The Rose (Starsky & Hutch vid)

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Title: The Rose
Creator: Kendra Hunter and Diana Barbour
Date: 1980
Format: VCR vid
Music: Bette Midler
Genre: slash
Fandom: Starsky & Hutch
Footage: Starsky & Hutch
URL: The Rose at Wikipedia

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The Rose by Kendra Hunter and Diana Barbour is one of the earliest songvids made with live action TV footage. It is also one of the earliest Starsky & Hutch fan vids.

An example of how this song is imbedded in the Starsky & Hutch fandom is The Lucky and the Strong, a zine which gets its title from the lyrics.

A Bit of "Rose" Cross Pollination

  • In 1978, Amanda McBroom portrayed the character "Lizzie Thorpe" in the "Starsky & Hutch" episode, "Discomania."
  • In 1979, Amanda McBroom wrote the song, "The Rose."
  • In 1980, Kendra Hunter and Diana Barbour created the "Starsky and Hutch" vid, "The Rose."

A Single Clip and Technical Challenges

In this vid, Kendra Hunter and Diana Barbour timed a single unedited clip from the episode "Starsky's Lady" to the song to the scene where Starsky & Hutch open the gifts left to them by the woman that Starsky had been in love with, one who had died two weeks before. It's a scene instantly familiar to fans of the show.

Due to the technical limitations of the time (VTRs without flying eraseheads) or the ability to make edits to the tape without also distorting the audio, the clip had to run without interruption or cuts. Many fans who are used to more modern vids with faster editing have said the internal timing of the clip, which matches each line of the lyrics to an eerie degree, in connection with Bette Midler's emotional song, still has the power to affect them decades later. [1]

What VTRs could do was hold a freeze frame cleanly, and this was used a great deal. Some of the earliest vids consisted of a freeze frame of the guys' faces over an entire song. Early vidders would use a scene even if it had credits over it if they needed it. They would use freeze frames and stills to extend the desired clip so it would be as long as they needed it to be. These are not things vidders could get away with today, but even with the wobbling soundtracks, freeze frames, and very long clips, fans greeted these early vids with astonishment and appreciation. The fact that it was possible to overlay a different soundtrack over familiar scenes gave fans an outlet to view familiar footage in new ways. This is demonstrated very well in early vids like Somebody's Knockin' and The Rose. [2]

A SH Anthem

Over time, the song used in the vid became an anthem of sorts to Starsky & Hutch fans and was sung by attendees at the end of the Zebracon Saturday night dinner. This vid is also shown at SHareCon. On occasion, the song was dedicated to the memory of those fans who had passed the year before.

While most fans embraced this practice, others felt it reminded them of campfire or church singing and made them feel awkward and uncomfortable. [3]

At least one fan was mystified after being enmeshed in the communal sing of this vid at Escapade 1997. She tells Pros fans in Discovered In A Letterbox #1: "I thought this might interest you, as a description of an American slash con. Escapade is unusual in the wonderfulness of panels it has but ZebraCon would be much the same format with a play and a party on Saturday night (and a traditional group singing of "The Rose," which has some arcane S/H significance)."

Some Fan Comments


THE ROSE ... it's a song which has special associations for SH fans. It contains lines which could have been written with the series in mind. Here's what [Karen B] wrote about it in the Zebracon Book 1993. "Some people have asked why sing The ROSE ... back in the early years of ZCON, we began to sing along to this particular song after the Saturday night festivities... a fitting way to end the evening. After a few years, it was a tradition,. SH is still the heart of ZCON and this song has so many memories of 'good old days.' Perhaps, most importantly, we believe fandom is a family. Our family, despite irritations and problems, we love each other. That's what fandom's all about. [4]


I get teary when I've seen the Starsky's Lady tag set to The Rose in the song vid. THAT gets to me :) [5]


My eyes are never dry during the group singing of The Rose. There is no moment at any convention I have ever attended that can match that feeling . . . those precious moments of camaraderie with my fellow fans. It's one of those moments that writes itself down on the scrapbook pages inside your heart where it can never fade. [6]

My favorites memories of ZCon have been of leading the singing of 'The Rose' on Saturday night. It felt so wonderful to be up there playing my guitar and hearing everyone sing along with me [7]

I think the thing I remember clearest is the entire con joining together to sing The Rose, with Martha up front leading us on guitar. I might be a euphoric sentimentalist, but I think those moments bound the people in that room to each other as few other cons ever have. The last time I was there it brought tears to my eyes, because I was remembering many of the people who used to sing it with us who were no longer alive. [8]

The Lyrics

The lyrics were printed in the program book for ZebraCon in 1991 as well as in the zine Renascence .


  1. ^ As reported by Flamingo who attended Sharecon 2000 where the vid was shown at the start of the convention vid show.
  2. ^ from Starsky & Hutch Historical Vids
  3. ^ From Morgan Dawn's personal notes, as she overheard fans talking after the dinner at Zebracon 1997, accessed April 16, 2011.
  4. ^ from the ZebraCon program book (1993) and reprinted in Renascence.
  5. ^ from a fan on The Pits (mailing list), quoted anonymously (December 1, 2002)
  6. ^ from ZebraCon/Memories
  7. ^ from ZebraCon/Memories
  8. ^ from ZebraCon/Memories