The Cramps and the Mutants: The Napa State Tapes - Enzian Theater

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The Cramps and the Mutants: The Napa State Tapes

The Cramps and the Mutants: The Napa State Tapes

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Music Mondays

The Cramps and the Mutants: The Napa State Tapes

“Somebody told me you people are crazy, but I’m not so sure about that…. you seem to be all right to me.”

On June 13, 1978, the soon-to-be legendary rock band THE CRAMPS went to play Napa State, a psychiatric hospital in the small town of Napa in Northern California. Opening for them was THE MUTANTS, an eclectic septet of art school punks from nearby San Francisco. Also in the van was seminal Bay Area art collective Target Video, there to capture the show using one of the first video cameras available to the public, democratizing a medium controlled by mainstream media outlets. What resulted may be the most unique punk show ever, as the two bands played for the residents at the hospital, a rehabilitation facility that was skimming the danger of being shut down by former California Governor Ronald Reagan.

The Cramps in an incredible performance for a crowd of hospital residents and visiting punk rockers, too similar to tell apart. The grainy black-and-white video footage also provided a vision of humanity to this world of mental health. The punks, also dismissed as outsiders to society, felt a camaraderie to the Napa State residents.

This release presents for the first time the entire Cramps performance tape unedited with an additional song, remastered from the original ½” open reel video tape used in the video recording deck at the show. Also presented for the first time: the previously lost footage of The Mutants playing at Napa State, unedited and remastered from the original source tape.

This unique event includes:

The Mutants at Napa StateJune 13, 1978black and white, 22 minutesDirected by Joe Target Rees

We Were There to Be There2021, documentary about the Napa State showcolor and black and white, 27 minutesDirected by Mike Plante and Jason Willis

The Cramps at Napa StateJune 13, 1978black and white, 23 minutesDirected by Joe Target Rees

  • “Truly one of the most bizarre scenes ever”

    – Joe G., PUNKNEWS.ORG
  • “It may not be quite so prominent an occasion in the annals of popular culture as Johnny Cash playing Folsom Prison a decade earlier, but June 13, 1978 is a date of legend in punk rock history.”

    – Dennis Harvey, 48 HILLS
  • “The question is not why would The Cramps want to play this show but is basically — who the f**k let this happen?”

    – Tamim Alnuweiri, ALTCITIZEN.COM
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