Music Video Of the Day: Memo From Turner (1970, dir by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg)

In the 1970 film Performance, a sadistic gangster named Chas (James Fox) goes on the run and ends up hiding out in a mansion that’s currently occupied by a burned-out rock star named Turner (Mick Jagger).  Turner, we’re told, used to be great but then he “lost his demon.”  Could Chas be his new demon?

Well, before the answer to that question can be revealed, Chas ends up under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms and that’s when he sees Turner transformed into a London mob boss and performing Memo From Turner, a song about his exploits.

Though this is a scene from a movie, it’s still most definitely a music video.  In fact, it’s frequently cited as the first “true” music video.  (I imagine that John’s Children, Procol Harum, and Nancy Sinatra would disagree.)  Still, even if it’s not the first, it’s influence on subsequent videos is undeniable.


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