This was Rubicon’s big hit. It peaked at #22 on the charts and I remember it being thrashed on Juice TV. It’s golden novelty pop-punk.
The song is based around the assumption that Bruce is an awful name, blaming parents for naming their innocent babies Bruce. But there’s nothing back up the claim, with the song’s message being little more than, “Hey Bruce, Rubicon says your name’s dumb.”
The video is set in the grand old Auckland railway station. Paul Rubicon walks in and finds the place swarming with people in funny costumes. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Village People could be formed out of the crowd.
After musing on how Bruce sucks as a name, the chorus comes along and everyone bursts into dance. I think this means I can official declare that big, ironic formation dancing was a thing in the early ’90s. It’s pretty basic steps (at one point, everyone stands still and twirls their arms around), but it’s just the sort of thing that could have been copied at home by eager fans.
During the instrumental, the band take a break from dancing to get behind their instruments, shot in colder light to demonstrate that they have a 4 real side to them.
As the video concludes, all the costumed dancers strip down to “Bruce” t-shirts and do a joyous can-can to celebrate the name. (All except Rubicon who are wearing their own band t-shirts). We also get a close-up of a young man, smiling appreciatively. His appearance seems odd if you don’t know that in 2001 he was a Juice TV presenter named Bruce. Hey, celebrity cameo!
Any New Zealand band that can reasonably pull off a moderate Busby Berkeley-style dance routine is ok with me. But it’s a bit weird having that with lyrics that cheerfully demand “Hang his head in shame! Hang his head in shame! Hang his head in shame!”
Best bit: the bass player’s bum dance that goes on for slightly too long.
Director: Paul Reid
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… get your shed on.