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Last updated September 2020 new photos and recollections.
URGENT : We are looking to contact people who worked for Paradise Films , who were another company who were filming at Bath, can anyone help ?
Contact us if you have any info !
Please,don't contact us to ask if this film is being released, as soon as we know anything definite it will be posted here .
The Film and video footage
We'd never realised that the video footage shown on the screens on either side of the stage had been preserved. Apparently a B&W ( and possibly colour ) feed had been taken from stage ( and the screen ) and at least some of the footage that TVX , Paradise Films and Gentle Ghost shot has been stored from 1970 until the present day .Various sources have emerged over the past few years, which have raised fans hopes , but at this point in time ( Jan 2012 ) none of them look as though they will get to public release in the immediate future . In fact the project looks dead in the water, unless there have been developments that we have not been informed of .
Although the film footage had been "lost " for 30 years, it only took the intrepid Steve Lyons ( r) 24 hours to track down the remaining colour footage that was located in the West country.
Steve was also a Bath vet and has been one of the main players in trying to get this footage out into the public arena over the past five years or so . An unsung hero, to whom we finally give credit !
Unfortunately Steve has not really been given the encouragement or credit that is his due for finding this footage and has retired from any involvement in getting this footage released - he is somewhat disillusioned and we cannot blame him . We more or less feel the same after busting our guts to help find this footage over the years . Now it HAS been found, intertia seems to have settled dully over the entire concept.
At the moment , we have no idea as to which bands would feature in any future releases of material ( pardon us while we stifle peals of hysterical laughter at this most unlikely prospect ), but we can at least give an indication as to which bands were definitely filmed by TVX . By referring to photographs of the stage , one can often pick out the cameras - although this does not guarantee that this footage still exists.
one of the backstage crew at the festival has this recollection of the set up
"As to Bath festival along with John Peel and Mike Raven I handled the continuity at both the 69 and 70 festivals as far as I remember gentle ghost were filming onstage with tvx filming from the front and projecting their footage onto giant video screens . Charlie Watkins himself of WEM did the outfront mixing as did Jim Marshall at Weeley "
A discussion on the Fairport convention discussion list unearthed this information
the entry for FC refers to "tv cameras". i know a bit about that reference - the festival was recorded by Lindsey Clennell and Sheldon Rocklin, some on 1" video tape, most with Sony half-inch 'PortaPak' handheld gear (compared to todays video cams, this was *huge* and heavy). at the time I lived with Lindsey's family and that's how I got to be at Bath, i was a sort of video roadie. we had a big Transit, full of batteries and recording gear right down by the stage and all-areas passes - bliss. mind u, I was either asleep or out of my skull most of the time and i remember very little. i don't remember FC at all , but after the fest, the tapes were edited in London at a facilities house( I remember working with Sheldon on some solarisations) but i have no idea where the footage is now. I think some was put on to 16mm filmstock. Steve having rekindled my interest, I will find out ! who knows - maybe there is still some film or tape of FC playing Bath
And this from Gary regarding the Zeppelin footage
Regarding Led Zeppelin's performance I think the guy who shot the film lives in Gloucestershire or Wiltshire in the UK and he has the film I think. There was an article in the Record Collector magazine some years ago featuring an interview with him. I just wished I'd kept hold of the mag as I would defintely contact him now.
Channel 4 television in the UK issued a schools educational video about geography or something, last year. It is supposed to include a pan shot of Robert Plant on stage at the festival. I am told it is silent and lasts for just a few seconds. Again, details are sketchy.
Thomas Geistler sent us this recently about the footage
I sent away for a compilation boot video in the early 90s - I did not notice this till seeing the whole lotta love promo on you tube and the pink floyd footage you offered through your website that I remembered I had this god awful vertical hold debacled sHot - my brother and Ilooked carefully at the footage and all of his zeppelin books (7) he got over 25 years and yes it is it ---- on the video it has plant in the correct shirt - and bonham in the muscle sleeveless shirt - it shows plant , close ups of his face and from the waist up mostly -there is no live sound but a very hard to hear were gonna groove from 'coda' on it. it is black and white footage. I would be astounded if it wasnt a small part of film footage from the bath 1970 festival. It resembles the floyd footage I saw so clearly from you. It was part of a collage of awful footage that included immigrant song live1, 0 seconds grant and plant interveiw (river thames) billy connelly & bonham interveiw 1980 and audience shot 8mm footage of zepp in 75 and 77. I know my zeppelin , i know what they looked like on every tour - I can tell by any picture what year led zeppelin was perfoming and my brother is an expert on them- we have the books - we waited for all the great dvds that the undergound had to offer but low and behold that god awful 10 generation video tape I have is proof it exists.
