Music Video of the Day: Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me) by Rod Stewart (1981, dir. Russell Mulcahy)

If you want something dark and serious, then I point you to yesterday’s A Movie A Day post that Jedadiah wrote. I’m not doing that today.

Yesterday, I did the apparently famous, but still obscure version of The Tide Is High by Blondie, where Debbie Harry rolls around on a circular pink bed. Since I brought that to people’s attention, then I might as well do the batshit Rod Stewart video that is Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me).

The video starts normally enough. It’s a song for a night on the town, so we’re getting some shots of the city.

Oh, that’s clever. It’s a much better way to introduce the song and artist than superimposed text.

I guess we’re going down to this pool. That looks like Stewart down there.

Ah, it is Stewart.

Some women in the pool. Makes sense. The video needs some sex appeal for people who aren’t attracted to Stewart.

What’s going on here? Is she head-banging to Rod Stewart?

Why is she getting out of the pool in a scuba outfit?

Do I even want to know what is happening here?

I’m beginning to think that they hired a bunch of women, brought out racks and boxes of stock outfits, and told them to just pick whatever feels right–then ad-libbed a lot of the video. This lady seems to have really gotten into the dominating teacher role. Back into the pool for you!

I think this guy fell in the pool during filming.

Did a fight actually break out on set during filming? Did they think that would be funny? Was this planned?

These two picked out the slumber party outfits. I’m really glad they came with pillows. Otherwise you could try to explain this as two lesbians having a night out who happened to hear the party going on outside. With the pillows there, we are assured that this is yet another thing that makes no sense.

I see nothing odd about this though.

A little Old Hollywood musical bit.

The lady with the piano leg looks like the most planned out part of this video.

And this looks like the least planned part of the video to me. I’m pretty sure she had no direction, so she just started shaking a tree.

Is this some kind of an orgy?

This lady is the one who has me convinced the outfits were picked out at random. Why would there be a detective here? She shows up in several shots as if she’s spying on them.

I could probably list drugs as a co-director on this video, couldn’t I?

Speaking of drugs, here’s what Songfacts says:

The video did well on MTV, which was new at the time and had no choice but to play lots of Rod Stewart videos, since he made so many. It was directed by Russell Mulcahy and shot at the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles, where scores of beautiful women are scene larking about in and around the pool and on the balconies as the band performs.

According to Mulcahy, Stewart had a little too much fun the night before and didn’t want to do the video. Mulcahy told him he was going to shoot the video with or without him, so he found the strength to do it.

That explains why Stewart looks worn out. It also explains a fair amount of the craziness. It’s not hard to imagine taking Stewart and the band out of the video, and still having something that works.

Paul Flattery produced the video, and while I’m sure he has some stories to tell, I want hear from Peter Lippman. He was the production manager.

There’s rarely anything useful in the comments section on a music video. The following is an exception:

Kind of geeky comment, but this video would be a hell of a lot easier to film today with the new drone technology!

I haven’t come across a wilder Rod Stewart video…yet.


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