Even More MTV Classic!

When the M stood for "music" instead of "moronic".

When the M stood for “music” instead of “moronic”.

Twice before (Part I, Part II), I have looked back into the forgotten vault of the glorious flashback fridayearly years of MTV… back when it was a station that actually kicked ass rather than a channel whose handlers needed to have their asses kicked.  While we all remember how cool Wham’s big lettered shirts were, and how nifty that blocky animation of blue collar workers looked in 1985… I like to focus on the cool things that time forgot.  Videos that weren’t even big when they were being aired on MTV… but nevertheless deserve a day in the sun to be mocked for the fucked up messes that they truly are!

Thanks, Falco, for being such a douche in the early 80's!

Thanks, Falco, for being such a douche in the early 80’s!

So without further adieu, here are five more lost masterpieces from the era when video was killing the radio star…

“Come Back” – J. Geils Band

I circles J. Geils for you.  It takes incredible talent to not even be the frontman in your own band.

I circled J. Geils for you. It takes incredible talent to not even be the frontman in your own band.

The J. Geils band emerged from Boston in the 70’s, a decade when seemingly every new rock act was emanating from Chowdahland.  It wasn’t until the early 80’s that they really burst onto the national scene with the rather odd album “Love Stinks.”  That album contains what is hands down my favorite song from the group, “Come Back”… a song whose video once again shows just how little thought went into the concepts of music videos back in the primitive days…

For such a seemingly simple video of the sextet jamming to this killer song, this video really has it all!

Fantastic 80’s fashion!


Peter Wolf showing us how great the world was before Ritalin…

peter wolf

The obligatory cheesy 80’s split screen…

split screen

Father Guido Sarducci on bass…


But above and beyond all of that coolness, one thing stands out… and that’s what the man with the coolest name in rock and roll history is doing.  Watch this video again, only this time pay attention to Magic Dick over there on the left side of the screen.  That dude is just absolutely going to town on that harmonica… playing his everloving Magic Dick heart out on it.  There’s just one problem with this scenario…. the song doesn’t contain any fucking harmonica music!

I'm blowing in this thing as hard as I can.

I’m blowing in this thing as hard as I can, and I still can’t hear anything!  Must blow harder!

The fact is, Magic Dick didn’t really serve much of a purpose in this band.  He was like that guy in The Mighty Mighty Bosstones that does nothing but dance… only Magic Dick was even more useless than that.  The guys only kept him around because his supercool stage name got them more groupies, so they had to give him something to do during their videos to make him look busy.  Thus, we get the greatest performance on the dog harmonica in MTV history.

What is that awful noise!?!?  Make it stop!!!

What is that awful noise!?!? Make it stop!!!

“Dynamite” – Jermaine Jackson:

Don't you mean, "Dy-no-mite" by Jimmy Walker?

Don’t you mean, “Dy-no-mite” by Jimmy Walker?

It must be really hard to be the older sibling of someone who is one of the most famous people in the entire world.  We can forgive Jermaine Jackson for wanting to try to stay relevant while his little brother Michael was busy becoming the King of Pop, and even cut him some slack for ripping off just about every element of little Mikey’s style in his video for “Dynamite.”  But under no circumstances can we acquit him for this heinously bad four and a half minutes of pure WTF…

I really like this song, and it’s too bad it was paired with such a utterly awful video.  It’s essentially what you would get if a high school drama club decided to put together their own Michael Jackson inspired video… assuming it was a remedial drama club and everyone in the group looked like they grew up in Chernobyl.

The glowing striped jumpsuits were the idea of one of the members' little sister.

The glowing striped jumpsuits were the idea of one of the members’ little sister.

Jermaine Jackson looks unappealing enough when he isn’t covered with 50 gallons of glycerine, but he couldn’t even surround himself with any sex appeal, as both the male and female dancers in this video are about as unflattering as a Simon Cowell critique.  Seriously, the dancing zombies in kid brother’s “Thriller” video got us more hot and bothered than the makeup slathered beasts that inhabit this prison for crimes against the 80’s.  Whatever TV executive thought that “Cop Rock” was a great idea for a TV show obviously didn’t see the video for “Dynamite” a few years before that travesty hit the air…

Unless there's police car dancing... please, let's keep music out of law enforcement.

