Music Video of the Day: I Go Crazy by Flesh For Lulu (1987, directed by Andy Morahan)


What was Flesh For Lulu?  It was a British band that found some success in the 80s, a post-punk group whose music has often been described as a mix between the New York Dolls and The Rolling Stones.  Judging by the name of their 6th album, Long Live The New Flesh, they were also fans of David Cronenberg.

I Go Crazy comes from that album.  It become the band’s most successful song in the U.S., largely because it was used in the film Some Kind of Wonderful.  This music video, one of two that was done for I Go Crazy, is a typical movie tie-in video, with clips from the film mixed with clips of the band performing in a garage.  (In the 80s, every successful band had to do at least one video that featured them performing in a garage.)  Parts of the video are edited to make it appear as if Mary Stuart Masterson has joined the band as their new drummer.

This video was one of several to be directed by Andy Morahan.  Among the other artists with whom Morahan has worked: Wham, Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark, The Pet Shop Boys, The Human League, Guns n Roses, Aerosmith, and just about everyone else who has ever recorded an album.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Seattle by Public Image Ltd. (1987, directed by Nick Wiling)


“We had a week off in the tour for some reason, due to gig rearrangements and/or whatever, and I flew back to LA, but the band hung out in Seattle and they started jamming about and rehearsing and started putting together a really catchy tune. So I flew up, and the words just flowed out instantly. It’s a great song. The subject is about rioting, really, and when you see them World Trade Organization riots, it’s kind of appropriate. It’s an homage to Seattle, a town that’s never done us any harm. A town we feel quite warm about… great atmosphere, the gigs are always amazing. It feels like home to me.”

— John Lydon, explaining Seattle in an interview with The Stranger

Years before Seattle became, however briefly, the center of American music, John Lydon and Public Image Ltd. celebrated the city with their own song.  Given Lydon’s naturally contrarian nature, it is perhaps not surprising that his song celebrates many of the the things that drive other people crazy about the Emerald City.

The same can be said of the video, which not only highlights the industrial and rainy sides of Seattle but which also suggests that it’s a good place to drop a watermelon out of a window.

This video was directed by Nick Willing.  A year after directing this video, he would direct the music video of Debbie Gibson’s Foolish Beat, which is about as far away from working with John Lydon and Public Image, Ltd. as you can get!

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: All She Wants To Do Is Dance by Don Henley (1985, directed by Steve Barron)


Well we barely make the airport
For the last plane out
As we taxied down the runway
I could hear the people shout
They said, “don’t come back here Yankee”
But if I ever do
I’ll bring more money
‘Cause all she wants to do is dance
And make romance
Never mind the heat
Comin’ off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance
All she wants to do is dance

— All She Wants To Do Is Dance by Danny Kotchmar

Though songwriter Danny Kotchmar and singer Don Henley may have intended All She Wants To Dance to serve as a biting statement on American imperialism and the lack of political commitment on the part of the the youth of the 80s, I have to wonder how many listeners picked up on the message when they first heard the song.  All She Wants To Dance is one of Don Henley’s most enjoyable songs with a tune that is far more memorable than something like The End of the Innocence or New York Minute.  In 1985, people were probably too busy dancing to this song to consider what Henley was attempting to say about America’s activities in Central America.

The video finds Henley and the band in one of those post-apocalyptic clubs that were very popular in 80s music videos.  This was one of the many music videos to be directed by Steve Barron, who has directed videos for everyone from Tears For Fears to the Human League to A-ha and David Bowie.  Barron, who started his career as a camera assistant on films like A Bridge Too Far, Superman, and The Duelists, is still an active director, mostly for television.

All She Wants To Do Is Dance was hardly Henley’s only politically-themed song and video.  Whenever I think of Henley, I’m reminded of something that Alice Cooper said shortly before the 2004 presidential election.  When presented with a list of musicians who had endorsed John Kerry, Cooper said, “If I wasn’t already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that’s a good reason right there to vote for Bush.”

Enjoy!

Happy birthday, Lisa!

Music Video of the Day: Public Image by Public Image Ltd. (1978, directed by ????)


‘Public Image’, despite what most of the press seemed to misinterpret it to be, is not about the fans at all, it’s a slagging of the group I used to be in. It’s what I went through from my own group. They never bothered to listen to what I was fucking singing, they don’t even know the words to my songs. They never bothered to listen, it was like, ‘Here’s a tune, write some words to it.’ So I did. They never questioned it. I found that offensive, it meant I was literally wasting my time, ’cause if you ain’t working with people that are on the same level then you ain’t doing anything. The rest of the band and Malcolm never bothered to find out if I could sing, they just took me as an image. It was as basic as that, they really were as dull as that. After a year of it they were going ‘Why don’t you have your hair this colour this year?’ And I was going ‘Oh God, a brick wall, I’m fighting a brick wall!’ They don’t understand even now.

— John Lydon in Melody Maker, 1978

After the spectacular collapse of their 1978 American tour, the members of the Sex Pistols found themselves at loose ends.  Sid Viscous pursued an ill-fated solo career.  Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren took off to Brazil with Paul Cook and Steve Jones and attempted to recruit fugitive Ronnie Briggs to be the band’s new lead singer.  Meanwhile, the band’s former lead singer, Johnny Rotten, returned to the UK and announced to the world that he still had more to say.

Of course, he wouldn’t be saying it as a Sex Pistol nor would he be using the name Johnny Rotten, though whether that was primarily by choice or due to legal issues with McLaren and the Sex Pistols’s management team depends on which source you consult.  Using his real name, John Lydon reemerged as the founder and lead singer of Public Image Ltd.  With PiL, Lydon retained the anger and the wit that made him such an exciting figure with the Sex Pistols but he also took control of his own musical destiny.

PiL’s first single (and hit) was Public Image and, appropriately, it was a song that Lydon had originally written to express his displeasure with the direction of the Sex Pistols.  The song criticized the Pistols (and McLaren, specifically) for being more concerned with maintaining the right image than with actually saying anything.  The video, which came out before MTV, shows that Lydon didn’t need the Sex Pistols to get across his withering message.

Enjoy!