Darlin’ by Personal Effects
Nothing Lasts Forever by Personal Effects
Video commentary by Duane Sherwood: “Nothing Lasts Forever” is from Personal Effects “It’s Different Out There”. The beginning credits of the clip show Russ Lunn listed second as producer, but he should be first. He got the equipment from R. I. T., which is also where it was edited, shot the band performances, and also took care of the transfer of the super 8 film footage to video.
We wanted a ‘change of seasons’ vibe for the clip, which was shot in the autumn, and first made plans to shoot in Highland Park by the lilac area where there were these huge beautiful flower beds. We could only shoot on weekends and there were a few rainy ones before it became possible. When we finally showed up with all the gear, we found the Parks Dept. had removed all the plants for the winter.
So a little more scouting & we settled on a dense wooded area of Mendon Ponds Park. It was dark in there among the trees so we rented a 1000W generator. I borrowed two 500W scoop lights from the Sutherland stage and hung them from tree branches to fill in the area with some light.
I didn’t want to have Paul playing drums out in the woods so I gave him a violin, and Robin a cello, to mimic the string sections in the song. Robin already played cello so she was able to teach Paul how to look convincing. We shot the performances and most of the super 8mm ‘home movie type stuff’ on the same day, We got only a few band takes as the weather was getting colder & that was taking a toll on camera & deck batteries.
I also had some video from a summer weekend in the Thousand Isles with P&P, where we shot a bunch of footage boating thru the seaway with no special plans for it. It fit the change of seasons vibe so I used it. I also shot a quick idea at R.I.T. with Peggi moving little stones around on a glass table as a camera shot from beneath. Don’t know why that’s in there now, but I did at the time.
Russ & I edited the clip late one nite at R.I.T. where he worked as a TV studio manager. Guests weren’t allowed in there after hours so at 11:30 PM I had to hide in a toilet stall in one of the bathrooms with my feet in the air, as the guards came thru on their rounds. Russ came & got me when the coast was clear. We edited all night and then at 6:30 AM I had to go back to my hiding stall when the guards came thru again.
Bring Out The Jazz by Personal Effects
So Hard by Personal Effects
First song from 1982 self-titled “Personal Effects” ep. Co-produced by Dwight Glodell and Eric DuFaure and released on Cachalot Records. Rich Stim, MX-80 Sound vocalist, sax player and guitarist, co-wrote this song and created the video.
Don’t Wake Me by Personal Effects
Steve Black shot the film footage, printed each frame, hand colored the printouts and reassembled the frames onto video. The song appeared on Personal Effects first 12″ EP on Cachalot Records and was recorded by Margaret Explosion on their “1969” album.
Heroes by Personal Effects
Video commentary by Duane Sherwood:The last video I did with Personal Effects was “I See Heroes”, which is from the album “Mana Fiesta”. I had gone to NYC for the summer to take film making classes at NYU, and went out to the 1963 Worlds Fair site to shoot some super 8 film, 1 roll I think. I didn’t know what to do with it. I also wanted to pursue shooting some more in negative video, which we’d begun doing with “Drifting Apart”. So in my mind this is sort of a post apocalyptic sequel.
Other than the Worlds Fair footage, the whole thing was shot in my office at Sutherland High. The guys in the AV club helped me set it all up. We shot Peggi singing, reflected in the back side of a silver mylar yearbook poster, flexing it slightly to stretch the image. Behind her on a movie screen was a film loop of the 1st flight over Hiroshima, after dropping the bomb in WWII, which I’d snipped out of a library film and then reinserted after we were done.
To describe the rest of the techniques used might get boring, but I will say that fate once again smiled on us when I got a broken video camera in to check out & send for repair. Don’t know what happened but all the colors were psychedelic. I called Peggi at home, told her to get out to the school asap. That’s the Peter Max looking, color saturated, footage where Peggi looks like she’s floating sideways with her head on a pillow. We shot for 1/2 hour & then I shipped off the camera.
Low Riders by Personal Effects
Video commentary by Duane Sherwood: Personal Effects’ second video was shot onstage at Scorgies on a Sunday afternoon, and that’s as much as I can pin it down, datewise. Its sentimental for me because it shows the Scorgies lighting system, which wasn’t big yet very versatile. Best club lights in town.
The song was influenced by a recent trip Peggi & Paul had taken to San Francisco where they’d been fascinated by the Low Riders they’d seen in the Mission District. They came back with these great books full of latino & low rider drawings. We shot a bunch of them on slides & started fooling around with ideas that would eventually grow into the full multi-media shows at the Top of the Plaza and Community Playhouse.
Some other band’s equipment was set up on the stage when we got there so we moved their stuff off, except for the congas which Paul played. With a bunch of incense to set off the lights & strike the Botannica feel, and the cassette playing loudly thru the sound system & monitors, we shot for 3-4 hours.
We had to turn off all the house & bar lights for the shoot so it was really dark everywhere else in there. As a matter of fact, at one point I walked right off the stage into the dark while I was shooting, and fell flat onto the dance floor with the camera in my hands.
Drifting Apart by Personal Effects
Video commentary by Duane Sherwood: The third video I did for P.E. was “Drifting Apart”. It’s from the album “This is It”, which I’d helped the band record in Peggi & Paul’s house on Hall St. The lo-fi basement recording vibe of the album also fueled the concept for the video. Lo-fi, home made, & experimental.
