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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
38 Years Ago Today

Here's some excerpts an a broadcast of the long-running American Bandstand with Dick Clark on WLS Channel 7, featuring a video if the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" by the rock group Queen. That music video was created by Bruce Gowers and Herbert Zettel of television textbook fame. Zettel wrote about the special effects created for the video, using prisms, mirrors and "video feedback - focusing a video camera on the blank white raster of its own monitor. Video feedback is an electro-optical loop created by a camera looking at itself and transforming its electrical nature into vibrant visual forms. Camera noise, the inevitable random movements of electrons in any circuit, is transferred to the monitor, where it appears as an area of relatively more intense light. The camera picks up its own noise-turned-light and amplifies it as the feedback loop perpetuates itself. Depending upon the interactive states of all the variables in the loop - focus, f-stop, camera and monitor raster registrations, the monitor brightness and contrast settings - the noise-turned-light becomes purely electronic images that dance, pulse, swirl and move in myriad fascinating ways." That's what Ronald Pellegrino wrote in 1983 to describe what you can also see in a WCIU promo at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnXce-lTNqQ .

As Dick Clark signals for a commercial break, someone recording this off air went channel surfing. You see part of a shampoo commercial then Channel Switching to a close-up of a violin performing a classical number, then back to Wella Herbal Balsam commercial, then a very brief shot of end of a Florida Grapefruit Growers commercial, then what looks like a closed-circuit camera shot of a room with two TV's and a refrigerator (it must have been a live shot - notice, you can make out the same headshot of the guy from the Grapefruit commercial on one of the TVs), then the title card for Ecos Latinos (which aired on WMAQ Channel 5 - likely a promo, as that show ran at 4 PM), before going back to the Wella Herbal Balsam commercial. Can anyone advise as to the mysterious unidentified pieces? I suspect the tapes that this clip came from actually originated from the owner of the old Townhouse TV and Appliances store, which might account for the closed-circuit shot.

This aired on April 24, 1976.

WLS Channel 7 - American Bandstand - "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Excerpts & Channel Switching, 1976)

Here's some excerpts an a broadcast of the long-running American Bandstand with Dick Clark on WLS Channel 7, featuring the premiere of a video by the legendary rock group Queen (Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Meddows-Taylor and John Deacon). Includes:

Dick Clark talking while sitting in the studio audience, introducing a music video of Queen's new hit "Bohemian Rhapsody," from their album A Night at the Opera (Elektra 7E-1053) whose cover he shows

Opening and closing moments of "Bohemian Rhapsody" video [edited out of this clip since it is readily available elsewhere]

Shot of audience applauding as Dick Clark signals for a commercial break

Commercial: Wella Herbal Balsam shampoo (partial)

Channel Switching to a close-up of a violin performing a classical number, then back to Wella Herbal Balsam commercial, then a very brief shot of end of a Florida Grapefruit Growers commercial [(C) Fla. Chamber of Commerce 1976], then what looks like a closed-circuit camera shot of a room with two TV's and a refrigerator (it must have been a live shot - notice, you can make out the same headshot of the guy from the Grapefruit commercial on one of the TVs), then the title card for Ecos Latinos (which aired on WMAQ Channel 5 - likely a promo, as that show ran at 4pm), before going back to Wella Herbal Balsam commercial [(C) 1975 Wella Corporation]

(Can anyone advise as to the mysterious unidentified pieces? I suspect the tapes that this clip came from actually originated from the owner of the old Townhouse TV and Appliances store, which might account for the closed-circuit shot)

This aired on local Chicago TV on Saturday, April 24th 1976 during the 11:30am to 12:30pm timeframe.

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This clip aired on Saturday, April 24th 1976, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

I remember the jingle for Townhouse TV jingle: "Come to the superstore, Townhouse TV and Appliances!" sung very jauntily and then voices saying "Milwaukee & Oakton!" or something like that. And can you confirm this clip did air on Saturday? The bold says Friday.
Comment posted by Smctopia on Monday, December 26th 2011 at 10:10pm.

