I have no idea what to say about this music video for what is one of the best known songs of the 1980s. Lucky for me, Vicki Peterson shares a little behind-the-scenes bit about her part in the video, and Hoffs shares pretty much everything else in the book I Want My MTV. I’ll let them speak for themselves:
“It wasn’t just the hair that was big in the ’80s. It was the shoulder pads, parachute pants, everything. For ‘Walk Like an Egyptian,’ I wore four pairs of false eyelashes.”
“We used Gary Weis because we’d been huge fans of the Rutles movie he codirected. It was a two-day shoot in New York. You really felt like you had arrived when you had a two-day shoot. Part one was a live performance in some warehouse filled with contest winners from a radio station. The DP was using a long lens way back in the crowd. There was a close-up on me toward the end of the video, when I sing my section, but because the camera was so far away from me, I had no idea how close up it really was. Back then, when we performed live, I’d pick a friendly face in the middle of the crowd and then someone to my left and someone to my right, and I would sing to them, using them as focal points. That’s what I was doing in that part of the video. I wasn’t aware it was such a tight shot. People always ask me, ‘Were you trying to do something with your eyes there? Was that a thing?'”
This is another one of those that made the Clear Channel list of songs not to play in the days following 9/11. That’s sad seeing as I hear this and think it is a song about acceptance of different cultures by having a swath of different kinds of people share in something comical.
I want to remind people again that while a whole bunch of AC/DC songs were also on that list, Thunderstruck was not one of them, and there are numerous military montages set to it on YouTube. There are many examples of songs about peace and acceptance on that list while one that is arguably promoting revenge was just fine. That list never ceases to amaze me.
Robert Glassenberg produced the music video. He seems to have worked on one other music video for the group Fishbone.