The video was shot at night in the living room of my apt on Bobrich Dr. We had just gotten a video camera at work that could be switched to shoot in negative, so I was anxious to try it out. I placed Peggi on a chair next to a video monitor that was displaying the video output. Turned off all the lights and lit her straight on with my super 8 movie projector (no film running thru it). The flicker of the warm yellow tungsten lamp came out light blue in the negative image, and gave a nice shimmering effect on her face.
I expected to get some video feedback with her image on the monitor, but I didn’t expect the alternating positive & negative effect that we saw when we turned it on. It makes sense, the negative of a negative is positive, then the negative of a positive is negative, and so on & so on. I just didn’t expect it.
Being that the album had been recorded basically live, the art purist in me didn’t want there to be any edits in the video, so it was shot all in one take. We rehearsed the few moves and then shot 3-4 takes. The one that came out best was the 4th take, tho there was actually better video feedback in the instrumental section of the 3rd. I kept 4th take intact & used it whole. As I say, those were the purist days.
Sometime after finishing it, I entered it in a video festival that the American Film Institute was co-sponsoring with Sony out in L.A. ,”Visions of the U.S.” I only entered it because I saw that Laurie Anderson was a judge. I thought I might meet her one day and this could be a way to start a conversation. I was a fan.
To my surprise, “Drifting Apart” won 1st prize in the Music video category. I got a trip to Hollywood for the awards ceremony, and a new Sony 8mm video camera as the prize.
Magic by Personal Effects
Video commentary by Duane Sherwood: “Magic” was the first Personal Effects video. The song came from their first 12″ EP on Cachelot, but this video was done a while before that. The audio track is from a ruff mix, done before some overdubs and a final mix in NYC for the record. I think they recorded it with Dwight at PCI. This was always my preferred mix. The video was shot on a small cassette 3/4″ portapak.
We tried another idea for the video before this one. We set up the bands equipment onstage in the empty Highland Park Bowl one Friday afternoon and shot a number of takes. Don’t recall why we didn’t like it but the idea got scrapped. After kicking a few other ideas around, the final plan was a 2 part video – the band playing in a warm intimate interior setting, & then Paul & Peggi out on a date in the cool blue nite.
We shot the nite driving stuff first. Actually second, I took some quick shots of Peggi as she was putting on her makeup before we headed out, but didn’t plan to use it. Location-wise, East Ave had just been repaved from Penfield Rd to St John Fisher. So I shot Paul & Peggi driving back & forth on that smooth new road, back & forth for about an hour as the sun set. This was early spring.
The 3 of us were crammed into the front seat of that big car they used to bomb around in, with a cassette mix of the song playing thru the P&P ghetto blaster. I think we probably became a little conspicuous, as it got darker, since I’d taped a 100W spotlight on the hood of the car pointing inside to light them up. By dusk it looked so bright as they went down the street, Paul could barely see to drive. these were the days before low light video cameras.
After that we headed up to Seabreeze. Jeanne Perri came with us to assist. We asked some teenager running the ticket booth if we could shoot some video in the park & he said yeah, so in we went. Try getting away with that today. First stop was the amusement ride and I have to say there was a certain universal justice to Paul & Peggi winding up in a big coffee cup. I have to give Paul credit, he did double duty on that ride. He had to hold the spotlight in his right hand during the closeup, to light them as the ride whipped them around. And at the same time he had to try & keep his stomach in his mouth. His expression at the end of the first shot on that ride is worth a thousand words.
Then we hit the driving games inside the arcade, for a little thematic continuity, with just a couple of lines being lip-sync’d. And fate smiled on us when the flash of the photo booth went off right on time. P&P had that photo-strip on their fridge for years after.
The band performance footage was shot at Paul & Peggi’s house on Hall St, where the band also rehearsed & later recorded a full album. The living room was emptied, and a hasty abstract paper mural was painted to cover the doorway. My 1950s living room lamps are in there too. We did a few takes, and varied the lighting for mood.
Love Potion and Testify by Personal Effects
“Testify” and “Love Potion” were performed on the Rochester show “Dance Beat” hosted by Scott Spezzano in 1986. These songs appeared on Personal Effects’ LP “Mana Fiesta” released on Restless/Enigma Records.
Fascinating Game and Screamin’ You Head by Personal Effects
“Fascinating Game” and “Screamin’ You Head,” both Hi-Techs songs, performed live by Personal Effects at the Community Playhouse in Rochester, New York during a 1983 multimedia show called “This Is It.”
Love Never Thinks Video by Personal Effects
“Love Never Thinks” performed live by Personal Effects at the Community Playhouse in Rochester, New York during a 1983 multimedia show called “This Is It.” Song originally appeared on “Personal Effects” first ep.
Big Man Video by Personal Effects
“Big Man” performed live by Personal Effects at the Community Playhouse in Rochester, New York during a 1983 multimedia show called “This Is It.” Song originally appeared on “Bring Out The Jazz” ep.
Lucia’s Supper Club by Personal Effects
“Lucia’s Supper Club” recorded live at Idols in Rochester, New York 1985. Song originally appeared on “It’s Different Out There.” There is a story behind this song
RNews Video on Personal Effects and Margaret Explosion
2003 RNews Piece on Personal Effects and Margaret Explosion with Sally Cohen