Date corrected on clip description (confirmed by various websites that mentioned this episode).
Comment posted by W.B. on Monday, December 26th 2011 at 10:33pm.

This had of been recorded using either the Betamax console or a stand-alone Betamax VCR hooked on to a TV since those VCRs had the rotary tuners (on the BI or X-1 speed of course).
Comment posted by Betamax75 on Tuesday, December 27th 2011 at 10:53pm.

Pretty cool piece of history. Of course Bohemian Rhapsody was a cool video but contrary to many sources, not the first ever video (that goes all the way back to 1930). I didn't know the drummer was called Roger Meddows-Taylor. I wonder if he changed his name to avoid being confused with the other drummer Roger Taylor, who's in Duran Duran (and incidentally I met, he was cool).
Comment posted by LaPrincess on Wednesday, December 28th 2011 at 12:26am.

It's very likely that was indeed the reason Queen's drummer added the other name in the middle (and a hyphen in-between the two surnames). Remember too, actors' unions in both the U.S. and Britain forbid two people from having the exact same name. One example of this is British actor Stewart Granger, who was forced to adopt that name because his original name was the same as that of U.S. actor James (better known as Jimmy) Stewart (except for the middle name, of course). But that rule has also covered singers. Go ask Amii Stewart (no relation to either), the one-hit wonder of the 1979 disco remake of "Knock on Wood."
Comment posted by W.B. on Wednesday, December 28th 2011 at 2:57am.

I assume that's the reason too but I wonder why he would have been the one to change his name, being that Queen has been around longer. I remember when Duran Duran became popular people wondering if it was the same Roger Taylor because what's the chances of two drummers from British rock bands having the same name? Of course they are two different people and Queen was still very popular when Duran Duran became popular so the chances of them being the same person was no chance.

I am analyzing this way too much but my mind goes into overdrive when it comes to rock music. Interesting to note is that several members of Duran Duran have actually cited Queen as an influence.

Comment posted by LaPrincess on Wednesday, December 28th 2011 at 12:45pm.

Very good information on what the other clips in the channel changing sequence were because I couldn't make heads or tails of any of it. I will say though I'm thrilled to see Dick Clark again here in the museum because he's partially responsible for my finding Fuzzy's original YouTube page. I was looking for the clip of Dick's speech at the Emmy Awards after he had the stroke and YouTube showed me something I'd never EVER thought I'd see again a WFLD zooming commercial break title card for Green Acres. Dick did the commercial break for a record club in that video. That began my relationship with this museum. Plus I'm glad to see Dick at his best...certainly one of TV's most genial and likable hosts. He always was a welcome guest in my home.
Comment posted by GalagaFleetCommander on Thursday, December 29th 2011 at 9:18pm.

The major question now is, what was that brief classical piece where they had the violin closeup, and which channel would have aired it? (And again, this was nailed down as Saturday, April 24th 1976.)

As for Dick Clark - especially in the last few years I can't think of him without thinking of that Gary Larson "Far Side" cartoon.

Comment posted by W.B. on Thursday, December 29th 2011 at 9:34pm.

Ecos Latinos was running on WMAQ at Noon during this broadcast. The best possibilities for the violin clip are a promo on WTTW or Step by Step on WCIU.
Comment posted by Phantom on Thursday, December 29th 2011 at 10:49pm.

It was around this period that WCIU would have gone color - the last of the Chicago stations to do so, I.I.N.M.

As for what else besides the Queen video was shown on this edition of "AB" - Al Wilson (of "Show and Tell" fame) performed his latest single, "I've Got a Feeling," and another act called Mule Deer appeared (speculation that might've been comedian Gary Mule Deer).

Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, December 30th 2011 at 6:00am.

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This clip has been viewed 1936 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Monday, December 26th 2011.
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