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Vintage Video-Centric Newspaper Clippings Offer Up a Bit of Magnetic Mystery and Essential History for United American Video and Vestron Video!

While recently going about my daily rewind-inclined wanderings around the world weird web, I was offered a chance to check out two totally killer, one most curious and one exceptionally informative, video-centric vintage newspaper clippings harvested from, found courtesy of fellow Tapehead and all-around cool dude Julian DiLorenzo (@UncleSporkums) via Twitter. The first clipping he shared was out of Salina, KS, and detailed a shocking mistake made at a magnetic magic duplication facility, inadvertently causing an explicit horror flick to appear at the tail end of a seemingly innocuous children’s cartoon tape. Here’s the article that originally appeared in The Salina Journal on Wednesday, January 10th 1990:


Man, Betty really got the VHShakes after witnessing this magnetic mistake, huh? Don't VHSleep to DVDream.

Well, that could have been quite a nasty surprise for little Kevin, eh, Tapeheads!? Now this was right around Christmas so this little VHStinker could very well have been a Christmas cartoon tape. No mention is made of the cartoon(s) on the videocassette in question, so this of course is purely VHSpeculation. However, we do know that it’s definitely a United American Home Video cartoon tape, and they do mention that Vista Video did “record ten volumes of Children’s Classics” so that piece of info could help, but a bulk of UAV’s cartoon output was set in volumes, as shown below.


A look at just a smattering of United American Video's cartoon output aka Prime VHSuspects. Dig that foil label, man.

Now this analog-oriented error could very well have been completely anomalous – a lone mistake made by Vista Video that allowed one non-erased tape to slip into the final production output. But then again, you have to think there is a considerable possibility that Vista may have had a number of tapes that slipped through, or just didn’t fully take on the erasure process. They must have done them in batches, right? One would think so. Though these pernicious videocassettes were largely recalled, there’s still the notion that more of these cartoon tapes with the erroneous ending could be out there. Even beyond that, another question burns: what was the presumed “detective film” that appeared after the cartoon spewing forth decapitation, rape, and sadomasochism?! The rewind-inclined world may never know.


This series from UAV does read Children’s Classics on the front, but seems to be produced after the original newspaper article was published. There could be earlier incarnations of this line from UAV, but I have yet to find any. Let us know if you do, Tapeheads!

So there’s a bit of magnetic mystery and a potential start of some serious analog investigation for the more curious Videovores out there. It surely would be incredible to find another slab from that sullied batch of cartoon tapes. One thing’s for sure: now every time you spot a United American Home Video cartoon video, you’ll just have to wonder, man.


And for good analog measure, here's one of my favorite VHS covers ever, which also happens to be on United American Video. I mean, just LOOK AT THIS COVER! Amazing. Image from, man!

For the next rewind-inclined clipping, here’s a piece focused on the largely influential and utterly essential Vestron Video. For even the mild collector, Vestron is a company that needs no lengthy introduction. Only to say that the releasing entity was a complete game changer in the home video industry, and the following piece that ran on Monday, Dec 30th, 1985 in the Bloomington, IL based newspaper The Pantagraph corroborates just that, with a nice bit of illuminating history to boot.


Clickity-click for the larger format, man! No need to VHSquint!

What an incredible amount of information, eh, Tapeheads? We get a detailed history on the formation of the company, it’s very first release and did you know that Vestron was one of the companies that produced / financed the marvelous and now historical music video for MJ’s essential pop / horror hit Thriller? Well, you do now, man and it’s right there in black and white (even though, we all know, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white – I just couldn’t help myself).


The Time Life Video version, and then the Vestron Music Video re-issue: Vestron's first release as reported in the article above!

Thanks again to fellow Tapehead Julian DiLorenzo for bringing these wonderful pieces of printed history to our analog attention here in Lunchmeat Land! Julian, we VHSalute you!

Groove and Groove and Bang a Gong with Weird Paul!!

Josh Schafer

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