Follwing our interview with Dale Lloyd of Viva VHS, Jack Morris looks back at his VHS memories…
One of my earliest memories, other than seeing a parrot ride a tricycle whilst on holiday in Spain with my parents, is sitting on the living room floor at my parents friend’s house in front of their sideboard and being in shock and awe at the amount of videos they had. We never had many videos in our house growing up, simply because my parents were never really fans of movies (no idea where my love of them came from), so whenever we went round to our friends house I was able to gorge on their collection to my heart’s content.
It was here that I discovered films, on VHS, that have stuck with me throughout my life and have stayed in my collection in a variety of different formats; from video, to DVD and finally onto Blu-ray. There was always something special about the chunky feel of a VHS that preceded the actual excitement of watching the film. It was the enjoyment of sliding the films out of their covers and knowing somehow the images were captured on the tape inside. As it has been mentioned before by Chris Cooper, it was the changing pitch of the tape at the beginning and the end and the dreaded skill of being able to perfect tracking. I was able to track a video before I could ride a bike, I should have known my true calling would have been in the world of cinema at that early age.
Tucked away from my parents in the living room, I was introduced to a world of time travelling cars, kids searching for One-Eyed Willie’s treasure, Mogwai and a certain Dr Jones. These characters shaped my viewing habits over the years and I know that I can always return to these stories (in my opinion Back to the Future Part II is quite simply the greatest film ever, but that argument is for another time), but whilst the picture and sound quality has improved vastly with the advent of modern technology; there will always be something special and seeing a film on VHS and knowing the true love of having to replace certain films because you have watched them so many times that the tape has worn out.