Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I heart 80's music videos

Allow me to take a short break away from sports...

As what tends to happen when I see my youth being co-opted by corporations in order to sell us crap, I have a fit of righteous indignation. What sent me off this time was seeing songs by Meat Loaf and (Can't forget the umlaut) Blue Öyster Cult used in commercials.

I know you've seen the ads, as they seem to be in heavy rotation. I'm talking "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" being used to pimp Go Phones, and "Godzilla" shilling for Auto Trader.

(I realize artists have every right to make money off of their labor, and licensing their music as they see fit is commonplace practice in the 21st century. But it still bugs the living Hell out of me. I also realize I come off as a cranky old Grandpa Simpson geezer type bitching about the selling out of rock 'n' roll. But there's still the remnants of an 18 year old lurking beneath the goatee that's beginning to gray, and that 18 year old doesn't like his fave music being used for advertising one bit!

Now you kids git off my lawn!)

Once I survived the commercials, I was suddenly in the mood to see and hear the real thing. I surfed over to You Tube and searched for BÖC. I found "Godzilla," (Warning: Long drum solo alert!) but I also found something even better.

What did I unearth? Maybe the most 80's video I've ever seen. It's oozes 80's. It reeks of 80's. We're talking the early days of music video, where low budgets and odd, incomprehensible or nonexistent plots ruled the day.

This video features BÖC lip syncing while people aimlessly wander around the band, grainy film stock, bad lighting, fog machines, the pointless driving around of old American iron, cheesy fire special effects, inexplicable cuts and lead guitarist/singer Buck Dharma wearing what may be the ugliest shirt I've ever seen.

In my mind, the earnest seriousness of all the nonsense going on just adds to the already high entertainment value of what's one of my favorite 80's tunes.

Without further ado...From 1981, here's Blue Öyster Cult's "Burnin' for You."

Kids, you may not get it, but I'm not ashamed to say we found this sort of thing utterly fascinating back in the day. Hell, I get a big ass smile watching it again today.

They my sell their music to the "Man," but they'll never sell my memories....


  1. That's OK Al, they also co-op new music. Silversun Pickups have already been on a GM commercial and The Apples in Stereo I think are in another car commercial. From my iPod to your marketing!

  2. Admittedly, as you say, the newer bands license their music pretty liberally. But it's more accepted now, as bands almost have to sell out, as a replacement to nonexistent radio play.

    In my mind, it's different for bands like Led Zep, The Who and The Clash (To name 3 very prominent sellouts), or any other band that performed from the 50's thru the 80's. It just wasn't done back then.

    To say my jaw dropped when I heard "London Calling" used to sell of all things, Jaguars, is an understatement. The Clash were as anti-establishment as they came in the late 70's-early 80's. Now what's left of he band (RIP Joe Strummer) sell their music to the highest bidder.

  3. Before you blame the musicians, you have to consider who might own the rights to much of this music. By now the copyright could have gone through several hands to end up with...Michael Jackson. You don't think he funds his wierd lifestyle off Thriller royalties, do you? He bought the catalog that McCartney owned many years ago and Mac owned most of the 60's & 70's stuff. I'm just talking off the top of my head because I don't want to do the research, but I'm pretty sure that Jacko owns almost everything written before 1990. Of course you could ask someone who knows...call the Little Fella.

  4. Gotta be honest with you Al, I don't think people of my generation or younger really take music as seriously as your generation did. It's just, you know, music. It sounds good or it doesn't. That's really all there is to it. So I guess I can see your point about the Who or some protest band. But unless you lived through it, it's not a big deal.