Music Video of the Day: Everybody’s Crazy by Michael Bolton (1985, directed by Wayne Isham)


“I’ll be honest with you, I love his music, I do, I’m a Michael Bolton fan. For my money, I don’t know if it gets any better than when he sings “When a Man Loves a Woman”.

— Bob (John C. McGinley) in Office Space (1999)

Yeeeesh!

I guess we can put this one in the “It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time” file.  In 1985, your aunt’s favorite adult contemporary singer, Michael Bolton, tried to change his image by recording a hard rock album.  The end result was Everybody’s Crazy and a title track that attempted to mix easy listening with hard rock.

It also led to this video, which starts with Michael Bolton telling his manager that “normal” is only something that people are until you get to know them.  “Everybody’s crazy,” and I guess Michael Bolton is including himself in that.  It’s not that Bolton doesn’t have an adequate voice as that there’s nothing dangerous about him and hard rock has to be dangerous.  In this video, Bolton comes across as such a goof that he makes Kip Winger look like James Hetfield.

Bolton did at least bring in some talent for the video.  For instance, he got Bruce Kulick, who was then with KISS, to play guitar on the song and he brought in Wayne Isham to direct the video.  Wayne Isham’s one of the busiest music video directors around.  If your favorite singer or band was around in the 80s or 90s, chances are that Wayne Isham directed one of their videos.

Enjoy!

 

Music Video Of The Day: Dr. Feelgood by Mötley Crüe (1989, directed by Wayne Isham)


First released in 1989, the album Dr. Feelgood became and remains Mötley Crüe’s best-selling album to date.  It was also their most critically acclaimed, in no doubt due to the band’s newly found sobriety.  After years of drugs, sex, and debauchery, Dr. Feelgood was Mötley Crüe’s announcement that they could still rock even if they were sober.

Ironically, for an album that was recorded sober, the title track was about drugs.  Dr. Feelgood was about a Los Angeles drug dealer.  Nikki Sixx, who wrote the song, later told Rolling Stone that the song was based on several different drug dealers that he had done business with.  Just two years before Dr. Feelgood became a hit, Sixx had been a notorious junkie who, after a heroin overdose, was actually legally dead for two minutes before a paramedic was able to revive him with two shots of adrenaline.

Along with being a slang term for heroin, Dr. Feelgood was also the nickname of several notorious doctors.  Perhaps the most infamous Dr. Feelgood was Max Jacobson, who used to give “miracle tissue regenerator” shots to the rich and famous.  His clients included everyone from JFK to Marilyn Monroe to Humphrey Bogart.  Robert Freyman, the physician who is though to have inspired The Beatles’s Dr. Robert, was also sometimes called Dr. Feelgood.

Dr. Feelgood became Mötley Crüe’s first and, to date, only gold single in the United States.  The video follows the song’s title character as he goes from working the streets to owning a mansion.  In a repeat of what happened to Tony Montana, Dr. Feelgood’s own hubris eventually brings him down.  As for why Mötley Crüe is performing in a revival tent, it probably just looked cool.

The song spent 109 weeks on the charts after its release and it remains Mötley Crüe’s most popular single.

Music Video of the Day: 18 and Life by Skid Row (1989, directed by Wayne Isham)


18 and Life was based on a true story, about an 18 year-old boy who accidentally shot his best friend with a gun that he thought he was unloaded and who was given a life sentence as a result.  Did the video do justice to the real-life tragedy?  Let’s break it down.

0:01 — The video starts in prison, with the usual tracking shot of men smoking behind bars.  Ricky is already serving his sentence, thinking about how his life got so messed up.

0:27 — At the time this song was recorded, Sebastian Bach was Skid Row’s lead singer.  In 1996, Bach was fired from Skid Row when he suggested they accept the opening spot on KISS’s latest tour.

