Running through the ’80s, over yonder in old Havana town, haunted by a ghost, doctoring the rock, rocking the winery, Slave takes over, computron 2010, down at the Prater.
Even before I watched this video, I was intrigued by this comment on YouTube. “Warners hated this video. I’m not sure it ever actually went to air.” Well, it would have gone to air at least once to fulfill the NZOA funding obligations, but was it really as uncommercial as that comment seemed to suggest?
The song itself is intriguing. It’s an upbeat, ’60s-influenced pop rock song – something that Rikki Morris is very good at writing. But the lyrics are about really bad depression. Not just feeling a bit glum, but full-on, paralysingly shit depression.
The video is mostly black and white footage of Rikki in a black space singing the song and playing his guitar. Occasionally there are glimpses of a churchyard, gargoyles and crosses. But the poppy nature of the song means all the gothic imagry isn’t too gloomy.
Occasionally we see some behind-the-scenes shots, glimpses of Rikki and the video crew in a studio. It’s a reminder that what you see in the video is, at least in some respect, showbiz.
No doubt a more commercial video could have been made, but I like this one. And looking back, 15 years later, this video feels a lot less dated than other videos from this era.
Best bit: the black and white graveyard scenes, like a high school photography portfolio.
Next… a glamorous military commander.
Almost 10 years after storming the charts with “Nobody Else”, Rikki Morris finally released his solo album. “Word Stand Still” is a brilliant pop song, without a dull moment.
The video is another work by Mark Tierney, and has his signature urban style. The band perform on a building rooftop in Victoria Street West, but not in a “Where the Streets Have No Name” kind of way. Playing on the rooftop takes them up to be amongst the highrise buildings. The street is only glimpsed from a distance.
The video is stylish and urban and cool and really rock, but it can’t be a Mark Tierney video without a slightly dark twist. At near the end of the video, Rikki is suddenly gets his hair shaved off. A person stands behind him and shears his already short hair with an electric shaver. Rikki then runs his hands over his head, examining his new do. It’s strangely… sexual. I don’t know why the shaving happens, but it’s enough to tip the video from quite good pop-rock vid into WTFWTFWTF.
Best bit: The quick cameo of the half-built Sky Tower.
Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision