80sonVEVO GAMV Takeover Week 7 w/ FEATURED VIDEO Wall of Voodoo’s “Mexican Radio”
THE GOLDEN AGE OF MUSIC VIDEO has partnered with the folks at VEVO (the world’s leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform) with our weekly curation of the 80sOnVEVO YouTube page. Each week, we’ll be dusting off the shelves of the VEVO video vault to spotlight all-time favorites, award winners and lost gems from the decade of decadence. We’ll also supplement the VEVO list with a rundown and info/commentary about our weekly batch of clips right here.
This week’s featured video is the amazing Wall of Voodoo’s Mexican Radio. Directed by Francis Delia, this was Delia’s first music video ever. He recalled the story behind the famous head-coming-out-of-refried-beans moment, a scene that was supposed to happen in another video. Originally, the record company scheduled a shoot for “Mexican Radio” and a song called “Factory”, with lead singer Stan Ridgway’s head coming out of a meat loaf in the latter song’s video. Delia remembered, “Stan was saying, ‘We gotta have the meat loaf, Frank, okay?’ So when we realized it was just going to be ‘Mexican Radio’, Stan kept saying, ‘Frank, what about the meat loaf?’ And I said, ‘Well, the bad news is it’s not going to be meat loaf. Since it’s Mexico, and they seem to like their beans down there, your face will come through the beans.’ That’s pretty much how it evolved. Although it’s clearly not refried beans, that would’ve been a real mess….we just had this rotund lady sitting at this table, with a big bowl of something, and that’s how we set it up. We had a stainless steel bowl, and we cut a hole in the bottom of it. There was a garbage bag or something of some kind that kept the beans from falling down. And Stan was underneath the table with his head in these beans…I guess you can see the tip of his nose. It must have been constructed in such a way so that we would say, ‘Okay, now Stan,’ and he would lurch forward.”
George Thorogood and the Destroyers – Bad to the Bone
directed by Mark Robinson, this became Thorogood’s signature tune. Modelled after the plot of “The Hustler”, Thorogood plays a pool player who shows up to challenge the local billiards champion. Revered rock guitarist and Thorogood influence Bo Diddley makes an appearance in the video, as does billiards champion Willie Mosconi.
AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long
directed by David Mallet. Mallet said the inspiration for this video was the comic strip Andy Capp, which is evident by Brian Johnson’s cap and his fish & chips. Mallet talked more about his AC/DC experiences here.
Steve Earle – Copperhead Road
directed by Tony van den Ende. Earle, whose bouts with substance abuse are well documented, may have been dabbling during this shoot, according to van den Ende. “Every time we did a take of the performance, he puts so much energy into it, I’d think he was going to pass out and die. I mean, he just looked really sweaty and I do not know what he was doing, heroin or coke or a mixture of both, I do not know. Also, we found this guy who drove the car with the moonshine. He had originally done that type of thing or his dad had.”
Journey – Faithfully
directed by Phil Tuckett. A solid contender for the best “tour bus blues” video ever, Tuckett shot videos for Journey, Def Leppard and Slayer. He also shot projects for NFL Films for nearly 40 years, and won a Billboard Music Award for his video for Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Little Wing”. Learn more about this filmmaker at the website for his new project THE GOLDEN AGE OF SOCCER.
Blue Murder – Valley of the Kings
directed by Mary Lambert, who shot Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” and “Like a Prayer” videos. The director of photography on this was Mark Reshovsky, who was cinematographer on many other 80s metal videos of note, including Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” and Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.
Huey Lewis and the News – Hip To Be Square
directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. Godley told us the prolonged extreme close-up view for the camera was accomplished by using a “lipstick” camera, which consisted of an endoscope and a borescope, which allows a camera to move in and out of places a normal camera cannot. The effect is a fish-eye hyperclose view of everything from guitar strings to drumsticks to facial stubble. If you look closely, you can catch a few of the San Francisco 49ers making a quick appearance; these players actually sang backup on the song.
Thomas Dolby – Hyperactive
directed by Daniel Kleinman. Kleinman, possibly the most heralded and awarded director of television commercials ever, reflected on the process of creating the quirky Dolby’s effects-laden clip: “I think there was a surreal, anarchistic view. And also, not having had a formal education in film, I was experimenting and trying things. I was quite fascinated by the technical side of the editing, the way you could manipulate the image, once you had it in what used to be an old analog editing suite. You know, you could fly the picture around. I could do drawings and stick them under a capture camera, stick them in the background, almost like an illustrative process rather than a film process, which is where I believe I came from to begin with.”
Haircut One Hundred – Love Plus One
directed by David Mallet. Mallet had a few words about the band: “They were a very commercial band, and very much frowned upon by people who thought they were serious and clever and intellectual. Actually, they had two big hits, and it was fun. I mean, what more do you want?”
3rd Bass – The Gas Face
This single from 3rd Bass’ The Cactus Album included cameos from Gilbert Gottfried, Flavor Flav, Salt-n-Pepa, and EPMD. The group, consisting of Prime Minister Pete Nice, MC Serch and DJ Richie Rich, went on to more acclaim with their Vanilla Ice-dissing single “Pop Goes The Weasel”. Check out a gallery of images from “The Gas Face” video right here.
SEE YOU NEXT TIME!