First things first, the title. The official posting of the video lists the title as Clear Nite, Moonlight. However, both the greatest hits album I have and mvdbase list the song as Clear Night, Moonlight. That’s why I included both in the title of this post.
This song is from Golden Earring’s 1984 album N.E.W.S., that has what must not only be their most controversial song, but video–When The Lady Smiles.
I’m spotlighting this video for a few different reasons. The first is that I love the song, and wanted to share it. The second reason is that I like the darkness of the video–literally and figuratively–that is juxtaposed with an upbeat song that makes you want to sing along. The same is true with When The Lady Smiles, which probably explains how it got used in such a weird context, despite the lyrics. I’ll talk about that video another time.
The last is the ending.
We see the band abandon their beat-up vehicle after pulling up to a house.
They help a woman down from her room past her sleeping father.
They steal her father’s car.
They rob a car dealer, and kill him in the process.
They go to a cafe.
We see she is having a good time despite the murder.
In fact, when her father says, “Bloody murder,” we cut to her smiling.
They nearly die by crashing head-on into a truck.
They go to a drive-in theater where we see her cry, and Hay look confused and sad when the film eats itself. I’m assuming it is a film with Rudolph Valentino in it.
Then we some matching on action between Hay trying to start a lighter and people loading guns.
Then a kid is taken to sit on a tow truck.
The car stops.
We zoom in on the kid, and we can see and hear bullets filling the car, which presumedly kills everyone inside.
I have no idea why that last part happens. The kid doesn’t even look like he comes from the 1980s.
Edit: I messed up when originally posted this. I missed the “So Little Time” license plate at the start, which foreshadows this ending. It doesn’t come out of nowhere.
I also think that the video is meant to take place in the 1950s, and not just have a retro look to it. That might explain the appearance of the kid.
The whole video has this otherworldly feeling about it that seesaws between comfort and unease, happiness and death, and then screeches to a halt with the cops unloading on the five passengers with what sounds like every gun they have, all in front of kid watching as he eats.
30 Days Of Surrealism:
- Street Of Dreams by Rainbow (1983, dir. Storm Thorgerson)
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Children by Dio (1985, dir. Daniel Kleinman)
- The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981, dir. Russell Mulcahy)
- Take Me Away by Blue Öyster Cult (1983, dir. Richard Casey)
- Here She Comes by Bonnie Tyler (1984, dir. ???)
- Do It Again by Wall Of Voodoo (1987, dir. ???)
- The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)
- Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol (1984, dir. David Mallet)
- Somebody New by Joywave (2015, dir. Keith Schofield)
- Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (1982, dir. Dick Maas)
- Schism by Tool (2001, dir. Adam Jones)
- Freaks by Live (1997, dir. Paul Cunningham)
- Loverboy by Billy Ocean (1984, dir. Maurice Phillips)
- Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics (1983, dir. ???)
- Talking In Your Sleep by Bucks Fizz (1984, dir. Dieter Trattmann)
- Sour Girl by Stone Temple Pilots (2000, dir. David Slade)
- The Ink In The Well by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
- Red Guitar by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
- Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (1985, dir. Jeff Stein)
- Sweating Bullets by Megadeth (1993, dir. Wayne Isham)