Those Classic Christmas Videos By Run DMC, Ramones & Darlene Love Were All Directed By The Same Guy
(This is an encore posting of an article previously posted on this blog)
Director George Seminara directed hundreds of music videos during the Golden Age of Music Video, but his Christmas videos for Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis”, the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” and Darlene Love’s “All Alone At Christmas” (featuring the E Street Band) all hold a special place in his holiday memories.
“For a while there,” Seminara told us from his home in New York City, “it seemed like I’d do a last set of videos for fall, and then there’d be this rush to do Christmas videos. When you’ve done as many as I have, they are kind of a blur.”
Seminara was kind enough to share a few memories of those specific videos with us this holiday season.
Ramones “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)”
“I directed seven videos for the Ramones, and there’s an eighth that I helped write the song and I act in called ‘Cabbies on Crack’ (laughs). Those were the days. The tail end days of the beginning. The first 70 or so videos or so I did, I didn’t have a contract. I did it for a combination of record company swag and cash….basically I took the idea from the song. For Joey, Christmas with his girlfriend was such a nightmare. They’d break up every Christmas and get back together again by New Year’s…Johnny said I had to get his part done in a half an hour. I shot it in a little insert soundstage across the street from Studio 54. It had become the “New Ritz”. The Bodeans were playing across the street and when they heard the Ramones were there, they came over and we couldn’t get rid of them. They are in the video in the party scene, as are the Sick F*cks, and other New York Rock, East Village people. Bebe Buell is there and Liv Tyler is there. She was horsey looking back then, as a young teen. So, I got Johnny out in an half an hour, I turned it over at lunch and then shot the party scene.”
Run DMC “Christmas in Hollis”
“My father-in-law was WBLS DJ Al Roberts – “Captain Midnight” – and is playing Santa Claus…my dog is the ‘ill reindeer’….we were at one of the Varitel stages on 33rd Street & 10th, but it could have been somewhere else…it was one of the most expensive stages you could shoot on….the elf had his street gang guys there….I think it was the first time a black man played Santa Claus in such a pop culture item.”
Darlene Love & the E Street Band “All Alone at Christmas”
“Mac (Culkin) got sick the first day. He had a 101 temperature and we had to send him home, which really got people upset. That’s a real studio, the Power Station..the entire E Street band was there. Darlene was great, she was a darling. Steven Van Zandt was great and I’ve worked several times with him since then.”
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF MUSIC VIDEO!