Part 206: Rock Video Night!

MUCH

RECORD STORE TALES Part 206:  Rock Video Night!

Last time on Record Store Tales, we talked about Andy and Ashleigh and the discovery of great rock bands such as Rush, Max Webster, and Van Halen.  Andy was even more curious now about what great rock was out there.

Rock music is about so much more than just the songs.  There’s the concerts, the live experience.  There’s the history of the bands, the stories and the context.  And there were the music videos.  How could one possibly talk about a great band like Van Halen without mentioning groundbreaking, defining music videos that they made?  Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, I decided the best way to explain these things was to have a Rock Video Night at my place.

90% of my video collection was from the Pepsi Power Hour.  Back in the days before YouTube, a channel like MuchMusic would have an hour or two a week devoted to the heaviest videos in rock, and I tried to record the show every week.  I had amassed a large collection of VHS tapes, probably about 120 hours of music videos, interviews and concerts altogether.  That’s not including the hundred or so officially released video tapes that I bought over the years.  We had a lot to watch so I had to hone down the set list for the evening.

Since I am and always have been OCD about my music collection, I had a meticulously typed list of every track on every video that I made.  I carefully planned the evening’s entertainment.  There were some videos that I know these kids had to see.  They were all one musical generation younger than me.  They grew up on videos like “Jeremy” and “Fell on Black Days”, not “Jump” or “Go For Soda”.  I had to make them understand my time, when it was OK to have sword fights and dwarves and laser guns in your videos.

Ash and Andy arrived along with my other employees Braddy D and Chris P.  The set of videos that I chose to share with them that evening included:

SAVATAGE – “Hall of the Mountain King”.  Summary:  Dwarf seeks Mountain King’s gold.  Must try to steal it without waking him, while band is playing in the same caverns.  Not sure why the King doesn’t hear Jon Oliva singing.  (below)

VAN HALEN – “Oh Pretty Woman”.  Summary:  Lady in distress has been kidnapped by two dwarves.  A hunchback in a treehouse (David Lee Roth) telephones a samurai (Michael Anthony), Tarzan (Alex Van Halen),  a cowboy (Eddie Van Halen), and Napoleon Bonaparte (David Lee Roth) to save her.  (below)

ARMORED SAINT – “Can U Deliver”. Summary:  Band driving a Buick with armor and an anti-aircraft cannon seek a glowy sword.  Band plays concert in front of rocker dudes and scantily clad babes while wearing leather armor.  (below)

GRIM REAPER – “Fear No Evil”.  Summary:  Band drive a DIY armored APC on a quest to free long-haired slaves from an evil half-man half-something with Wolverine claws. (below)

MIKE LADANO, BOB SCHIPPER and DAVE KIDD – “Nothing But A Good Time”.  Summary:  A highschool video I made, lip synching to “Nothing But A Good Time” by Poison.  We had our English teacher do the schtick at the beginning where he plays the prick boss who gives the kid a hard time before the song comes on.  We made it in ’89 and it was our school’s selection to send to the annual regional Film Awards! (no video until I get a USB VCR!)

Rock Video Night was a great success in many regards.  The kids had a great time finally seeing David Lee Roth doing the splits in “Jump”.  Ash was still not won over by the rock, but that’s OK.  What wasn’t OK is that I had really sour stomach issues that night!  I tried so hard to be a good host, and I kept excusing myself, but…they tell me the smell was wafting down from the upstairs bathroom.

So, Rock Video Night ended on a rather stinky note.

NEXT TIME ON RECORD STORE TALES…

Make ’em say uhhh!

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24 comments

  1. Mike there’s a book out titled I Want My MTV and it chronicles the channel from 81-94. It is a very interesting read they talk to artists,directors u name it there in there…great story’s about the halen video shoot for Pretty Woman from Pete Angelus…Billy Squier on howmis career unravelled from the Rock Me Tonite vid,why Axl swam with dolphins in the Estranged vid,tons of info I picked it up and couldn’t put it down…
    Check it out….

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  2. On a similar tip have you ever read Fargo Rock City (sorry cant remember author’s name)? It’s a very funny account of growing up metal, got a brilliant bit about all those GNR videos

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  3. Tis a shame I’m not closer . Mikey! I could digitize it for you. I’ve Got the setup on my pc for it. (to copy tapes to the computer)

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  4. The story goes that Axl broke up with his supermodel and told the director under no circumstances was there to be any supermodels swimming around so the director went with dolphins and the director says to this day he still gets asked about what the metaphorical meaning behind Axl swimming with the fishes means….hahahahaha…..

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  5. So long as the smell from above wasn’t any comment on the music you’d chosen hahaha

    I came to all of this stuff later on, we didn’t get cable tv in my town until I was 15. We did have Video Hits, though. I never taped things off the tv though. Mike you are a crazy man.

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    1. This is what I’m told :)

      My folks had MuchMusic from Day 1. I don’t know why we were so lucky. We already had Superchannel (the movie channel) and when the service was expanded to include Much, we signed up for the bigger package. I think my mom got TSN with that package. I think that’s how we ended up with Much. Normally my parents wouldn’t have done that.

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      1. Yeah, up until 15, all we got in our small town was three channels – CBC, CTV and TVO. Sometimes we got Global (not always). Then cable came and we got sports and movies and… Still, I regretted missing out on all the cartoons, like GI Joe, when I was a kid. Oh well, these whippersnappers these days would boggles at such lack of instant access to whatever media their brains can imagine next. We had lots of access to cool programming – we played outside. ;)

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        1. Heck we made up most of the games that we played outside, I’m sure you did too.

          But we did have cable and therefore MuchMusic. For my own personal life, this was an incredible benefit to me and my sister! We were exposed to a lot of great (and not so great) music every day. We learned a lot, basically in the short span of 1984-1991 which were the years I watched the channel. I knew of bands such as Nirvana (!), Guns N’ Roses, and so on before any of the kids at school. I still remember them premiering the “Teen Spirit” video on the Power Hour and me saying, “Who’s the dude in the sweater who looks like Sting?”

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