Music Video of the Day: Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) by Journey (1983, directed by Tom Buckholtz)

The song is an anthem but the music video is widely considered to be one of the worst of all time.  What happened to Journey when they gathered on a wharf in New Orleans and shot the video for Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)?  Let’s break it down:

0:00 — The video starts with a shot of the Louisa Street Wharf in New Orleans.  Where’s Journey?

0:03 — There, they are.  But where are their instruments?

0:04 — Yes, Jonathan Cain is playing air keyboards.

0:08 — Journey has their instruments now so they look a lot less ridiculous.  Still, Jonathan Cain will never live down those air keyboards.

0:21 — A woman in a black leather skirt walks down the wharf.  The members of Journey jump out at her.  This will prove to be a reoccurring theme throughout the video.  The woman was played by a local girl named Margaret Olmstead.

0:35 — Again, Journey has lost their instruments and Jonathan Cain is forced to play air keyboards.

0:41 — If Steve Perry looks more annoyed than usual here, it is probably because he wasn’t happy while shooting this video.  This was the first Journey video to have a “storyline,” as opposed to just being edited footage of the band performing.  Perry was opposed to the idea.  According to Cain, Perry said, “We’re performers, we’re entertainers, but we’re not actors.”

0:51 — Who has stolen Journey’s instruments?

0:54 — At this point, Jonathan Cain’s air keyboards are truly out of control.  Is he playing an imaginary synthesizer or is he pretending to be a tiger stalking his prey?  Your guess is as good as mine.

0:58 — Not only has Journey lost their instruments but Steve Perry has lost his sleeves.

1:13 — Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that Journey is performing in front of a mattress warehouse.  This detail will pay off at the end of the video.

1:27 — At least Jonathan finally found his keyboards.

1:32 — The salesman who sold me my very first used car looked just like Ross Valory.

1:47 — The video was shot on a very cold morning.  In between takes, Perry would rush into his camper to try to get warm.

1:57 — The shoot was also tense because of the presence of Perry’s then-girlfriend, Sherri Swafford.  Swafford took an intense dislike to Margaret Olmstead and demanded that she be removed from the video.

2:22 — I worked in a warehouse one summer and I can tell you that one thing you never want to do is walk backwards through a maze of palettes.

2:29 — Do you think Steve Smith likes foosball?

2:34 — The members of Journey jumping back and forth and singing while Margaret ignores them is my favorite part of the video.

3:04 — What did they do to Steve’s drums?

3:37 — As if the video hadn’t already flown off the rails, here’s a few minutes of gratuitous slow motion.

4:15 — Say what you will about the video, no one could belt it out like Steve Perry.

4:18 — It was all a dream!  That explains so much.

In 1999, MTV named this video as the 13 worst video of all time.


3 responses to “Music Video of the Day: Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) by Journey (1983, directed by Tom Buckholtz)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 2/5/18 — 2/11/18 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Any Way You Want It by Journey (1980, directed by ????) | Through the Shattered Lens

  3. Pingback: Music Video of The Day: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey (1981, directed by ????) | Through the Shattered Lens

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