I wonder if we will ever see the whole thing, I hope so and Ihope this helps- great bath site , thankyou kindly, and sincerly -
tom g. from michigan
Jim Pickford Perry has more info regarding the technical set up and the people involved in the shoot
I'm almost certainly the lurking cameraman at Bath - didn't think that I'd turn-up after 34 years!
I was working with TVX at the reborn Arts Lab in London where we had been given Sony portapak equipment by the Beatles Apple company to do video arts etc. An envelope arrived at TVX with 2 return train tickets to Bath and 2 festival tickets attached to a note which just said "Go groove". So myself and another guy (John Kirk) went to Bath.
When we arrived at the site with our high-tech 405-line black and white camera system we were magically waved through all the security gates and ended up at the main security caravan backstage. It turned out that Lindsey Clennell had somehow managed to park a converted Volkswagen van in front of the stage stuffed with video equipment ... which he had no idea how to use. The quote you got on the FC site "mind u, I was either asleep or out of my skull most of the time and i remember very little" summed up the technical expertise of his crew! John Kirk and I introduced ourselves and before we knew it were running all the equipment for them. We called TVX back in London and a portable TV studio (in a converted Mini) was dispatched down to join us with a couple of our co-video workers.
Some surviving video is probably buried in the TVX archive.
Led Zepplin heavies physically removed us from the stage - even though we had no tape in the recorders! We were only allowed to shoot the crowd when Zappa was on.
The huge broadcast camera was I think from British Lion (who also were at Phun City) and TVX basically hijacked the credit for the system.
Oh those were the days..
John Hopgood of TVX contributed this info
In my recollection there were 2 interacting parties shooting video at Bath, ourselves (TVX & associates) with our open reel, half inch, black and white VTRs ("side screen" perhaps), and the 'big TV' contractor - I think it was British Lion - they also supplied the Eidophor, giant TV projector and I think recorded in colour on 2 inch tape.. So when you say "original video" it could mean either/both of these. Having looked at yr website (which is pretty impressive), It looks to me as if you've located just about all the existing footage already including lots that I knew nothing about or has dissolved into memorydust.
Leaving aside Lion for the moment, TVX may have shot on up to 3 different half inch formats, these were:
- 405line, using the first Sony portapaks and playback decks, standard
- 625 line, standard CV2100, Sony's worst ever tape format, current 1970-73
- 525 line, american standard. Lindsey Clennell & Sheldon Rochlin had this at the time with their fitted-out camper van.
I consulted our archive catalogue and see that there is apparently one 20 minute tape on CV2100 standard labeled Hot Tuna at Bath.
( also according to the list Hoppy has on the net, he has footage of Fairport as well - 20 minutes all told )
Now for the bad news.
Tapes on this format are notoriously difficult to play though theoretically not impossible. Reason: no two VTRs of this type were exactly compatible and there are almost no adjustments on the machines themselves. Also, tapes this old may require special (heat) treatment before they can play.
Finally, finding a VTR of this type is pretty difficult and likely to cost something to use.
John Kirk was also part of the TVX team
I was using a 1" Ampex "home video recorder" with a camera with no viewfinder. I think it was "donated" to TVX by one or some of the members of a major band and filled the backseat of Hoppy's Mini.
I had no viewfinder so there was a monitor hooked up on stage to the VCR. I shot a lot of footage including Pink Floyd and I can remember the keyboard player putting a brick on the keyboard for the lower register whist he played the upper by hand.
I was on stage a fair bit of the time.
Paradise films probably shot most of the footage ,but that would have been on 1/2" tape and they had several portapacks operating ,I had some vague recollection that their system was yankee NTSC. The Eidaphore bunch would have been multi camera with a switcher and at the cost of its hiring they should have had a vision switcher and tape online.
Alzheimers has got me, I dont remember any larger camera on stage.
If there was I would have been hooked up to the Eidaphore projector.These were rare beasts and must have be rented or owned by some company.
I hovered around the Paradise Films van a bit. I can remember Led Zepp security taking cassette recorders out of peoples hands in the rows nearest the stage.Thier attitude was aggro , extremo, they were heavy- but not Metal.
I had to get back to work before it ended and I remember going back to the car ripped on acid and driving back to London
So much for the past- It was great
So once again we have the tantalising possibility of footage being in existence but which may be be impossible to transfer to DVD , and don't forget we still have the thorny problem of who owns the copyright to this footage !. So don't get your hopes up, but whatever we do discover will be posted here , so watch this space.