0:34 — Ricky argues with his father, who probably wants him to do something lame like get a haircut.  If Ricky was a Nelson fan, he could have just gone into his room and waited for his poster of Matthew and Gunnar to come to life and give him a magic feather.  Instead, because he’s a Skid Row fan, he gets shoved through a glass door!

0:45 — Ricky ends up on the patio, where his best friend is waiting for him.  Fortunately, Ricky has not been injured by all of that broken glass so, after saluting his father, he and his friend go off to have some fun, 80s style.

1:16 — Secret handshakes, 80s style!.

1:27 — Hanging out, 80s style!

1:31 — Setting shit on fire, 80s style!

1:39 — Breaking and entering, 80s style!

1:46 — Shooting liquor bottles in an alley, 80s style!

1:51 — Not following common sense gun safety rules, 80s style!

2:00 — Wasting your life away in prison, 80s style!

2:09 — Vandalism, 80s style!

2:18 — Ricky is Tipper Gore’s worst nightmare.

2:23 — They’re back to playing with the gun.  Will these youngsters never learn?

2:34 — Is his friend begging or daring Ricky to shoot him?  This part of the video is open to interpretation.  In real life, the shooting happened because the gun was believed to be empty but, in this video, they’ve both been firing gun so they both know it’s loaded.

2:35 — Ricky has obviously read Watchmen, but he probably still doesn’t understand why Richard Nixon was still the president.

2:53 — Ricky shoots his only friend.  But why?  Ricky does not look shocked and we saw him firing the gun earlier so there is no reason to believe that Ricky, unlike the real person who inspired this song, didn’t know it was loaded.  Was Ricky crazy?  Was Ricky angry?  Or was Ricky just stupid?

3:13 — Ricky throws his gun into the fire, which has been raging for at least two days now.

3:26 — In 2017, Sebastian Bach announced that he was having a “singing-related” hernia operation because, in his own words, he literally “sang my guts out.”

3:37 — In prison, Ricky ponders how different his life would have been if he wasn’t an idiot.

3:49 — Did anyone ever put out that fire?  It looked serious.

This video was directed by Wayne Isham, who has been everyone’s go-to video director for decades.  The song was Skid Row’s biggest hit and it was also the most played video on MTV in 1989.

Music Video of the Day: Sweating Bullets by Megadeth (1993, dir. Wayne Isham)


Lisa recently spotlighted a music video for a Megadeth song called Hanger 18. In that post she mentioned that she didn’t really know much about them except that the song fit World UFO Day. Because of that, I feel I need to provide what little backstory I know about them.

When I was a kid I remember seeing the album Countdown To Extinction in the store. I remember it to this day–not because I was listening to them at the time, but because of that cover.

I saw that, and figured this band was not for me. I was a child at the time. I didn’t really get into heavy metal till I went to Cal in 2007. I knew some of the big bands, and had probably heard music they had done, but that was about it. The only band I remember having an album for in the 90s was Metallica. That’s fitting when discussing Megadeth because they are an unintentional spinoff of that group.

Lead-singer Dave Mustaine was the guitarist for Metallica until he was kicked out of the band in 1983. Metallica were well known for their heavy drinking. They were even nicknamed Alcohollica for awhile. The problem was apparently that while the rest of the band were funny drunks, Mustaine was a violent drunk. That was too much of a deadly combination, so they kicked Mustaine out of the group. Kirk Hammett would end up taking his place. To say that Mustaine was heart-broken. I remember an interview he gave close to twenty years later where it did, or nearly brought him to tears.

After Metallica, Mustaine would go on to form Megadeth. A couple of successful albums later, and they hit upon the one that featured the classic, Peace Sells. That song was so popular that according to Mustaine in the book I Want My MTV, MTV even stole part of it to use it in the theme for MTV News:

MTV scammed me. They never paid for using the bass line from “Peace Sells” as the MTV News theme. I wrote that music.

Several albums later, they released Countdown To Extinction. The album did well–I’m sure this amazing video didn’t hurt.