Unless there’s police car dancing involved… please, let’s keep music out of law enforcement.

“All The Things She Said” – Simple Minds

Looks like you did indeed forget about us.

Looks like you did indeed forget about us.

When you mention the band Simple Minds, no doubt the first thing that comes to your mind is that song from “The Breakfast Club”…. you know the one.  And for that, Simple Minds would like to thank you from the bottom of their simple hearts for latching on to the one thing they did that they’d like to forget themselves.  Sure, it brought them their biggest commercial $ucce$$, and you know they sure weren’t complaining about that… but the fact is, they were about the 69th different artist that was asked to record that damn song, and they still had to be badgered by their label to finally agree to it.

You best get your simple minds unfucked right now and record that piece of Hollywood gold, NOW!

You best get your simple minds unfucked right now and record that piece of Hollywood gold, NOW!

Simple Minds actually made a lot of pretty good music in the mid 80’s that didn’t show up at a theater near you.  One of those songs was “All the Things She Said,” which contains some epic music video effects that will blow your head right off your shoulders!

The layered images that are featured throughout this video are pretty amazing even by today’s standards… let alone for 1985’s.  It had to be a pain in the ass to shoot the multiple concurrent scenes though… and only three people were willing to endure hours and hours of green screen torture to do it, lead singer Jim Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill, and backup vocalist Robin Clark.

And just about every bird in Audubon's book.

And just about every bird in Audubon’s book.

And yes, they get cute by changing things up in each “simultaneous” layer… like the color of the guitar or the horrific outfit Kerr found at the Goodwill store that Macklemore passed on.  But how this video escaped being more famous in the same time period when “Money For Nothing” and “Sledgehammer” were wowing audiences with their unique artistic gimmicks is about as baffling as why that goddamn Breakfast Club song STILL gets overplayed to this day…

Please make me forget about this stupid song!

Please make me forget about this stupid song!

“Heavy Metal Poisoning” – Styx

One of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other…

Styx rocked out the 70’s in arenas across the country, and as damn well they should have.  They are one of the most underrated bands that ever hit the big time.  In the early 80’s, keyboardist Dennis DeYoung thought the band should take a more artistic approach to its rock and roll.  Exactly one member of the band thought this was a good idea, and the fallout from DeYoung’s decision would eventually cause both him and lead antagonist/guitarist Tommy Shaw to hit the road in 1984.  But not before they ceded to DeYoung’s desires in 1983 and made the concept album “Kilroy Was Here”…

I told you this was a swell idea, guys!

I told you this was a swell idea, guys!

The album tells of a futuristic Orwellian state where rock and roll has been outlawed, making it much like the movie “Footloose.”  Each of the five members of the band plays a character in the story.  Since DeYoung wrote the album, he got to be the hero, Kilroy.  Shaw played rock and roll’s young hope, Jonathan Chance.  That left the other three members of the group to play the bad guys… headed up by guitarist James Young, who played Dr. Righteous.  Because each member sang in part, that meant Young had to sing Dr. Righteous’ awesome warning song “Heavy Metal Poisoning,” as well as be the centerpiece of its video.

Have you ever wondered what it would look like if a music video starred only the members of the band who nobody gave a shit about?  The ones who were only good for playing background instruments and had no singing talent whatsoever?  Well, behold what happened when Styx tried this out…

Here we have Styx’s second chair guitarist, bassist and drummer trying to make a music video.  This might be hilarious as a behind the scenes gag shared among the band’s roadies, but to actually release it for MTV?

And Dennis DeYoung gets the last laugh on his uncooperative bandmates...

And Dennis DeYoung gets the last laugh on his uncooperative bandmates…

Watching Young and the Panazzo brothers try to act, dance, and sing in this video is as delightful as watching a train full of noxious chemicals get derailed in some major city by a wayward possum.  It’s quite obvious why this trio just folded up shop when their two frontmen both left in a huff.  It would be like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards leaving the Rolling Stones in the capable hands of Ron Wood and Charlie Watts…

All the energy and excitement of Elvis Presley's wax statue!

All the energy and excitement of Elvis Presley’s wax statue!

