The Damon Show, Part One

by Derrick Bostrom


About fifteen years ago, between the time he moved from Bisbee, Arizona to Tucson, and when he finally escaped to the outskirts of  Pearce, my brother Damon discovered the awesome Access Tucson, one of the finest public access television providers in the country. Theirs was a great partnership. Suddenly he was peppering me with requests for old cartoons, pictures from the internet, copies of his various recordings, any raw material he could use for a grand project, the outlines of which I could just barely make out. Next thing I knew, he was pressuring me more than usual to drive down to Tucson and help him out with a television program he claimed to be putting into production.

Damon did the show for about a year and a half, I guess -- first a one hour special, then a monthly fifteen minute program, and well as a few odd one-offs. Though he worked mostly with his own team, I managed to keep my hand in from time to time, both behind and in front of the camera. Some of the pieces he put together were pretty ambitious, but little of it approached network television standards. But we were all learning as we went along. Even at its roughest, the show always crackled with restless inspiration.

Just before Damon moved away from Tucson, he did a quick and dirty digital dump of some of the highlights of his work at Access Tucson. Of course, digital transfer is another skill altogether, one my brother hadn't mastered. So the transfers suffered as a result. He dropped the files off with me, where I did even more clumsy damage. Now the show lives both on a crude highlight DVD as well as aging video carts. But recently, he's been urging me to help him augment his web presence by uploading some "Damon Show" sequences to YouTube. And I've only too happy to comply. So, over the next several weeks, I hope to bore you with the greatest hits of the Bostrom Arts team.

Our first installment contains two clips of two segments each. First up is the show's theme montage. The music is by Derrick and Damon, the result of a goofy recording jam at Damon's home studio. Next is "The Nixon Picture Show," inspired by a "Breakfast Without Meat" cartoon of mine, with Damon "remixing" a recording of Nixon playing piano on the Jack Parr show back in the early sixties.

The next two segments are even better. The first is an ad for Satan's Cigarettes, based on an actual treat I gave out for Halloween back in 1979 (until the police came). The second, "Knowledge Wandered North," is one of several episodes from the show that endeavor to dole out wisdom from the east. Notable both for my brother's enthusiastic narration, and for the foggy performances of his cast (all of whom seem uneasily in the dark about the content of their dialogue), "Knowledge" also sneaks in a couple more ads, both scripted by Yours Truly.