Flipper were one of the most bizarre and challenging bands in the history of punk rock. To say they were unique would be an understatement and I’m pretty sure the term, “acquired taste” was invented for the band. For those who “got it” however, there was and never will be another band like Flipper. Their chaotic “song structure” was part of their charm and they took “art punk” to the extreme. No one sounded like Flipper, and though some have tried in the years that followed, none have been able to replicate what made Flipper so unique.
This DVD, shot by the legendary Target Video, compiles footage from two shows in Flipper’s hometown of San Francisco. The first one was recorded at Berkeley Square in 1980. This was in a small room in front of an even smaller crowd. The multi-camera footage is really clean and the sound is pretty good too. In fact I was surprised by how well the footage held up after 27 years! The other show was from 1981 and it was at Kezar Stadium at a show that had Flipper opening for Throbbing Gristle. This was shot on multiple cameras but the footage isn’t nearly as clean. While the video is a bit on the soft side it is still good enough to warrant checking out such a legendary gig. The sound is also pretty good. The performance itself is quite the spectacle as Will Shatter was all liquored up yet somehow manages to keep it together enough to keep the show going even after their bass being broken.
There is one bonus clip of Flipper playing on some cable TV show which has good picture and sound quality. This was from 1982. This DVD has two audio options; stereo and 5.1 surround, both of which sound pretty good. I actually preferred the 5.1 surround option while I was watching this. The DVD also comes with an insert containing some interesting liner notes.
If you are one of the people who “get it”, you’ll probably want to add this DVD to your collection as it is a great document of the band back in it’s prime. It is also great to see some more Target Video footage getting released and I hope this leads to more in the future.