There are different stories floating around about the source of the song. If you go to Wikipedia, then you get this alleged quote from Mustaine:

I wrote that about myself. It was pointed out to me that I’m kind of schizophrenic and that I live inside my head. Which is something I don’t subscribe to, but I enjoyed the theory nonetheless.”, and “I think all of us are sweating bullets all the time. Society’s a joke right now, and people are getting more and more hostile. When you think about having an evil twin or schizophrenia, I think a lot of us are schizo, because we live inside our heads. There’s someone we all confer with; it’s called our conscience. Some people cannot control their other side; it takes them over. Everybody has that psychotic side. Everyone has a thing that will make them snap.

The problem is that if you actually follow the source cited for the quote, then it takes you to a page that no longer exists even though it was apparently retrieved on January, 23rd 2017.

Hop over to Songfacts and you get a bit of a different story.

Dave Mustaine has said that the song is about himself, and that he wrote it after “it was pointed out to me that I’m kind of schizophrenic and that I live inside my head.”

He revealed on VH1’s That Metal Show, however, that the song was inspired by a friend of his girlfriend (and later, his wife), Pam. This friend suffered from anxiety attacks – Mustaine called her “s–thouse crazy.” She would take Pam to a party, have an anxiety spell and leave her; Mustaine would get the call and have to pick her up.

After Mustaine wrote this song, Pam thought it was about her, but Dave assured her she was “not that crazy.” Said Mustaine, “I wrote this song about her nutty friend.”

The video is a perfect storm of concept, director, and cinematographer.

The video shows us Mustaine in a nightmarish mental health cell where we are taken into his brain by literally seeing multiple versions of himself talking and interacting with each other.

There are two parts that I particularly like.

The first part is when two Mustaines are harassing another from the sides while that one is holding what looks like a human heart before they all come into sync to say the lyric, “Mankind has got to know his limitations.”

The other part is when you see one Mustaine kicking another in the face who is sitting in a corner.

The director of the video is Wayne Isham. Isham has worked with everyone from Rod Stewart to The Spin Doctors to Faith Hill. He seems to have primarily worked with heavy metal bands that include both Metallica and Megadeath. He is credited with inventing the Bon Jovi video for Mötley Crüe–Home Sweet Home–and then giving it to Bon Jovi, who built their career on that style.

The cinematographer is none other than Daniel Pearl. Pearl is the man who has shot well over 400 music videos from the early 80s to today. You could probably write a whole book that is comprised of a series of interviews with him about each video he remembers working on, and you would have a mini-history of music videos from the MTV-era.

He has only helmed a couple of projects because he has stated that he’s perfectly happy with being a cinematographer. One of the few videos that he got behind the camera for was Butterfly by Mariah Carey. He has shot seventeen of her music videos. He has also worked on several feature films, including the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

That’s why I referred to this video as a perfect storm.

It’s one of my favorites. Enjoy!

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)

Music Video of the Day: Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard (1988, dir. Wayne Isham)


Sorry about the past couple of days. Things are messy here right now, so it will be spotty for awhile as to what music videos I can get around to writing about instead of simply spotlighting them. However, I am really determined to keep this going everyday regardless of whether I have time to write anything. Today is one of those days that I can write something.

The Internet tells me today is International Day of People with Disability. Or to put it another way, it is time I did a post on a Def Leppard music video. Specifically a Def Leppard song off of the Hysteria album. This really isn’t a spotlight on the music video, but I will briefly talk about it.

The music video is by director Wayne Isham and cinematographer Marc Reshovsky (he shot Teen Witch, Red Rock West, and Trevor) remaking Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On A Prayer for Def Leppard. After Def Leppard didn’t like the original music video Russell Mulcahy made for them, they made this music video. I guess Def Leppard didn’t like redoing Madhouse by Antrax with the wrecking ball on loan from the set of Balls To The Wall by Accept. Darn it! Now I am going to have to feature that version tomorrow. Sorry The Bangles, you’ll have to wait one more day. Oh, and yes, I really am pretty sure they remade Livin’ On A Prayer here. That music video was also directed by Wayne Isham and shot by Marc Reshovsky. They shot it at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, CO in February 1988.

