MTV – Quarantine Edition

The Coronavirus lockdown is in full effect right now. The best advice that everyone has is to just stay at home and stay away from others as much as possible. If you have to leave, try to keep a distance of six feet between you and others as much as possible.

Today, I’ve handpicked a few well-known (and not as known) music videos that can help sum up this entire experience.

For example, with many people working from home (or not working at all), free time is suddenly not as sparse as it used to be. In fact, some have already grown bored and have:

Too Much Time On My Hands – STYX

It’s a little known fact that this video actually took home a bunch of pre-MTV awards.

Dennis DeYoung was awarded “Best Old-Timey Western Piano Player”.

Drummer John Panozzo won “Best Impersonation of The Love Boat’s Gopher”.

His twin brother Chuck Panozzo won for “Guy Always In The Background”. (Seriously, this is the only moment in the entire video that he is alone).

Singer Tommy Shaw took home the “Best Monochromatic Onesie” award

And finally, James Young’s shoulder pads were awarded with the “Best Accessory” honors.

This is mostly a performance video, although they do have a few scripted bits mixed in to add some levity.

Let’s take a look.

The artists of the late 70s/early 80s sure loved this effect, didn’t they?

We get modified finger guns as well? We’re off to a great start!

Who was the better bouncer?

That’s how we all feel these days, Tommy.

Who put Three’s Company in the middle of my rock video?

They even brought in their own brass section… for one note!

This is what Cheers may have looked like if left in the wrong hands.

Whoa!!! Six feet apart, Tommy Shaw! Six feet!!

These guys obviously graduated from the KISS School of Choreography.

Despite reaching Billboard’s Top 100 over twenty times, this was their only tune to make the Top 10 with Tommy Shaw on vocals. Maybe he should have busted out that one-piece more often.

As a final treat, here’s a shot for shot remake of the video, featuring Paul Rudd actually singing as Tommy Shaw. Enjoy!

There is some concern that all this time away will mean some friendships are fractured or relationships just lost. Especially among the younger folks.

Some students went on Spring Break in March and won’t return to their classrooms until September. That’s a six-month break. That’s a long gap for any relationship. Here’s where Simple Minds come in:

Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds

Many people immediately associate this song with 1985’s The Breakfast Club and with good reason. It was actually written by the film’s composer while he was scoring the movie.

John Hughes with The Breakfast Club

He and John Hughes (the film’s writer/director) were both Simple Minds fans and submitted the song to the band, even writing it in “the Simple Minds style”. Unfortunately, the band declined saying they were only looking to record their own music.

The song was then shopped around to Bryan Ferry, Billy Idol, Corey Hart, & The Fixx. It was turned down by all of them as the record company kept coming back to Simple Minds. They even tried to get to lead singer Jim Kerr through his wife (The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde).

Eventually, the band decided to record it just to get the label off their backs. They made a few changes to the arrangement and added what Kerr calls the “brilliant la-la-las” at the end. One account claims they arranged and recorded it in just three hours time. The idea was to put it aside and (ironically) forget about it.

Fate had a different plan.

Lead Singer Jim Kerr

We were all hoping everyone [at the label] would go ‘It didn’t work. That’s it. Story’s finished.’

But by the end of the afternoon, we knew that “Oh God, we’re in trouble here,’ because this is the kind of thing that record company’s going to love, radio will probably like – MTV which had emerged, it was perfect for. All the things we began to envisage came to be.

Along with that came Live Aid and this No. 1 success. None of it you could predict. None of it

Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr

There were two versions of this video released. The first one was essentially a Breakfast Club trailer. Nothing but clips from the movie.

The second version is what we’re going to look at now. Everyone knows The Breakfast Club. We all love The Breakfast Club, but this is not about The Breakfast Club.

AAAAAHHHHH!!!!! CREEPY CLOWNS!!

This set is starting to look like my house once my kids wake up.

Me trying to sneak through the kids rooms at night to check on them. (“Please don’t step on any Legos….”)

This is getting crazy – someone call the Hoarders people.

Nicole Kidman studied this for original ways to clap.

If they bring on any more props, we’ll be approaching Sanford and Son territory.

Okay, guys. The song is truly awesome, but the video just ends with the band spinning and watching themselves on television.

Who are we kidding? This is totally about The Breakfast Club. I need more Breakfast Club….

Aaahhh…… That’s what I was looking for….

Sorry. Where was I?

Oh yeah…. Social distancing. Stay six feet apart from one another. And for goodness sakes:

Keep Your Hands To Yourself – The Georgia Satellites

Right from the get-go, I feel like we need to start with a PSA.

Kids, don’t try this at home.

