Music Video of the Day: She’s Gone by Hall & Oates (1973, dir. Diane Oates)

There’s still some pre-ABBA music videos to do. I need a break again. So why not take this time to do one of the weirdest videos from the 1970s that I am aware of? There’s a fair amount of information out there on this video, so I’ll just cover some of the basics and let you enjoy the video.

  • It was shot in 1973. According to at least one site, it was originally thought to have been shot in 1976.
  • John’s sister Diane made it for them.
  • The devil is played by the band’s tour manager, Randy Hoffman.
  • The girl is Sara Allen who had a longtime relationship with the duo that includes the song Sara Smile being about her.
  • Note when Daryl actually does lip-sync in the video. He really only does it when both he and John are singing together. That’s funny because while being one of the most successful duos of all-time, Hall really did the singing, and Oates the backup vocals. Sometimes they would do songs where they would sing together, but that is what you normally would hear in their songs. This became so much the formula for Hall & Oates that when they were inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall Of Fame, John said that he is probably the most well-paid backup singer in music. However, jump back to 1973, and you have a video where Hall seems to have gone out of his way to make sure you see them as a duo.
  • That said, the best part is easily Daryl Hall’s give-no-fucks performance. That’s not to say that Oates does a bad job, but there is just something about Daryl’s dead-face staring at you that is amazing.

Here is some additional information from an interview Oates gave concerning the video:

[Oates:] Well, I’ll give you a little background about what happened with that “She’s Gone” thing. First of all, it was 1973. There was no MTV, there was no outlet for anything like this. You know, it might be one of the first music videos ever made. I really couldn’t say, honestly, but it definitely would be a contender. What happened was, we were asked to lip sync “She’s Gone” for a teenage TV dance show broadcast out of Atlantic City, New Jersey. And we really didn’t want to do that; we didn’t want to pretend to sing the song. It was supposed to be shot in a television studio in Philadelphia. So we thought, with the mindset that we were in at the time — and I won’t say more on that, either —

([Interviewer] Ryan is laughing again.)

[Oates:] We showed up at the television studio with a chair from our living room. The woman who’s walking through the picture — that’s Sarah…

[Ryan:] Oh, wow.

[Oates:] And the devil who comes through was our road manager at the time. And we brought Monopoly money, and those weird instruments, and they thought we were nuts. They really thought that. My sister directed that video.

[Ryan:] You’re kidding me.

[Oates:] They thought we were completely insane. They actually didn’t air it; they wouldn’t air it. But we had it this whole time, and eventually I leaked it out to the internet, ’cause I just thought the world should see it.

(John Oates is laughing. Ryan is laughing.)


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