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Mon, Oct 2 at 4:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:45pm

The Cramps & The Mutants: The Napa State Tapes

  • Three Programs
  • Total Runtime: 72 min.
  • DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop
The Cramps & The Mutants: The Napa State Tapes

Part of Doc Spotlight and Music City Mondays

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.

Here for the first time ever: the long lost tape of The Mutants playing at Napa State and the full tape of The Cramps’ show, both unedited and fully remastered from the original reel-to-reel videotape. In between the shows is We Were There To Be There, a new short documentary about how the Napa State show happened and its lasting effect.

The Mutants at Napa State
June 13, 1978
black and white, 22 minutes
Directed by Joe Target Rees
Remastered from the original 1⁄2” open reel videotape by Dino Everett at the Punk Media Research Collection, University of Southern California, HMH Foundation Moving Image Archive.

We Were There to Be There
2021, documentary about the Napa State show
color and black and white, 27 minutes
Directed by Mike Plante and Jason Willis

The Cramps at Napa State
June 13, 1978
black and white, 23 minutes
Directed by Joe Target Rees

See the Official Website