Do not bring a full band into the bed of a pickup truck. I know, I know, we all did it when we were younger (ride in the back, not bring a full band). But at least we had the good sense to put the tailgate up. One bad bump and they’ll be The Georgia Roadkill.

Ah, the garter. The essential moment of any bride’s preparation. Plus, it’s much nicer to look at than the close ups of the band.

He just put the ring on and she still won’t give it up? He quotes her specifically: “No huggy, no kissy until I get a wedding ring.” Dude, your marriage is off to a rocky start.

The finest wedding in all of Hazzard County.

Did they just catch and cook that chicken? What happened to “No animals were harmed in the making of this video”? Where’s PETA?

This is one happy chicken killer.

It looks like nobody’s getting lucky in this family.

Way to play up the Southern stereotypes. Only two men of color in this whole thing and one of them is bringing in flowers from the fields…

A shotgun?But that goes against the whole concept of the song. She won’t sleep with him until the wedding, but she’s already pregnant?

Wait a minute! Is this some other man’s baby?

Who’s the real father?

Generic Gene Simmons?

One of these two?

Grandpa?!?!?

Besides, any pregnant woman will tell you there’s no way she was that far along and still able to slide a garter up her thigh so easily.

You’ve got some explaining to do, Georgia Satellites. (In case you’re curious, this made it all the way to #2 on the Billboard charts in February of 1987.)

Now, what do we say if somebody doesn’t respect our space during this time of crisis?

Move Away – Culture Club

Did you ever wonder where Culture Club’s name came from? They were made up of a gay man from Ireland, a black Brit, a blonde Englishman and a Jewish drummer. The Colors of Benetton was already taken, so they went with Culture Club instead.

What does that have to do with the video? Absolutely nothing.

This was the final hurrah of sorts for the Club on the U.S. charts. Following eight consecutive Top 20 singles, Move Away peaked at #12 and marked their final U.S. Billboard appearance.

Fun fact: this young woman is Alice Temple, a friend of George’s. As a teen, she was the first female UK and European BMX champion.

But back to the video. George spends a lot of time just wandering the streets of… Italy(?) He passes numerous movie posters featuring the members of Culture Club dancing and singing. It’s like the newspapers from Harry Potter.

Oh, so Boy George is THAT guy at the movies? Down in front!!!

Also, is he watching a biopic about himself?

When did Carlton join Culture Club?

Move over, French Connection and Bullitt. There’s a new “best filmed car chase” champion.

Actually, this is an interesting scene if you know the backstory. The second car is driven by the band’s drummer, Jon Moss.

Boy George and Moss had been romantically involved for years and split up shortly before this album was being recorded. As an escape, George turned to drugs, escalating in a few shorts months from marijuana to heroin.

The two couldn’t stand to be near each other and, combined with George’s addiction issues, the band cancelled the supporting tour. The album slipped from the charts and the band soon dissolved.

Don’t Do drugs, kids…

Wow, that went dark quickly. George, do some fun dancing to bring the mood back up.

Much better.

At the time, this song also got significant airplay in one of the hottest shows on television. Season Four of The A-Team featured an episode called “Cowboy George”. The premise saw Face (Dirk Benedict) set up a concert at a redneck western bar for country singer “Cowboy George.” Through a series of mishaps, he ends up with a concert by Boy George (and Culture Club).

Plus, they got nearly ten minutes of airtime to sing this song AND ‘Karma Chameleon’. I bet some televisions were broken when this aired. I’d never take the average A-Team fan to cross with the Culture Club crew.

Will the on-screen rednecks learn to embrace the androgynous pop stylings of George & Co.?

Of course they will.

Being trapped at home is certainly a challenge. It becomes infinitely more difficult if you have kids, because, as we all know:

School’s Out – Alice Cooper

What’s the greatest three minutes of your life? There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you’re just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you’re sitting there and it’s like a slow fuse burning. I said, ‘If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it’s going to be so big.

Alice Cooper, on writing School’s Out

Before anybody interjects, I know this isn’t the OFFICIAL video for the song, but come on. It’s the Muppets! If Styx or Boy George were on The Muppet Show, I’d have included their versions as well.

Most of the full sized Muppets had no effect on me, but this one always did. I blame Liza Minelli. In her episode, they performed Copacabana and he played her lover that was killed. It must have left a mark because any time I see him in another episode, I think of him dying. Brains are weird.

This is like a drag version of Where The Wild Things Are.

This guy even makes Alice nervous.

Hey look!! Another onesie! And this one has a tail.

The Rockette’s new Halloween show.

So there you have it. Hope this gave you a few moments of distraction during this stressful time. Stay inside and stay safe.

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