“Do You Wanna Touch Me” – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

We love rocky road!

We love rocky road!

Finally, we have Joan Jett’s greatest video ever.  What?  How is it possible she shot a video more classic than the black and white masterpiece for “I Love Rock and Roll?”  Well, just watch this video for “Do You Wanna Touch Me” and tell me this isn’t one of the corniest videos ever shot by a supposedly serious artist…

Where oh where to start listing all the fucked up things that are contained in this video?

0:22 – Joan Jett flashes her bikini at us behind a trenchcoat.

0:39 – A bodybuilder more oiled up than the Gulf of Mexico flexes his moobs.

0:42 – Even Joan got sick watching Mr. Moob flaunt his breasticles, and knocks him out cold.

0:49 – Joan flashes her bikini at us four more times during the first chorus… just in case we didn’t see it the first time…

Yes, we saw it Joan... and we still fear it.

Yes, we saw it Joan… and we still fear it.

1:21 – Slow motion turn towards the camera to show that her raven black hair doesn’t need any Aqua Net.

1:49 – Joan now jumps for us in her bikini…. three times!  Luckily, she is in no danger of knocking herself out while doing this.

1:55 – Bad stock footage from a Joan Jett concert showing her fist pumping the crowd… wearing a very different outfit than what she is wearing during the front shots.

2:12 – Shot of the band standing in the middle of a kiddie ride at the carnival getting down to the song.  Fortunately, no children were around at the time to be traumatized by this.

2:27 – Similar shot of the band standing on the beach, while some old guy with a metal detector looking for his long lost class ring walks in front of them.

It was just here fifty-three years ago!

It was just here fifty-three years ago!

2:40 – Beavis and Butthead’s favorite moment during their critique…

Huh huh!  They're holding their rods!

Huh huh! They’re holding their rods!

2:48 – Bartender with entirely too much cleavage moves in to give us a better look.

And the last 30 seconds of this fright fest fetures yet more moobs, stupid band tricks, and bikinis with a bad reputation.  What could possibly make this video even more fucked up than it already is?

Well… the song was written by this guy:

And now, I'd like to perform my latest hit, "Still in Saigon"

And now, I’d like to perform my latest hit, “Still in Saigon”

Yes, the one and only Gary Glitter originally wrote and recorded this song.  If you know why he is so infamous now, then the title of this song now becomes fucked up to infinity.

And thus concludes Part III of my look back at some of MTV’s forgotten gems!  Can I round up enough videos for a fourth installment sometime in the future?  Only the astronaut knows….

buzz aldrin

DUN, da DUN, da DUN, da DUN!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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11 Responses to Even More MTV Classic!

  1. fanrosa says:

    All the way through I was thinking ‘he’d better remember that I told him that was a Gary Glitter song.’ Ha!

    And if you think that was corny, then you’ve never seen Joan’s video for I Love You Love Me Love….

    • How could I possibly forget any tidbit of wisdom you have ever imparted on me? Well, at least the ones I apparently take the time to remember….

      You did post that other video during the game in which you taught me Joan did a lot of GG’s stuff, but since I probably only saw it that one time, it isn’t stuck in my mind the way “Touch” is…

  2. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Dennis DeYoung…hisssss…talk about ruining a good thing.

    I recently saw the Duran Duran video for “New Moon on Monday”. What I remembered as this quasi-cinematic cold war story in song was just fashionable 80s dudes with some kind of special effects kite-thing.

    • I actually liked both versions of Styx. The video I almost used in this post was their final single together, “Music Time”… but then I realized how much more fun it would be to mock Heavy Metal Poisoning, even though I love the song itself….

      I seem to remember there was a lot of fanfare when “New Moon” was first released on MTV. It probably isn’t even in my Top 5 of just Duran Duran videos. I mainly remember the beginning part where the guy dressed up like a circus ringmaster starts speaking in French…

  3. Mental Mama says:

    Oh I’m glad I haven’t had breakfast yet…

  4. draliman says:

    Every band needs a Magic Dick, harmonica notwithstanding.

  5. great post, I was young again for a moment :o) I still like Styx, even with the sweater worn around my neck and with the penny in my loafers I loved their music much more than Falco’s trash and his boastful behavior :o)

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