Music Video of the Day: Harden My Heart by Quarterflash (1981, dir. ???)

Right now, if you go over to Songfacts, then you’ll get the following information about the video:

Released the same year MTV went on the air, the video contains many random images that have nothing to do with the song, including jugglers, a little person, a makeup table in the dessert, well-dressed guys on motorcycles, and a sax solo in the rain. It was fairly common in the early ’80s to throw lots of disjointed scenes into the videos in an attempt to create a memorable image.

That just sounds like somebody who solved Nik Kershaw’s riddle, and is angry that it doesn’t mean anything–according to Kershaw himself. I’m sure this video makes perfect sense.

It starts off with Rindy Ross running away from superimposed text.

She does eventually find a door that opens unto a room where there’s a little person and somebody juggling fire off to the side.

A bodyguard for her heart. And juggling the memories of old flames.

Gymnasts. They are timed to enter when she says “wildest dreams.”

Back in the trailer, she finds another door.

This one leads to a little boy sitting at a makeup table in a quarry.

And he’s in the trailer like some sorta doppelgänger?

Now there are three of them.

Maybe this is a little random.

Phew! This is something that makes sense. Rindy Ross playing the saxophone. She does that in real life.

Why it’s going on in a warehouse with water on the floor behind people on motorcycles is anyone’s guess.

I wonder if this inspired the ewok playing drums on a storm trooper helmet in Return Of The Jedi (1983).

She’s getting ready to “leave you here.”

She’s tormented by her past relationship.

The guitar is kicking in to tell us that she’s ready to harden her heart, which of course means bulldozer…

and someone with a flamethrower.

They’re here to destroy the place that keeps her trapped.

She did say she was going to swallow something. Fire is more impressive than tears, so a fire-eater it is.

She eventually makes it out of the place with multi-colored doors,…

it’s crushed,…

and set ablaze.

Okay, the video is a bit random. It probably helped give us Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

You do have to give them some credit. It isn’t completely random. You can say that the plot is lead-singer Rindy Ross trapped in her own mind where these dream-like images appear while she tries to find a way out of a vulnerable place in order to harden her heart from future heartache by having that place bulldozed and burned.

It’s also a good early example of the lead-singer-wandering-through-trippy-images videos of the early-MTV era. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran got upgraded to a travelogue. Even Going Back To Cali by LL Cool J is the same kind of thing. The big difference is that they tweaked it from Alice In Wonderland to Monica Vitti In Antonioni-land.

Needless to say, the song did well back then, and is the reason the group even exists, as it blew up from a regional hit in Oregon resulting in them getting a recording contract.

According to Songfacts, they originally released the song under the name, Seafood Mama, before changing their name to Quarterflash, where the song reached the Top 10 on the charts.

I like what the book, Rock Band Name Origins: The Stories of 240 Groups and Performers says about their name:

The name Quarterflash was suggested by the group’s producer, who had just returned from Australia and heard a popular Australian phrase that referred to newcomers to the country as “one-quarter flash and three-parts foolish.” With the advent of MTV, the saying held even more significance, since music videos required groups to not only sound good but look good as well. The formula of adding a quarter-flash (visual image) to three-quarters substance (song) worked for many groups, including Quarterflash, with Rindy Ross to catch the eye.

A fitting description for this particular Quarterflash video.


30 Days Of Surrealism:

  1. Street Of Dreams by Rainbow (1983, dir. Storm Thorgerson)
  2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Children by Dio (1985, dir. Daniel Kleinman)
  3. The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981, dir. Russell Mulcahy)
  4. Take Me Away by Blue Öyster Cult (1983, dir. Richard Casey)
  5. Here She Comes by Bonnie Tyler (1984, dir. ???)
  6. Do It Again by Wall Of Voodoo (1987, dir. ???)
  7. The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)
  8. Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol (1984, dir. David Mallet)
  9. Somebody New by Joywave (2015, dir. Keith Schofield)
  10. Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (1982, dir. Dick Maas)
  11. Schism by Tool (2001, dir. Adam Jones)
  12. Freaks by Live (1997, dir. Paul Cunningham)
  13. Loverboy by Billy Ocean (1984, dir. Maurice Phillips)
  14. Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics (1983, dir. ???)
  15. Talking In Your Sleep by Bucks Fizz (1984, dir. Dieter Trattmann)
  16. Sour Girl by Stone Temple Pilots (2000, dir. David Slade)
  17. The Ink In The Well by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
  18. Red Guitar by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
  19. Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (1985, dir. Jeff Stein)
  20. Sweating Bullets by Megadeth (1993, dir. Wayne Isham)
  21. Clear Nite, Moonlight or Clear Night, Moonlight by Golden Earring (1984, dir. Dick Maas)
  22. Clowny Clown Clown by Crispin Glover (1989, dir. Crispin Glover)
  23. Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden (1994, dir. Howard Greenhalgh)
  24. Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler (1983, dir. Russell Mulcahy)

6 responses to “Music Video of the Day: Harden My Heart by Quarterflash (1981, dir. ???)

  1. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics (1983, dir. Jon Roseman & Dave Stewart) | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Far Side Of Crazy by Wall Of Voodoo (1985, dir. ???) | Through the Shattered Lens

  3. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Wide Boy by Nik Kershaw (1985, dir. Storm Thorgerson) | Through the Shattered Lens

  4. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Wouldn’t It Be Good by Nik Kershaw (1984, dir. Storm Thorgerson) | Through the Shattered Lens

  5. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: The Riddle by Nik Kershaw (1984, dir. Storm Thorgerson) | Through the Shattered Lens

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