As expressed back in this post of 2008, the early days of New York City public access cable television sort of acted like a proto-blogosphere. Public access was a seemingly limitless reservoir of boldly amateurish expression. The most notorious shows were, of course, the porny programs like Al Goldstein's endearingly obscene "Midnight Blue," "The Robin Byrd Show," "Ugly George" and the indefensibly ludicrous "Interludes After Midnight." But beyond the simply prurient, public access cable provided a platform for myriad other interests. From Glenn O'Brien's "TV Party" to George Tabb's "Destroy TV" to Iann Robinson's "Monkey Butt Sex" (not actually about bestiality, despite the title), there were slews of great music-related series that hosted content you simply couldn't find anywhere else (see also the mysterious "New York Band Stand" exhumed in this post). I'd also throw New Jersey's legendary "Uncle Floyd" show into that mix -- a crazed vaudevillian children's show that inexplicably hosted under-the-radar bands from Pussy Galore through Agnostic Front and beyond.
In any case, I can't say I remember the show from 1981 featured in the clip below -- "Paul Tschinkel's InnerTube" -- but if you search for it on YouTube, you'll find an awful lot of it. True to its medium, the clip below is a sloppily frenetic splicing of images that, I suppose, acted as a lengthy intro to Tscinkel's show. In between shots of proudly Rubenesque burlesque girls (oh, NSFW, by the way), enjoy the fleeting shots of downtown NYC luminaries like Richard Hell, Wayne County, James Chance, Johnny Thunders, Alan Vega, Robert Quine, Mink DeVille, Lux Interior and others. And for my fellow gentrification-haters (or simply people who lament change), watch for footage of locales like Max's Kansas City, old-school Washington Square Park, Bleecker Street before the pharmacies moved in, Houston Street before the billboards, the Village Gate Theater, The Mudd Club, CBGB, endearingly grotty St. Marks Place, Trash & Vaudeville, Gem Spa, the St. Marks Cinema and some momentary shots of the World Trade Center.
If you can stand the poor editing and the slightly cloying soundtrack, it's a compelling little window into New York's past.
ADDENDUM: For more on the mysterious Paul Tschinkel and his show, check out this post from 2009 by Tim B.