Music Video of the Day: Rapture by Blondie (1981, dir. Keith MacMillan)


We had some fun the past couple of days watching Carman kill Satan and banish movie monsters from his house, but now it’s time for the Rapture.

I’m sure people know the historical significance of this particular music video by now, but I’ll restate it anyways. In the very early days of MTV, they rarely let blacks appear on the network. They of course had accusations of racism thrown at them. Thinking about it now, it was probably that they were operating on the fringe so much that they figured what little audience they had would go away, and they’d go under based on the demographics information they had. That’s my best guess considering it just took Michael Jackson having a big hit with them to get rid of that. However, during that period, this meant that Rapture by Blondie wound up being the first rap music video aired on the network.

As is often the case, Wikipedia has some good information. The music video was set in the East Village section of Manhattan. That’s exactly what it says over on Wikipedia. I’m not sure if that means it was actually shot there or not.

William Barnes was the guy in the long white suit referred to as the “Man from Mars”. According to IMDb, he went on to work on localizing video games such as Mario Party 5. He also choreographed the music video.

Graffiti artists Lee Quinones and Jean-Michel Basquiat make cameo appearances. Basquiat was hired after Grandmaster Flash didn’t show up for the filming.

Rapper Fab Five Freddy not only is mentioned in the lyrics of the song, but also made a cameo in the music video.

Wikipedia also mentions that much of the outside portions of the music video were shot in one take.

Keith MacMillan directed and John Weaver produced this music video. They both seem to have primarily worked on music videos for Kate Bush, but also did some work for Motörhead. The two as a team went by the name Keef. You can find Keith MacMillan under that name on IMDb. He has also used the name Marcus Keef. John Weaver on the other hand is buried under so many people with his name that I don’t even know if he is there. There are only two that have anything of note in their credits. One worked in the art department on three Playboy movies, and another was a director on the TV Show Dark Shadows.

Enjoy! I always do anytime we get somebody predicting the world will end on a particular day and time.

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