The real reason I am spotlighting this music video today is for drummer Rick Allen. He was in a car accident on December 31st of 1984 that caused him to lose his left arm. After some initial doubts, they did a little engineering and figured out a way he could continue drumming for the band. The name of the album Hysteria was thought up by Allen as a reference to the car accident. Rick Allen continues to get around today doing work with groups like the Raven Drum Foundation and One Hand Drum Company. He has been quoted as saying:

“What I’ve experienced through losing my arm, I wouldn’t change. The human spirit is so strong”

I don’t really have anything else to say except the obvious. Recently, computer security expert Taylor Swift performed the song with Def Leppard.

I love that she basically stepped into the background about the whole thing to let Def Leppard shine. It’s not as awesome as when Madonna refused to perform for her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction, but had The Stooges do it for her. Still, I like it. If you really want a good shot of the work they did to allow Allen to continuing drumming, then I highly recommend watching it. It also did her a service seeing as she is a good musician, but without the kind of voice needed to pull off the original. If she wanted to do a straight cover, then she would need to rework it a bit to make it fit. I hope she doesn’t though. I prefer her to use her star-power to introduce younger fans to older bands that they should be aware of, such as Def Leppard.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Enter Sandman by Metallica (1991, dir. Wayne Isham)


My earliest memory of this song is a 6th grade math class. I don’t remember why, but they had a computer in there, and one of the kids put the song on. I have no idea when I first saw the music video. All I remembered about it was the bed getting hit by a truck. The rest of the music video is pretty forgettable.

I guess you could take it simply. It’s about a kid having nightmares that we ascribe to the “Sandman” bringing by putting you to sleep. Trying to carefully watch it now and paying attention to the lyrics, it looks a lot like the kid is having nightmares of death that don’t go away with age, but only become closer and closer to reality as the years pass. According to Songfacts, the line “off to Never Never Land” was supposed to be “disrupt the perfect family” as a reference to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The Sandman can bring you sleep, which is where you can die at any age, as shown by the old man who we also see alone in the bed. Plus, we tend to use sleep to mean both going to sleep at night and death, as in putting an animal to sleep. You also see that in the image of the old man underwater as if he is trying to kill himself. The scene with the kid praying as the old man watches really makes me think that they are meant to be the same person. In particular, since you are your own Sandman in reality. Never Never Land is a place where you never grow up, but sung darkly as Enter Sandman is by Metallica, then it makes it sound like a fantasy to cloak the fear of your eventual death. In that case, the Sandman could also be seen as The Reaper, and Never Never Land is just death. Or maybe I am just overthinking all of this because I had a friend who died in his sleep when he was a teenager. Probably not though seeing as this kind of thing is a bit of a motif in Metallica’s music such as the songs One and The Memory Remains.

The music video was directed by veteran music video director Wayne Isham. Unless you have never watched a music video before, you probably have seen his work. One minute it’s Enter Sandman for Metallica, and the next he is directing Bye Bye Bye for *NSYNC. More recently he brought us a music video for Nickelback and a couple for Neil Diamond. The point is that Wayne Isham seems to be willing to direct anything you give him.

Martin Coppen shot the music video. He has done around 40 music videos.

Jay Torres edited the music video. He has a handful of music video credits, but based on his website, seems to have gone on to other things.

Curt Marvis, Jeff Tannebring, and Matt Mahurin were producers on the music video. Matt Mahurin is the only one that seems noteworthy. He appears to have directed somewhere around 70-80 music videos. One of them was as Allen Smithee for the music video for Building A Mystery by Sarah McLachlan.

Enjoy!