Sticking with obscure, I give you Never Say Never by Romeo Void. It’s another one that I only know of because of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. We’ll probably get to every song on there except some of the Latin Jazz. Yes, I do know that there are more obscure music videos than this one such as Ah Leah by Donnie Iris and Johnny Are You Queer? by Josie Cotton, but those are for other days.
First off, I put 1983, but there seems to be disagreement between the two big music video databases, VEVO, and Wikipedia. IMVDb says that it’s from 1981. Mvdbase says it’s from 1983. VEVO says 1981. I’m going ahead with 1983. The reason is that Wikipedia says the song was recorded in December of 1981, then released in January of 1982. I also get the distinct impression that this is a band that would initially say no way to MTV, but then change their tune when they realized MTV would take anything as long as you were white. They really were that desperate early on. People tend to forget that, but MTV was a fledgling network. How fledgling? They don’t start playing the song until a minute and five seconds into a four minute and thirty-seven second video. I can see them saying, “Oh, you mean we can also get creative visually around our song, and you really don’t have a problem with it? In that case, never say never, and sign us up.”
There is no director listed anywhere that I can find, but two directors come to mind. Those being Jim Jarmusch and Jim McBride. McBride even directed the remake of Breathless (1983). The beginning of this video sure reminds me of the original. The guy in the video even dies like Jean-Paul Belmondo did in the original Breathless (1960). The music video also screams early French New Wave. He also directed Great Balls of Fire! (1989) and in 2000 did the feature length VH1 original movie Meatloaf: To Hell and Back. So, if I have to make a guess here. This was possibly directed by Jim McBride.
I love this video. I think that no film should be left behind, but I love it when a music video takes advantage of the visual medium instead of just playing the song in front of a camera.
Also, is that Keanu Reeves in there? I doubt it, but you never know. I mean Courtney Cox is in Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen, so why not? Plus, I’m not that familiar with the members of the band. In fact, this is the one and only song by Romeo Void I have ever heard in my life.
I can’t possibly imagine this being in anything but this extra dark black and white. I also can’t imagine them drawing you more into their performance even if they cutaway from time to time to other things. No doubt No Doubt got some of their style from Romeo Void. The sexual tension between the lead singer and the band is all over this thing like it is in No Doubt music videos.
One last thing to mention. It is censored. They cut out the word “fuck”. Kind of interesting that it’s there. That means it originally aired that way, much like Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa originally aired with the word “retard” in it. It is fascinating, and sad how much more censorship happy we’ve become over the years. I don’t really mind “retard” not being there, but put the “fuck” back into a song that has a chorus that says: “I might like you better if we slept together”. At least we have access to older stuff like this, so it isn’t lost even if the VEVO versions get censored. Enjoy!