The previous two installments of this series — Part 1 and Part 2 — have been devoted to the black and white films made at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic from 1975 to 1984. Made to be shown live on the theater’s movie screens during the concert and never intended to be released commercially, these videos have found their way onto YouTube and are wonderful documents of a rock ‘n’ roll era.
For this third and probably final part of the series, I have collected some of the highlights of the more professionally shot color films that exist from the theater’s later years. These were, in general, not made just for in-concert use, but shot for TV specials, home video releases and so on. But they’ve made their way onto YouTube, as well, and in many cases are just as wonderful as the black and white films.
Built in the 1920, the Capitol was most active as a rock concert venue from the early ’70s to the mid-’80s. It closed in 1989 and was demolished in 1991.
Here are the videos, in chronological order:
“Deep in the Heart of Jersey,” Uncle Floyd, Dec. 16, 1981 (show celebrated 10th anniversary of theater’s rock shows)
“Rock Me Baby,” Etta James with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (featuring Mick Taylor and John McVie), June 18, 1982
“Messin’ With the Kid,” Junior Wells and Buddy Guy with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (featuring Mick Taylor and John McVie), June 18, 1982
“Born Under a Bad Sign,” Albert King with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (featuring Mick Taylor), June 18, 1982
“A Certain Girl,” Warren Zevon, Oct. 1, 1982
“So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” Roger McGuinn and R.E.M. at an MTV “Rock Influences” show devoted to folk-rock, June 9, 1984
“Here Comes the Sun”/”The End,” Richie Havens at the “Rock Influences” folk-rock show, June 9, 1984
“Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?,” John Sebastian with Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Roger McGuinn, Richie Havens and Jesse Colin Young at the “Rock Influences” folk-rock show, June 9, 1984
“Who Do You Love?,” George Thorogood & the Destroyers with John Hammond, July 5, 1984. Part of another MTV “Rock Influences” show.
“Man Smart, Woman Smarter”/”Josephine,” Bobby & the Midnites, Aug. 1, 1984
“Rock and Roll,” Lou Reed, Sept. 25, 1984. (Featuring Robert Quine on guitar and Jim Carroll on backing vocals.)
“People Who Died,” Jim Carroll (backed by Lou Reed and Reed’s band), Sept. 25, 1984
“Aqualung,” Jethro Tull, Oct. 28, 1984
“Johnny B. Goode,” Dave Edmunds with Brian Setzer, Dickey Bets, Link Wray, David Gilmour, Johnny Winter, Steve Cropper and Neal Schon at the “Guitar Greats” concert, Nov. 3, 1984
“Rumble,” Link Wray” at “Guitar Greats” concert, Nov. 3, 1984
“Jessica,” Dickey Betts at “Guitar Greats” concert, Nov. 3, 1984
“New Jersey,” Joe Piscopo, Sept. 20, 1985
“Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Sept. 21, 1985
“Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye,” Charlie Daniels Band, Nov. 22, 1985
“Tear It Up,” Brian Setzer (with Fabulous Thunderbirds members Jimmie Vaughan, Preston Hubbard and Chuck Leavell), April 19, 1986
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of $20, or any other amount, to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.