March 11th, 1990 - The Judge Video Shoot - ON THIS DATE IN CITY GARDENS HISTORY

March 11th, 1990 - The Judge Video Shoot - ON THIS DATE IN CITY GARDENS HISTORY

The following is an excerpt taken from the book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico. All photos by Ken Salerno.

Judge/Outburst A.K.A “The Video Shoot.” – March 11, 1990

Jamie Davis (City Gardens regular): Did Uppercut play that show, too?

Mike Judge (Judge, vocals): We wrote the song “Where It Went” without that fast part in the middle that bridges everything to the very slow ending. We thought we wrote the coolest hardcore skanking song. Then we came up with the very slow ending; the do you feel what I feel part. We needed to get it in that song, but it sounded too shoe-horned. We had that mid-tempo part from a song that was on the Chung King record. Since that record and its songs were scrapped, we decided to try it and it sounded like it belonged there. When it was finally written and finalized, we were pretty sure we wrote a perfect song that you could skank to, from beginning to end, with a short breather 3/4 of the way through. The video was going to be a live setting, so [City Gardens] was an obvious choice.

Randy Now: I didn’t even know they were planning on shooting a video. It was just a regular show for us. We didn’t promote it as a video shoot, but I guess everyone knew by word of mouth.

Todd Linn (City Gardens security): They must’ve played “Where It Went” about 27 times before the doors ever opened, because they were shooting all the close-ups. All the kids were waiting in line outside, and they would look through the side door when it opened to see all the shit going on and the cameras and stuff. They’re saying, “Oh my God, we’re going to be on TV! We’re going to be on MTV!” Fellow bouncer Carl [Humenik] and I heard these kids talk, so we said, “Oh yeah, yeah, definitely. Headbangers Ball is here, man. Riki Rachtman’s here. He’s here, and you’re going to be on MTV. There’s no doubt.”

Mike Judge: The guy who shot the video, Eric Seefranz, was from my town, and we went to high school together. We hung out a lot and shot a lot of pool together. He was going to college for video editing, and he was like, “I could do the video cheap if you give me a chance.” I talked to the rest of the band, and they were like, “Cool, let’s do it.” Honestly, I don’t remember who came up with the idea of doing it at City Gardens, but once it was brought up we were into it.

Sam Siegler (Judge, drummer): That day stands out in my mind. We were there all day. We filmed during soundcheck and we filmed while people were there. I think it was largely because City Gardens felt like a big room, and we were going for that look in the video. We wanted a bigger stage and a bigger vibe. There was more room to shoot, and I had a good rapport with Randy. He would let us do it, and it wasn’t like he was going to charge us a lot of money to shoot. We were playing there anyway, so it just sort of made sense and the feeling was right. CBGB was kind of political, as far as getting in and shooting a video.

Mike Judge: The club itself, to us… it made us look bigger than we actually were. It was a big stage, a big room, and the sound was awesome. The sound inside the club was as good as any New York club. I guess the only thing that scared us was worrying if we were going to get enough people there to make it look cool. I didn’t know what kind of pull we were actually going to have in New Jersey since we were the New York Crew band, you know?

Pat Baker (Semibeings): That was an incredible night. They played a normal set. When it was time for them to record the video, the place went completely insane! I believe at one point the entire club was up on stage. Then the power went out. I remember this weird silence where all you heard was the drums and people singing. People were flying everywhere… bodies kept falling on your head. It was nuts.

Mike Judge: It was my first experience being videoed and lip-syncing to tracks and stuff, and I was like; “Oh my God, I feel ridiculous.” I was almost wishing there was nobody there at that point! They kept telling me, “You gotta make it look like you’re playing.” And I’m like, “Ah, man… it feels like I’m listening to the radio, though.” I spent a lot of time as a little kid wanting to be in a band. I used to be in my bedroom listening to David Bowie records and playing air guitar and thinking, “I’m in a band.” Now, suddenly, I am in a band and they’re telling me it’s time to play air guitar again. They kept telling me things like, “Okay, now look mean!”

Todd Linn: That night was fucking bedlam, because everyone wanted to be on the video. No one was sure what it was, but they were like, “Goddamn it, I’m getting on stage and I’m going to get on this videotape!”

Jeremy Weiss (City Gardens regular): Everybody went berserk because they wanted to be in that damn video.

Vince Spina (Harvcore Records): That one was bananas. Everyone was there because they knew Judge was filming, so it made it even crazier.

Carl Humenik (City Gardens security): I was on stage for that. It was me and Jim Norton. And I can tell you, me and Norton earned our $40 that night. If you watch the video, you see us occasionally, because it switches back and forth between when they filmed before the show, and then they filmed live. When they played live, Norton and me were trying to keep people off stage. But if I was holding one person back, someone was climbing over him, and then someone would try to climb over that person. I was like, “What should we do?” People were using my back to dive off onto the crowd. And you know what? I didn’t care. I was having as much fun as they were, because that was why I was there. Because the music made people live, and if I’m sitting there listening to Fear and someone doesn’t like Fear, if they tell me not to enjoy it, I’m going to be like, fuck you. So, I’m not going to sit there and tell them not to like Judge, because obviously they love ‘em! Go ahead. It’s not going to kill me if someone uses me as a launching pad. Just please try to use my back softly.

Mike Judge: There’s actually a picture—a snapshot I have—and I remember it because it’s when they told me to stare at the crowd and “Do that face you do when you’re playing live!” But, meanwhile, I can’t even see the crowd because there’s a guy with a camera right in my face. I’m supposed to look all angry and shit while I am staring into the lens of a camera. It was so ridiculous! Not to mention we had played the song at least four or five times.

Vince Spina: I remember it was me, my brother, and my friend Darren. We were all in Edgewise at the time, and during the video shoot they were definitely more liberal with allowing crazy stage antics if you were diving. So, me, my brother, and Darren all jump up on the stage at the same time and do, like, three dives in a row. I don’t think we ever made it into the video.

Mike Judge: I really didn’t have to work too hard to pump up the crowd, even though we were like, “Okay, we’re going to do this song again. Try and go off again…” It was our first video, and it was my buddy Eric’s first video. Everybody was like, “This might be our first and only shot at this,” so I guess everybody just did their part. And it was great.

Jeremy Weiss: I remember sitting up watching Headbangers Ball the one time it was going to be shown. We waited until three in the morning! Right before they ended the show, they played the video, and I think every kid in that fucking show was looking for himself.

Todd Linn: If you watch the video, I don’t think you see one kid in the damned thing.

Mike Judge: Most of my City Gardens memories revolve around that day because it was such a pivotal point. I never got to do another video. And I still love that video. So many of my friends are in it. If you look real close, one of my best friends is standing behind one of the amps.

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