Above: the left hand video camera
Left : The centre and right hand side cams
Note the difference in size of these two set ups, this probably indicates different film formats
There seems to have been several very large TV type cameras used on the right of stage and centre stage in the press enclosure , this is visible during many artists sets , although it does not always seem to have been manned.
I would assume that this was a video camera , not the 16mm film cameras used by Gentle Ghost , who were commissioned to "Do a Woodstocok " and produce a feature film of the festival. The 16mm cams are visible during Donovan and the Flocks set, but I've not been able to find any other photographic evidence of them being around at any other time .
This news regarding the existence of the film footage was positive , but this was posted about five years ago, to date its still not surfaced.
There is a company in L.A. who has six hours of colour film of Bath, including 30 mins of Led Zeppelin and about a year ago they tried to sell it to Jimmy Page,but they were asking too much for it and he refused to buy it. They have no rights to the film ,whatsoever, so it was a bit cheeky trying to sell it to Jimmy Page. Jimmy Page's archives researcher, who knows all about this film, is ringing me next week with all the details, so hopefully we can track them down. As it is in colour it could be part of the Gentle Ghost film - if they took it off the screen it would be in black and white. The other film which was the one Led Zeppelin commissioned was filmed by someone named Paul Whitehead, who now works for the BBC and according to the researcher he used the wrong exposure and only 3 mins was of any use.
Also , several thousand feet of colour film has been found of the festival ( Aug 2003 ) and negotiations as to what will be done with this footage are again taking place. If only a suitable deal to release the footage can be arrived between those who have it and the promoters, who apparently still own the rights to the film coverage then a documentary of the festival could be made. This should be done whislt those who organised the festival are still around. If anyone is interested in producing such a film - please Contact us
Latest news re this colour footage is that whilst a fascinating document of what the festival was like , it only contains a few performances, one by Flock and several by Santana , what is desperately needed is more of the footage of the bands . This was apparently stolen back in the 70s, who the fuck has it !
In addition to Gentle Ghost a company called Paradise Films were also involved in filming , if their footage can be found , then it is likely that more performances will emerge . Can anyone help ?
A few snippets of what is actually featured in the colour footage .
The moment when the Hells Angels were beating someone to a pulp in the Press Area in front of the stage – probably during Steppenwolf's performance. The Angels tried to turn on the camera operator so he hightailed it, breaking the cable link with the camera and scrambling to get away with the camera, which he did.
Around 90/95% of the music filmed has been nicked. The canisters were swapped or filled with some footage of Czechoslovakia or some eastern country. The film that exists contains a long conversation with a Hells Angel .
It might be possible to view the film if money was put on the table , if anyone has any , Contact us and we will try to put you in touch with the person who has the film - there are possibly 20 reels that exist.
This is probably the film crew , but its possible that it could be a local TV outlet . There arealso some snippets of Bath ( the crowd, chopped up and fleeting ,perhaps the operators were dosed ) on Youtube taken from some documentary shown on TV a year or so ago .
© Mark Harrison
MORE VIDEO NEWS
So far I've been able to identify video cameras on-stage during the following sets, or to confirm that this act was filmed .
In addition, the low quality video feed footage that came onto the market about five years ago had footage of Hot Tuna , Jefferson Airplane, Zappa, Fairport, The Byrds, Santana, Country Joe, Dr John ,It's a Beautiful Day and Pink Floyd . Its sad to think that this footage exists , in barely viewable condition , but viewable nevertheless. The most likely possibiltiy is that its never going to be released commercially as disputes about copyright will tie up any footage for the forseeable future even if the material is made available for editing and transfer . Also , the longer the footage is kept the harder it will be to transfer it and to preserve its quality .
If anyone has any more photos or recollections of when filming took place , please let me know
Please,don't contact us to ask if the film is being released, as soon as we know anything definite it will be posted here .
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- Crowd Pix
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- The Farebrother Collection - July 2007
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- Photo archive of festival site /crowd
- More Crowd photos- June 2005
- New crowd photos - June 2006
- Frank Zappa Gallery - Sept 2008
- Ainsley Dunbar/Peter Grant backstage Sept 2008
- The Lost Roll of Film Jan 2013 - many new colour pics !!!!
8 mm Film Archive
Ross Mortimore's streaming Quicktime movie of the crowd features clear images of the stage PA , Colosseum onstage and bikers with Canned Heat at Bath as a soundtrack provided courtesy of Bob C .
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