For years there was a music video I thought I’d see only once and never see again. In 1986 at the Original Hot Dog Shop in Pittsburgh, better known as “The O”, I was upstairs enjoying some of the world’s best fresh-cut french fries with gravy and cheese. The O had invested, unwisely as it turns out, in a video jukebox machine. This thing, unlike the old fashioned jukeboxes you find at Waffle Houses all over the South that are guaranteed to have “Midnight to Train to Georgia” as a selection was full of obscure and random songs. Looking back, the video jukebox was probably a testing ground for obscure and random bands that the record labels weren’t quite sure would make it in the US. That night I looked up to see a montage video of the Woodentops with frontman Rolo McGinty singing Give It Time. Maybe it was the hat he wore (I bought one like it about 4 years later) or the epaulets, but I couldn’t get the song out of my head and luckily I saw the name of the group before it faded into video oblivion.
Thanks to the virtual reference library of your life, otherwise knows as Youtube, I’ve found the video again. Fixx-atiously, One thing led to another, and I found myself the other watching videos of some of my favorite, fairly obscure songs from the last decade that mattered musically — the 1980s. Which is how I arrived finally at my beloved Aztec Camera and all sorts of other memories too numerous to mention here about the person I once was. AC has many songs worth listening to, including Still on Fire and their slowed down, folksy cover of Van Halen’s Jump. Oblivious apparently has two video versions, one with echoes of MichaeL Jackson’s Billie Jean and Hall and Oates Maneater (it’s almost like a video in a box; just include woman in heels walking in a deserted alley where random band sings), and another below from the UK, where Roddy Frame clearly thought he was another Boy George. Or Terry Hall. Or anyone from Bananarama.
Disturbingly, skimming through many videos you also end up seeing a number of your less-than-stellar fashion moments, but That’s Entertainment. This post’s title has been added to Boxnet, for those looking for a reminder of warm, summer days.