and electric guitar are accompanied only by bass) with interview excerpts so casual and rambling that it appears to be raw footage edited just before broadcast. The one song by Humble Pie, with both Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton in the lineup, is in horrendous shape even by bootleg standards; it could hardly be worse if someone had just pointed their home movie equipment at the TV screen. Thankfully, the Alice Cooper section (which, along with the Winter one, is the only other part in color) is in nearly decent condition, finding the silver-suited band and their campy, theatrical frontman at their peak on four songs, including "I'm Eighteen" and two performances of "Is It My Body." Terry Reid is just okay; Fleetwood Mac, from their early blues-rock days, are disappointing as their two songs seem lip-synced, and Peter Green is pretty curt and uninformative in the brief accompanying interview; Teegarden & VanWinkle are pretty cool, though they do just one song; and Joe Cocker does "Feelin' Alright" with his trademark puppet-on-the-string moves. It's back to some of the worst image quality on the DVD for the concluding MC5 segment, which is no big loss as it's an excruciatingly unstructured jam.