Headless Chickens “Smoking Big Ted”

1998-headless-chickens-smokin-big-tedThe Chickens are totally absent from the video, which is not surprising, given how detached they looked in previous videos. Instead the video is focused on bodybuilders, with bronzed bodies and posing in tiny garments.

When I was 12, the mother of one of my classmates came along to talk to the school about her life as a bodybuilder. She’d picked it as a woman’s mag said it was the fasted route to weightloss, but she had become hooked on bodybuilding competitions. She ended her talk by stripping off her tracksuit and doing some poses in her posing bikini. It was simultaneously terrifying and awe-inspiring.

And like my classmate’s mum, there’s something very ordinary about these guys. They seem like people who’d otherwise be accountants, teachers, dentists and housewives, who one day decided that bodybuilding looked like good fun. Even the star of the video, wearing a cowboy hat, moustache, posing pouch and a giant cobra tattoo, seems mild-mannered.

I’ve previously felt that other singles from “Greedy” were let down by the videos. Well, this is kind of the opposite. The video is fun, funny and rather striking to watch, yet the song feels a little unfinished, like a hastily composed keyboard riff with “c’mere” growled over the top.

With “Greedy” being their final album, I wish they’d gone out with a bang rather than this gradual fade to grey.

Best bit: the brief interlude at a gym, keeping it real behind the scenes.

Note: This video has previously been available on YouTube, MySpace, MTV Australia and even for sale on iTunes, but now no one has it. This is the kind of thing that happens.

Directors: Jeff Holdaway
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a fishy tale.

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