Let’s Watch a Music Video: Misery Loves (Bad) Company

Today’s topic stems from one of my many mid-day thoughts at work.  You never know when inspiration can strike you, so I keep a small notepad nearby just in case I think up a life-altering idea (like remembering to buy a cucumber at the grocery store).  In the midst of jotting down a quick  story idea involving a mother giving birth to twins, one of which emerged from a wormhole within her uterus, a song/music video I had recently watched popped into my head.   The song itself is pretty standard for the time.  A rather hooky guitar riff, solid backbeat, complemented with powerful yet non threatening vocals.  It’s a rock song the whole family can get into.  The visual aspect, more so than the song, is what struck me as oddly fascinating.

Technically, I could show you any of dozens of music videos from the late 80’s and early 90’s to demonstrate the main visual theme I want to discuss (such as Alice Cooper’s “Poison” or Fates Warning’s “Eye To Eye“).  I struck upon this video when it showed up in the sidebar on one of my random YouTube journeys.  That video is “Holy Water” by Bad Company.

The moral of the story is that women don’t need to do squat in a music video.  Many of them are there because they are hot and nothing else.  Record execs must have deemed the band’s submitted live performance video would do nothing to entice the public to purchase their albums, so they needed to pepper it up a little.

Women roll through this video like they’re the best stock footage ever.  When they go out for these video shoots, I’m convinced they don’t even know what video they’ll end up being in.  If they did, couldn’t they be a bit more interactive with the song.   Dance a little, for crying out loud!   Were they under the impression that these were just test shoots, and they’d film the real video later on?   Could one of you at least mouth some lyrics so I’m convinced the footage wasn’t lifted from a Playboy Video Calendar?

The audition process must have been something to behold.  You have the cream of the crop of young women that I could only have dreamed to have for a babysitter at the time (no offense, grandma),  each one of them told that they were going to be the next Tawny Kitaen.  The casting director, frankly, is so overwhelmed that he just shrugs and uses all of them.  Judging from their use in the video, they clearly didn’t need to demonstrate any talent.   Walking and chewing gum would be good enough.

With videos like “Thriller” being so successful, why not have a plot?  You don’t need a budget, but give me something of interest.  There are several ways you can show beautiful women in music videos other than essentially using them as flesh and blood mannequins.  Give their exploits some context.   House parties, dance competitions, flag wavers and car washers at a street race, cheerleading squads, teacher/student fantasy themes, sleepovers, MILF lust, female prisons, disorderly nurses, frisky chamber maids…. what was I talking about again?

Bad Company went down this path before.  Here we have some semblance of a plot, with a tragic story of a woman so discouraged by the lack of catcalls from construction workers that she willfully runs into a blazing fire.  I’m not saying that her hip-shaking efforts made for a very captivating storyline, but at least they gave it the old college try.

I’m assuming the bands never have a say in these manners, particularly in the case of Bad Company.   They didn’t have their original singer in Paul Rodgers, and they’re getting a little long in the tooth, so they aren’t in a position to be calling their own shots.  If it was the band’s idea, they’d have these women grinding against their middle-aged bodies, or at least making themselves look entertained.

A music video is supposed to be a promotional tool for the band/song/album that they are trying to sell.  This makes me question that entirely. Let’s call it what it is: a celebration of the female body.  All men, deep down, are perverts.  Give the salivating dogs something to sup on, and forget transparency.

 

What do I see? I note a few distinct characters in this production.

 

Exhibit A:   A Fox In The Woods

womaninchair

There are only a few scenarios where I expect to see a woman wandering around a forest in lingerie:

  • She just escaped from One Eyed Jack’s 
  • She broke free from the herd down on Supermodel Farms
  • She’s just plain naughty

What I’d like to know is where the armchair came from.  It’s not exactly one of those fold out chairs with the beer holder I’m used to seeing campers toting along.  It looks like an antique.  Nobody would leave such an item out in the open like this, so I imagine she must’ve stumbled onto someone’s property.

I can see an aging man, having just recently retired after 35 years as a highly-regarded city councilman.  He now spends his time completely invested in treasuring the artifacts he’s gathered over the years.  It gives himself a sense of pride and is very therapeutic to him.  He enjoys taking his hobby outside with him to restore his collectibles in natural surroundings.  Then, one evening, she walks into his life.  Her pouty lips being the only currency required to ruin the day’s work, with her latest Victoria Secrets purchase no doubt covered in a medley of sap, mildew, and various stains gathered on her trek.

Good looking women think they can get away with anything as long as they show a hint of skin every now and then.  I can relate, made-up antique enthusiast.  I’ve heard it all before.

“Dan, water my plants while I gladly vacation thousands of miles away from you.”

“Dan, run down to the store to buy something that will take hours to locate because your one-sided love affair with me will insure you won’t come back empty-handed.”

“Dan, could you move to a different city so I don’t awkwardly run into you as much?”

“Dan, hold my purse while I make passionate love to a man who DOESN’T DESERVE ME!!!”

Sorry, folks. I have some issues to work out.

 

Exhibit B:  I’ve Heard of Wet Dreams, But This Is Ridiculous!

womanallwet

All ready to sleep under the stars in broad daylight, and with a downpour isolated to approximately two square meters.  I guess they thought having her slide down Crocodile Mile would be rather tacky.

Look, I understand they were just looking for a plausible way to show a woman getting wet.  Later on, we end up seeing a woman through her reflection in water.  To me, I don’t get why they didn’t just combine these two shoots into one.  “Holy Water”, anyone?  How about the baptism Red Shoe Diaries wished they had the balls to air?  I think you’re supposed to wear white when you get baptized (not like I had a choice in attire when it was my turn), so there’s no change in wardrobe necessary.

Just think of the press that this blasphemous wet t-shirt contest would get!   Christian groups would get all up in arms, and pressure stations to ban the video.  Next thing you know, every kid would be trading in their Bart Simpson t-shirts for some Bad Company swag.  And if that fails, they can always get the old band back together, followed by what is surely the first of several farewell tours.

 

Exhibit C:   Sticking Your Neck Out

womanstrokingneck

There we have it, gents.   She’s passed the Adam’s Apple test.   That hand made a steady path from the base up to the chin. You may lust over at will.

Whatever happened to a good old-fashioned leg stroke? If it can sell women’s shaving products, why can’t it help a band move albums?

I should be more kind with this one. Good on them for giving the neck some well-deserved attention.  It’s very kissable, smooth, sensitive.  I know mine can’t be touched without going into a tickle-induced spasm that contorts me in a manner blending Curly Howard with Elaine Benes.

Remind me again why the foot is more fetishized than this. I’ve never heard of anyone complain about a neck odour problem. It also has five less toes, no calluses (I hope), and doesn’t get covered up by something that could one day fuel your nightmares.

These woman must serve some purpose that I’m just not seeing.  Maybe it was to distract from the fact guitarist Mick Ralphs isn’t even in the video.  Maybe they were supposed to be inserted subliminally, but were shown for a few frames too long.  Maybe they were willing to work for free, so how could they not make the video?  Forget the additional costs!  Good bands cut corners.

I, for one, would like to thank bands such as Bad Company who rescue such fine women from falling into the thankless lifestyles of (choke) stay-at-home trophy wives.  I’d dread to see how they could bear such an existence to this day.  Besides, they’ve got to be, what, 50 by now?  How good can they look?

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